As readers of my diary know, I have a Vitavia greenhouse myself. In fact I’ve had two Vitavia greenhouses, the first one having been destroyed in a freak storm. I don’t blame the greenhouse for its destruction, the winds were gusting in excess of 100mph and I’d not got the base as secure as it should have been which allowed the wind to get under the house and flip it over. A costly lesson!
Vitavia Greenhouses Reviewed
What I’ve not done is to write a formal review of the Vitavia greenhouses, which I’m correcting here.
Vitavia produce a range of greenhouses starting with the Venus 6′ wide, single door models through to the Zeus which is almost a professional model offering an exceptional eaves height of 6’2” (1.89M), 10mm polycarbonate roof panes to retain heat and sizes from 8’x10′ to a massive 8’x20′
I’ve got the Jupiter model myself which is a premium double door model with an eaves height of just under 5 feet (1.51M) available in a range of sizes from 8’x8′ to 8’x14′. There is a single door model with a more standard eaves height of 4’5” (1.35M) and the same range of sizes called the Neptune.
The Orion and Saturn ranges feature curves in the design which look very attractive and the Hera is more of a garden room than a conventional greenhouse. For those with the space and finances the Sirius is a traditional orangery ‘T’ style glass house with optional decorative crest.
I’ll concentrate on the Jupiter model a this is the one I know best. Like the rest of the range, the Jupiter is available either in anodised aluminium which retains its looks well or powder coated in green. Some models, including the Sirius orangery are also available in black powder coating which looks fantastic.
A Remarkably Tough Greenhouse
The actual process of construction is fairly straightforward but the instructions do let it down. I found some of the instructions difficult to follow and went wrong a few times.
Apart from that niggle, correctly assembled it’s a remarkably tough greenhouse. The upright side glazing bars and roof glazing bars both connect to the horizontal side bar with an integral drainage channel but there is also a separate angle bracket that links both bars firmly.
My experience with greenhouses in the past is that they are very wobbly until the glazing goes in but the Vitavia was rock-solid at the unglazed stage. There was almost no movement at all.
With the Jupiter there are three glazing options; normal 3mm horticultural glass, toughened glass and twinwall polycarbonate. Horticultural glass is fine unless like me you have very windy conditions or young children running about. Toughened glass is, as the name suggests, tougher but it’s not unbreakable. If it does break, however, it breaks safely into thousands of small bits which are not very sharp.
I prefer glass to polycarbonate although polycarbonate is arguably safer and better at heat retention. The reason being that there is more direct sunlight which is great for growth through glass than polycarbonate.
Currently all the Vitavia models except the Zeus use spring clips to hold the glass into the frame but bar capping is being introduced which is a superior method for windy areas.
As you’d expect there’s a good range of accessories available ranging from louvre vents to staging and shelving; steel bases for extra rigidity to shading and a downpipe kit for the guttering. Spares are available including a door maintenance kit.
Overall value for money on the range is excellent with a starting price around £350 for a 6×8 Venus. The Jupiter 8×14 in green or stylish black with toughened glass runs around £1,200 or just under the thousand with standard horticultural glass.
Full details of the range and current pricing from Greenhouse Stores UK here: Vitavia Greenhouses