So you’re thinking about building a backyard greenhouse.
Sounds like a lot of work, right?
Here’s some great news; it’s easier than you think.
So, why build a greenhouse in the first place?
A greenhouse creates conditions ideal for growing your flowers, fruits, vegetables, and other types of plants.
In a greenhouse, you can control the temperature, sunlight, humidity, and ventilation.
Greenhouse crop production is now a growing reality throughout the world. There are around 405,000 hectares of greenhouses spread over all the continents.’’ – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United nations
Today, many gardeners prefer building their own greenhouse structures. Without a doubt, the DIY experience is fun, memorable, and rewarding.
So, are you ready to build and design your small greenhouse today?
You’re in the right place!
This step-by-step guide has everything you need for your great DIY greenhouse project.
Step 1: Identify a Site for Your Greenhouse
It would be great if you could build a greenhouse anywhere. But it doesn’t work that way.
Location plays a crucial role in influencing the stability of your small greenhouse. If you get that right, gardening becomes easier as soon as the DIY greenhouse project is complete.
Begin by brainstorming.
Where have you seen greenhouses in your area? Do you have a particular site in mind? Should you have a large or small greenhouse?
To help find the best site for building a greenhouse, consider the following factors.
Know What Plants to Grow
Building a barn-style greenhouse is a good option. At the end of the project, you’ll be able to admire your handiwork with a wide smile on your face.
Your plants should be the first thing that comes to mind. After all, they will live and grow in the greenhouse.
Therefore, your DIY greenhouse plans should factor in your plants.
Consider the following questions while choosing a greenhouse location:
- What types of crops do I want to grow?
Do you want to focus on either potted, perennial, or bedding plants? Knowing the type of soil and the growing system will help you achieve your dream greenhouse.
- What are my garden goals?
How many plants do you want to grow within a year? Plan the short term and long term goals you have for your greenhouse to help get the best outcome for your project.
This step is easier if you want to transfer your existing plants into your backyard greenhouse. You’ll already know what plants you have and can quickly identify what type of greenhouse design works best.
Know Your Landscape
Generally, you can put a greenhouse on any type of land terrain. But, here’s a secret: you can use the landscape to your advantage.
- Mark out as much usable ground as possible.
- Ensure the terrain is as flat as possible.
- Ensure there is good water drainage.
Know Your Climate
As a gardener, you already know how stressful changing weather conditions can be on your plants. Conquer this issue by understanding the climate surrounding your greenhouse site.
Three major aspects make a site perfect for a greenhouse:
- Cooler temperatures
- Minimal fog
- Adequate sunlight
These aspects are crucial for the stability of a mini greenhouse.
Tip: For areas with long winter seasons, it’s best to use cold frame gardening to protect your plants.
A cold frame structure is a box with a clear lid. It provides the best growing conditions for weak plants during harsh weather conditions.
Know the Local Regulations on Greenhouse DIY
When it comes to building any type of significant structure such as a greenhouse, it’s worth making sure what you plan to do complies with the local regulations.
Thankfully, this is generally as easy as ABC.
First, begin by checking in with your local zoning commission. They are experts at knowing the areas where greenhouses are allowed.
This is an important factor, especially if you want to build a baby greenhouse in your backyard. You wouldn’t, for example, to block your neighbor’s sunlight.
Zoning allows you to safely meet the construction qualifications for a little greenhouse.
So check out the regulations on greenhouse construction and find out the permits you need before working on the plans to build.
At the end of the day, complying with the law will keep your gardening project stress-free.
With these important factors in mind, you can now jump to the next step.
Step 2: Drawing a Greenhouse Plan
Before you switch to panic mode, remember you can do this with a construction expert.
Once you identify the site for your greenhouse, you can get a professional to help you draw up the DIY greenhouse plans.
Why is this so important?
Well, any style greenhouse has different structural features to consider. They play a part in keeping the structure stable for your gardening project.
For one, the greenhouse size is the most important factor. You really can do so much within a small space to create a beautiful structure for your plants.
