By Kathy Widenhouse, award-winning writer and owner of Tomato Dirt, a leading online source of for growing tomatoes in the home garden.
A greenhouse is a structure designed to control climate factors that affect tomato plants.
Greenhouses come in all shapes and sizes. They range from large commercial structures to home additions to simple hobby patio greenhouses to collapsible pop-ups you can store in your garage in the off-season.
They are especially helpful when you want to:
There are two big questions to consider when choosing a greenhouse for your tomatoes.
Greeenhouses are either attached or freestanding.
Attached greenhouses can be connected to a house, garage, barn, or other building.
Advantages of attached greenhouses:
Disadvantages of attached greenhouses:
Freestanding greenhouses are completely independent structures.
Advantages of freestanding greenhouses:
Disadvantages of freestanding greenhouses:
At Tomato Dirt we’re all about “doing it yourself.” You can purchase plans, panels, greenhouse film, ground cover, shade cloth and a wide assortment of accessories to construct your own greenhouse. (Get plans here.)
But building your greenhouse may or may not be the more economical choice. Be sure to do an apples-to-apples comparison of costs (including your time.) Building plans can be low cost, but the materials needed for the construction can be expensive or hard to find. Increasing home gardening popularity has led to good greenhouse products ready to assemble with simple instructions. Greenhouse manufacturers often offer a warranty, too – not an option when you build your own.
Ultimately the decision depends on how large or small a greenhouse you need, the features you want, how handy you are, and the cost comparisons between building your own and buying a kit.
More on tomato greenhouses
Pop-Up Greenhouse for Tomatoes: Is It for You?
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