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Aosom low cost greenhouse

Published by Jollean Smith in Garden Recommendations · 11/10/2020 09:17:17
Tags: GardenGreenhouseAosomHighTunnel

Being able to extend your garden season and even grow all year is glorious. We recently added a mini high tunnel from to our garden and I am incredibly excited about it for this garden season. Here is a quick review of our early findings on the Aosom mini high tunnel and our experience with the purchase of the product.

This was shipped incredibly fast and in good order. No packaging damage and every required piece in the box and accounted for.

It's a large structure. It's not going to be easy, but it wasn’t hard. Well hard for my husband. If I did it alone I might not say the same thing. For the most part one person can do it but at some point you will need two people to hold up ends while the other person connects the pieces. The instructions are visual displays with numbers and not written. In our video we address a couple of spots in the set up that were not clear through the visuals.

You cannot beat the price. We paid just under $190 for a 10x10x20 greenhouse. Look for sales and sign up for email to get additional discounts.

Product Quality
Value for money is absolutely there. FOr what I paid I am sure for a few years I will massively enjoy this greenhouse. Reality check is that it's not a high end product. You have to remember you did not pay a high end price. But value for money is spot on. The greenhouse uses a very light frame and could be easily bent. The zipper is the biggest weak zone and is likely the first thing to go. But the structure is sound and designed well. You most definitely want to reinforce the structure to hold it down in the wind.

Can it withstand wind
Yes but…you have to take some time to secure it yourself. Hurricane Delt came through about a month after we had our greenhouse put up. I will admit I was worried. But we staked down the frame with extra long tent poles and used weighted materials to hold down the sides of the cover and it held through some very intense wind. Now we are inland and not along the coast so it did not have 100 mph wind but it did withstand 50 mph wind. You need to ensure the velcro inside is 100% attached to your structure to keep it from lifting. And you certainly could not install it as is from the box and expect it to be just fine. You have to do your own work to make this structure wind resistant. But that was not hard nor expensive.

What I love
This greenhouse is really spacious. The windows flip up and down easily and the cover seems really solid. It took less than two hours to build and when I was done I could get excited about winter growing. As a market farmer who is just starting out, you cannot beat the affordability. I of course in future hope for a larger and more long term high tunnel, but this will allow me to expand this year while keeping within our means.

What I would change
I wish the greenhouse had doors on both ends. This would allow for greater airflow and less pressure on the use of one door. I would also use a higher quality zipper. I would have paid more for a better zipper for sure.

Important to note
The greenhouse does not come with ground cover or pegs to stake it into the ground. Make sure to get both before you set it up.

Well the Aosom Greenhouse gets two thumbs up for value. I can tell you it has created a new happy place within our garden.

Smith’s Nature Friendly Farm Store

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4 Kinder Mowing Habits

Published by Jollean Smith in Garden Recommendations · 28/7/2019 12:13:44
Tags: MowGrassTurfKinder

We know some people love their lawn. Although a mowed lawn does not provide much life to nature we know it does make your yard feel tidy. So if you have to mow, here are some tips to being a kinder mower.

1. Electric Mower. If possible shift to an electric mower. Electric mowing is not perfectly environmentally friendly either, but it is a big improvement from the gas mower. Electric mowers are much quieter for nature and your neighbours.
2. Mow less. Just by letting a few blooms appear in your grass (as long as you are not applying chemicals) you will be providing an increase in nectar sources for pollinators. A bee can visit up to 5000 flowers a day. If they have to travel far between flowers they burn more energy for less nectar which hurts the strength of their hive. So mow less and let those clovers bloom.
3. Raise the mower. By raising the mower not only will you harm less critters but you will chop down less flowers. Same as mowing less, the more wild flowers you leave present the better the pollinators thrive. Short lawns also dry out faster.
4. Cut back the lawn. Save on water, gas and time by adding more areas to your landscape that are planted for nature. Native wild grass plantings or wildflower patches can create gorgeous, maintenance free space in your yard wild while opening up home and food sources to pollinators. We talk more about creating No Mow Zones here.

