Just when summer starts getting good, it’s over! You can extend your growing season by constructing a little backyard greenhouse that can keep giving you the best locally-grown organic fruits and veggies.
A greenhouse can be constructed in a single weekend and can be affordable and sustainable with just a little planning. Or you can have another gardening option by building a DIY cold frame that is perfect for all climates.
This attractive barn-style greenhouse is a two-day build. Because the side panels are constructed using 12-foot roofing tin panels, they don’t need to be cut–saving time and preventing waste. The same goes for the corners which are made from flashing while the corrugated clear sheets also come in 12-foot lengths so (you guessed it!) they don’t need to be cut either.
The free plans from Ana White give you all the information you need including a shopping list for your trip to the hardware store, and a tools list (use a lending library to borrow tools rather than buy the ones you don’t have). Read the step-by-step instructions with illustrations prior to starting.
When it comes to utilizing new materials, hoop greenhouses are the cheapest and come in at around $400. They are also easy to construct. The hoops can be made from just about any flexible piping like PVC piping, as in the plans featured here, or from cedar branches or wire fencing. Get the full plans with tools and materials list as well as step-by-step instructions with photos from Alberta Home Gardening.
Upcycled Greenhouse from Old Windows
If you want a greenhouse that’s cheaper and, well, greener, then reusing old materials is the way to go. Practice sustainability by using upcycled windows and doors to create a beautiful and unique greenhouse. Cobbling together the frame and attaching the windows does take some rudimentary construction skills. One of the ways to make this greenhouse build easier is to find windows that are roughly the same size and shape. Rely on such as Craigslist and Kijiji or garage sales to find cheap or free used windows.
Collect your windows and a door and then use this step-by-step guide from the Permaculture Research Institute on how to go about constructing your upcycled greenhouse.
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