Photo Courtesy Charley's Greenhouse

To reduce costs, many people build their own greenhouses.  That way, you can get exactly what you want.  But what if you really don't have the time, or the ability, to build your own?

From Mother Earth News, an article about all the finer points of choosing a greenhouse kit.

People who love gardens also love greenhouses. The best backyard greenhouses 
feed the need to dirty our fingers while the rest of the garden is dormant. Even 
a small greenhouse can provide effective season extension by jump-starting 
seedlings in spring. When managed properly, a greenhouse is a backyard oasis 
that yields fresh food year-round.

If a lack of construction skills is keeping you from building a greenhouse, 
consider a kit. The best greenhouse kit is one that fits your needs and your 
pocketbook. Kits are easier than building from scratch and don’t require as much 
building experience (although it certainly helps to have a DIY attitude when
you  set out to build your own greenhouse, even from a kit).

Shopping for Your Best Greenhouse Kit

Local Regulations. Start by researching required permits, 
zoning, setbacks, underground utilities and other requirements for your area. 
Some localities demand a certain type of foundation. A greenhouse attached to 
your home will likely face more stringent requirements than a free-standing 
greenhouse. In some places, greenhouses are regulated under a “storage shed” 
designation. Consider size carefully, as you may be able to avoid many 
regulations by simply settling for a small greenhouse.

Site. Your greenhouse site must have adequate light — six 
hours of uninterrupted sun on a clear day. You may have to trim or remove a tree 
to create more light for your chosen location. Also, consider access to water. 
Is there a nearby hose bib to provide water, even in winter? Some gardeners add 
gutters and an interior rain barrel to their backyard greenhouses for a winter 
water source. Electricity can power heating, lighting and ventilation, so keep 
an accessible power source in mind, too.

Vendors. Check companies carefully — even a small greenhouse 
is a big investment, and you should feel comfortable with the supplier. Don’t
be  afraid to ask questions, such as:

• How long has the company been in business?
• How many kits has it sold?  
• Does it manufacture the kits or simply resell them?
• How extensive is  the warranty?
• What technical help can the company provide?
• How is  the greenhouse shipped and packaged?
• What is the cost of shipping?

You might add other questions to this list. If you have minimal building 
experience, read a copy of the kit’s manual beforehand to make sure it’s 
understandable to you. If you’ll be building the kit on weekends, ask whether 
someone from the company will be available to answer questions on Saturdays and 
Sundays. You may want to see demonstration photos or videos of the kit’s 
construction before committing to buy. Tech support may be limited if greenhouse 
kits are not the company’s specialty but just one of many products it

Read more:

We have at least a few determined readers who live in town, or have no yards, or live in apartments, have health issues and can't manage gardens, etc. I am going to repost today some ideas for gardening in small spaces. It takes just as much work to plant and grow ornamentals as it does food; both are pretty, but for the
work involved, why not get some produce out of the deal?

Below are several ideas that I have found while traipsing around the internet, some I have posted before and some I haven't.  They are all great for inspiration.  Happy Growing!

Container Gardening on Your Deck, Patio, or Balcony
Grow Strawberries, Or Any Other Similarly Sized Plant, In Recycled Guttering
Above is an illustration on how to grow potatoes in a bag; you start at the bottom, and fill with dirt as the plant grows.

However, I want to add a little information to this drawing; it looks like it has the seed potatoes planted whole.  DO NOT plant whole seed potatoes.  You need to cut them in cubes first, with one or two eyes per cube, then let them dry (cure) for two or three days.  If you don't, most of them will rot before you get any food from them.  Then plant them eye up, and back fill dirt as the stalk grows.

Grow food in a bag.
Grow food on your kitchen counter.
Grow food on your walls.
Grow food in pots.
Be creative and save some money; grow food in small backyards.
Grow food in pallets.
Personally?  I think manipulating genes for our own benefit is creepy.  I prefer to plant heriloom seeds and eat real food when I can.  Frankenfood.  The whole idea just seems Brave New Worldee.  Again, from the Farmer's Almanac website...

From tomatoes engineered to be hardier for travel to pest resistant corn,
many of the foods we find on the shelves at the local grocery store today are
genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

Our modern understanding of genetics has given scientists the ability to
select traits from one species of plant or animal and impart them into another,
and major biotech companies around the world are doing just that. While food
created in a lab may sound like something out of a science fiction movie, the
fact is, whether you realize it or not, most of the food you eat probably comes
from genetically modified sources. Even if you grow most or all of your own food
from organic seeds, there’s still a very strong possibility that your vegetables
are not as pure as you think.

Read the entire article here: