How to build a greenhouse!
We started creating our garden in the year 2000. We were lucky, we live in a very sunny spot and our crops were plenty for our small family.
Year after year we added new crops to our garden and tried to produce more, so we could also enjoy our own produce over the winter, by canning, drying and freezing. So we decided to extend our space by adding a greenhouse. It would not only allow us to start our plants earlier, also our tomato and pepper plants would thank us for producing wonderful fruits longer.
I would be able to grow some melons, yeah!
And we would be able to plant some veggies over the winter.
The design we wanted is called a hoop greenhouse. Ours would only be half the size because we wanted it to be joining the garden. Our property lies on a slope, that meant we had to even out the surface first. Oh, that excitement in the kids, because we would have a backhoe on our property. "Can we get a ride on it?"
After the excavation was done, we had to build two concrete walls, one on the upper side and the other one on the lowe side of our greenhouse. Because we wanted the greenhouse to join our garden, we needed the wall to block the soil from sliding.
The footings were poured first, we reinforced them with rebar. Next, the forms for the concrete walls. We used some plywood and of course cement mix (ready mix) for the walls. It is very handy if you own a cement mixer, otherwise, you can rent one for sure. That was a great workout, mostly for my husband, because he did most the work. We had a lot of wheelbarrows full of that mix going into those walls. After filling the walls with concrete, we placed pipe fittings into the still wet concrete, where the pipes would be attached to.
The next day we were able to take the formes off. We were so lucky to have some big, strong helpers!
Now it was time for the backhoe guy to come again and fill the area. And he did do a nice job, and he was kind enough to give the kids a ride! Wohooo!
For our frame, we used 2" PVC tubing. They now were placed into the fittings, which were sitting in the already dry concrete. On the upper side of the greenhouse, we also used some "elbows", because of the different shape.
For protection against wind and snow loads, we made some cross bracing out of 2x4. And some shelves for our starters. Oh, and I almost forgot, of course, it needed a door as well.
The greenhouse poly we ordered from a local supplier. We added 2 layers of 6mil poly with a fan, to blow air in between the 2 layers, to create some air space for insulation.
OK, how should we get those big pieces of greenhouse plastic over our greenhouse structure? Our ladder didn't reach the top of the structure. But, my husband always has some brilliant ideas.
So how did we do it? We laid out the plastic on the ground, wrapped some hand size rocks in the plastic at one side, tied a string around it and then we pulled on those strings from the other side. And the plastic slid over our structure, just like we wanted it to. Of course, some strong muscles where needed. The plastic then got secured with some whirly wires which came with the greenhouse poly.
This is how our new, own designed hoop greenhouse looked like.
Are you planning on building your own greenhouse? I hope you have a creative, who can build about anything, husband, just like I do!