Here are the ideal dimensions for a barn style, cost-effective greenhouse design:
|Length||33 feet (10m)|
|Width||16 feet (5m)|
|Height||11 feet (3.5m)|
|Distance between side poles||7 feet (2.5m)|
|Distance between center poles||7 feet (2.5m)|
|Depth of foundation||2 feet (0.6m)|
With this in mind, you can choose the shape of your greenhouse design.
Does the Shape of a Greenhouse Matter?
Greenhouse experts suggest that the shape and size may affect plant growth. The smaller your greenhouse is, the more limited space your crops have.
Still, there’s no best shape. The most important thing is to love the design you choose.
A greenhouse is a long- term commitment. So its design needs to match your personality, too.
Tip: For small-scale garden projects, you can use a hinged hoop house.A hoop house is a small greenhouse and provides the same benefits.
This is how your greenhouse plans should look once you draw them up to scale:
But you can also get free greenhouse plans from expert sources. You can even tweak the plans and tailor them to your specific needs.
You can download these free greenhouse plans for eco-friendly and time-sensitive gardening projects.
Once your final plans are complete, you can get your greenhouse plans approved.
You will receive the following documents:
- Zoning approval
- Site plan approval
Keep in mind that the early bird catches the worm. You need to submit your DIY greenhouse plans early to get an application approved as soon as possible.
Step 3: Find the Best Materials to Build a Greenhouse
Constructing greenhouses DIY is very self-fulfilling. You get to focus on the details that go into making your greenhouse plans come to life.
The materials are the key to a long-lasting greenhouse.
The following list has everything you need to know about materials.
Body and Roof Supplies
A freestanding greenhouse structure should support itself. Neither strong wind nor hailstones should damage a well-built greenhouse.
So no matter the shape of the free greenhouse, the best material to use is plastic. This includes Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) from recycled water bottles. This material is even stronger, heavier, and more durable than some metal materials.
For a classy look, you can build the whole structure from used storm windows. These can be repurposed to give your free greenhouse a unique edge.
Doors and Windows
Greenhouse ventilation comes from these two structural features. They’re also crucial in preventing pests and controlling moisture.
Again, PVC is the best material as it creates the perfect greenhouse effect that your plants will love.
Ventilation and Heating Systems
Having adequate greenhouse ventilation is important for plant growth. Plants need carbon dioxide to create their food through photosynthesis.
Sometimes, windows aren’t enough. This is why even free greenhouse plans should include a ventilation system.
Plants don’t like it when it gets too hot or too cold. To keep the temperature just right, you must incorporate these systems.
If required, use heaters to maintain perfect greenhouse conditions. Windows and heaters work together to keep the atmosphere just right.
Step 4: Building Your Greenhouse
You don’t need to have building experience to get started. All you need is your gardening knowledge and some elbow grease.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner, this step is friendly for every gardener. Here’s how to complete your project in two phases.
You don’t want a slanting greenhouse. The windows may accidentally open and damage your crops.
Soil preparation involves leveling the ground and making it flat before construction.
This creates a solid foundation for your structure and allows it to stand strong.
Do this by marking the boundaries for your structure and plowing the area. Add fertilizers, too if you want to use a section for plant growth.
Construction and Monitoring
Use the construction plans as your guide. They keep your mind focused on where the parts need to go and their measurements.
You could also ask another person to help you complete the job.
Once you’ve got all the pieces together, test out the doors and windows. They shouldn’t be stiff or hard to open.
Double-check the water supply, and drainage facility to ensure everything works well.
With that, you’re all set.
Finally, there’s nothing better than seeking design inspiration from other gardeners.
Is your greenhouse small?
It doesn’t matter. It can still be stylish and chic.
Look at these picture-perfect greenhouse DIY projects:
Tip: If you’re not an experienced DIY person, try these free DIY greenhouse plans.
After contacting a vendor of your choice and specifying your design needs, have it delivered to your doorstep. All you need to do is assemble the pre-built pieces together according to the instructions.
Et voila! Your DIY greenhouse is complete in a matter of minutes.
Expert Advice to Maintain Your Greenhouse Plants
Once your gorgeous greenhouse is all set, you’ll need to know how to grow and maintain your plants.
All you need is expert advice from The Gardening Channel to make your dreams come true.
Your one-stop information hub on all things gardening is one click away.
What are you waiting for?
Visit us today to learn how to make your garden better than ever.