Need for a Greenhouse
I wanted to greenhouse in order to grow sensitive seedlings with extra warmth and humidity than I otherwise could. I had planned to make my own in time, but found myself needing a ready to go unit as I had to grow out some cempedak seedlings that arrived and germinated much quicker than expected. Against my better judgement I ended up purchasing a cheap Bunnings greenhouse, the Naturallife 200 x 200 x 220cm walk in greenhouse.
Constructing the Naturallife Greenhouse
The greenhouse comes in flatpack form and requires putting together. There are a lot of parts but anybody with the time can easily assemble the Naturallife greenhouse reasonably quickly. The instructions were easy to follow and all parts were clearly marked. Naturallife have done a good job with this aspect of their product.
Naturallife Greenhouse Quality
This is where it becomes very evident that Naturallife make a cheap product, rather than a quality one. Firstly the two air vents are entirely inadequate. To control temperature in any meaningful way you need to open and close the door throughout the day. This is a pain. I will be honest though, I knew the vents would be a problem before purchasing and so wasn’t immediately turned off the Naturallife greenhouse by that. The reality is that any plastic covered greenhouse is going to be hands on in terms of temperature control.
The greenhouse is sold as having a “premium PE Mesh Cover, allowing optimum UV levels to pass through to your plants”. Perhaps somebody should mention to Naturallife that plants don’t require UV light? The ‘premium’ cover also tore while I was tightening the straps down on the greenhouse. The stitching is of poor quality and the cover tears easily wherever it is stitched. I can only imagine what it would be like after a few months in the sun. I actually wish I didn’t have to imagine that, more on that in a minute. On the plus side I imagine that the impregnated mesh will add strength to the polyurethane and help to keep it together if/when it does fail due to UV damage.
The frame is made from light steel tubing that is connected by plastic joints. The tubing seems fine and the joints looked ok at first. I originally thought that retaining screws might be a good idea to help keep the frame tight as the poles slide in out out of the joints a little too easily. I planned to do this eventually but never got the chance.
How the Naturallife Greenhouse FailedOn day two of the greenhouses journey on Boobook Farm it failed. I came home from work to find my seedlings bare rooted and spread all across the ground under a giant lump of what was once greenhouse. There had only been a gentle breeze that day and so I can only guess that if the greenhouse didn’t give out under it’s own weight then it gave out as a result of a gentle breeze. The point of failure was the plastic joiners, several of them had simply snapped. I contacted Bunnings Warehouse and they did offer to replace the greenhouse. That would involve hauling this mess of a greenhouse there to exchange and then bringing home a new one only to spend time putting it together and have the same thing happen all over again, no thanks!
Naturallife greenhouses suck and I cannot recommend them to anyone. This was a cheap product and it was worth nowhere near the asking price. I’m now going to make my own shadehouse/greenhouse. I’ll share the plans up here when I do. If you are in the market for a greenhouse then please do yourself a favour and spend a little bit more for a quality product or better yet build your own.