If you've been looking at greenhouses lately you might have noticed they're expensive. Just because you don't have a lot of money available it doesn't mean you can't grow your own vegetables You will get to enjoy the pleasure that comes from biting into a fresh tomato for the first time. Did you know they taste much better when you grow them yourself? Even though it's hard to prove I'm sure you'll agree.
If you want to build your own greenhouse you just need to get creative. The materials you need aren't expensive and you can throw the whole thing up in one weekend. I'm not going to pretend your DIY greenhouse will be as good as the ones you can pick up at the garden center, but it will do the job while saving you money. Let's look at the steps you need to follow if you want to make it a reality.
Measure out your greenhouse
Before you start building anything you'll need to decide where it's going to sit. Measure everything out so you can calculate how much materials you'll need. Just be careful because when you're building a cheap greenhouse made from PVC piping you don't want it to be too big. 30 foot by 15 foot is a good limit to give yourself to ensure you don't run into any problems. Once you've came up with a final plan you can write your measurements down because you'll need to take them to the hardware store.
Buy your materials
Now you'll need to get your wallet out because you need to buy your materials. Luckily you don't require much to get started as long as you have a few basic tools. You'll need a large area of plastic sheeting to go over your greenhouse. Because you've already measured everything out you'll know how many meters of PVC piping to buy. Don't forget to pick up the required couplings so everything can fit together. You'll also need glue, screws, and washers so you can secure the plastic sheeting.
Lay out and trim PVC pipes
Once you get everything home you can start putting it all together. Lay everything down in the right position so it gives you a clearer idea of what needs to be done. Unless you get really lucky you'll need to trim the PVC pipes until they're the right size. Make sure you take too little off them as opposed to too much because you can always take off more. Now connect everything together and you'll end up with the base of your greenhouse when you're done.
Secure to the ground
If you don't secure the greenhouse to the ground it's going to disappear as soon as it's hit by a strong gust of wind. Hopefully it's not out in the middle of the open because this will stop it from getting hit when it's windy. You can secure it the exact same way you'd secure a tent to the ground. Just get large pegs that hook over the piping. Because you're building a simple greenhouse on the cheap you won't have a door that swings open, but use something heavy to cover the entrance so air can't get in or out.
Add plastic sheeting
Nearly everything is ready to go, but before you can pat yourself on the back you'll need to pull the plastic sheeting over the top of the frame. If you have a few friends or family members around you can ask them to help you. Once the sheet is in position you can glue it around the frame. Now you just need to go around screwing in the screws you picked up earlier in random places. Because you're using large washers they will hold the sheet in position. It might not work on it's own, but when combined with the strong glue it works well.
Don't expect anything fancy when you're finished, but building a basic greenhouse is perfect for anyone who wants to test their vegetable growing skills before they spend a lot of money on something more long-term. You might decide you don't want to grow anything in the future and this kind of greenhouse ensures you don't have a permanent structure taking up space in your garden forever.
Ted Miller, the author of this article, works as a designer at Corefront Custom Renovations, leading manufacturers and installers of custom cabinets in Calgary. Ted loves woodworking and on weekends, he practices making his own furniture.
- Piping License: Creative Commons image source
- Glue License: Creative Commons image source
- Materials License: Creative Commons image source
- Greenhouse at the farm License: Creative Commons image source
- Greenhouse in the Garden License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://pixabay.com/en/greenhouse-allotment-garden-shed-230671/