If you’re a serious gardener, you would love to get your hands on a greenhouse. But how do you build a greenhouse, and what are the important things to know before you start one? This DIY greenhouse guide will show you how to build your own greenhouse step by step.
A DIY greenhouse can help to extend your growing season, allow you to propagate plants from your yard, and let you grow delicate and off-season plants you may not otherwise be able to grow.
I had seen lettuce and other green veggies grow in a greenhouse when several inches of snow were on the ground.
My friend uses her greenhouse to pot all her volunteer seedlings from her yard, growing them in four-inch pots in her DIY greenhouse, then having a plant sale to raise money for her charity.
Having a backyard greenhouse allows you to grow a range of plants that might not otherwise be possible.
Here’s a must-read guide before you buy your greenhouse kit or start building one.
What Is A DIY Greenhouse?
A DIY greenhouse is a do-it-yourself backyard greenhouse. It is simply a structure designed to protect plants from cold temperatures and strong winds.
DIY greenhouses usually are smaller than professionally made ones, but they could be customized to make well-made, sturdy structures that last a long time.
Several DIY greenhouse kits are available from commercial manufacturers, and most lumberyards have DIY greenhouse plans for sale.
But you can also build your greenhouse from scratch using DIY greenhouse plans to guide you along the way!
DIY Greenhouse Plans: How Do I Install My DIY Greenhouse?
Here are some important steps to follow to build your greenhouse:
- Choose an ideal location for a greenhouse
- Determine the size of the greenhouse you want
- Choose a framework and covering according to your budget
- Select flooring as per your requirement
- Add cooling and heating systems and ventilation
- Keep your plants as you want
- Finally, maintaining the DIY greenhouse
Choose an ideal location for the DIY greenhouse. First, check if there is enough light in that area to support your plants. An ideal location would get full sun all day long.
Avoid building your DIY greenhouse in front of a window, near trees, or buildings where shadows would be cast on it throughout the day.
Also, check if enough water is available in that area to support plants. Depending on how much water you may need, you might need to install additional piping.
If you live in a climate with strong winds, finding a location protected from the wind would be best.
In most DIY greenhouse plans for sale, there are specifications about how big the DIY greenhouse should be and where it should be located.
If your DIY greenhouse plan doesn’t have this information, look around your yard and choose a convenient location for you.
2. Size of greenhouse
How large you want to build your greenhouse and how many plants you want to keep in it are the questions that decide the size of your greenhouse.
The ultimate size of your DIY greenhouse is determined by what you plan to grow in it, how much space you have to work with, and whether your DIY greenhouse will be freestanding or attached to an existing structure.
You may want a DIY greenhouse as small as a hoop house, large enough to walk inside, or anything in between.
3. DIY Greenhouse Supplies
It would be best to gather DIY greenhouse supplies before you start building one.
The framework may be made of wood, aluminum, or galvanized steel. Small- to medium-size greenhouses may be built using wood, which is less expensive, simpler to work with, and sturdy.
Metal is more durable and weather-resistant than wood but is also more expensive. Aluminum is an excellent option because it’s light, corrosion-resistant, and durable.
Similarly, glass, fiberglass, acrylic, double-sheet polyethylene film, polyvinyl chloride, and polycarbonate could be used to cover your greenhouse.
The other greenhouse supplies include:
This is not recommended for DIY greenhouses made from wood, assembled with screws or nails. DIY greenhouses made from metal are even better if they have a weatherproof coating, especially for rain or snow.
You will need to have all DIY greenhouse materials on hand, including screws or nails for assembling wooden DIY greenhouses, bolts or screws for metal DIY greenhouses, and staples for attaching the plastic sheeting to wood frames.
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4. The flooring of your greenhouse
Flooring materials can be concrete, porous concrete, gravel, wood decking, flagstone, or dirt. Keep in mind that-
- A dirt floor is only feasible if your yard stays dry; otherwise, it will become a swampy wet area, and you may get a lot of soil-borne pests.
- Concrete is durable, but it may be expensive and doesn’t drain the water.
- Gravel is inexpensive and can drain the water well.
5. Cooling and heating systems and the ventilation
For temperature regulation inside the greenhouse, you must install exhaust fans and heaters. Similarly, while constructing, you must include rooftop vents and, if possible, one or two operational windows.
A well-ventilated DIY greenhouse is essential, but you don’t want too much air moving about. Side and rear vents are ideal for optimum ventilation in the best DIY greenhouse design. A double-door DIY greenhouse will allow you to enter and exit without losing all of your heat.
