Author Topic: DIY Greenhouse  (Read 12763 times)

Offline Spamity Calamity

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DIY Greenhouse
« on: September 24, 2008, 09:38:55 PM »
I need plans to build a small backyard greenhouse. Maybe 6 feet wide by 10 feet long by 7 feet high. Preferably with an eye to do it as cheaply as possible. But I still want some permanence. Not any dopey hoops with plastic sheeting. I want to put in on a concrete base. Been using the Googler machine but havent found anything that impresses me yet was hoping somebody here knew more on this subject.
This is the coolest thing anybody has every said about me at anytime of my life:

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Offline 19kilo

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Re: DIY Greenhouse
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2008, 02:51:42 AM »
This one seems to be pretty cool.  http://www.plumeria101.com/howto.html

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Offline Spamity Calamity

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Re: DIY Greenhouse
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2008, 04:19:13 PM »
Naw I wanted something more permanent.

I found these plans which look attractive to me. http://www.buildeazy.com/greenhouse_imp.html

Also I found this prefab kit which looks quite flippin affordable. http://www.gardeners.com/Affordable+Grow+House/GreenhousesSheds_CompactGreenhouses,11210,default,cp.html?SC=XNET8035
This is the coolest thing anybody has every said about me at anytime of my life:

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Bill by my side. I think you guys are the only two who do not hesitate
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SwampMonster

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Re: DIY Greenhouse
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2008, 04:34:41 PM »
Keep an eye on Harbor Freight, they run a kit on sale for 299-399. don't know the quality, as with all of there stuff, some is good, some will work, and some is crap.

Swamp

Offline Spamity Calamity

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Re: DIY Greenhouse
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2008, 08:43:20 PM »
Keep an eye on Harbor Freight, they run a kit on sale for 299-399. don't know the quality, as with all of there stuff, some is good, some will work, and some is crap.

Swamp

omg Is there anything that Harbor Freight doesnt sell? I try hard to stay away from Harbor Freight because I try not to contribute to buying cheap imported chinese junk which is a major problem for the USA (not that I manage to stay away from HF all the time I have one of their motorcycle lifts in my garage lol)
« Last Edit: September 25, 2008, 08:46:39 PM by Spamity Calamity »
This is the coolest thing anybody has every said about me at anytime of my life:

There is no way I would find myself in a Zombie attack without you and
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Offline Spamity Calamity

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Re: DIY Greenhouse
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2008, 05:51:37 PM »
The problem with those buildplans is that it calls for it to be finished with plastic greenhouse sheeting. I was kinda hoping to use more permanent panels but I wanna try to keep costs down. Anybody have any knowledge about this?
This is the coolest thing anybody has every said about me at anytime of my life:

There is no way I would find myself in a Zombie attack without you and
Bill by my side. I think you guys are the only two who do not hesitate
to kill and have better survival skills than most. ---Nicki


edibleyards

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Re: DIY Greenhouse
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2008, 12:54:23 PM »
Go to   http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/livingontheland and look through their archives. There is a ton of info on this list about improving soil, permaculture, DIY greenhouses, and resources to help you find them. Lots of members who are walking the walk of sustainable homesteading.

claytonpiano

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Re: DIY Greenhouse
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2008, 12:15:00 PM »
We built a greenhouse almost for free. Here is how we did it. We had an existing small building in our back yard. We used that as the back wall of the greenhouse. We visited our local Habitat for Humanity store and found large windows. They were really heavy and we had to have help loading and unloading them. We placed them side by side for the front and connected them at the top, bottom and sides. We bought smaller windows for the narrower sides and used a storm door also from habitat as our entrance door on the side. We ordered an automatic window opener from a garden supply place to prevent overheating. The roof rafters were from recycled wood and we put plastic panels on the top for the roof. We added an extra layer of plastic on the bottom of the roof rafters a la Four Season Gardening book by Elliot Coleman. We found free barrels and used 2 liter bottles. We filled the barrels and 2 liter bottles with water for a heat sink and put those along the back wall.

