How to Choose the Best Portable Greenhouse

Last Updated on May 15, 2020 by Ellen Christian

Spring is almost here, and I can’t wait to get out in the garden again. I’ve been wondering about the best portable greenhouse for spring planting. We aren’t interested in adding any more permanent structures to our property. They require upkeep, and they need to be mowed around all year. 

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How to Choose the Best Portable Greenhouse for Spring

How to Choose the Best Portable Greenhouse 

Instead, I’ve decided that a smaller greenhouse we can take out just for spring would work best for us. It’s there when we need it to start tender plants and seeds, and then we can put it away in the garden shed until next year.  There are a number of different types of greenhouses to choose from so here are a few things to consider when making your choice.

Having a greenhouse lets you extend your growing season. We could not plant seeds until after the last frost date in Vermont which is May 25 for our area. By using a greenhouse, I can often start seeds in the middle of April which means that I will have fresh lettuce two weeks earlier than if I didn’t use one. This means that I can also have fresh lettuce two weeks longer in the fall than I could without a greenhouse. Here are a few things to consider when picking the best portable greenhouse.

Are portable greenhouses any good?

It really depends on which one you choose. Like anything else, if you choose a poorly made product, it will fall apart. These have the highest ratings.

  • The Deluxe Greenhouse works well if you plan on starting seeds in pots. There are lots of shelves for different types of seedlings. This is a great option for a multi-tier mini greenhouse.
  • If you want to plant directly in the ground, the Outsunny Greenhouse is more similar to a cold frame.
  • You can use a cloche and turn almost any garden into a portable greenhouse.

How to Choose the Best Portable Greenhouse for Spring

Cold frame

A cold frame is set directly on the garden soil and is used to extend the growing season by protecting plants from colder temperatures. Typically, they are relatively small in size, and the top opens up with a hinge which makes hardening off plants a simple task. Cold frames can be moved from crop to crop depending on your spring planting schedule.

What is the best small greenhouse?

If you need a small greenhouse, consider a starter greenhouse. A starter greenhouse is typically a mid-sized greenhouse that is made of a series of pipes or tubes with plastic sheeting over the top. The greenhouse is assembled in the early spring and then taken down in the summer. The parts are stored away until next year when the greenhouse is constructed again. A benefit is that these types of greenhouses are typically fairly inexpensive. A drawback is that you may need to replace the plastic sheeting each year if it’s damaged.

How to Choose the Best Portable Greenhouse for Spring

If you want something simple that is easy to take down, you might want to consider a pop up greenhouse.

What is the best portable greenhouse made of?

If you live in a cold climate and plan on using the greenhouse when it may show, the cover of the greenhouse must be robust enough to withstand ice and snow. A cold frame typically has a plexiglass cover which will work better for you than plastic sheeting. If you want it to really last, powder coated steel may be the best choice. Check the reviews before you buy.

How to Choose the Best Portable Greenhouse for Spring

Customization options

When using a greenhouse only to start seeds, the greenhouse doesn’t need to be very tall. It will be removed once the temperatures are warm enough for the plants to grow on their own. If you want to grow plants year-round in your greenhouse, you may want to choose a starter greenhouse with adjustable shelves. You might want to look into indoor outdoor options.

How can I make a cheap greenhouse?

If you use a cold frame, you can raise the cover to allow venting to regulate the temperature. If you choose a different type of greenhouse, make sure that you can open vents to control the interior temperature. This one is relatively inexpensive to make.

How to Choose the Best Portable Greenhouse for Spring Watering options

If you will be growing a large number of seedlings in your greenhouse, you may find it helpful to use a heavy-duty greenhouse with some type of irrigation system. A deluxe greenhouse may give you more options for added features.


Will you have somewhere close to the greenhouse to store gardening tools, watering buckets, fertilizer, etc.? Or will you need to have storage in the greenhouse itself? The best portable greenhouse, in this case, will be one with added storage.

a greenhouse in the garden

What is a hobby greenhouse?

A hobby greenhouse is simply a greenhouse that is used by a homeowner rather than a commercial gardener or farmer. They can be small or large. It simply indicates that gardening is a hobby, not a profession. Most of the time, a mini greenhouse will be a hobby greenhouse. You might want to consider at few of these.

How to Choose the Best Portable Greenhouse

Summary best portable greenhouse kits

Now that I’ve given you a few things to think about to choose the best portable greenhouse, what are your gardening plans for the summer? Why not learn more about growing salad greens. Or, check out the best plants to grow on a trellis.

2 thoughts on “How to Choose the Best Portable Greenhouse”

  1. My grandmother used to always worry about her orange tree. This would have been a perfect solution. I will have to tell my mom for her fig trees.

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