In some climates that have a shorter growing season, a greenhouse is almost essential for a good harvest.┬á You can give your plants a great head start and extended growing season with a small backyard greenhouse.┬á A greenhouse structure can also allow you to grow a greater variety of vegetables and fruits that your growing zone normally would allow.┬á The thought of building a structure in their backyard intimidates most people, but with a few pictures, simple instructions and a some common supplies that can be bought at any hardware store, you can build a small table-top or a large greenhouse to get your spring planting started early and protect your plants from frost.
Mobile or Mini Greenhouses
For hobby gardeners and the summer grower, a mobile greenhouse may be perfect for you.┬á You can construct a small dome out of plastic sheeting wrapped over a PVC or wood frame and secured to the ground or weighted to a tabletop with something heavy like bricks, as shown here.┬á A structure this small can easily be stored during the late summer and mid-winter when its not in use, or even disassembled for storage.
For winter growers or hobby gardeners in colder climates, a cold frame lets you grow vegetables all winter long, even in deep snow.┬á A cold frame is like a mini-greenhouse that you can put over a raised bed.┬á They are ideal for growing green leafy vegetables and other smaller food crops.
Cold frames usually require sturdy surfaces if they are going to withstand the weight of accumulated snow, but they are also smaller than a greenhouse and so planning and building one is generally less labor intensive.┬á Cold frames, like greenhouses, are available to buy prefab, but you can easily construct one yourself with some scrap wood and either plexiglass or corrugated plastic.┬á For our cold frame (see photo below), we used recycled wood from a scrap pile and bought some corrugated plastic and hinges for a few bucks at Home Depot.┬á We constructed the frame to sit high on one end and hinge open so that we could grow taller crops during the winter.┬á The frame faces south to optimize sunlight and a strip of metal sheeting on the inside back wall reflects and intensifies light inside the structure.
For year-round gardeners or large-scale growers, a full-sized greenhouse may be a better solution and worth the extra efforts.┬á Prefab and assemble-from-kit greenhouses can get very costly, and if you don’t mind putting a little elbow grease into the construction yourself, then building your own will probably be much less expensive. You can build it out of the same materials – PVC pipe and plastic sheeting- but may need a few extra supplies and a bit more planning for its layout and construction.┬á Below is a list of parts and plans for building your own greenhouse.
How to Build a Greenhouse Resources:
Build a Greenhouse – Inexpensive greenhouse plans.
How to Build a Greenhouse – Greenhouse Construction Plans
Advice on How to build a Greenhouse – Short Review on How to Build a Greenhouse
Greenhouse Building – Good overview on Homemade Greenhouse Construction
Build a Backyard Greenhouse – A backyard greenhouse building site with detailed photos.
Tom’s Garden Greenhouse – Build a lean-to style Greenhouse
How to build a Greenhouse, with pictures – Build a greenhouse construction photo slideshow.
Build your own greenhouse – Greenhouse plans detail materials and includes an illustrated guide on how to build your own greenhouse.
Ask How to Build A Greenhouse – Forum on Gardenweb dedicated to the subject, “How to build a Greenhouse”
Build a PVC Greenhouse – Website detailing construction of a PVC pipe Greenhouse
How to Build a Greenhouse Information – Build a Backyard Greenhouse Information
Build a Solar Greenhouse Plans – Excellent Tips on how to build a greenhouse
Building a Small Backyard Greenhouse – An easy to build small backyard greenhouse. This website explains how to build a greenhouse using PVC.
Build a PVC Backyard Greenhouse – Another simple greenhouse to build in your backyard.
How to build a greenhouse on a budget – A few tips on how to build a greenhouse on a budget.
Build a PVC Greenhouse Plans – Detailed plans for building a PVC Greenhouse with parts list.
Non-Traditional Greenhouse for $200 – Using Local and Salvaged Material, these folks learned to how to build a greenhouse (Pictures only, but worth the visit)
How to build a greenhouse inexpensively – Plans on how to build a cheap and easy greenhouse
How to build a Greenhouse, Planning – West Virginia U.E.S. article explains how to build a greenhouse, but more importantly, the planning process.
How to build a Passive Solar Greenhouse – View the building of a Solar Passive Greenhouse
Additional Related Greenhouse Resources:
Starting a Greenhouse Business – A foundation for getting your greenhouse business off the ground
Buy a Used Greenhouse – If you don’t want to learn how to build a greenhouse, here is a classifieds section of nothing but used Greenhouses.