Here is a picture

Offline Brian Gallimore

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Re: DIY Greenhouse
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2008, 01:55:48 PM »
The problem with those buildplans is that it calls for it to be finished with plastic greenhouse sheeting. I was kinda hoping to use more permanent panels but I wanna try to keep costs down. Anybody have any knowledge about this?

What did you decide to do?  I've also pondered the cost/effort differences between plastic sheeting and permanent panels.

Offline ModernSurvival

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Re: DIY Greenhouse
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2008, 04:59:16 PM »
I just purchased a Springhouse Greenhouse in fact the "Dreamhouse" Model



That is a stock image not my actual one.  Anyway I really can't say enough good stuff about it, even though they are to cheap to sponsor the show,  ::)

I thought about building one and will some day but since I plan to move to our BOL in Arkansas permanently in about 1-2 years it just didn't make sense to build a permanent structure here in Texas.   It even came with shading net and has lots of vents so I can use it to grow greens when it gets to hot for that in the summer.  I would really prefer a large one made from wood and glass but this is a damn good investment at 245 bucks, I am very happy with it. 

For those of you with limited space, construction limitation or that may be moving in the relative short term it is a good option to consider.

EDIT: Added link
« Last Edit: January 30, 2009, 11:53:51 PM by BigDanInTX »
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Offline creuzerm

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Re: DIY Greenhouse
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2008, 08:57:43 PM »
Keep an eye on Harbor Freight, they run a kit on sale for 299-399. don't know the quality, as with all of there stuff, some is good, some will work, and some is crap.

Swamp

omg Is there anything that Harbor Freight doesnt sell? I try hard to stay away from Harbor Freight because I try not to contribute to buying cheap imported chinese junk which is a major problem for the USA (not that I manage to stay away from HF all the time I have one of their motorcycle lifts in my garage lol)

I will buy my first instance of a tool from them. If I wear it out, I will get a good one. Their main store brand is Chicago Power Tools or something like that, isn't it? I know a good amount of their stuff is USA made when you aren't looking at the bins of junk they sell.
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backyardgardener

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Re: DIY Greenhouse
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2008, 12:48:55 PM »
Here are some greenhouse ideas made out of recycled materials.
First, the old windows approach:
http://www.instructables.com/id/GREENHOUSE_FROM_OLD_WINDOWS/

And second, the pop bottle approach (have a look at this one - its not your typical pop-bottle greenhouse!):
http://www.bluerockstation.com/bottle_greenhouse_sunrise.jpg
They sell a little pdf booklet for cheap with the instructions.

Offline Brian Gallimore

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Re: DIY Greenhouse
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2008, 10:23:50 PM »
And second, the pop bottle approach (have a look at this one - its not your typical pop-bottle greenhouse!):
http://www.bluerockstation.com/bottle_greenhouse_sunrise.jpg
They sell a little pdf booklet for cheap with the instructions.

I'm pretty sure I would have a hard time getting away with having something that looks like that in my yard!  hehe

Offline CT9A

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Re: DIY Greenhouse
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2008, 12:53:17 AM »
I'm really new to the gardening thing (this past summer was my first time).  If I'm in CO and expect a good winter of snow and ice, will a greenhouse work for me?  Will it have to be heated?  Anything else I'm not thinking of?

Offline ModernSurvival

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Re: DIY Greenhouse
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2008, 01:54:34 PM »
You can grow cold weather crops in a greenhouse with no heat even in a climate like that.  Stuff like winter lettuces, spinich, etc.  It will be quite hard to grow much else reliably in a place that sees sub zero weather on occasion even in a green house.   

Some options,

Provide heat at night with a small heater (be safe) just a bit of heat will go a long way.

Put in some drums of water painted black they can act as a heat sink and give you some additional heat retention once the sun goes down.

