On a recent shopping trip to ALDI I came across their Summer range for gardens, in amongst it all I saw the Gardenline 82530 Premium 4 Tier Growhouse for sale. It was very reasonably priced at £24.99, I knew I’d need more room eventually and so I decided to add to my Plastic Greenhouse collection.As you may or may not know, I use plastic greenhouses in my Garden for growing. It isn’t out of choice, but I make do with what I’ve got. And as you also may or may not know, I’ve had varying degrees of success with them.
In fact, the strapline to this blog is “I got a Greenhouse for my 40th Birthday and these are my Adventures with it”. In reality, that should be more like “I got a Greenhouse for my 40th Birthday, then another at Christmas, and another for my next Birthday, oh and another for Christmas, another two more randomly and then a Polytunnel and these are my Adventures with them”.
Except, that’s a bit of a mouthful. So I won’t change it.
So, another year, another Plastic Greenhouse (I know it says Growhouse, but…)
As you might know, I’ve had varying degrees of success with these things over the years and so as I go along I’m going to include some tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the way about making these things a bit more secure in an urban garden like mine.
So, opening the box we find all the bits and pieces to make your new Greenhouse.
Including of course, some nice instructions.
Always good to see, but, I think I’ve now built enough of these to get the general idea!
They are easy enough to follow, if you’ve any question at all about what you’re doing then the simple to understand diagram clues you in.
The support poles are numbered so you know which bits of the instructional diagram go where. Well, I say this but there weren’t all numbered, but it wasn’t rocket science to work out which part went where either so it’s no big thing.
Building the frame is easy as putting the poles into little holes on the plastic parts.
How long does it take to build these things? Well, according to my photo time stamps, 15 minutes later I had the frame assembled.
You might now be thinking “Looks a bit wonky that”, and you’d be right. It does look a bit wonky. I’ve no idea why, when I was building it I made sure all the rods went into the holes firmly and used my weight on them where appropiate. In fact when I noticed it looked a bit lob sided in places I nearly broke it trying to force the poles deeper into the holes. But, nothing. Not even a vigourous waggling helped.
It’s not horrendous to be fair, so I can live with it.
So, now comes the voice of experience with these things. Without doubt whenever I’ve built one of the things in the past I’ve always needed to do something after it’s been out in the wild for a little while.
I’ve had to get the duct tape out.
These greenhouses are OK in ideal conditions. But the English Weather is often far from ideal for little bits of plastic propped up my flimsy pieces of metal. Exposed to the wind and the rain these things are easy to go over. Something I’ve more than enough experience with!
So, before I went any further I, helped, all the joints by reinforcing them a little.
Hopefully this will save me a job a little further down the line 😉
Next – Came getting the cover on. This part is always a bit hard work. Well, not hard work but it needs a little messing about to get it on.
The instructions say to open the door and then slide it on. I find that it gets hard to control if there is a little wind. Instead I open the door a little at the bottom to get it started; then closing it when the cover is on it’s way down the frame.
The plastic cover on this Greenhouse is the reinforced type which make it harder to rip. The completely see through ones have never lasted the year completely for me where as I’ve had another mini greenhouse with the same material last years.
The cover attaches to the Greenhouse frame with tie wraps and littles bits of velcro fastners.
They do a good job, but they can do a better one…
Yep! – Duct tape those up as well – It’ll stop the cover from moving around so much in the wind.
Another couple of minutes or so, and…
Where there was once a box with some loose bits there was now a mostly assembled Greenhouse. All in all it looks OK, a little wonky, but OK. Certainly seems like it’s capable of the job it is supposed to do and thats all you can really ask for.
Now, you might think “Yay! Now lets fill that thing up and crack on”, but… No.
We need to make more precautions.
First of all, the shelving. I’ve never once had the shelves of a Plastic Greenhouse fit perfectly, I’ve just not. And I’m at the point where I don’t expect them to do either. They are after all only thin pieces of cheap metal. They bend and they warp easily, so, help them.
Next up, we need to secure this bad boy. I’ve had more than one of these things fall over on me in the past. They are meant to be secured to the ground in soil. But if you’re an Urban Gardner like me this isn’t an option, so we have improvise.
This is going to differ for everyone, but, I use dumb bell weights. And an elaborate tying system.
I thread them in, out, over and under the weights and around the frame with as much as I possibly can do to form a base.
It’s not ideal, you might have a better idea. If you do then please do feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments, I’m all up for ideas! (In wider ones I’ve used a growbag before now which also works really well)
And, once all of that is done…
Your little plastic Greenhouse can start Greenhousing.
Overall I’m happy enough with my purchase, it was cheap enough and gives me the room I need. I certainly can’t complain for the money I paid and I’m reasonably sure that the duct tape I used around the joints will help keep all of this one place.