Last Updated on December 19, 2020
EDITOR’S NOTE: An update was added to the end of this post in November of 2020 with information on how the greenhouse performed over time.
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I bought a small 4-tier greenhouse from Aldi two years ago, and not long afterward, I noticed the discount grocer selling a larger walk-in greenhouse. My small greenhouse has four simple shelves and is about the size of a tall bookcase, and I use it for starting certain seeds early in the growing season. However, because a gardener can almost never have too many supplies, I picked up the Gardenline Walk-In Greenhouse the other day while I was purchasing essentials at Aldi.
The Gardenline Walk-In Greenhouse cost $34.99 at the time of publication, which is one of the cheaper greenhouses we’ve seen. It appears to be a rebranded Ohuhu greenhouse, and it’s an ALDI Find (Special Buy), which means it’s only in stores for a short time. If you miss it this year, it usually comes back around for a limited time each spring, often sometime in March or April.
It measures 4.7′ wide by 2.4′ deep by 6.4′ tall. It comes packed flat in a box that easily fits on the bottom rack under your shopping cart, so it’s easy to get it home from the store.
- Six easily removable shelves for varying plant heights
- Protects plants against pests and weather
- Reinforced PE cover with powder-coated steel frame
- Apex roof to maximize head room
- 22-lb. capacity per shelf
- Three-year warranty
It’s best if two people work together to assemble this greenhouse. Assembly requires no tools, but the structure is large enough that you benefit from having two people to hold it up while attaching the pieces. It’s also helpful to have one person read the manual while the other person grabs the requisite pieces. While one person could assemble this in a pinch, it’s going to be a more awkward process.
The whole structure goes together like Tinker Toys, with metal piping that fits into plastic connector joints. Similar to my older Gardenline 4-Tier Greenhouse, the shelves for the walk-in greenhouse rest on the bar supports but do not fasten on.
We assembled the back wall of the greenhouse first, then the front wall, and then we connected the two walls with the front-to-back bars that support the shelves.
It was also a two-person job getting the plastic tarp covering over the greenhouse frame once it was constructed. You’ll want to be careful as you pull it on so you don’t stretch or tear the tarp. The tarp includes some thin Velcro straps to help secure it to the shelving in a few spots.
Once you have the tarp on, make sure you have placed your greenhouse in the location where you want it to be, and then you can push the included metal stakes through the metal grommets spaced at intervals along the bottom edge of the tarp. This helps to prevent the greenhouse from blowing away on windy days. My smaller 4-tier greenhouse has the same feature and I’ve never had problems with it during high winds.
This greenhouse is spacious. Not only does it have a lot more shelf space than my 4-tier greenhouse, but it also has a good amount of ground room for placing larger pots. You could even place this greenhouse directly over a garden bed if you wanted to. I have some four-foot by two-foot wood raised beds that could accommodate this greenhouse, or it could go over a bed dug directly in the ground.
Instead, I put the greenhouse in a corner of my yard and placed four larger pots on the ground inside it. I intend to plant some tomato seedlings in the pots and let them grow there all summer. My hope is that the greenhouse will protect my plants from some of the local animals that like to strip them of every last green tomato in a single night. If I open the greenhouse during the day so it doesn’t get too hot inside, then close it at night, it should serve as a barrier to keep out noctural thieves. (Raccoons? The neighborhood opossum? We’re not exactly sure.) For the pots that are placed directly under the shelves, I can remove the shelf pieces to make room for the growing tomato plants, and I can pop some tomato cages into the pots to provide support as the plants grow.
The higher shelves might be a good space to place small pots of herbs such as basil and lemon balm. I’m sure I’ll find something to put there as the season progresses.
The tarp that covers this greenhouse is not likely to retain enough heat to allow you to get a very early start on growing seedlings, and it’s not going to be warm enough for year-round growing, but it might help you get things started a couple of weeks earlier than usual. I also like how starting seedlings in a greenhouse offers more protection from digging squirrels compared to planting seeds directly in flower beds.
Of course, you can use pretty flower pots purchased from a garden center, but I also recommend saving the plastic disposable pots that your plants come in when you buy from a nursery. They are great for reusing to start seedlings.
My two-year-old small 4-tier greenhouse has held up decently, other than some places where the metal grommets at the base of the plastic tarp, where the stabilizing stakes go, have pulled loose from the plastic. My old greenhouse is still perfectly usable, though. I expect this walk-in greenhouse to also last for several years. It does come with a three-year warranty serviced by Protel Service. The warranty card offers the following information for after-sales service:
- Phone: 1-855-754-8297
- Email: [email protected]
- Product code: 90082
- Service Center: Helgele Logistic, 1001 Mittel Drive, Wood Dale, IL, 60191
Be sure to save your original receipt and the warranty card in case you need service.
UPDATE (11/14/2020): This greenhouse held up well over a summer of use, housing three large tomato plants in pots on the ground inside it.
In late October, I noticed a large rip in the greenhouse tarp over the roof portion, and I saw two fairly large sticks (about three feet long and two to three inches in diameter) on the ground nearby, so I think the sticks hit the tarp as they fell from a nearby large tree. After removing the tarp for the winter, I also noticed the metal connector beam that goes across the top of the greenhouse was slightly bent, and I was able to straighten it out some by hand. I consider all of this an “act of God” and not the result of any defect in the greenhouse.
I taped up the tarp in the short term, but I’ll be contacting the company that services the warranty to see if I can get a new tarp for the next growing season. Check back later for further updates.
Aldi’s Gardenline Walk-In Greenhouse is inexpensive and spacious, measuring just over 4 feet wide by just over 2 feet deep, and more than 6 feet tall. It goes together easily if you have a second person to help, and the shelves offer plenty of room for growing seedlings. It also has space at the ground level for larger potted plants. The walls are made of thin plastic, so this is not intended for growing plants year round in cold climates, but it might allow you to get a few weeks’ head start on your growing season, and it serves as a barrier against some garden pests. The three-year warranty is icing on the cake. Recommended.