Last Updated on September 25, 2022
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EDITOR’S NOTE: Updated for 2022.
The gardening season tends to come to a standstill when you live in the Midwest or farther north. Around this time of year, many gardeners are collecting the last few tomatoes, picking the last of the peppers, and enjoying late-blooming flowers before the frosts arrive. Some more dedicated gardeners might grow cool-season crops such as greens or carrots during the fall, but for the most part, not many people are planting new things now.
Aldi is trying to help people extend the gardening season with a new product that arrived in stores this week: a winter protection greenhouse.
Aldi has been known to sell various types of greenhouses in the past, including a dropover greenhouse, a walk-in greenhouse, and a 4-tier greenhouse. This is the first time we’ve seen the grocery store sell a greenhouse that claims to offer winter protection.
The Gardenline Winter Protection Greenhouse (product code 75920) cost $29.99 at the time of publication. There do not seem to be many similar greenhouses on the market to even compare to this one. Home Depot sells a winter garden tent that is not all that different in size for about $87 at the time of writing, which makes the Aldi greenhouse a good deal. There are much larger dome-shaped greenhouses on the market, but you’ll pay a whole lot more for those.
The Gardenline Winter Protection Greenhouse is an Aldi Find, which means it’s only in stores for a short time, until it sells out. Each store gets one shipment, and after that sells out, it’s gone unless Aldi decides to bring it back at some point. Aldi won’t ship it to you, and you can’t order it online.
Here’s more information on the winter protection greenhouse:
- Plants not included
- Protects plants against pests and weather
- Cone-shaped to prevent snow pooling
- Ideal for terraces, balconies, and small gardens
- Use as a regular greenhouse the rest of the year
- Features a reinforced cover with powder-coated steel frame
- Measures 5.25′ x 5.25′ x 5.9′
- No tools required for assembly
- Comes with a three-year warranty
- Made in China
The greenhouse is sold in a flat-pack box that will easily fit on the bottom of your shopping cart.
According to the box, the greenhouse also:
- Features a roll-up flap with zipper and ties for access and ventilation
- Comes with 4 wind ropes, plus ground pegs
- Is ideal for seed propagation, or for growing flowers or vegetables
The greenhouse comes with a three-year warranty serviced by Protel, a common Aldi warranty provider. This is a German after-sales service company that was founded in 2000, although the physical address Aldi lists in the United States is for Simon Hegele Health Solutions, located in Wood Dale, Illinois. For service for the greenhouse, call 1-855-754-8297 or email [email protected]
It’s easy to assemble this winter protection greenhouse. I did laugh at the part in the instructions that states: “Make sure that only competent persons assemble the product.”
Start by carefully opening the box, making sure not to cut the plastic tarp if you use scissors or a knife to cut the box open. Then, attach all of the straight horizontal metal poles to the three-pronged connection joints, so you end up with a hexagon shape.
Then insert the vertical metal poles into the upper, free openings of the connection joints. Push one end of the two-ended plastic connection joints onto the vertical metal poles, and then stick the roof arches into the remaining open ends of the connection joints. Fasten the roof arches by aligning the predrilled holes at the top and insert the included carriage bolt through the holes. Screw the included butterfly nut onto the carriage bolt from below to tightly secure the bolt in place.
Then, starting from the top, pull the cover down over the assembled greenhouse frame. Fasten the cover to the inside of the frame using the attached Velcro straps. Insert the included skewer pegs through the eyelets around the bottom of the cover to secure it to the ground. Ventilate the greenhouse by opening or closing the zipper door, or open and close the window at the back.
I haven’t yet attached the wind ropes because I’m not sure where I’ll end up putting this long-term in my garden. However, I noticed the metal pieces at the ends of the wind ropes are corroded, so I’m not sure how well those will hold up with outdoor use.
Using the winter protection greenhouse
Aside from its snow-repelling shape, this greenhouse doesn’t seem all that different from other greenhouses Aldi sells in the spring, such as the Gardenline 4-Tier Greenhouse or the Gardenline Walk-In Greenhouse. The cover doesn’t seem any thicker or warmer. The main difference with the cover is that it is clear with white lines or webbing, rather than clear with green lines.
It is on the larger side for greenhouses Aldi has sold. If you’re less than 5’9″ tall, there’s enough room for one person to stand up straight inside the greenhouse at its center. Because of the greenhouse’s dome shape (which is designed to keep snow from collecting), most of your growing space is at the bottom on the ground level. This greenhouse does not come with shelving to put potted plants on.
It gets cold where I live in the Midwest, and we regularly have below-freezing temperatures. I was skeptical that this thin plastic cover would provide the warmth most plants need, especially at night when the sun isn’t out to help warm things.
Based on some basic research, possible planting options might include:
I ended up just putting some annual potted plants in this greenhouse for my initial trial run. It was harder to remember to water them once the temperatures dropped and I wasn’t outside as often. Eventually, the cold weather killed my plants off, as I expected. This would probably work better for some cooler weather-loving crops such as greens, which I might try going into my second fall and winter season with this greenhouse. I’ll update this post with any new developments.
The Gardenline Winter Protection Greenhouse is the latest inexpensive greenhouse to show up at Aldi. It has a hexagon shape with a diameter of 5.25 feet, and it stands 5.9 feet tall. Its rounded cover is intended to prevent snow from pooling on the roof, and it comes with a three-year warranty. This won’t keep your plants alive if you live in a region that gets cold winters with below-freezing temperatures, but it might help extend your growing season some. It’s also a potential option if you wan to grow some cool-weather crops such as greens or certain vegetables.