Anyone Make Cheap Green Houses?

Discussion in 'Gardening and Agriculture' started by IrritatedWithUS, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. IrritatedWithUS

    IrritatedWithUS Well-Known Member

    Has anyone every made any cheap green houses as opposed to buying store bought expensive ones? If so, I'd like to hear about it

    I have a store bought greenhouse. Instead of having shelves in it i just plant my garden on the ground. No problem with the plants getting root-bound and they grow taller and I like the 'jungle' feel of it.

    But when I want to 'incubate' my plants and herbs before the season is ready and my greenhouse is full, I make a makeshift greenhouse out of hay bales and a used window that I can get at any salvage yard. To keep some airflow inside the greenhouse I use a concrete tile that's thin and I place then in between two hay bales on two sides of the set up.

    I plant my plants in a raised bed and I get eight 2ftx4ft hay bales and put 2 hay bales on top of one another on each side of the raised bed to create a cube around the plants. I then use the window to put on top of the hay bales to keep it insulated.

    This year I am thinking of experimenting with the above plus plastering the outside with mud to keep it more insulated. What do you guys think?
  2. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

    We just bought 2 reach in cooler doors (like from a grocery store freezer section) for $10 apiece to make into raised beds as soon as it gets warm enough to go out and build the things. I think we have enough scrounged lumber and other supplies to build them with either minimal or absolutely no other expense.

  3. backlash

    backlash Well-Known Member

    Bought one from Bi-Mart last year for $70.
    Needs a new cover this year because I didn't take it down and the winter ruined it. May just trash it.
    Worked OK but it got really hot so I had to watch it close.
    I think this year we may just start plants in the garage window.
  4. Locutus

    Locutus Well-Known Member

    How about something like this?
    Made of cedar, 3/4" Sch 80 PVC pipe and 6 mil UV plastic sheet. 12x12 ft floor of planting beds and pathway, plus 1x12 ft seedling shelf. Center height is 8 Ft. Got a nice storm door for it off Craigslist for 20 bucks.

    Inspired by this design:

    Beds and path are laid out in a grid:

    Shelving added atop north side half wall:

    Haven't added up the costs yet but I'm sure it's way cheaper than a store-bought greenhouse kit of similar size.
  5. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

    Locutus, that is an awesome greenhouse! Nicely built and nicely laid out!

    We got one of those garage/carport tent frames from someone (the cover was shredded) and set it up by our garden, then used 6-mil plastic (100' roll from Home Depot) and duct tape and covered the thing. I cut a door in one end and rimmed it and the 'frame' with duct tape so it wouldn't tear. and a small window on the other end, which I also rimmed with duct tape.

    It made a wonderful greenhouse for a few years until one of those 'microburts' wind blasts demolished it! Now I just have PVC pipes jammed in the ground in a half-circle, baling twine run lengthwise in several places to support plastic, and cover those. They work okay.
  6. Lake Windsong

    Lake Windsong Well-Known Member

    We made a leanto greenhouse on the side of the house using a cedar frame and plexiglass. We have a stone path in the center with cedar slat shelving on both sides and gravel underneath the shelves for a container garden area. Also made a removable cold frame that can be moved from the shelving area to a stand outside. Ran plumbing into the greenhouse from a 250 gallon rainwater barrel that is on that side of the house. Electric outlets inside in case we need to run heat or exhaust fans, regular storm door and some repurposed regular house windows framed up in it for ventilation. Works well for our needs...
  7. siletz

    siletz Member

    We built half a hoop house on the south side of our house as a lean-to. We found metal conduit at a garage sale and my husband bent them to shape and attached them to the house and then over rebar in the ground. I found the storm door with the door frame for $10 (again at a garage sale) and the window was a freecycle find. It's about 6x20 and cost us under $100 plus the plastic. We bought the cheap plastic the first time around as we weren't sure it would last our 70+ mph winds we get with our winter storms and didn't want to invest a lot of $ in a sail that flew away. :wave: So far so good. It has lasted through a winter with plenty of storms. :2thumb:

    I love our greenhouse not just for the tasty food it's given us all winter, but it's been a great place to go on those stormy days when I need a gardening fix. It's definitely kept some of the winter blahs away. This summer, I plan to grow some warm weather things I've not had good luck growing in our cool coastal summers.

    Attached Files:

    • 018.jpg
      File size:
      40.8 KB
    • 021.jpg
      File size:
      42.5 KB
  8. JustCliff

    JustCliff Supporting Member

    Here is a few picks of mine while building.
  9. LilRedHen

    LilRedHen Well-Known Member

    That's a great looking greenhouse! Could you give dimensions and explanations? I've been wanting one for a while now and your pictures make it look like something I could try.
  10. JustCliff

    JustCliff Supporting Member

    It is 12' wide and 24' long. It can be built in 2' increments in length.
    I used 3/4" PVC pipe 10' in length.
    The base is 2X6 pressure treated lumber.
    Here is a link to the NC State PVC greenhouse I modeled mine after. Hope this helps.