10 Reasons Why a Lean To Greenhouse May Be Right for You

Farmer Fred and Bailey in the Lean To Greenhouse

Farmer Fred and Bailey in the Lean To Greenhouse

While there are many different greenhouse structures, I have found the Lean To Greenhouse to be perfect for my needs. As you may have seen in some of my gardening videos, I constructed my Lean To Greenhouse as an extension to one of my garages on my property. As a DIY project, it was relatively easy to set up as it did not really require significant technical skills like routing electrical wires. Of course, if constructing your own Lean To Greenhouse is out of the question, it is still possible to consult with a local contractor or purchase a lean to greenhouse kit online

Today we will examine 10 reasons why a Lean To Greenhouse may be the right choice for your gardening needs

A Lean To Greenhouse is Good for...

1). Regulating temperature. One of the key motivators many people have for building any type of greenhouse is for the simple ability to better control the temperature and climate of the environment. Certainly if you live in an environment like my own, in rural Pennsylvania, you will experience drastic changes in the weather and temperature as the seasons change. This is something beautiful and great about PA, but can be a struggle for some gardeners as they become limited in what they can grow come the winter low season. With the appropriate heating regulation, you can keep a nice and toasty environment, enabling plant growth during the winter months that may otherwise be impossible. 

2). Small space requirements. For some, a drawback of a lean to greenhouse when compared with a free-standing greenhouse is that it is smaller. Sometimes lean to greenhouses are referred to as "half greenhouses" and for good reason: they require much less space as they are constructed against an already existing wall on your property. For myself, this is a positive as I do not need the space and expense that comes with constructing a larger free-standing structure. Not to mention, many people may have more difficulty with local zoning laws to construct a separate greenhouse. 

3). Relatively easy construction. While I would not recommend building your own DIY greenhouse if you do not have any prior experience with some basic construction practices, I found the construction of my own lean to greenhouse to be very simple. If you can't do it yourself, an option to hire a contractor is always going to be available, and should be fairly inexpensive when compared to some other, larger, home renovations or add-ons. 

4). A low cost home addition. Cost is always going to be relative to your unique situation, but in the grand scheme of things, creating a lean to greenhouse is going to be inexpensive - even more so when you consider the long-term value it will bring. Given that it is "half a greenhouse," it is much less costly when compared with a full free-standing greenhouse.

5). Making maintenance easier as it is an indoor garden. While there is an undeniable joy I get from going outside to my garden, it becomes more difficult during the cold winter months. For many, a great appeal of an indoor garden is the ability to bypass the need to go outside in freezing cold weather and snow. Because there are many artificial controls in place, the lean to greenhouse will always be able to greet you with some much needed warmth. You get to maintain your gardening hobby much easier - something that may be invaluable most to those who have pain onset as a result of cold weather. 

6). Accessibility and convenience. As a lean to greenhouse is built along an existing wall, the ability to create a convenient space for access is very high. Some people build them as simple attachments to their home - adding a door for direct access from inside. For my own lean to green house, I built it as an extension to one of my garages, which is convenient enough for me - and it just works aesthetically with the rest of my property. 

7). Enabling plant-growth throughout year. One of the major reasons why people consider building a greenhouse on their property is because of how they provide opportunities to grow plants that may not do well year round in their climate. For example, it becomes difficult to grow tomatoes in Pennsylvania as the winter moves in, however something like this would be feasible in a greenhouse environment. 

8). Solar greenhouse power - further saving costs. While some people redirect heat from their homes to artificially heat their lean to greenhouses, others have decided to go in the direction of harvesting solar power. When a lean-to greenhouse is constructed against a south-facing wall, it will receive maximum sunlight. The power of the sun is beneficial both directly to the plants it comes into contact with, and also provides thermal heat for the entire greenhouse. To put it simply - the wall the lean to greenhouse is attached to functions as a sponge, soaking up the heat from the sun, and gradually releases it throughout the day and night. It is a great, natural, method for saving heating costs. 

9). Providing easier access to utilities such as electric and water. Having an attached greenhouse can make life a little bit easier when it comes to getting access to utilities such as electric, heating, and water. Depending on your utility needs, a freestanding greenhouse would require much more effort and professional assistance to set up utilities. 

10). Protecting against insects and other garden pests. Another great advantage of a lean to greenhouse (and, well, any greenhouse for that matter) is the reduction of exposure to garden visitors. My outdoor garden happens to receive a large number of visitors throughout the year ranging from the tiny cabbage worm to deer. They are not all destructive, and some precautions can be taken to alleviate some of this environmental stress such as by constructing raised garden beds and using row covers, but the enclosed nature of a lean to greenhouse allows these challenges to be mitigated. 

Bonus: My Lean To Greenhouse is just another tool in my arsenal for helping to promote a whole food, plant-based diet and plant-smart lifestyle. I find that gardening in general helps to to fully "live" this lifestyle as I am not dependent on going to a grocery store and choosing from their limited, and often more expensive, selection of fruits and vegetables. A greenhouse is just one extra way to grow my own food and sustain my lifestyle and health

If space and cost is still a problem, consider making one of my simple no cost mini-greenhouses

I have found the Lean To Greenhouse to work very well for me. While there are some cons you should consider (as with anything), it can be a very enticing solution if you are looking for a greenhouse that requires minimal time, space, construction effort, and financial investment.