Greenhouses can extend your growing season, allow you to propagate plants from your yard, and the yard of fellow gardeners, and let you grow tender or delicate plants you might not otherwise be able to grow. I’ve seen lettuce and spinach grow in a greenhouse when there was a foot of snow on the ground. An old gardening friend of mine would use her greenhouse to pot up all her volunteer seedlings from her yard, grow them in four inch pots in the greenhouse, then have a plant sale to raise money for her charity. Any way you look at it, if you’re a serious gardener, you would love to get your hands on a greenhouse. So how do we solve problems at TGG? We DIY it! We found you some great DIY greenhouse projects and plans that range from a temporary row solution, all the way to a full size backyard greenhouse! Before you pick out a project, read over our “getting started” tips to help you choose, site and start your DIY greenhouse. Our feature project, above, is a mini window greenhouse by Crafts Ala Mode.
Getting Started with Your Greenhouse
- Position your greenhouse running lengthwise east to west. This will give it the longest stretch of daylight each day.
- Make sure your greenhouse will get at least 6 hours of sun in the winter.
- Remember, if you plan on having electricity in your greenhouse, site it close enough to your source.
- Try to position it away from kids play areas.
- Make sure your greenhouse has a working thermometer. You will need to pay attention to temperature unless your system has automatic venting. In the winter, the minimum inside temp should remain between 45-60 degrees for active growing. A sunny winter day can quickly heat up the interior of a greenhouse, even if its freezing outside. Be sure to open vents and allow cool air to enter when the temps rise too much.
‘Design Dreams by Anne’ created this DIY baby greenhouse from old storm windows. This may be one of my favorite projects! It may not be air tight for all you who are looking for that, but I think it would do a very charming job for the most of us. Did I mention it’s charming?
Want to save the earth? Ana White has free plans on how to make a plastic bottle greenhouse! What a great idea and re-use of materials!
Here’s another soda bottle greenhouse for inspiration, photo by John Rutherford.
Need a quick and inexpensive idea for protecting plants already in the ground? 2-Liter soda bottles and some ingenuity.