The Three Best Greenhouse Kits For Heavy Snow


Can you make a success of your greenhouse in the winter when it’s snowing outside? What are the best greenhouses kits you can buy to help you achieve a fruitful growing season? Why don’t we take a look at the aspects of a productive greenhouse?

The best greenhouse kits to buy for heavy snow are the gothic shape, the gable roof, and thirdly the geodesic dome shape greenhouse. They are all weather-resistant and maintain a warm internal atmosphere during winter. They shed snow and allow maximum sunlight to enter.

Greenhouses don’t need to be flashy and decked out with the most expensive gadgets to make them profitable. Here are a few things you need to know to get the most out of your greenhouse set up in the winter.

What Is The Point Of A Greenhouse in the winter?

If you are an avid gardener, you will know that plants will not survive if they are too affected by the elements. A greenhouse remains warm inside, even in the middle of winter. Some of the other benefits of a greenhouse also include:

  • Having regular fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Growing different variety of plants out of season.
  • Ability to grow things not available in their region like tropical fruit.
  • Better control over pests.
  • And a warm place to go and relax in the icy winter.

Is It Cheaper To Build A Greenhouse Or Buy A Kit?

Attempting to build a greenhouse is a tricky feat unless you know what you’re doing. Most often, the consensus is that if you purchase a complete framework without any modifications, you may be able to pay less for it than constructing it from scratch. Let’s compare:

We recommend looking at the Palram Greenhouses (link to Amazon) before building your own. Just see how inexpensive and easy a kit can be before deciding.

Buying a kitBuilding your greenhouse
A standard kit without any modification is generally designed to save you costs on the frame.It is when you modify your simple plant house that the adjustments start to elevate your costs.
The kit will have its materials already customized and able to be set up in a short time.Building your own structure allows you to source recycled materials that can lower your cost.
Buying a ready kit typically means that there is no space for alterations. The framework isn’t flexible and can only be erected in one position.By building your greenhouse, it’s easier to customize the structure in a space where a ready store-bought kit will not fit. This is especially handy when you intend to build a lean-to greenhouse.
A kit from a manufacturer will hardly ever be accompanied by a stamped certification from an engineer since it’s a temporary structure, and they cannot account for the conditions in which you will assemble your hothouse.Although costly, building your greenhouse will require specific permits from your local codes and permit office. Permission might be challenging to come by and will involve quite a bit of research from you before attempting to start building.
When you buy a kit from a supplier, you don’t need to source the base materials or concern yourself with the correct lengths because everything has been worked out, and in some cases, assembled for you already.Some of the materials to build your greenhouse might be a bit difficult to come by, but you have a much more extensive choice depending on your budget and needs.
To some, a warranty is essential. Buying a manufactured greenhouse usually comes with some security protecting your structure from factory defects.Building your hothouse omits a warranty. You might be able to claim a warranty on some of the individual materials, but the final project has no such assurances.
If time is an issue for you and you simply want to start planting, obtaining a kit will definitely get you working in your greenhouse much quicker.Building your structure, sourcing the materials, measuring and fitting it all need time to prepare. If you enjoy such projects, this is probably part of the adventure for you, but if you aim to start growing things in your greenhouse, construction might be an unnecessary step.

We recommend looking at the Palram Greenhouses (link to Amazon) before building your own. Just see how inexpensive and easy a kit can be before deciding.

Here’s a quick video to show what doing it yourself could look like:

5 Factors To Consider Before Building A Greenhouse.

Considering all the external factors, what type of structure will you need to help your plants tolerate the elements? Things to consider are:

Size:

How ample is the space you want to convert? Are the types of plants you intend to grow small when they reach adulthood, or are they large and leafy? Will there be enough space inside for you to move about freely?

Cost:

The price and the size of the structure run relatively parallel. It becomes more expensive as it increases in size. On top of that, you have to consider what you’ll need to enhance your greenhouse; will there be heaters installed or an automated irrigation system. If you live in a region where winters are prone to snowfall, you might have no choice but to invest in a heating system.

