A lean-to greenhouse gives you all the benefits of a regular greenhouse, with one important addition – it is specifically designed to make the most of your valuable garden space.
With a lean-to greenhouse, you don’t need an enormous garden for an extended growing season or to enjoy tasty homegrown produce. All you need is something solid for it to lean against.
What Is A Lean-To Greenhouse?
As the name suggests, a lean-to greenhouse (sometimes referred to as a sun room) is styled to stand or lean against a wall or fence. The pent-style roof slants away from this structure, ensuring efficient rainwater runoff and an excellent growing environment.
General Benefits of a Lean-To Greenhouse
They’re Efficiently Designed
Contrary to popular belief, lean-to greenhouses can be almost any size.
They are often small, just the right size to hold a growbag of tomatoes and a modest selection of tender plants, which makes them a popular choice of greenhouse for those with a smaller garden or roof terrace.
However, a walk-in lean-to greenhouse can be as big as a conservatory, and a suitable place to potter around inside, just like any conventional greenhouse.
In short, they can be as large or small as the wall they lean against, but all of them enjoy a space-efficient design.
Structure of A Lean-To Greenhouse
The wall or fence acts as the ideal backdrop to the greenhouse, providing complete structural stability and allowing shelves to be fitted easily.
Heat Generated by The Sunroom
Lean-to greenhouses are excellent at retaining heat. Not only does the glazing attract heat and keep the interior warm, the wall radiates further heat back into the greenhouse to keep plants snug.
Before Buying A Lean-To Greenhouse
There are a few points worth considering before buying your lean-to greenhouse.
Firstly, you need to ensure that the wall or fence supporting the greenhouse is sound. It must be completely straight and not liable to crumble or rot.
Always ensure you have easy access to the greenhouse and that you can get to the roof and sides for regular maintenance and cleaning. Check that nothing overhangs the greenhouse’s position and, of course, that it will get plenty of sun.
Make your lean-to greenhouse as big as your budget and space allows. Every greenhouse owner says the same thing – they are always running out of space! The same thing goes for lean-to greenhouses too.
What Greenhouse Accessories Do You Need?
Shelves should be easy to install and remove to keep the growing environment adaptable. Little seedlings do tend to grow into big plants quickly, especially after all your care and attention. Shelves that are easily removed will allow for more efficient use of the greenhouse space. For this reason, many lean-to greenhouses come with integral, removable shelving.
Heating is essential to get the most from any greenhouse. An unheated lean-to will keep a degree or two of cold off your plants but a hard frost could still kill off tender seedlings. Heaters are as cheap or as expensive as you want them to be. Having electricity in your lean-to allows you not only to enjoy heating, but lighting and propagators too – very nice! If you can access the sunroom directly through your back door, this makes connecting to a power supply that little bit easier.
(For a blog dedicated to greenhouse accessories, click here.)
3 Great Lean-To Greenhouses/ Sunrooms
4'4 x 2'4 Halls Green Wall Garden 24 Greenhouse (1.32m x 0.69m)
Buying this mini glasshouse is the perfect way to dabble in greenhouse gardening before committing to a full-sized greenhouse.
The green aluminium frame is resistant to rust, maintenance free and comes with an excellent 12-year guarantee. The 3mm horticultural glazing can be upgraded to toughened glass, if desired.
You can gain easy access to your plants via the smooth-action sliding door, while the roof vent can be propped open in a variety of positions to optimise the growing environment.
A base kit and greenhouse staging are both available to buy as optional extras.
4' x 2' Forest Wooden Small Mini Lean-To Greenhouse (1.2m x 0.62m)
This mini wooden greenhouse can be treated as a standalone or lean-to greenhouse, which makes it exceptionally versatile.
The frame is built from premium shiplap tongue and groove, which is pressure treated and supplied with a fantastic 15-year anti-rot guarantee. The glazing is made from styrene, so is virtually unbreakable and far safer than conventional glass.
Easy access is gained via wide double doors and an opening lid. The latter is divided into two sections, each part with its own prop.
Two slatted shelves are included as standard, ideal for pots of seedlings, while the base is just the right size to accommodate growbags.
6' x 12' Palram Rion White Sun Room Walk-In Wall Greenhouse (1.8m x 3.6m)
These Rion sun rooms come in a range of sizes and can be used as a greenhouse, conservatory or mixture of the two.
The thick resin frame is reinforced with galvanised steel rods, making it supremely robust. The crystal-clear polycarbonate side panels and twin-wall polycarbonate roof panels are equally durable. They allow 82% light transmission but diffuse direct sunlight, providing plants with optimum levels of light.
The lockable door can be positioned at either end of the greenhouse, while the opening roof vent allows the temperature to be regulated for the benefit of plants and gardeners alike.
Backed by a 7-year limited warranty and completely maintenance free, this lean-to greenhouse is simple to install thank to a sliding panel assembly system.