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Mini-greenhouse Or Coldframe Growers:


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Hi there,

I'm trying to do some research for a school technology project and was wondering if any mini-greenhouse, step-in greenhouse or coldframe growers could fill out a short questionaire for me? I'm designing a mini greenhouse and so I need a section in the project folder for market research from unbiased users of the products. if anyone would be willing to answer the questions below i'd really appreciate it.

If you can, try to elaborate a bit as 'yes' or 'no' answeres aren't quite as useful. Also, if you've used more than one type of greenhouse, or used the same one in different situations try to include that in your answers:

which model of mini-greenhouse are you using? (e.g. brand, size...)

why did you choose it over other available products such as coldframes or a full-sized greenhouse? (e.g. cost, budget...)

What kinds of plants do you grow in the greenhouse?

Where do you use it and for what period(s) of the year? (is it used outdoors in spring? indoors all year? do you move it in occasionally?)

Do you think the size and shape of the product lend themselves to...

its position in the house or garden? (does it fit well on a window ledge/in the corner by the window?)

aesthetic appeal?

the plants it is used to grow?

Do you think that suitable or sensible materials have been used to manufacture the product?

In terms of temperature, light levels, humidity and ventilation, are you able to easily keep a stable and suitable environment for the particular plants you grow? (just as the product came to you, without any additions you may have made)

If the answer to the previous question was 'no', what steps have you taken (additions or modifications to the product) to make it more useable?

Do you think it would be a good idea to include any of these extra features as standard with the product?

Are there any other comments you would like to make about the product or other ideas about how to improve on its design?

if you would prefer not to post your answers on the forum, you can PM or preferably email them to me and i'd really appreciate it.

Cheers!

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which model of mini-greenhouse are you using? (e.g. brand, size...)

B&Q Deluxe 3-Layer Greenhouse With Steel Mesh Charcoal Grey (I have two of them)

why did you choose it over other available products such as coldframes or a full-sized greenhouse? (e.g. cost, budget...)

Easy availability, quick and easy to assemble, cheap, needed temporary greenhouse for plants after house move. Assumed green plastic types would not last very long and become brittle and break with time.

What kinds of plants do you grow in the greenhouse?

Sarracenia, Drosera, Sphagnum :)

Where do you use it and for what period(s) of the year? (is it used outdoors in spring? indoors all year? do you move it in occasionally?)

All year around on patio. I have not moved them since construction - nice south facing aspect.

Do you think the size and shape of the product lend themselves to...

its position in the house or garden? (does it fit well on a window ledge/in the corner by the window?)

Stands against the south-west facing wall well. Sturdy.

aesthetic appeal?

It looks better than the green plastic types. Plastic cover is the ugliest aspect (but only my wife worries about aesthetics).

the plants it is used to grow?

Had to get rid of at least one shelf for tall Sarracenia. Partially gives the localised greenhouse effect I was looking for.

Do you think that suitable or sensible materials have been used to manufacture the product?

Materials for structure is sound. Plastic covering very poor and broke within a year; fits too tightly. Can't see how to easily get replacement covers. It's not much use without a cover.

In terms of temperature, light levels, humidity and ventilation, are you able to easily keep a stable and suitable environment for the particular plants you grow? (just as the product came to you, without any additions you may have made)

No, the space inside is too small to control temperature and ventilation without having to be on hand to adjust the zips frequently. That's why you need a bigger greenhouse with autovents (future posting coming....)

If the answer to the previous question was 'no', what steps have you taken (additions or modifications to the product) to make it more useable?

Metalized the back with aluminium foil/mirror effect to maximise light to back plants and encourage vertical growth. For hottest part of Summer, I took off the cover. In Winter zipped up completely at night then open half way during day. In Spring/Autumn left cover down with zips unzipped. I mixed these modes depending on weather.

Do you think it would be a good idea to include any of these extra features as standard with the product?

Include spare cover(s) and offer information how to get more. This could make money for the manufacturer I would think, rather than a returning bitter customer going elsewhere. Make available covers with reflective backs to maximise sunlight.

Are there any other comments you would like to make about the product or other ideas about how to improve on its design?

Not really. It could do with reinforcement bars on the shelves to keep them flat with heavy weights on. You get what you pay for. £20 for one of these compared to £500 for a decent small greenhouse, >£1500 for a decent large greenhouse.

Hope that helps.

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