garagemadesimple.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com . The website is also an affiliate of a few other brands.
Can You Put a Greenhouse in a Garage?
How can you still grow and protect your plants as the cold weather approaches? By growing them in a greenhouse. It is not always possible to put up a greenhouse in your backyard garden. So can you put a greenhouse in your garage?
You can put a greenhouse in your garage, but you will most likely need to make modifications to the garage so that enough sunlight can stream in. Alternatively you can buy or build a greenhouse that replaces the sunlight with LED grow lights.
A greenhouse may look like a simple structure from outside, but for it to be really effective certain requirements must be met.
What Does a Greenhouse Require?
The primary requirement of a greenhouse is the right location. The greenhouse must get the maximum possible amount of sunlight. Sunlight not only makes the plants grow, it also keeps the greenhouse warmer than the outside.
For your greenhouse within the garage to get adequate sunlight, you will need to open up the south or southeast facing wall and install large glass doors or windows.
In case this is not possible, then you need to buy or build a greenhouse that has the right quantity and type of fluorescent or LED grow lights.
Ventilation & Airflow
The greenhouse must have adequate ventilation and circulation. Continuous air exchange keeps the temperature within the greenhouse stable and replenishes carbon dioxide.
Chances are you will not be able to get good natural ventilation in a greenhouse in your garage. That is not a big problem as you can install a small exhaust fan to move the air.
The greenhouse gets pretty warm during the day due to the sunlight (or artificial light). However, it can lose all its heat, pretty rapidly, on cold winter nights. You will certainly need to have a small electric heater within the greenhouse. Switch it on when needed.
Water has a high heat coefficient. So it is a good idea to water the plants in the greenhouse in the evening. The extra moisture will keep the greenhouse warmer for longer.
Another way to increase water within the greenhouse is to keep a few 5 gallon buckets of water inside it.
Do I Need Grow Lights in a Greenhouse?
To be honest, modifying your garage to let in lots of natural sunlight is unlikely to work for most people. The cost is going to be just too high and the returns too low. It will not be worth it!
It is more practical to put a small greenhouse within a garage, powered by artificial lights. You can get (or build) a greenhouse that is big enough to meet your home gardening needs.
Start your seedlings in late winter or early spring and transplant them outdoors when the weather and ground temperature is conducive. Alternatively, you can move them to pots and planters in the vegetable garden within your garage.
What Is the Best Lighting for a Greenhouse?
Both Fluorescent and LED lights are used as grow lights in an indoor small greenhouse. The key differences are:
Fluorescent Grow Lights
- More suitable for starting seeds
- Initial cost is lower
- Less energy efficient, will cost you more in the long run
- Shorter lifespan
- Higher heat generation
LED Grow Lights
- More suitable for plant growth
- Initial cost is higher
- More energy efficient, will save you money in the long run
- Longer lifespan
- Lower heat generation
The light emitted by both fluorescent and LED bulbs can be designed to have a spectrum that closely mimics the spectrum of natural sunlight. The use of artificial lights in an indoor greenhouse also gives you control over intensity, duration & distance.
Some Greenhouses You Can Put in Your Garage
It is not difficult to build your own mini greenhouse. However, with so many affordable options available on Amazon and other big box retail stores, it is better to buy than build.
Here are some of my picks:
Best for Limited Space
Ohuhu Mini Greenhouse has a footprint of less than 20” X 30” and can therefore be tucked in any corner of your garage. It is tall and comes with 4 tiers so you can actually keep a lot of pots & trays in it.
Best for Larger Needs
EAGLE PEAK 6’x4′ Portable Walk-in Greenhouse has a footprint ranging from 6’ X 4’ (smallest) to 12’ X 8’ (largest). Pick the size that works for you. It is tall enough for you to walk in and place shelves as per your need. Comes with a door and 2 windows to allow for good circulation.
Best With Lights
Monios-L Mini Greenhouse with Grow Lights has everything that an indoor greenhouse needs. It has a footprint of 14” X 35”, 4-tier heavy steel shelves and 6-pack of grow light strips with reflectors.
What Plants Can I Keep in a Greenhouse?
You can start the seedlings of most vegetables in an indoor greenhouse in the garage. You can transplant plants to a garden bed in your backyard or grow them indoors in pots.
Herbs can be grown continuously within the garage greenhouse in winter. It is also OK to grow some vegetables & fruits to maturity within the indoor greenhouse.
Some of the vegetables & herbs that you can grow in a garage greenhouse are:
The bottom line is that you can put a greenhouse in your garage but you will be better off using fluorescent or LED grow lights.
Thank you very much for reading the post. I do hope you found it informative and useful.