auto vent arm greenhouseIf buying a greenhouse, you really need an auto opening window. They provide the following benefits:

  • Regulate temperature
  • Promote pollination
  • Control pests
  • Provide fresh air
  • Reduce mildew
  • Regulate humidity
  • Save time and effort

After a few hot days over the 30 degree mark, I remember what Summer is like again. While I enjoy Summer type weather, it’s also nice to retreat into the cool of the house. Unfortunately, the plants in our garden don’t get that cooling effect until later in the day/evening.

While watering the seedlings in my Maze Silverline greenhouse, I realised it’s time to put the shade cloth over to protect my seedlings and plants from the fierce heat of the afternoon sun. This combined with air flow helps cool my greenhouse down.

My favourite feature of this greenhouse is the automatic opening vent arm in the roof. The arm actually opens the roof vent as the suns heats up during the day. Later as the day starts cooling, it  closes the window. The arm has wax inside a sealed piston and as it gets hot the wax melts and expands, opening the window. The wax hardens again as the ouside temperature cools and the spring closes the window shut. This is a brilliant way to ensure your tomatoes or other plants don’t cook in your greenhouse if you forget to open the vent/door in the morning. You can relax knowing that your plants are being looked after… wax on, wax off!

Our arms are fully adjustable to allow different opening and closing temperatures.

Our Maze/Silverline greenhouses also have a magnet that holds the door open to allow extra ventilation during the day if you wish. But I like the idea that you can add another vent into the roof once your greenhouse has been installed if you desire. It is a relatively easy job to slide another vent (with auto arm of course!) into the roof and then you have cross ventilation available at all times. If you are worried about adding another vent, the additional vent you purchase does come with instructions to retro fit.

The Silverline greenhouses have many options available, so you can add different items when you need them. There are two types of shelving to attach to the walls, two and three tier benches, bench/table unit, dripper system, etc.greenhouses

Another favourite is the trellising kit designed to make your tomatoes and cucumbers more manageable to maintain and pick in the greenhouse. They make everything look tidy and you have control!

I enjoy the fact that I don’t need to try and protect my produce from the pesky feathered and furry bandits who would devour my produce very quickly if they could. There’s nothing worse than finding your tomatoes pecked over or gone after spending your valuable time growing time. With a greenhouse – that is no longer a problem.

Check out the many greenhouse’s and accessories available and get ready to enjoy your Spring/Summer produce for longer!

Call us to learn more, we know greenhouses!
1300 651 671

Yams, delicious but not readily available in Australia.

Yams, delicious but not readily available in Australia.

Something a little unusual to grow in our greenhouses – the NZ yam. These are a very tasty tuber, unknown to most Australians.

Having lived in Australia for 16 years after moving from New Zealand – I’m always keen to get hold of commonly grown NZ fruits and veggies that are hard to find here in Adelaide. I have fejoas and banana passionfruit that are okay with the light frost we get here – but what about NZ yams or Oca as they are also known as?

People that haven’t tried them before probably think they are a potato/taro type of vegetable – but they are not. In fact, it’s good to expose them to the sun for a few days after harvesting to increase the sweetness level (unlike potatoes that turn green and poisonous). They range in size, the average being about  4-5cm long and 2cm wide – like fat squat fingers and have a slight lemony taste. They can be used raw in salads, steamed or best of all (in my opinion) roasted! They don’t need to be peeled and become slight chewy on the outside and soft on the inside.

The plant itself  disconcertingly, looks a lot like the soursobs! Although, they are in the same family – you won’t have any problems with them spreading out of control. In New Zealand and other cooler places like Tasmania, yams are grown over the Spring and Summer to be harvested in Autumn/Winter. Unfortunately, yams really dislike days when the temp gets into the mid 30’s. So to beat that problem, I tried the following….

I ordered my yams off the internet from Tasmania in August. I then stored them in a container with a tight plastic lid in the crisper section of my fridge. They stayed there until I planted them out in the beginning of March. As frost will kill off the foliage of yams (we get frost where I live) I planted them into the green house. The tubers had sprouted a little in the plastic container, so I had to be careful not to knock the sprouts off when I put them into the ground. I placed them about 10cm deep in soil that I had added complete garden fertiliser. Within a couple of weeks the leaves were appearing above the ground. I mounded the soil up around them to encourage tubers to form higher up the stems. The plants grow to about 30cm high and wide which is perfect for the dripper watering system I use in the greenhouse. They seemed resistant to a lot of diseases and pests.greenhouses

By the end of June my plants had pretty much died down, although I didn’t dig them up until 2 weeks later. I was thrilled to find lots of yams underneath the soil.  There were both the pink and yellow varieties. I found that the largest yams planted had the best yields. I did notice that a lot of the yams were on the small side 2-3cm instead of 4-5cm. But the after having a meal of them, it was decided that the smaller ones tasted better! I kept the largest ones aside to keep in the fridge and plant out next year. Without a greenhouse this wouldn’t have been a possibility for me. I’m actually hoping to buy another greenhouse to dedicate to them, as they don’t like growing where the potato family has grown before (including tomatoes). Some may question the fiddling around with storing, etc in order to grow these vegetables – but a lot of Kiwis in Australia would love to get their hands on some yams!

