Oh No! A late frost killed all your tomato plants again! With winters in many parts of the world becoming more and more erratic, growing seasons often can be hard to predict. The solution is to beat the winter blues, and build yourself a greenhouse.
Whether you’re determined to get off the grid, or simply want to provide fresh vegetables for your family without worrying about inclement weather, a good greenhouse design is the answer to your problems.
Greenhouses provide a controlled temperature environment in which many kinds of plants can thrive, even if conditions outside are terrible. With a little time and effort, your family will be enjoying tomatoes out of your new greenhouse from February to October. Gentlemen, grab your hammers!
1. BuildEazy Plans (8ft X 10ft)
The BuildEazy website has a free set of plans to build a sturdy little greenhouse framed by 2x4s, and a UV resistant polythene film. This greenhouse is big enough for most of your planting needs, and will easily fit in almost any back yard.
The website has a comprehensive set of suggestion about placement and design, as well as step by step instructions for construction. Keep in mind if you live in a place with high winds, the base is not secured to the ground and the polythene film can rip.
Other than that, these greenhouse plans are easy to follow and can be built in no time!
2. The $50 Hoop House Greenhouse
How can you go wrong with a project that only costs $50? Actually, according to the website, the original builder already had most of the materials on his property.
However, even with all new materials, the cost falls around $200 which is still extremely affordable for building a greenhouse.
The greenhouse is a hoop-style structure that creates a polythene tunnel out of series of ¾ inch PVC piping. The site provides detailed instructions with pictures and measurements. With one trip to your local home improvement store, you’ll have this DIY greenhouse up and running in no time.
3. Barn Greenhouse
For those of you who live in an area where high wind is an issue, or where you get heavy snowfall, this plan is perfect for you. The greenhouse is built with a sturdy 2×4 arched frame, and is covered with hard corrugated plastic.
The lower part of the frame can be covered with roofing tin to provide extra support, and keep the critters at bay. While this project may not be the cheapest out there, the extra stability provided by the corrugated plastic and sturdy construction are a must in more extreme climates.
4. GeoDome Greenhouse
If you’re looking for something different, even artistic, for your yard, look no further than the GeoDome. This greenhouse is a beautifully shaped geodesic dome that provides a large circular workspace for plants and tools. Like most other plans, the greenhouse is a wood frame covered by thick plastic sheeting.
Further, it can be easily moved around the yard depending on conditions and space. These eye-grabbing greenhouse designs will keep your plants warm, and will be a topic of conversation at all your barbecues and cookouts.
5. Scrap Window Greenhouse
Here’s another one that should run fairly cheap if you have the materials lying around. An enterprising builder designed this greenhouse entirely about of old windows they had on property.
Not only do the windows provide fantastic insulation, the sturdy glass and wood will hold up to almost any storm, and even give the greenhouse the opportunity to vent if the temperature becomes too high.
Much like the barn greenhouse, this structure uses corrugated plastic for the roof and for added stability.
6. IDEA Donna Greenhouse
This is another simple yet sturdy design that is easy enough for any beginner to put together. The plans make an 8” x 8” greenhouse with a solid and cheap plywood floor and walls covered by 6 mil plastic sheeting.
The plans even show you how to build shelves on the inside of the greenhouse for potted plants. The website has thorough step by step instructions that, make building a breeze, and has pictures of the structure to back up the written steps.
7. Arched Greenhouse
The PVCPlans website gives you another set of free plans for building a hoop style greenhouse entirely out of PVC piping. The best part about this plan is you won’t have to try to join wood together or use dangerous nail guns and saws.
It’s entire structure is made from PVC pipes with joints, and the frame is covered with UV resistant plastic sheeting. This plan is best if you need to be able to move the greenhouse easily, as the PVC construction makes it extremely light and portable.
8. Fold-Down Greenhouse
This is one of the more unique designs out there, and is perfect for those who want a small easily manageable project. The greenhouse consists of a set of squares that hinge at one end and are joined together by plastic sheeting.
The hinge allows the entire greenhouse to be lifted away from the plants for weeding and watering purposes, then to be replace when the chores are finished. You can even make more than one of these for very cheap if you need more growing space.
9. Trampoline Greenhouse
Do you have an old trampoline in your yard that the kids used to play on before they discovered smartphones? You can take it and make a robust greenhouse out of it.
This is a perfect project for those of you who like to upcycle. The greenhouse is in the familiar tube shape you’ve seen before, but each end has the tough steel from the trampoline providing support.
Grab a hacksaw and some PVC and this greenhouse could be standing in your yard where that ugly old trampoline used to be.
10. The Wranglerstar Greenhouse
You need to watch this YouTube series on how to build a greenhouse . The link above is to the first part of a six part series that will take you step by step through building this tough barn style greenhouse.
The best part about these plans is that if you decide to not use the structure as a greenhouse, it doubles as a spacious gardening shed. The potentials for this greenhouse are endless since is comes in at the large end at 10” x 12”.
