A small grow tent can be used indoors for a vegetable garden during the coldest days of winter. A small greenhouse can also work outdoors for starting your seedlings in early spring before the ground is ready for use. It can also be for extending your summer vegetable garden well into the winter months indoors. A greenhouse can also give you the opportunity to try new varieties of fruits and vegetables that you have never grown before.
A very small greenhouse, also referred to as a windowsill greenhouse, is a simple box that will sit on an extended kitchen window. Some of these windows are referred to as a greenhouse window because they extend beyond the walls of the house and have three window walls and a window on top. These greenhouses are also known as mini greenhouses and are available in starter kits which include grow lights, if you need them, the starting medium and include small containers. Many of these kits are available with transparent covers to keep in the moisture. You just need to remember that if you are placing it in a kitchen greenhouse window behind your sink that you need to be able to reach it for watering.
Another version of a small greenhouse is a unit of shelves that resemble an open bookshelf. This unit comes equipped with a grow light for each individual shelf and is classified as a grow rack. This style of “greenhouse” is not capable of controlling the temperature or the levels of humidity limiting you on what can be grown. This type of grow rack is good for adding extra lighting. There are other grow racks that are enclosed in plastic that will help control the humidity and temperature and also have grow lights for each shelf. These greenhouses come with 2, 3, or 4 shelves for using on kitchen counters or standing on the floor. These smaller greenhouses are good for starting vegetable seeds, flower seeds and for hardening off plants for transplanting in the backyard garden.
Patio grow houses, greenhouse structures that only take up about 18 x 36 inches, will fit on a back porch or patio that receives sufficient sunlight are also good for seed starting and hardening-off. These greenhouses generally have three shelves and come with double-walled glazing that seizes and retains the suns heat; they also come equipped with a zippered door for easy access and to allow air circulation.
A regular sized greenhouse is actually meant for the gardener that has a large piece of property with room to house such a large structure. The portable greenhouse gives the average gardener enough room to start their spring vegetable and flower gardens and if small enough it could be moved around if needed. You can also purchase a portable greenhouse that is heated if you are in a severe winter climate area. Instead of using an actual greenhouse structure using a cold frame around your plants will also work very well. A cold frame is just a box with a plastic door on top of the box which is placed over top of the plants that have already been planted. One thing to remember about a cold frame, it needs to be light enough so it can be lifted off once warmer temperatures arrive. The interiors of the portable greenhouse and the cold frame can be cooled just by opening the door. The cold frame will give you wind protection because they are so close to the ground.
Whereever you use a small greenhouse, inside or outside, you are still going to have a need for garden supplies. Planting trays are needed for starting seeds such as the old fashioned egg cartons or biodegradable pots. Some good hand tools such as trowels, clippers, hand rakes, small hoes, small shovels, and garden scissors will come in very handy. Protecting your hands from cuts and scrapes with a good pair of garden cloves is a must. And do not forget all the other musts for planting such as the vegetable seeds, flower seeds, potting soil, compost or peat, fertilizer, and the planting stakes and cages that are needed for certain plants. Most of all enjoy gardening in your small greenhouse or cold frame.