6. Installation of planters and benches for the plants
To place the plants inside the greenhouse, you can buy some planters. Vertical garden planters can be one of the best to save your space. But remember to keep the required pathway for you to roam around the greenhouse to check your plants.
Wooden DIY benches can also be a great addition to your greenhouse design. However, metal bench designs are recommended for better durability.
7. Maintaining the DIY greenhouse
Finally, you must maintain your DIY greenhouse just like your garden or lawn by
- Removing dead leaves and plant materials,
- Planting seeds of new crops,
- Adding compost,
- Pruning back plants that are growing too tall for their space,
- Fertilizing as necessary per package instructions for the annual vegetable plantings.
- Check the wall of your greenhouse regularly for any damage or leakage of water.
- Also, you need to check for the proper temperature regulation inside it.
What Are The Important Things To Consider To Make A DIY Greenhouse?
Here are steps to consider while making your greenhouse
The DIY Greenhouse Must Be Big Enough For Your Plants
Your DIY greenhouse must be the perfect size for your plants, so pick carefully and think about what you’ll be growing in the DIY greenhouse. Do you need a few plants and a lot of room? Do you want to create microgreens and sprouts for your DIY greenhouse? Or do you wish to build a permanent DIY greenhouse for tropical flowers and vegetable types for local flora? Choose the space and plants wisely!
DIY Greenhouse Must Be Level
The foundation of the DIY greenhouse is very important; it must be made on level ground. DIY greenhouses that are not level will have serious compaction, drainage, and water pooling problems.
The Foundation Of Your DIY Greenhouse Must Be Sturdy And Flat
Your foundation must be sturdy to hold your DIY greenhouse materials’ weight properly. A DIY greenhouse that is not level or flat can shift, which will cause cracks and leaks.
DIY Greenhouse Must Be Strong
A DIY greenhouse should be made of strong cedar, steel, aluminum, fiberglass, wood, etc. A greenhouse made of wood may rot quickly in wet climates. Bad-quality plastic may stretch or melt easily in the sun, so choose your DIY greenhouse materials wisely!
DIY Greenhouse Must Be Ventilated
A DIY greenhouse needs ventilation to help control heat and humidity. The greenhouses can get very hot in the summer but lose heat without proper ventilation. Therefore it is wise to install ventilation in your greenhouse. Different types of greenhouse ventilation are available in the market, from automatic vents to manual openings that let air in when they are open.
DIY Greenhouse Must Be Watertight
A DIY greenhouse must be waterproof and withstand wet weather conditions like rain, snow, and humidity.
A greenhouse is a gardener’s dream. A DIY greenhouse is a great way to grow more plants, vegetables, and flowers in your home or rooftop terrace! And now that you know DIY greenhouses supplies, materials, and processes, it’s easy to start your DIY greenhouse project.
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Here is a thorough list of Frequently Asked Questions on how to make a greenhouse.
What DIY greenhouse materials can I use?
DIY greenhouses can be made of various materials, including wood, metal, polyethylene, plastic sheeting, and fabric. Some DIY greenhouses are small and portable enough to move around the yard on casters; others are more permanent fixtures that require some foundation work. You can even use recycled materials around the house to DIY your greenhouse.
Does the greenhouse need ventilation?
A DIY greenhouse needs ventilation to prevent overheating on sunny days and help with air circulation. Greenhouse vents should be placed so they can open and close easily whenever needed.
What DIY greenhouse equipment will I need?
It would be best if you had DIY greenhouse equipment like planters, benches, pots, etc.; each should be sturdy enough to hold large plants. The DIY greenhouse must have lights and a heat source. DIY greenhouses can be solar-powered if you are willing to invest some time and money to save energy.
How do fans work in the DIY greenhouse?
Greenhouses often get very hot; fans keep greenhouses cool and make gardening easier. Fans can quickly push air in or out of a greenhouse to cool a space. A fan will work to keep the temperature stable during the day.
What is DIY greenhouse covering?
A DIY greenhouse covering protects from the sun and rain, keeping in heat during winter. Many DIY greenhouse coverings include plastic sheeting, polycarbonate, fiberglass, corrugated steel, tempered glass, and aluminum. DIY greenhouses can have a solid or transparent covering, and they can use single or double layers of covering. DIY greenhouses are usually tilted to the south for maximum sunlight exposure.
What Can You Plant In DIY Greenhouses?
DIY greenhouses are great for growing vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and more. DIY greenhouse project works well with beets and Swiss chard kale that can survive in colder weather or grow flowers like geraniums, impatiens, etc., that will not survive in colder weather. Simply put, the DIY greenhouse works well with all kinds of plants as long as you maintain the correct environmental conditions preferred by the plant you are growing in the greenhouse.
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