Lighting:

What kind of lighting will the plants in your greenhouse be exposed to? What region are you situated in? Within the first year of your seedlings, they are more susceptible to environmental influences and will not survive if they do not plan and prepare appropriately.

Climate and insulation material:

Apart from the proper materials, you will need to insolate your structure sufficiently, and you will also need to consider the shape of the building. Heavy snowfall will cause it to collapse if it becomes too heavy. The construction should be durable enough to withstand severe weather conditions yet be able to supply suitable ventilation.

Landscape layout:

Before placing the structure, keep an eye on the sun’s movement so you can plan for and avoid any unwanted shading over the greenhouse. It’s optimal to set down your building facing south (if you live in the northern hemisphere) so that you will collect solar heat right through the day. Ensure that your ground is leveled out so that the structure will be stable and provide good drainage for your plants.

This Polycarbonate Greenhouse (link to Amazon) doesn’t take up much room, is sturdy, and will last through the winter.

If you do plan on building your own, check out this video showing how the construction can keep a greenhouse solid during tough winters:

What Materials Can You Use In Building A Greenhouse?

The materials used in building the structure depend on your budget, your region, the elements that will affect, and of course, what you want to plant. The following items are options for building materials:

The frameworkWood – rots quickly, aluminum, iron, plastic
The coveringGlass – most expensive, last long and is beautiful, fiberglass – can become discolored, plastic – cheap, but effective, double-layered polyethylene – have to replace every two or three years, PVC, And acrylic – which is very expensive
Additional equipmentAutomatic controls, heating equipment or wood stove, an automated watering system, and ventilation systems

8 Different Styles Of Greenhouses.

Do not underestimate the value your research will have when undertaking your greenhouse project. Considering what you want to grow, the region where you live, and the external weather conditions, you need to plan carefully to overcome the wicked winter snow. Here are a few styles of kits I have come across.

  1. Gable roof greenhouse type. This is probably the most common sort of greenhouse. It has straight walls and a triangular roof; it’s high enough to move around in and has the most amount of sun exposure. Since the top has a diagonal shape, snow is not likely to settle on it and create shade inside the conservatory. This structural style is effortless to build yourself and can be manufactured from a range of materials.
  2. A-frame greenhouse. Another popular shape is the A-frame which has diagonal lines stretching from the tip of the roof to almost on the ground. This type of framework is slightly more challenging to maneuver in, and the airflow is somewhat flawed because it doesn’t reach the tight corners. However, it is a simple design that the greenhouse can build using practically any material, considering that you have enough floor span since the frame stretches out quite far. The design is also conducive to regions with high snowfall because the snow tends to slide off.
  3. Hoop house. Also known as a Quonset greenhouse, it is a half-cylinder shape forming a long tunnel. It can be assembled cheaply and has more range inside than the A-frame, making it easier to manage the ventilation. The roof is slightly more level making it easier for snow to settle and increase the weight on the roof. It will require more maintenance to clear off the top so you won’t suffer any structural damage.
  4. Gothic arch-style greenhouse. If you like a conservatory that is more aesthetically pleasing to the eye, this is a great style. It has a swerved arch that resembles an upside-down leaf. It is also an elementary form to put together with cost-effective materials. The shape of the roof easily repels water and snow, which makes it the best style in snowy regions.
  5. Geodesic dome greenhouse. This style is much more complicated to build than the others. It is a large structure that requires lots of space. It’s assembled by combining carefully measured triangles into a dome, but it has exceptionally better solar heat exposure and superior airflow. It will also endure much harsher weather conditions.
  6. The lean-to greenhouse. Instead of an independent structure, this hothouse is built as an extension to your house. As long as it is built along the most south-facing wall, it will achieve the best sun exposure and be slightly more stable and protected from the elements. This type of greenhouse is favored if you have limited space in your backyard.
  7. Shade house. On the other side of the plant spectrum, we also find plants that prefer shade and less direct sunlight, like ferns or orchids. For these types of flora, you can build a shade house ordinarily comprised of materials deflecting some of the sun’s rays, like shaded cloth. They can be structured in any shape, but the most noticeable difference is the materials it is built with.
  8. Sawtooth greenhouse. The most complicated design for a conservatory is probably the sawtooth style. It can also be constructed in various shapes, but the one half of the roof is vertically taller than the other half with ventilation grids to let hot air out and cool air in. This gap is situated at the highest point of the roof and can be managed from below.

