Enjoy compact cultivation with the best small greenhouse

These are great growing enclosures for those with limited outdoor space.

Best small greenhouses

by Amy-Mae Turner |
Updated on

While we may all aspire to construct a Kew-style glass house in our back garden, the reality is that many of us don't even have the outdoor space for a full-sized greenhouse. For this reason, we're taking a look at the best small greenhouses that don't have a huge footprint but can still give you the growing glory a greenhouse can offer you and your precious plants.

A space-saving, small greenhouse can help you nurture seeds and seedlings, bring on plants ready to be potted out, grow veg that's happy to flourish in pots and grow bags, like tomatoes, cucumbers, chillies, beetroot, dwarf beans, and more. Plus, you can overwinter annuals in your greenhouse, shielding them from frost. Greenhouses are also an excellent option to grow your salad crops in, giving them better protection from the elements - and from common garden pests, like slugs and snails. Some gardeners like to use greenhouses as permanent undercover herb gardens, ensuring their plants are warm, shielded, and at the ready to have a few stalks snipped off at any time.

Best small greenhouses at a glance:

Best overall small greenhouse

Palram Nature Series Hybrid Hobby Greenhouse

Best small greenhouse with a wooden base

Mercia Greenhouse with Flap Vent

Best plastic small greenhouse

Display4top Small Portable Outdoor Greenhouse

Best small wall greenhouse

Forest Garden Wall Greenhouse

All the greenhouses we're featuring measure in at around six feet by four feet or less, however, if your garden is really on the small side you may want to consider a mini greenhouse instead. From greenhouses with attractive wooden bases to smaller versions of traditional greenhouses, to affordable and convenient plastic options, look through our list to find the ideal small-scale greenhouse solution to suit your gardening needs.

Best small greenhouse for your garden

Best overall small greenhouse

Palram small greenhousePalram/Amazon

Rrp: $499.00

Price: $464.80
Alternative retailers
Wayfair$464.80View offer
Lowe's$479.18View offer
Tractor Supply$539.99View offer

Palram's six by four greenhouse has a traditional design with an apex roof. The frame is made from sturdy, rust-resistant aluminium that's been powdered coated. The panels are polycarbonate with the walls completely clear for strong light transmission and the roof offering a twin-wall design for protection from damaging UV-rays.

Ventilation is taken care of with an adjustable vent window, and gutters and gutter heads are included so you can collect rainwater for your plants. The hinged door can be assembled as a right or left-hand door.

This has a lockable door handle which makes it a strong choice for anyone who is looking for a greenhouse for their allotment. Invest a small amount in a padlock and you can ensure your greenhouse's contents will be safe from thieves when you're not there.

Pros

  • "Hybrid" design that combines an opaque roof and transparent side panels
  • Features a lockable door handle for extra security

Cons

  • Padlock not included - you'll need to source one separately

Best small greenhouse with a wooden base

Mercia small greenhouseMercia/B&Q

This Mercia greenhouse offers you a substantial wooden frame for practicality and good looks. It gives you the stability of wood while letting loads of light in to help your plants thrive.

This measures in at six feet by four. The wooden areas are made from 12mm shiplap cladding, and the panels are UV-resistant, shatterproof styrene. This has one opening roof window and a single-size, half-glazed door.

This greenhouse is supplied complete with all the fixtures and fittings you need to get it constructed, a one-year manufacturer's guarantee, and a 10-year anti-rot promise so you can be save in the knowledge it'll go the distance.

Pros

  • Attractive design with a wooden frame and base
  • The wooden parts comes with a 10-year anti-rot guarantee

Cons

  • Wooden parts will need treating over time for weather-proofing

Best plastic small greenhouse

Display4top small greenhousesDisplay4top/Amazon

This rectangular Display4Top option has a square design measuring roughly 4.7 feet and just over six feet at its tallest point. This means there is plenty of space to work away at planting, potting, watering, and general pottering inside the greenhouse with one reviewer confirming there is enough space for two people to work alongside each other.

The decent-sized footprint also allows for handy shelving - there are ten wired shelves, long shelves for either side and smaller ones that run along the back wall.

This has an alloy steel frame and a PVC cover that's kept in place with internal ties. The zippered door rolls up and can be held in place with two ties but this will require pinning or pegging down in some way to protect against windy weather.

Pros

  • 10 wire frame shelves included that each have a 25 kilogram capacity
  • Constructed from powder-coated steel tubes that are rust-resistant

Cons

  • This will need to be weighted down to protect from wind

Best small wall greenhouse

Forest Garden small greenhouseForest Garden/Amazon

We're big fans of this elegant tall greenhouse from Forest Garden which will sit neatly against a wall in your garden, offering a decorative, yet practical growing space for seedlings, herbs, and small plants.

The frame of this greenhouse is crafted from ethically sourced wood from sustainable forests that are replanted and have been pressure-treated for durability and weather- and rot-resistant. The transparent window panes are made from acrylic, and the foldable shelves towards the centre of the greenhouse can collapse down to give you more room to work.

