Brownish rings mar the window sills of all my former homes. My cupboards are full of yogurt containers, pudding cups and plastic food boxes. The only south-facing window in the house has traces of potting soil, water spills, dried leaves and other seed-starting detritus every Easter. It took 30 years of this to discover I really need a greenhouse.

It was sheer serendipity that my new house would be graced with a built-in glass greenhouse along the entire south side. As the seasons passed, I discovered just how amazing it was for growing vegetables from seed in the sheltered environment. Now I start all my vegetables in advance without concern for season or space around that one south window. Some of them get potted up more than once as I reserve them for later planting to stagger the yields, something impossible to do indoors.

Today’s greenhouses are amazingly affordable due to space-age materials and textiles. These are often sold in DIY kits for easy shipping that require on-site assembly. On the high end of the spectrum are attractive glass and metal structures for thousands that look great within a larger landscape and double as outdoor living spaces. On the low end are small units called “hobby greenhouses,” ideally suited for starting seedlings at very small home sites.

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Keep your food garden safe inside a greenhouse 

Need a place to grow your veggies or favorite flowers? Choose from one of our portable Greenhouses.