Solar Gem Backyard Garden

My Solar Gem Backyard Garden began with a Solar Gem Greenhouse.

The first thing I decided when choosing a Solar Gem Greenhouse was how much growing space I would need. I kept in mind, that a greenhouse is a long-term investment.  My Solar Gem Greenhouse has ample room for growing in the years ahead.  My Solar Gem Greenhouse has maximum light and plenty of headroom for hanging plants as well. I am able to grow vegetables easily.

Because of the  heat and humidity held in my Solar Gem Greenhouse it was simple to start seeds early and to hold young plants in containers until the weather  warmed up. I waited until  the plants were strong enough to be transplanted.

I was so excited  with my Solar Gem Greenhouse I designed a garden around it. It was great to begin early and plant the starts I harvested from my greenhouse. I have had lots of fun researching all the plants I decided to grow. I find it so interesting. I have learned quite a lot.

My Solar Gem Greenhouse will be great to grow in all year round. In wintertime to assist my plants I found a few choices. These are heat mats, grow lights or a space heater that can help with heating my  Solar Gem Greenhouse.

I look forward to winter time in my Solar Gem Greenhouse. I have more to learn about greenhouse garden but I am ready to get started.  My Solar Gem Greenhouse is a great investment for me and my family. My young toddler loves the strawberries I was able to grow in the strawberry trough in my Solar Gem Greenhouse.

My family and I are happy with our investment in our future, growing healthy food and living a healthy life style with the help of a Solar Gem Greenhouse.

(John from Beaverton, Oregon)

Solar Gem Greenhouse

Welcome to Solar Gem Greenhouse – manufacturer of the best backyard greenhouse in North America since 1991. Are you ready to grow your dream garden, year-round, right in your own backyard? Our one-piece and easily portable fiberglass greenhouse is designed for gardening enthusiasts of all skill levels.

Best built, best warrantied backyard greenhouse

We make it easy for you by manufacturing a greenhouse that requires no deck, slab, or foundation; no assembly whatsoever (yes, you read that right); is virtually maintenance-free; thrives in both cold and hot climates; shrugs off high winds and snow; comes with a Limited Lifetime Warranty; and is delivered right to your home. What other greenhouse product offers all this?!

The perfect backyard greenhouse

A Solar Gem Greenhouse is perfect for your private nursery, no matter if you are a novice gardener or a Master Gardener. Browse our GALLERY and see images of happy Solar Gem Greenhouse gardeners growing abundant orchids, flavorful vine-ripened tomatoes, super healthy organic vegetables, fresh herbs and spices, beautiful flowers, highly productive fruit trees, and more, YEAR-ROUND. Say “goodbye” to high priced/low quality/pesticide-laden produce at the local supermarket, and “hello” to your own backyard supermarket! Think of how much money you’ll save and how much healthier you and your family will eat. A Solar Gem Greenhouse will make it easy and fun.

KIND WORDS: We received our Solar Gem greenhouse late last spring and it has been wonderful to work in. Purchasing and delivery were both a breeze with outstanding customer service. Almost a year and a heavy winter later it has surpassed expectations. We have wintered over our pond turtles and perennials starts in it. Spring planting has just started and I’m sure come summer my vegetable and flower gardens will be full of plants we grew. Sandra B  Riverton, UT

Learn more about a SOLAR GEM GREENHOUSE. You can grow all year round. Start your seeds early and have a great bounty. SOLAR GEM GREENHOUSES are made in Tacoma, Washington.

A SOLAR GEM GREENHOUSE is available @ Costco this week in:
Woodinville, WA  and Silverdale, Wa  through July 14, 2017
Tacoma, Wa today July 14-23

Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is nutrient-packed chameleon of the vegetable world comes in a variety of colors and is a superb, year-round stand-in for lettuce, spinach and celery.
Swiss chard is bursting with nutrients, including vitamins K, A, C and E, plus several B vitamins, magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron, dietary fiber and a great source of calcium.

The best Swiss chard is that which you grow yourself, and fortunately it’s easy to cultivate and taste great. Swiss chard only needs 50-degree soil to germinate, and the plants are quite cold hardy, so in many places it’s not too late to start some seeds for a late fall/early winter crop, but can be grown throughout the year.



