- This is our review of a small greenhouse kit. You can find our review of the full-sized greenhouse here.
- Updated June 2017.
I enjoy gardening, and by early springtime, my green thumb is getting twitchy and I’m eager to start working the soil. To get a head start on the growing season, I decided to try Aldi’s small Gardenline Greenhouse kit. It advertises that it is biodegradable, improves root development, and reduces transplant shock.
This kit is simple. It’s a small plastic waterproof tray, less than 12 inches long, with a clear plastic lid. The lid does not actually fasten on to the tray; it just sits loosely on top. The tray contains 12 dry growing medium pellets, so you should be able to grow 12 new plants with the kit.
To use the greenhouse, gradually pour lukewarm water into the tray to expand the pellets. Pour off the excess water when the pellets are fully expanded. Fluff and level the surface peat on the pellets, then sow 2 to 3 seeds per pellet. Cover lightly with the peat. Place the dome lid on the tray and place it in a warm location away from direct sunlight.
The instructions state that when the first seeds sprout, prop the dome lid open. When all seeds have sprouted, remove the dome and place the greenhouse in a sunny location. After the first true leaves appear on your seedlings, cut back all except the strongest seedling in each pellet.
Add water to the tray when pellets turn light brown, and be careful not to over water.
To harden off your plants, the instructions say to place the tray outside in shade for several days, and bring the plants inside at night. Gradually expose your plants to full sunlight. Be careful when you begin placing the tray outside because it’s easy for the growing medium to dry out too much.
To transplant, dig holes in your garden that are deep enough to cover the top of the pellets. Gently firm the soil around the pellets and water.
I planted dahlia seeds in my greenhouse and am hoping to have some nice blooms this summer. My seeds sprouted within a few days and I placed the greenhouse near my kitchen window. The plants grew well, but the greenhouse and growing pellets are only a good home for plants for a short time. After 4 to 6 weeks, my plants’ growth seemed stunted, like their roots had no more room to expand in the small pellets. I transplanted them outdoors to a large garden bed, and they are now growing more.
For next season, I plan to store the tray and lid carefully so I can use the greenhouse kit for more than one season. I’ll simply need to add more growing medium.
Aldi’s Gardenline Greenhouse Kit will give your plants a head start on the growing season by allowing you to sprout seedlings indoors. This kit is good for starting 12 seedlings of your choice. It’s simple, inexpensive plastic. If you are a serious gardener who starts a lot of plants indoors, this probably won’t be enough to meet your needs. However, if you just want to plant a few seeds, or if you have kids who would enjoy a small gardening project, you might enjoy this product.