How To Keep A Greenhouse Warm In The Winter.

The main objective for an excellent greenhouse is to keep the atmosphere inside the structure warm and tropical for your plants to grow at their optimal level and to protect them from any outside influences that might be harmful. Another critical element to take into consideration is snowfall. If you live in a region where the winter months are prone to heavy snow, a simple greenhouse will not be enough to regulate the temperature inside the structure.  You will have to consider additional heating methods.

  • Natural warming methods: There are numerous inexpensive ways to control the heat in your hothouse, depending on your budget. Many of these options involve implementing the ideas from the planning stages and incorporating them into the structure’s design.
    1. By using double-layered plastic for the windows, you will not block the sunrays from shining in, but it will prevent the heat from escaping, causing the inside to stay warm during the colder nights.
    2. Compost is an organic heat source. The bacteria in naturally decomposing materials generate their own heat. Covering your plant beds with a few inches of compost before the cold starts will help maintain the temperature below ground.
    3. The pathways between your plants absorb a lot of sunlight but become wasted if you do not enhance the passages with things like black wood mulch or dark-colored cement to store the heat. It naturally redisperses it during the colder times of the evening and keeps the air balmy.
    4. Station barrels with water along the north wall so they can absorb heat during the day. These barrels will store the heat and circulate it in the air at night.
    5. If you live in the northern hemisphere, the most favorable location for your greenhouse is to face south so the maximum sun can reach the plants. This principle also means that heat will typically escape through the back wall. Insulate the north wall to avoid heat escaping.
    6. If possible, plan to build your conservatory partially underground as the ground will act as a natural insulator. The earth will never reach temperatures lower than 32 degrees Fahrenheit. In the icy winter months, the floor will be warmer than the atmosphere and keep the plants from harmful icy conditions.
  • Adding a heater: In some regions, it might become so cold that the natural warming methods might not be sufficient. To keep your plants from perishing, you will have to invest in a heater to keep the temperature warm at night.
    1. Electric heaters are helpful but heavy on electricity, and using them every night might show a significant rise in your electric bill.
    2. Gas heaters are more economical and serve the purpose of keeping the temperature at an optimal level.
    3. Installing an underground heating system at the inception of your greenhouse construction is also a cheap way to keep the atmosphere warm at night. Cold air is pumped through the pipes below ground during the day to keep it cooler when it’s too hot and out into the hothouse during the night when the temperature drops.
    4. A wood-burning stove is another structure you can install to heat your greenhouse during cold winters manually. You will have to calculate the size and strength of the wood stove that will be required in comparison to the size of your greenhouse.

What Are The Three Best Greenhouse Kits For Heavy Snow?

Combining everything that we’ve discussed about the shape, materials, and location of your greenhouse, we can safely say that purchasing your hothouse’s framework is, in some instances, a better idea than trying and building the structure yourself. The accessories, shelves, and supplementary systems are easier and cheaper to buy separately.

The three best greenhouse kits you can buy to endure heavy snow in order of preference is:

1: Palram Greenhouses

2: Polycarbonate Greenhouse

3: Building your own

Happy planting!

Robert Sampson

I'm Robert Sampson and I live in Colorado where I spend a lot of time in the backyard with my family either grilling, playing games and sports, or working on a project to make our backyard a better place to be.

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