Soak Swiss chard seeds in warm water for 15 minutes to speed up germination before planting. Sow seeds 1/2-inch deep and a few inches apart directly in the garden when the soil is at least 50°F.

Or sow them indoors anytime in standard-sized, 10-inch by 20-inch plastic flats of individual plugs filled with a soil-less seed starting or potting mix (place 1 or 2 seeds in each plug) and transplant seedlings into the garden when they’re 2 to 3 inches tall.

Thin seedlings so they are 4 to 5 inches apart, or 8 to 10 inches apart if you plan to only harvest the outer leaves.

Plants do best in full sun but will tolerate some shade. They can endure light frosts in spring and moderate freezes in fall.  Swiss chard has withstood temperatures well below freezing protected by nothing more than a piece of heavy plastic or an old sheet, and it survives in the raised bed greenhouse during Zone 5 winters, when it sometimes gets down below 0°F.

Minimum maintenance:
Mulch your plants with compost and/or grass clippings to add nutrients and discourage weeds, and use a natural fertilizer such as kelp or manure tea (a must for container growing). Provide moderate, even watering.

Harvesting Swiss Chard:

Swiss chard is a ‘cut and come again’ plant, which means that one crop can supply you with terrific bounty for months. Growing your own allows you to enjoy the tender baby leaves.

You can harvest just the outer stalks often or cut whole young plants off an inch or two above the soil and wait for them to grow again.


February Greenhouse Planting

Tips for February Greenhouse Planting

 This is a great time to begin some cool weather crops such as lettuce, broccoli and radish seeds. Who does not love  garden lettuce freshly grown in their greenhouse. A great February growing tip.

Salad anyone?
Lettuce – February Greenhouse Planting : lettuce seeds get planted in rich, well-drained soil  and near the surface where they can get a little light (this helps with germination). Since lettuce has such shallow roots, transplanting can be cumbersome so plant in large container.  Plant leaf lettuce and expect a crop in 50 to 80 days.


You might want to plant some sweet alyssum between lettuce rows to attract predatory insects that feed on aphids.
Radish -February Greenhouse Planting : radishes about 1/4″ deep about 2 to 4″ apart in your greenhouse in February.  Radishes need long periods of daylight for fast maturity so you might want to keep them under a fluorescent grow light. It would be best to keep your greenhouse temperature between 45ƒ and 50ƒ at night (temperatures that are too warm can lead to non-edible radishes).  Radishes are high in vitamin C, folate, and fiber.

Broccoli -February Greenhouse Planting :  broccoli . Broccoli takes about 2-3 months to mature. When you harvest the central head before flowering, you will continue to get smaller side sprouts. You will get bigger heads when you keep the broccoli cool. Broccoli has vitamin C, calcium, vitamin A, potassium, folate, iron, and fiber .


February Greenhouse Planting. YOU can start frost-tolerant crops , according to your local climate. In most areas of the country these can be started in January then hardened off and moved to the garden in February or early March. Some frost-tolerant vegetables include beets, Brussels sprouts, spinach, parsley, kale, carrots and collard greens. Remember, these vegetables are frost-tolerant but are not tolerant of deep, extended freezes.

ENJOY February Greenhouse Planting in your Solar Gem Greenhouse.




medium-greenhouse Greenhouse SaleGreenhouse Sale from our factory


Solar Gem Greenhouses are the BEST BACKYARD GREENHOUSE AVAILABLE ANYWHERE!  Solar Gem Greenhouses manufacturers the best backyard greenhouses in North America since 1991. Are you ready to share the possibility to  grow a dream garden, year-round, right in their own backyard? Our one-piece and easily portable fiberglass greenhouses are designed for gardening enthusiasts of all skill levels.

Check out our Inventory Sale
$500 discount on small
$800 discount on medium size greenhouses
Contact John @ Solar Gem Greenhouses office 253-383-3055

We overbuilt our inventory and that is GOOD for you! We need to move these out of our shop so we can do our winter mold work repairs. This means a great savings for you! Hurry while supplies last! We also have inventory of our work tables and can give discounts on these as well. These prices are good through January so you will be getting a great deal. Don’t wait, get into the growing mode and get your greenhouse set and start your seeds so you can have beautiful flowers and/or vegges in the ground when the weather improves. You won’t find this deal anywhere else, we need to move these out so we can work on our molds, you get a good deal, we get room!

