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Are you a gardening enthusiast planning to build your first greenhouse? A greenhouse is a valuable addition to any home garden, allowing you to grow veggies, herbs, flowers, and other plants year-round. It also offers space to start seeds earlier in the season, lengthening your growing season for optimal harvest. However, with various greenhouse designs, each offering unique advantages, selecting the right one can be daunting. Here are different types of greenhouses and tips to select one that meets your gardening needs, space, climate, and budget.


1. Lean-to or Attached Greenhouses

lean to greenhouse

While they can be built as freestanding structures with the right DIY plan, lean-to greenhouses are often attached to the wall of an existing structure, such as a garage, garden shed, or house. They are a great choice for gardeners with limited space and looking to build a DIY greenhouse on a budget. A great benefit of lean-to greenhouses is the easy access to electricity and water. They also benefit from the heat and support of the adjoining structure.


2. A-frame Greenhouses

A frame greenhouse

These are distinctive triangular greenhouses, hence the name A-frame. Their classic and economical design makes them a beloved choice among hobby and professional gardeners looking for a single structure that is functional, appealing, and easy to build. In regions that experience cold climates, the tall, slanted sides allow snow to slide off easily, preventing accumulation that can potentially damage the structure. The height not only provides ample room for climbers and vining plants but also space to hang potted plants.


3. Hoop House

hoop style greenhouse

Celebrated for their simplicity and affordability, hoop houses have become a staple for many gardeners. They are constructed using metalling or PVC pipes that are bent to create a dome-like structure. Their design makes them easy to build while creating a functional space to grow your vegetables for year-round fresh harvest. In the right location, hoop houses can allow for more sunlight than most greenhouse varieties. However, they don’t shed snow and water easily.


4. Geodesic Dome Greenhouse

geodesic dome greenhouse

For gardeners with great DIY skills, building a geodesic dome greenhouse can be a rewarding project. Although they require precise construction techniques, these greenhouses are incredibly strong and hold up well in severe conditions while adding a dash of elegance to your backyard. Because of their intricate design, they are suitable for innovative gardeners looking for optimal energy efficiency. Their shape allows for optimal sunlight exposure, which enhances energy efficiency.


5. Gothic Arch Greenhouse

For gardeners looking for a functional structure that is visually stunning, a Gothic arch greenhouse is a great choice. These greenhouses are characterized by their pointed arched roof, adept at withstanding strong winds and shedding snow, making them perfect for gardeners who experience hefty snowfall. The design also eliminates the need for structural beams, which keeps construction costs low. Besides, the arched roof maximizes headroom, ideal for ventilation and vining plants.


6. Cold-frame Greenhouses

Cold-frame greenhouses are a perfect choice for gardeners looking to create a controlled environment to start seeds before the growing season or protect plants from cold weather. Unlike typical greenhouses that are walk-in, cold-frame greenhouses are compact, unheated structures designed with transparent tops. Most cold-frame greenhouses are portable, so gardeners can move them depending on the crop needs.


Which Greenhouse is Right for You?

Greenhouses are versatile structures that allow gardeners to extend growing seasons and enjoy fresh produce year-round. However, none is a one-size-fits-all solution. When it comes to choosing a greenhouse for your home garden, the right one depends on your gardening needs. While most greenhouses create a microclimate with ideal temperature, humidity, and ventilation that most plants need to flourish, some only protect the plants from scorching sun heat or freezing temperatures.

Generally, gardeners in regions that experience hot weather need a greenhouse that can keep the inside cool, while those in areas that experience intense snowfall need a structure that can easily shed the snow, withstand the elements, and is properly insulated to keep heat in. Your budget and available space are also limiting factors. Lean-to greenhouses are often a great choice for gardeners with small yards and on a budget. Some greenhouses are functional and enhance curb appeal, should you want to add a dash of beauty to your garden.