greenhouse made entirely of glass

How to Build a Greenhouse in Your Backyard: 5 Tips and 5 Plans

Do you live in a place where weather conditions make it difficult for you to grow all the plants and vegetables you want? Then you can always consider building a greenhouse. A greenhouse is not only great for protecting your plants. It also allows you to grow certain plants even during the cold season. If you want to be able to enjoy fresh lettuce all year round, a greenhouse is just what you need. If building one sounds like a challenging project, don’t worry. We are here to help you out. Today, we’re going to provide you with 5 tips on how to build a greenhouse and 5 greenhouse plans to inspire you.

diy greenhouses

How to Build a Greenhouse – 5 Useful Tips

1. Think About the Size of Your Greenhouse

The first thing you should consider when it comes to building a greenhouse is the space you have available in your garden. Some people are lucky enough to have a large garden where they can afford to build a huge greenhouse. However, if you are not one of those people, and you only have a limited amount of space in your backyard, you have to think about the right size of your future greenhouse.

One of the best greenhouse sizes that you could decide on is a 6 feet wide and 12 feet long one. Remember that if the greenhouse is smaller, it will be more difficult for you to control the temperature inside of it.

2. Choose the Best Location

The size of the greenhouse is not the only thing that matters when it comes to making sure your plants develop properly. It is also extremely important to think about the exact place where you’re going to build one. Since your greenhouse is going to need plenty of sunlight, we recommend you to build it facing south.

Any other structure in your backyard, including the house itself, should be north of the greenhouse. If your garden doesn’t allow for a southern exposure, the next best thing is a western one. You might also want to consider strong winds. Build the greenhouse either leaning on the south wall of your house or near a fence or some taller shrubs.

3. Consider Heat and Ventilation

No greenhouse would be complete without ventilation that releases some of the moisture created by the heat installation. If you don’t properly ventilate your greenhouse, you run the risk of your plants rotting. When your plants can’t get their heat from the sun and the outside weather, you can use a generator to provide them with the necessary warmth.

Ventilation can be obtained by simply raising the cover of the greenhouse and securing it with a log. You can also install vents in the ceiling, which you can open as much as you want depending on the weather conditions.

4. Choose the Right Materials

One of the most important things that no greenhouse should lack is plenty of light. Since the amount of light your plants get depends a lot on the materials you use to build the greenhouse, make sure you choose wisely. For instance, you have the option of making a greenhouse entirely of glass. However, you should know that this is also the most expensive option. So if you’re on a budget, you might want to consider some other material. You can try using polycarbonate, which is a material similar to plexiglass. It is designed to protect your plants from UV light. Moreover, it is quite resistant to more extreme weather phenomena such as hail storms.

Finally, you also have the option of using plastic sheeting for your greenhouse. This is the cheapest option, but it also doesn’t last as much as polycarbonate. Still, some plastic sheeting is UV proof as well, and it can protect your plants from damaging sun rays. However, if you decide to use plastic sheeting, make sure to choose a thinner one. A thicker one would block out some of the light your plants need.

5. Think About How You’re Going to Water Your Plants

Finally, the last tip on how to build a greenhouse we wanted to focus on is related to watering your plants. Here too, you have more than one option. If you have a small greenhouse and you’re always available to water your plants as needed, then you can simply use a watering can and do that manually.

However, if you’re away from home a lot, or if you have a large greenhouse that would take a lot of time and effort to water manually, you can invest in a semi-automatic watering system. Also, we should mention that there is something you can do to avoid wasting water. What, you ask? Well, you can store rainwater that falls from the roof of your greenhouse.

5 Greenhouse Plans That Will Take Your Breath Away

Now that we’ve told you about the basics of how to build a greenhouse, it’s time to look at 5 awesome greenhouse plans that will definitely inspire you to build your own.

1. Geodome Greenhouse

If you’re looking for a really unique greenhouse design, then you are definitely going to love this one shaped like a geodome. Not only is this greenhouse very appealing to the eye, but it is also a great option for your plants. Its shape can stand strong winds better than any other.

round greenhouse covered with plastic sheeting

As expected, it’s not as easy to build as a typical greenhouse. So it’s better suited for people who are usually handy and have a certain amount of experience with building things around the house. If you are interested in building this greenhouse for yourself, you can find all the information related to materials and required steps on the Northern Homestead website.

You can buy the frame for a geodome greenhouse here.

2. Old Windows Greenhouse

What better way to recycle old windows than to use them for a lovely greenhouse? Yes, you heard that right, the greenhouse in the image below is made entirely out of old windows. Admittedly, it is not a large greenhouse. However, it is perfect if you simply want to plant a couple of vegetables that you can enjoy during the cold season. Even more so, it saves you a lot of money on materials.

small greenhouse made of windows

If you don’t actually have old windows around the house, you can always find some on craigslist. You can look at all the instructions for building this greenhouse right here.

3. Plastic Bottles Greenhouse

If you thought that building a greenhouse out of old windows was interesting, wait until you hear about a greenhouse made of plastic bottles. If you normally dispose of a lot of plastic bottles and would like to find a way to recycle them, then you can use them to build the walls of your greenhouse.

greenhouse made of empty plastic bottles

The entire process might take a while. However, if you like small projects that you can do around the house, this shouldn’t bother you. Not to mention the fact that you don’t have to spend money on materials, except maybe on a few wooden frames. Luckily for you, GoodsHomeDesign has all the tips you need on how to build a greenhouse out of plastic bottles. Moreover, they provide you with more than one type of design.

4. CD Cases Greenhouse

Another really cool and unique idea of a DIY greenhouse is one made of CD cases. If you have old CDs at home (like most of us do) and you have no use for them anymore, you can take the CD cases and build yourself a really nice greenhouse. The size of the greenhouse depends on your needs and on how many CD cases you have. However, the instructions on building one you can find by accessing the So You Think You’re Crafty website. They might seem like a lot, but they are just what you need. We guarantee you are going to enjoy going through each of them if you like challenging projects.

greenhouse made of empty cd cases

5. Garage Greenhouse

As we’ve already mentioned in our list of tips on how to build a greenhouse, you can always use one of the walls of your house as a lean-in for your greenhouse. The example in the picture below is quite straightforward. You can simply plant whatever you want next to a wall of your house. Then, cover the plants with plastic sheeting whenever the weather gets too cold. Placing the sheeting on some PVC pipes is a great way to make sure the structure is steady and won’t get blown away by the wind. You can find more instructions on how to build this awesome greenhouse here.

greenhouse whose cover can be pulled back to reveal the plants

Summing Everything Up

Even if building a greenhouse sounds like a challenging task, if you have patience and imagination, the result can be amazing. We hope our 5 tips on how to build a greenhouse, coupled with these 5 amazing greenhouse plans have managed to convince you that you should try to build your own. No matter the space you have available in your garden, or the type of plants you want to grow in your greenhouse, you will be able to find a design that suits your needs. However, if you don’t want to invest too much time and effort into building a greenhouse, you can always order a portable one, such as this one from Amazon.

Image Source: 1,2,3,4,5,6

Bonnie Enos

I spend my time in my garden trying to create the greatest outdoor space possible. My garden is my happy place and where you will always find me on a nice day. I take my experience and share it here for you to read!

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