Gig Harbor Academy installs a Solar Gem Greenhouse

large-greenhouseWe are so excited that Gig Harbor Academy now has a 15 foot Solar Gem Greenhouse. The kids will learn all about gardening and eating food they have grown.  Solar Gem Greenhouses is so excited to be a part of their learning experience. GHA funded their purchase by their spring auction donations and the generosity of parents to make this program become possible. The program will help teach the kids to be more self sufficient and be able to grow their own food. A move to get back to our roots. Imagine if every school were to engage their students to learn the benefits of a backyard garden and the healthy foods which can be grown. Think of the last time you walked into a garden and picked a tomato and made a salad. How much better did that salad taste than store bought? Imagine if every school took the initiative to educate their students on the basic steps to become self reliant. How much healthier would we all be?

Gig Harbor Academy was happy to report to their family that the greenhouse they purchased  was made locally in Tacoma.  GHA said, “Thank you for the great service Solar Gem Greenhouses!”
We at Solar Gem look forward to seeing what is grown in the greenhouse.  Many thanks to the Academy. We hope they send us some great pictures of their harvest.


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Rain leaks in my greenhouse

It’s raining in my greenhouse, HELP!

This time of year in the PNW can be rather daunting when it comes to greenhouse growing. I just spoke with a customer who called with the phrase above.  As we all know, once the sunny days of September pass, we start to experience a bit of rain. Well, maybe a bit more than a bit! As a result, we need to take steps to remedy the problems of excess moisture in the greenhouse. The best and easiest way to correct the atmosphere within the greenhouse is to bring in a dehumidifier. You can purchase one from any one of the big box stores and plug it in and within a couple of days, your greenhouse will dry up and it will stop raining. When looking at a dehumidifier, make sure it has a connection for a hose so you can connect and let it drain through the hose or you will be emptying it daily. Take an old hose and cut it so that it isn’t too long and connect to the the unit. You can drill a hole in the side of the greenhouse and push the hose through so it flows outside, or just let the hose rest on the lip of the lower vent in the back wall and let it drip out. Now, you will just need to monitor the moisture level to insure that your plants don’t dry out too much. Once you have the moisture level fixed, you can get back to growing your fall/winter crops. Oh, and don’t forget, maybe disconnect the roof vent or you will be drying out your neighbor’s property as well as the vent may open during the day, that is, if the sun makes an appearance!

Let’s grow!

Turkeys in the Greenhouse

Greenhouse Growing and soil care

You’ll be amazed by the many uses of a Solar Gem backyard greenhouse.
Not only can you use it to grow crops in cold weather to extend the growing season,
you can also use it to provide food and shelter for poultry and livestock.
Turkeys in the Greenhouse(photo by M. Howe, a Solar Gem owner)

Another benefit of the greenhouse is that it’s a great place to put worm bins.

Solar Gem Greenhouses has the best heat retention values.  We believe out of all the greenhouses for sale, Solar Gem’s backyard greenhouse holds up better than any other.

A greenhouse is a very valuable addition you can make to your property.  Do you want to be more self-reliant by growing more of your own food?   With a Solar Gem Greenhouse, you can plant spring, fall and winter crops and extend the growing season.  You will enjoy fresh food for 12 months. Consider a large, medium or small Solar Gem Greenhouse for delicious home grown crops. LET’S GROW!



Greenhouse in the snow

The best vegetables to winter garden

With cold temperatures almost here, many backyard gardeners across North America will
soon be retreating inside, content to wait out Old Man Winter until a Spring thaw beckons them outside again. But plucky gardeners don’t take lightly to putting the soil, seeds, pots and fertilizer down for any amount of time. Their solution? Gather the right tools, identify the best vegetables to winter garden, and forge ahead with joyous abandon!

If you desire to transition into that latter category, and free yourself from high grocery store prices and GMO foods, let’s identify what you’re gonna need to succeed.