I am not real up to speed on green houses in such cold areas, best bet would be to find someone in your local area that does it and share what works, does not work, etc with them.
Jack Spirko

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Offline Spamity Calamity

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Re: DIY Greenhouse
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2008, 08:51:43 PM »
I never thought about reusing old windows to build a green house before. Thats why I like throwing my ideas up on forums because people always come up with great ideas to share. Methinks I need to keep an eye out for old windows and get a collection of them going. I would like to have a permanent building on my property but maybe in the meantime Ill buy one of Jacks plastic greenhouses to I can keep my grow skills sharp. Id rather give my money to the Germans than the Chinese.
This is the coolest thing anybody has every said about me at anytime of my life:

There is no way I would find myself in a Zombie attack without you and
Bill by my side. I think you guys are the only two who do not hesitate
to kill and have better survival skills than most. ---Nicki


Offline CT9A

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Re: DIY Greenhouse
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2008, 11:32:42 PM »
Regarding the Springhouse Greenhouse, how well would it stand up to snow?  I want something that I can take down in the late spring when things should be moving out to the garden, but that won't topple and collapse under some snow.

Offline ModernSurvival

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Re: DIY Greenhouse
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2008, 07:43:35 AM »
I don't really know how it will do with snow.  I think it would be fine but you would need to keep in eye on things during snow storms and go inside and push the snow off it.  It is very sturdy and I am sure it would hold 2-3 inches of wet snow with out much trouble.  I am not sure if it will slide off though so you would want to just keep knocking it off, while it is coming down. 
« Last Edit: December 08, 2008, 08:15:50 AM by ModernSurvival »
Jack Spirko

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"If some of our teenage thrill seeker really want to go out and get a thrill.  Let them go up into the north west and let them tangle with a Grizzly bear  or Polar bear or brown bear and get that effect that will cleanse the soul".  ~ Fred Bear



tash

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Re: DIY Greenhouse
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2008, 09:00:37 PM »
I need plans to build a small backyard greenhouse. Maybe 6 feet wide by 10 feet long by 7 feet high. Preferably with an eye to do it as cheaply as possible. But I still want some permanence. Not any dopey hoops with plastic sheeting. I want to put in on a concrete base. Been using the Googler machine but havent found anything that impresses me yet was hoping somebody here knew more on this subject.

Spamity - 2 questions:
1. what do you consider cheap?
2. why do you want a solid/concrete foundation? Anything specific?

Not to plug my own THREAD but I just finished building my own greenhouse for about 130 bucks. It's really not that difficult to build your own on the cheap and its actually quite sturdy. Hope it helps.

Offline Spamity Calamity

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Re: DIY Greenhouse
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2008, 09:22:37 PM »
I need plans to build a small backyard greenhouse. Maybe 6 feet wide by 10 feet long by 7 feet high. Preferably with an eye to do it as cheaply as possible. But I still want some permanence. Not any dopey hoops with plastic sheeting. I want to put in on a concrete base. Been using the Googler machine but havent found anything that impresses me yet was hoping somebody here knew more on this subject.

Spamity - 2 questions:
1. what do you consider cheap?
2. why do you want a solid/concrete foundation? Anything specific?



I.  I Consider around 500 dollars for the building materials to be cheap.
2. I want a solid/concrete foundation because I want the addition of the greenhouse to increase the value of the property. So I want good quality and something that will last. Also in addition to this my carpentry skills are lacking and I could use the project as an opportunity to teach myself. I figure if I learn how to lay a foundation and attach a wooden frame I could make a shed later on down the road of if the SHTF I could make a small simple house.

