What is a lean to greenhouse?
A lean to greenhouse is a greenhouse that you build against a wall or the side of another structure. This means it has 3 walls of its own and shares one wall with another building. This other building will most likely be your home, but can also be a shed in your backyard or another structure.
A lean to greenhouse consists of the same materials as a regular greenhouse. When you look into the perfect model for you, you will mostly likely choose between a polycarbonate lean to greenhouse and a glass lean to greenhouse. The advantages and disadvantages of both materials are explained at length in our greenhouse beginners guide. All options for regular greenhouses are also available for lean to greenhouses, for example greenhouse heating and greenhouse insulation. Looking for a small addition to your yard? Going for a large lean to greenhouse that can double as a sun room? You’ll find your perfect fit!
Advantages of a lean to greenhouse
When you have a smaller backyard but enough space around your house, you can build your greenhouse directly against your outside wall. It’s the perfect solution when you don’t want to sacrifice too much yard or when your backyard has been claimed by your kids and/or spouse. You can also use your lean to greenhouse as a sun room without having to gear up in winter clothes to reach the greenhouse in your yard!
The biggest advantages of choosing a lean to greenhouse are the following:
- It’s the perfect greenhouse for urban gardening
- Because you are only investing in a 3 sided greenhouse, you can get more value for your money than when you choose a 4 sided greenhouse that goes in the middle of your yard. Because you’ll build it against your steady outside wall, the other 3 sides can be a little lighter
- Easy access to electricity and water in your greenhouse
- You need less room to build a lean to greenhouse and you will have a lot of options in smaller models
- They are perfect for growing herbs and smaller vegetables
- They are very weatherproof as they are protected by your house and are less exposed to the elements
In general, most people will choose a lean to greenhouse to save space and possibly money, but of course there are also a lot of larger and more expensive models. When you have the budget and the room, you can connect your greenhouse through a direct door and it can double as a sitting area to enjoy the sun all year long.
Make sure you check the carrying capacity of the wall you’re using to build your greenhouse. Consult with an architect or contractor if you want to install a large lean to greenhouse. In some countries you will even need a building permit, so get informed before you start your expansion!
The most important disadvantage is that there’s only light and sun coming in on 3 sides. A traditional greenhouse will gather light from all sides, but given the right positioning this is perfectly fixable.
Where should you position your lean to greenhouse?
Where you should position the greenhouse depends on a variety of factors:
- How much room do you have on either sides of your house?
- How big do you want your greenhouse to be?
- The orientation of your house. Classically, the most commonly used orientation is Southern. When you don’t have enough space on the south side of your house, don’t worry about it. Just try to make sure your greenhouse gets as much sun as possible during winter. Also know that when your greenhouse is oriented to the South, you will need more cooling during hot summer days. Be prepared to look into ventilation possibilities!
- On which sides of your house do you have electricity and water that could be easily transferred to your greenhouse?
You can go as big as you want or as small as you want. You can connect the greenhouse to the house with a door or just use the wall to lean on and have a separate door on the outside. When you choose a lean to greenhouse model, most other factors you need to decide on will stay the same as in any other greenhouse, such as the choice of material, the size and the accessories. Take a look at our greenhouse beginners guide to help you decide on what kind of greenhouse suits you best.
Is a lean to greenhouse your way to go? We’ll get you started with some interesting models underneath.
Best lean to greenhouse under 1000 dollars
|Palram Hybrid Lean-to Wall Greenhouse, 4' x 8' Silver||Check price|
|Strong Camel Walk-in Lean-to Wall Greenhouse 10x5x7' White||Check price|
Best lean to greenhouse over 1000 dollars
|Rion Sun Room 2, 8' x 14'||Check price|
|Rion Sun Room 2 Greenhouse, 6' x 14'||Check price|