Location, location, location

First, where will you grow? Basements with heaters and grow lights have been a great fall back locale when other, better options aren’t present, but it’s fraught with setbacks including losing your basement for any other productive purpose while you try to cultivate plants in it. But more and more smart backyard gardeners are opening up their gardening world to year-round status by procuring a genuine year-round backyard greenhouse that’s made to withstand the worst winters and successfully grow fresh veggies when most people think you can’t. May I humbly suggest a Solar Gem Greenhouse? No other requires no assembly, requires no maintenance, diffuses all sunlight, is made for cold weather gardening, and comes with a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Keeping it warm enough to winter garden

What will you need in your new backyard greenhouse? Well, depending upon your latitude, and the severity and duration of your winter weather, you are likely to need some combination of propagation mats (check out the store on the Solar Gem website) and a ceramic space heater to keep the temperatures inside conducive to cultivation. And what temperature is that, you ask? Generally speaking, you’ll want to maintain an interior temperature north of 40 degrees Fahrenheit (that’s about 4 degrees Celsius). Also, a low-tech but helpful way to maintain warmer temps inside your greenhouse is to place a few plastic garbage cans filled with water inside… they will absorb the heat of the day (even in the dead of winter) and radiate that stored heat back into the greenhouse interior when the sun goes down and temps drop precipitously.

What’s on your menu?

Now to the exciting decisions – what will you grow? Some of the best vegetables to winter garden are (in no particular order) kale, potatoes, spinach, chard, turnips, carrots, Brussel sprouts, lettuce and onions. That’s not to mention some herbs and spices that do well in the colder times of the year… basil, parsley, oregano, thyme, chives, and sage. And yes, these can be grown in pots and containers.

For many of us, winter is a time of low humidity. So, be sure to maintain a solid watering regimen for those things you grow in the winter months.

Be bold, and don’t give in to cold temperatures!

You can be a winter gardener too, and enjoy some favorite edibles even when there is snow on the ground! For even more growing ideas, visit one of my favorite gardening sites Take charge, eat healthier, and make this winter a memorable one as you grow fresh, delicious and healthful winter vegetables in your own backyard garden.

Family enjoying their solar gem greenhouse

School is back in. Let’s teach kids to garden!

It isn’t a big secret that the education of our children has greatly evolved over time; the
incorporation of computers and IPad’s as aids to learning, keeping up with the latest technology, teaching about new discoveries and cutting-edge scientific breakthroughs, while never forgetting the importance of reading, writing, and arithmetic. It’s the basics which used to be part of curriculum’s – say, how to cultivate food and plants – that has gotten a bit lost in the shuffle….squeezed out in favor of preparing for standardized tests and other pressing matters. On this, the day that most of the North American school children return to school, let’s dedicate ourselves to teach kids to garden once again!

Family farms were yesterday’s classroom

Times were that family farms were the botanical classroom for most youngsters. Mom and dad would involve the kids in the full cycle of planting, watering, fertilizing, and harvesting vegetables of all sorts, whether for personal consumption or to sell at the market. This was first hand, hands-on kinds of lessons that were invaluable to teaching independent living and healthful eating.

As family farms became rarer, and school curriculum’s stuffed more and more subject matters into their school day, children have lost the critical knowledge of how to grow their own food. This is a trend that simply must change.

Can schools really fill the void?

While we can’t bring back the America of 50+ years ago, we can insure that kids learn to cultivate vegetables and fruits and thus learn how they can feed themselves. But here’s the rub… either our schools must find a way, or we (as parents and grandparents) must create our own backyard gardens and teach these critical skills to our posterity. And considering schools are so overburdened these days with standardized tests and limited funding – even playground time/Physical Education has been eliminated, for Pete’s sake – this seems like a far-fetched option.

Imagine generations to come who have no earthly (pun intended) idea about soil, seeds, fertilizers, irrigation, harvesting, etc. It’s a sad and scary thought that is already closer to reality than you may think.

Teach kids to garden: A call to mentor

Take charge today! Let’s teach kids to garden! Commit some of your backyard to a quality greenhouse and the year-round growing of healthy edibles. Then, generously share how it is done with a young person close to you. Not only will this be the most delightful hobby you’ve ever engaged in, you will be teaching invaluable skills to our next generation, not to mention the wonderful bonding experience that will ensue.

School is back in. It’s up to you or the already overburdened teachers. The future of backyard gardening is in our hands.