I have built the cheapo greenhouses with pvc and plastic before. This isnt my first rodeo. Frankly they are a fun project to play with but after a while I wanted something more permanent. I might throw up another one because I doubt I am gonna build the greenhouse this year or next. I also have a 400 W HID grow light so I might just grow indoors for a while instead of going the pvc/plastic sheeting route again.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2008, 09:41:36 PM by Spamity Calamity »
This is the coolest thing anybody has every said about me at anytime of my life:

There is no way I would find myself in a Zombie attack without you and
Bill by my side. I think you guys are the only two who do not hesitate
to kill and have better survival skills than most. ---Nicki


Offline Brian Gallimore

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Re: DIY Greenhouse
« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2008, 07:58:46 PM »

2. I want a solid/concrete foundation because I want the addition of the greenhouse to increase the value of the property. So I want good quality and something that will last. Also in addition to this my carpentry skills are lacking and I could use the project as an opportunity to teach myself. I figure if I learn how to lay a foundation and attach a wooden frame I could make a shed later on down the road of if the SHTF I could make a small simple house.


The concrete foundation will probably be the most expensive part of the project.  You cut the cost about 50% by doing all the work yourself, but it is back breaking work and hard to get right.  I just built a 12'x20' shed, the concrete and rebar cost me about $800, plus $150 in new tools (always a bonus).  It was going to cost me $1500-$2000 to have it done.  I spent several weekends digging and getting it ready though.

The serious greenhouses have concrete floors so that everything stays sterile and clean.

Offline Spamity Calamity

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Re: DIY Greenhouse
« Reply #21 on: December 14, 2008, 08:17:05 PM »

2. I want a solid/concrete foundation because I want the addition of the greenhouse to increase the value of the property. So I want good quality and something that will last. Also in addition to this my carpentry skills are lacking and I could use the project as an opportunity to teach myself. I figure if I learn how to lay a foundation and attach a wooden frame I could make a shed later on down the road of if the SHTF I could make a small simple house.


The concrete foundation will probably be the most expensive part of the project.  You cut the cost about 50% by doing all the work yourself, but it is back breaking work and hard to get right.  I just built a 12'x20' shed, the concrete and rebar cost me about $800, plus $150 in new tools (always a bonus).  It was going to cost me $1500-$2000 to have it done.  I spent several weekends digging and getting it ready though.

The serious greenhouses have concrete floors so that everything stays sterile and clean.

Well the labor part Im not too worried about. I am no stranger to breaking a sweat. The whole part where it cost 800 dollars is what worries me. Of course 12X20 is a bit bigger than what I wanted so maybe the smaller size greenhouse wont cost as much. Short of raiding construction sites though, I dont know how Im gonna be able to get a deal on concrete and rebar. Not only that but I can see how I have the potential to make some expensive mistakes but those are the best lessons right?

Yeah I forgot to say the concrete floor is just nice to keep everything clean. After a while mucking about in a big plastic tent gets old. But its great experience and a fun and cheap thing to do to get started so thats cool.
This is the coolest thing anybody has every said about me at anytime of my life:

There is no way I would find myself in a Zombie attack without you and
Bill by my side. I think you guys are the only two who do not hesitate
to kill and have better survival skills than most. ---Nicki


Offline creuzerm

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Re: DIY Greenhouse
« Reply #22 on: January 30, 2009, 10:49:42 PM »
I listen to this guy's cooking & smallholding podcast. A really good show, I highly recommend the Gastrocast.

He recently had some troubles with his home made greenhouse, or polytunnel as he calls it. He made a 20 minute video on the repair of the greenhouse, highlighting some of his lessons learned, etc.

Check it out. It's 20 minutes long, but easily worth the time investment.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuqikCs8MBo

Some things to point out.
Metal rods at the peak to help hold the 2 pipes together.
Metal washers on the ground to help prevent the pipes from driving themselves into the ground.

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Offline Spamity Calamity

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Re: DIY Greenhouse
« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2009, 02:07:41 PM »
I listen to this guy's cooking & smallholding podcast. A really good show, I highly recommend the Gastrocast.

He recently had some troubles with his home made greenhouse, or polytunnel as he calls it. He made a 20 minute video on the repair of the greenhouse, highlighting some of his lessons learned, etc.

