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Greenhouses can enhance your gardening experience all year long.

Looking to extend your gardening time beyond the seasons? A greenhouse could be the answer. Gardeners can benefit from a greenhouse for plenty of reasons, says Alvaro Barrenechea, greenhouse buyer for Costco.

“Greenhouse gardeners can get a jump-start on the season, extend it on the other end or even grow plants that are outside their plant hardiness zone,” says Barrenechea.

Greenhouses can also protect plants from being overrun by weeds and from critters and pests that normally haunt hedges and shrubs.

Additionally, a greenhouse shields plants from inclement weather, keeping wind, sleet, snow and heavy rain from destroying young seedlings and other fragile plants. And there are styles and models for every type of gardener, explains Barrenechea. Here’s a look.

From novice to pro

If you’re a greenhouse gardening newbie, Barrenechea recommends a compact design that will give you room to grow. Many of these come with starter kits.

“Look for a great entry-level green-house,” says Barrenechea. Compact footprints can fit beautifully into a suburban backyard. Other features to look for include sturdy construction, heavy-duty shelving, automatic vent openers and plenty of plant hangers. Stepping up a notch is the Yardistry Cedar Greenhouse (Item 1902493), a favourite at Costco. Barrenechea admires Yardistry’s attention to detail and craftsmanship, such as 81cm-high tongue-and-groove-style cedar base walls. The 182cm-tall side walls maximise interior space and increase light and air volume to aid plant growth.

Additionally, Yardistry uses cedar that is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, meaning it meets the FSC’s strict environmental and social standards.

Greenlife is known for its practical and affordable range of greenhouses, which are ideal for beginners. The Greenlife Large Garden Bed and Greenhouse Cover is available in one versatile size (180cm by 90cm by 45cm) that is designed to fit an existing garden bed, or even a balcony or courtyard garden. This option comes with four internal structural cross braces, a green PE Cover to convert your raised garden bed into a greenhouse.

“It’s ideal for growing vegetables, herbs, flowers and plants,” says Jesslyn Huynh, Costco garden buyer.

Greenhouse considerations

A greenhouse is more than just a covered structure. Before committing to any purchase, Barrenechea recommends thinking how you actually want to use your greenhouse, and knowing what kind of plants you want to grow.

“It isn’t one size fits all; it’s finding the right design for you. Make sure you do your research,” he says.

For example, kits come with window panels made of clear or opaque glass, or polycarbonate, a lightweight, glass-like polymer. Different types of windows let in specific amounts of light and have varying insulation properties. Clear panels are best for starting seeds, whereas diffused light is preferred for cultivating plants. Roof windows that open automatically when the temperature goes up will save you from having to run outside to rescue your plants when it heats up.

Whatever the reason for upgrading your garden with a greenhouse this year, carries a wide selection. “We stand behind our products and provide the best value for the same unit compared to what else is out there in the market,” says Barrenechea. “If you want a high-quality greenhouse with a trusted company backing it up, look to Costco.”


“It’s ideal for growing vegetables, herbs, flowers and plants”


Caring for cedar

Caring for cedar

As with all outdoor furniture that’s constructed from wood, if you opt for a cedar greenhouse, make sure you care for it properly. “Wood expands and shrinks a little bit more than glass or polycarbonate,” says Alvaro Barrenechea, greenhouse buyer for Costco. To help maintain the wood and protect against weathering, Yardistry recommends applying a water sealant approximately three months after assembly and on a yearly basis after that.

Permanent structures may require approval from your local council. Barrenechea advises anyone thinking of purchasing a greenhouse to first consult local planning, zoning and building inspection departments for guidance on applicable building codes and/or zoning requirements.


Originally published in The Costco Connection, May/Jun 2024. Pick up the latest copy at your local warehouse or read it online.