In the end if you are maintaining a turf lawn, consider these kinder lawn maitenance practices. So you can spend less time mowing and more time sipping your drink of choice in the yard while watching nature thrive.

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Top 3 Online Garden Company Picks for 2018

Published by Jollean Smith in Garden Recommendations · 28/8/2018 15:57:55
Tags: SeedsTopPicks

This year I have experimented with a few different companies (mostly seed companies) as I expand my gardening into a larger scale project. There have been some real winning companies that I have found along the way, that I wanted to share with you.

Some of these companies may only ship to the USA, so make sure to double check my listed points for more details below or visit their websites for full details. None of these website listed are paying for my referral. They are 100% my own picks based on recent experience and we are not affiliated.

My top 3:

#1 Greenhouse Megastore

This company offers garden products such as pots, seeding trays, shade cloth etc. all at really great prices. Their plastic materials are made from recycled plastic. Their prices are really competitive. I ordered shade cloth, plastic planter pots, seedling trays and potting trays and I have been very happy with everything purchased. You can get large quantities or small. For me I really wanted a lot of seed starting containers and only wanted the mesh trays to go with them. With Greenhouse Megastore you can select exactly what you want and pay for just that. Only downside: They only deliver within the USA and they struggle to use Canadian Credit Cards online.

Price: Great
Shipping: Quick
Order process: Not super easy as I had a Canadian Card, might have been otherwise.
Product was as expected: Better than expected
Shipping: USA Only will be purchasing from Greenhouse Megastore again for sure.

#2 Bakers Creek Heirloom Seeds - rareseeds

This is a great seed company. I really like their website and their selection of seeds. They specialize in Heirloom varieties and do have some very unique seeds like Purple Broccoli or Red  Roselle, which makes it fun for growers who like to try something new. Their prices are very reasonable. And so far no downsides with them. I had some PawPaw Tree seeds that did not germinate but that was likely gardener error, not theirs, I will be trying them again.

Price: Great
Shipping: Quick
Order process: Easy
Seeds germinate well: Yes
Planting instructions: Yes
Shipping: Fees apply, International shipping available

This is an recommended seed company for sure.

#3: Urban Farmer UFC Seeds

This is a great website for small gardens or large ones. As I plan to spend more time selling at garden markets I need to order more than 20 seeds. They offer decent prices on large quantities of seeds (or small quantities of seeds). They also carry a lot of the big names you might be looking for such as Better Boy Tomatoes of Supersweet 100 Cherry Tomatoes. Only downside: I wish their seed packets had planting instructions on them. They offer them online but that doesn’t help you much when you are outside.

Price: Great
Shipping: Quick
Order process: Easy
Seeds germinate well: Yes
Planting instructions: Online only
Shipping: Fees apply, International shipping available

Another favourite seed company for sure.

For those wondering what companies that I did not like, I will only share one. I did try quite a few other seed companies and mostly found that their germination rates were really low. But running a seed business is hard, so I won’t share any constructive comments on here against them. Seeds can be tricky, maybe I didn’t plant them right. Can’t fault them for that. I just know the two above had more germination than fails and that’s what I like to see.

The one I will mention  (mostly because I am quite confident my review will do no harm to them whatsoever) is Amazon. I purchased some seeds and garden products from Amazon and 9/10 times I was disappointed. Especially if the product came from China. I have nothing against the Chinese trust me, but the seeds that were sent to me had no labels, no instructions and rarely germinated. If they did germinate, I am still trying to figure out what the heck plant they are. They don’t look like anything I ordered. I really recommend that you do not get your seeds from Amazon, only buy from reputable seed sellers.

Amazon is hugely successful and there is lots of stuff I have purchased from them over the years (like books) that you cannot go wrong with, but with their seeds you have to be very careful.

I hope you found this review useful. Don’t hesitate to tell us how we did by sharing with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Have a great day and thank you for being here with us at

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