Check it out. It's 20 minutes long, but easily worth the time investment.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuqikCs8MBo

Some things to point out.
Metal rods at the peak to help hold the 2 pipes together.
Metal washers on the ground to help prevent the pipes from driving themselves into the ground.



Very insightful video thanks for sharing.

On the thing about the concrete slab. I remember when I was a little kid and my dad pouring a concrete slab. He wouldnt use rebar he would just fill in the squared off box intended to be the slap with a bunch of large rocks. Then he filled in the rest of the pad with concrete and leveled and smoothed everything off. Now that I think about ir I guess that was intended to save the cost of having to use so much concrete and rebar I suppose. Has anybody ever heard of this as building method? Might save me some money becaue rocks are free and I wouldnt have to use any rebar and a heck of a lot less concrete.
This is the coolest thing anybody has every said about me at anytime of my life:

There is no way I would find myself in a Zombie attack without you and
Bill by my side. I think you guys are the only two who do not hesitate
to kill and have better survival skills than most. ---Nicki


Cucuy

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Re: DIY Greenhouse
« Reply #24 on: April 03, 2009, 03:16:47 PM »
I think you should just build a fountain instead.  You know, kinda like a pre-war fountain. ;)

Offline Spamity Calamity

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Re: DIY Greenhouse
« Reply #25 on: April 04, 2009, 12:21:04 PM »
I think you should just build a fountain instead.  You know, kinda like a pre-war fountain. ;)

Hey! You made it to the board! Sweet!
This is the coolest thing anybody has every said about me at anytime of my life:

There is no way I would find myself in a Zombie attack without you and
Bill by my side. I think you guys are the only two who do not hesitate
to kill and have better survival skills than most. ---Nicki


Cucuy

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Re: DIY Greenhouse
« Reply #26 on: April 04, 2009, 01:13:26 PM »
Figured it was well past due.  I'm gonna post pics of my progress so far pretty soon, just have to make sure to take the camera home with me one of these days!

Offline “Mark”

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Re: DIY Greenhouse
« Reply #27 on: May 17, 2009, 10:42:37 PM »
Regarding the Springhouse Greenhouse, how well would it stand up to snow?  I want something that I can take down in the late spring when things should be moving out to the garden, but that won't topple and collapse under some snow.

It won't. Snow weighs about 200 kg/m3, or about 12 lbs/ft3. So if you had a foot of snow over an 8'x8' roof, that's almost 800 pounds to hold up. A good rain could easily quadruple the weight as the water soaked into the snow. But if you only have a couple inches of snow on it, and you clear it off before it rains, you should be okay.
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Offline Brian Gallimore

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Re: DIY Greenhouse
« Reply #28 on: June 24, 2009, 06:30:28 PM »
Very insightful video thanks for sharing.

On the thing about the concrete slab. I remember when I was a little kid and my dad pouring a concrete slab. He wouldnt use rebar he would just fill in the squared off box intended to be the slap with a bunch of large rocks. Then he filled in the rest of the pad with concrete and leveled and smoothed everything off. Now that I think about ir I guess that was intended to save the cost of having to use so much concrete and rebar I suppose. Has anybody ever heard of this as building method? Might save me some money becaue rocks are free and I wouldnt have to use any rebar and a heck of a lot less concrete.

The rebar in concrete is necessary for strength... concrete offers great resistance to compression, but lousy resistance to stretching.  When the structure sitting on the foundation "pushes" down on the foundation, it creates a push force down and stretching force to the sides.  Rocks can't replace the rebar for this.

But, if you are just making a small greenhouse, you might not be as concerned about the strength...  if it does crack or give way, your walls will give a little and you can tape it up!

Offline Greginsc

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Re: DIY Greenhouse
« Reply #29 on: June 25, 2009, 05:25:01 AM »
I thought this was the best idea i have seen for a greenhouse in a while. Really a great use of space. check it out here
http://www.themodernhomestead.us/article/Chickens+and+Worms.html