Home → Gardening Alternatives → Green House Gardening: Choosing & Locating Your Hobby Greenhouse → Greenhouse Gardening: Types of Greenhouses
Most veteran gardeners are familiar with the cold frame. Although not exactly a greenhouse, a cold frame gives seedlings and transplants an earlier outdoor start in the spring. A cold frame is also a great way to begin "hardening off" tender perennials that you have stored in your basement or garage.
A cold frame is a low-to-the-ground, unheated structure with solid sides and a removable or hinged transparent top. The top admits sunlight and helps the frame retain enough radiant heat to protect plants overnight. The sides may be made of just about any building medium: brick, wood, aluminum, steel, or plastic. Easy to build for the do-it-yourselfer, you also can find inexpensive and ready-made cold frames available at most home improvement and garden centers.
Although you can contract to have a greenhouse built, greenhouse kits are generally a less expensive alternative. Smaller greenhouse kits range in price from about $700.00 to $1200.00. Greenhouse kits typically make set-up a very simple process. Usually, as few as two able-bodied individuals can set up a greenhouse kit in a single day.
Two common types of greenhouse kits are the window greenhouse and the stand-alone or walk in greenhouse kit. The Walk-In (Stand Alone) Greenhouse Kit
Where you live is a deciding factor in your choice of a greenhouse kit. Your area's climate has a large impact and may require you to purchase add-ons or extras for your greenhouse.
Some stand-alone greenhouse kits feature shelves that fold down when not in use. Another useful feature you in some greenhouse kits is slotted shelving that allows excess garden soil to fall through and excess water to drain from the shelving surface.
When choosing a walk-in greenhouse kit, be sure that it provides a large enough space to move comfortably inside. Of course, some folks don't have enough yard space for a stand-alone greenhouse at all! However, today's greenhouses fit all kinds of spaces and all kinds of budgets.