Landera is currently having a sale on our greenhouses and greenhouse accessories, we recommend the Silverline 6×8 to have a try at growing your own yams, if you wanted something cheaper there is always the double cold frame which can be moved and is good for smaller spaces.

Definitely, worth a try!


Is a greenhouse a cost-effective way to grow plants?

does a greenhouse help plants to grow?

Comparison between plants grown inside and outside a greenhouse

Does a greenhouse help plants grow?

The question often comes up; just how effective are greenhouses? In other words, will the results you obtain in increased yields and quality justify the expense outlaid in buying and installing the greenhouse? Well, here we have a case study showing the actual results obtained by customer in South Australia who was so excited with the benefits of greenhouse gardening that he sent us this photographic evidence. (He even took the time to set it up nicely in Photoshop for us!).

The interesting thing about this information is that it provides a direct comparison between growing inside the greenhouse and identical plants planted at the same time and grown outside the greenhouse. In this case, the plants being grown were beans. And as you can see, there is a huge difference in the actual size of the beans produced. (Click on the image to enlarge it). The customer also reports that those grown inside the greenhouse were noticeably superior in taste – a convincing answer to the question, does a greenhouse help plants grow?

Another interesting feature in this comparison is that the customer is in rural South Australia not far from the coast. The beans were planted in September, the time of year not normally associated with extremes of heat or cold in that part of Australia. Nevertheless, there was a startling difference in the quality and size of the beans produced.

This is a great recommendation for using a greenhouse for growing vegetables; not only beans of course. The same customer reports similar excellent results with the tomatoes he has planted. It is well worth checking out the great range of greenhouses at These vary in size from small units are suitable for courtyards and balconies right through to units suitable for small commercial growing operations.


Greenhouses are being used for outdoor living areas as well as growing plants

The traditional use for greenhouses is, of course, propagating and growing flowers and vegetables. Today, there is an increasing interest in using greenhouses, particularly the larger sizes. They are used as covered outdoor areas for relaxation – for hot tubs, cafe table sets and other activities.



The AMERICANA 12 x 12 greenhouse from PALRAM is an ideal unit for this purpose. Large enough to allow room for a well set up outdoor area, it also provides shelter from wind and rain, allowing you to spend more time enjoying the garden and relaxing. The clear polycarbonate glazing is virtually unbreakable and is an essential element in the success of the AMERICANA as an economical conservatory. When used as an outdoor covered area, the greenhouse can be installed on a timber base as shown, or on pavers or a concrete slab.

Of course, you always have the option of reverting to the primary greenhouse use for part of the unit; some people actually set their greenhouses up so that they can sit and enjoy their plants’ progress while they have a quiet cup of tea. It’s really about how you would like to have it – with the space available in the AMERICANA the possibilities are almost endless!

The SILVER LINE range has the major benefit of being designed for easy greenhouse assembly

When choosing a kit form greenhouse, assembly is one of the most important factors to consider; at least as important as price. Because of the fact that greenhouses are fairly complex structures with a relatively large number of parts, there are two main factors which influence how easy they are to assemble. Firstly, the quality of component design and manufacture, and secondly, the quality of the instructions provided.

The SILVER LINE range from Palram is manufactured with ease of assembly specifically in mind. All parts are cut to size, and special tools supplied to facilitate the construction process. The instructions are completely diagrammatic – all step by step line drawn images, (similar to those from IKEA!), and very simple to follow.

There is also another consideration in the greenhouse assembly process – the unit needs to be securely fastened to the ground to prevent it being moved by the wind. The SILVER LINE units have a galvanised steel channel section at the base, and this can be used as a fastening point. A concrete strip footing or timber sleepers set into the ground provide a suitable base for anchorage for the larger units. Units such as the LEAN TO and the GROW STATION can be fastened to a wall as well as the surface on which they are sitting.

The photo below was one of a series sent to us by a very happy customer in Perth – frame completed and glazed; fitting the door was the next step.



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