This has a double, French-door style frontage with a lockable latch. Built into the roof is an opening vent window that has a high-quality mechanism to keep it open at the angle you need for the best ventilation.

Pros

  • Attractive traditional Victorian design for classic good looks
  • Double doors and a rooftop window for air flow and ventilation

Cons

  • Only room for one person to work at a time

Best small greenhouse to blend in

Halls small greenhouseHalls/ShedStore

ShedStore describes this six-by-four Halls option as an ideal small greenhouse for beginners. We like it for its looks - the green frame and clear glass (if you pay extra for this choice) will blend into your garden's greenery for a subtle setup.

That green frame is constructed from long-lasting, low maintenance, aluminium strengthened by diagonal bracing. This is sold as a frame only, then you can choose from one- or two-tier aluminium staging with slatted shelves, a purpose-built three-tier seed tray frame staging which will hold 15 seed trays, or a two-tier potting bench.

This greenhouse has a space-saving sliding door for access to the greenhouse while a roof vent provides ventilation. More optional extras include a louvre window, an auto vent opener for the window, and an auto louvre control.

Pros

  • Attractive green aluminium frame blends into your greenery
  • Available with toughened safety glass as an option

Cons

  • You'll need to buy the greenhouse's base separately

Best lean to small greenhouse

Coppice small greenhouse Coppice/ShedStore

Another sophisticated solution inspired by glass houses of the past, this high-end Coppice Hatfield greenhouse comes pre-pressure-treated, and pre-painted in an elegant pale grey, and professional installation is included in the overall price.

This greenhouse's lean to design allows you to utilise space against a garden wall. This measures in at just over six feet long and around four feet wide. This greenhouse gives you one shelf that runs the length of the greenhouse that you can use as a potting bench or as an area to place plants.

The door includes chrome fittings and a three-lever mortice lock, while there are two hydraulically-powered automatic vents built into the roof.

Pros

  • This has professional installation included in the price
  • The wood frame has been pressure treated to prevent rot

Cons

  • This greenhouse is not suitable for standalone construction

Best compact wooden greenhouse

Shire small greenhouse Shire/Robert Dyas

This compact greenhouse from Shire Hemsby is perfect to add a decorative element to an unloved corner of your garden with its wooden good looks that include an attractive finial and cresting to the roof.

This is manufactured from high-grade Northern European, certified timber that's been finished with a honey brown basecoat preservative treatment. This means it's ready for your choice of top coat of wood paint or stain after you've constructed it.

It comes supplied with four doors that can be hung in any of the eight spaces, so you could have a front and a side door, or, if your space allows, a door in each gable end for a spacious look and feel. One roof window is also included.

Pros

  • Attractive and decorative finial and cresting to the roof
  • Four doors that can be hung in any of the eight spaces

Cons

  • The door's handles are not lockable or suitable for padlocks

How we chose the best small greenhouses

All of these small greenhouses have been hand-selected by our team of Modern Gardens shopping experts. We carefully considered the design, functionality, and capacity in our selection of the best. Our team has spent hours investigating and researching small greenhouses to make it easier for you to find the very best, and we'd never recommend a product we don't believe in.

Where possible, we also test and share the latest and best products you should know about. And with help from Modern Gardens Magazine, Garden News and Garden Answers, we share expert gardening knowledge to help you get the most from your product.

Where should I position my greenhouse?

Thanks to the more compact footprint small greenhouses offer, you do get more flexibility about where you can place them compared to full-size options. It's still an important issue to consider though, and you may want to get your compass out...

"It goes without saying, a glasshouse should be in the sunniest spot possible, but, technically, just six hours of sunlight counts as full sun, so your options may be wider than you think," states Nick Bailey of Garden News. "Aim to have the pitch facing south, to maximise light entry."

Light is the most important option to consider, but do also think about practicalities - you don't want to place your greenhouse under a spot popular with birds, for obvious reasons, and it needs to be somewhere you can easily access with a garden hose or at least, not have to go too far while lugging your trusty watering can.

What kind of base do I need for my greenhouse?

Most greenhouses are supplied without a base, but it's absolutely essential that you ensure the area you're situating your greenhouse is both level and secure.

The easiest way to do this is to hire a professional to create a base, but it's not an impossible job to make one yourself.

Once you've levelled the ground you can pour a concrete pad for your greenhouse to be bolted to. A concrete base is practical as it will take a lot of weight and can easily be washed down.

Another option is to lay paving slabs or block paving, the kind you can buy at garden centres for patios is perfectly adequate.

A more minimalist option is to go for a simple perimeter base that your greenhouse sits on. These are usually made from bricks or breeze blocks.

Whichever base type you opt for, ensuring the ground is level is vital as you will struggle to construct a greenhouse, and slide the panes in, if the frame is in any way uneven.

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Amy-Mae Turner is a Commerce Content Writer for Modern Gardens, Yours, Take A Break Pets, and A Modern Kitchen. When she's not pottering in the garden or mucking around in the kitchen, she can be found having doggy cuddles with her two beloved cockapoochis.

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