11. Backyard City Cedar Greenhouse
This list has avoided kits for the most part, but this cedar greenhouse was simply too beautiful to pass up. The good thing about kits is that all the parts come pre-cut and ready to assemble, and you don’t have to go through the trouble of searching home improvement stores for the parts you’ll need.
The bad part is the cost. However, this stunning cedar greenhouse is well worth the money and could be easily constructed over a few weekends. It could even make a beautiful reading room, man cave, or guest cottage.
12. Pallet Greenhouse
For good reason, construction projects using pallet wood have become quite popular. Most large stores in your area go through shipping pallets like there is not tomorrow, and a lot of them will let you take a few off their hands for free (they normally have to recycle them anyways).
This makes the pallet greenhouse extremely affordable. Plus, the plans are easy to follow and easy to put into practice. With the addition of a little chicken wire to keep the pests out, this greenhouse is a viable, sturdy, and affordable option.
13. Add On Greenhouse
This greenhouse is another lean-to style structure that can be easily added on to any shed or even to the side of your house. The plans use pine wood slats and glass windows for a very durable structure, and even include instruction to make the shed stand-alone if that is the way you want to go.
However, the cut glass for this project could make the price run high, so you could easily substitute corrugated plastic or even sheeting to keep the cost low.
14. Plastic Bottle Greenhouse
Doomsday preppers and the eco-conscious alike will love how this greenhouse is constructed. Where you would normally find plastic sheeting or corrugated plastic, this builder discovered how to use plastic bottles for the sides and roof of his greenhouse.
Not only is this extremely cost effective, it helps to keep harmful plastic bottles out of our landfills and away from the ocean. Finding all the bottles you need for this project will require a little legwork, but you can feel good about the plastic you’ve kept out of the environment, and the money you’ve kept in your pocket.
15. Cold Frame Greenhouse
A cold frame is not a greenhouse per se, but it works in the same way and is great for people who don’t want to go through the trouble of building an entire greenhouse. In addition, if you already have raised planting beds, it only takes a couple hours to turn them into a cold frame.
A cold frame is a greenhouse box that you can open to work on plants and too water, and can close afterwards to trap in the heat. They are extremely easy to build, and are much cheaper than their greenhouse cousins. Consider a cold frame if you have a small herb garden, or are growing shorter plants like peppers or squash.
16. Covered Wagon Greenhouse
The Covered Wagon is a cross between the hoop-style greenhouse and a cold frame. While you wont be able to walk inside it, the long PVC hoops allow you to grow taller plants like tomatoes with ease.
The small size of this greenhouse keeps the cost particularly low, and the lightweight construction makes the structure easily portable. The build is simple, and can be done with standard power tools. This greenhouse hybrid is perfect for you if you’re just starting to use greenhouses for planting.
17. Raised-Bed Greenhouse
Creating an A-Frame may be daunting for people new to DIY or even experiences builders without the proper tools. The Box fixes this problem by living up to its namesake. The structure is a 10” x 6” box covered with plastic.
It requires no special angular cuts, no tricky joining, and no power tools other than a drill. Most home improvement stores will even cut your wood to the correct length for you, so you may not even need a saw. This project takes intimidation out of the equation for newcomers
18. Mini Greenhouse
This is another hybrid project perfect for if you want to have an herb garden that lasts all winter long. The greenhouse is built like a small cabinet out of storm windows that provide an upright growing area for small plants or herbs.
The easiest way to complete this project is to do it right after you have your windows replaced so that you have the building materials on hand. After it’s built, the mini greenhouse will stand for a long time due to its solid construction.
19. Re-Mesh Arch
This innovative plan uses concrete re-mesh to create and arched greenhouse. If re-mesh is hard to come by, any sort of sturdy livestock fencing will do the trick. The plan is simple and effective and can easily be broken down to for portability.
The lengths of mesh are bent into an arch shape and fastened together, then sunk in the ground. You can then use plastic sheeting to cover the structure. This creates a flexible and strong greenhouse for little cost.
20. A-frame Greenhouse
From the how to specialist comes an easy-to-build greenhouse that will fit any home or garden. The directions are easy to follow, and all measurements for lumber and sheeting are provided.
It even color codes the different pieces of the build, and details the number of screws you will need. Constructing this greenhouse will go by quickly, and you’ll be ready to plant in no time.
21. Gold Standard Greenhouse
As greenhouses go, this is the standard by which all can be judged. The plans make a large green house, 10” x 14” that is more than adequate for all of your gardening needs. Like many others, this greenhouse has a frame of 2×4 pine boards covered in polythene plastic sheeting.
You can even add chicken-wire around the lower portion to keep animals out of the greenhouse. This structure is solid enough that you can even add on a lean-to for more space. With this type of construction, your creativity is the limit of what you can do.
Which Greenhouse Will You Build?
Each of these projects is cheap, eco-friendly, and can be completed over the course of a few weekends. You can find most of the building materials at your local home improvement center, and may even have a lot of them lying around the house. So go start on one of these today!
Any can be ready for your plants in short order, and will provide the perfect environment for your garden for years to come.