A greenhouse absorbs sunlight to provide a stable and warm environment for plants to grow in all year long.
Greenhouses can be as simple as a glass box with a hinged lid or an entirely separate structure that you can walk into. They’re a great way to take your backyard to the next level.
In this step-by-step guide, you’ll learn exactly how to build a strong, sturdy and spacious DIY greenhouse.
3 Common Types of Greenhouses
There are many types of greenhouses to choose from. Here are some of the most popular DIY greenhouse options:
Attached greenhouses are greenhouses that are supported on one side by a secure surface (such as the wall of your house). Because one side is secure, you can save on costs by making the other walls out of flimsier materials
Cold frame greenhouses are essentially mini greenhouses. They’re the smallest and simplest type of greenhouse, as they’re generally just small boxes with lids.
Freestanding greenhouses are by far the most expensive and challenging, yet they’re also the most useful. They’re complete buildings that are usually large enough for gardeners to enter.
With all these types of greenhouses, you can adapt the size depending on how much room you’ve got available and how much you plan to grow.
Benefits of a Greenhouse
Whether you plan to build a simple cold-frame greenhouse or an elaborate freestanding design, you’ll still enjoy plenty of great benefits.
Here are some of the biggest advantages of greenhouses compared to conventional gardening:
Safety: Gardeners spend lots of time fight off weeds, insects and possums. A greenhouse will keep your plants safe (and save you plenty of time).
Opportunity: A greenhouse allows you to grow all sorts of flora you might not have been able to otherwise, like exotic flowers and fruits.
Extension: Greenhouses allow you to grow your favourite plants and produce all year long, without worrying about the season.
Save money: Growing your own food can save you heaps. Now everything you need to make dinner is just a few metres away.
Making a DIY greenhouse will save you even more money and teach you valuable skills. Plus, you can customise it to just the right size for you.
Characteristics of a Greenhouse
Before you pick out your DIY greenhouse plan, it’s important to understand their purpose and some of the key characteristics.
A greenhouse should:
Expose plants to natural light – It will filter through a large amount of glazing on the sides and roofs. This is commonly made of glass, though plastic films and fibreglass are also popular.
Protect from cold – The purpose of a greenhouse is to protect the plants from the cold outdoors and maintain a healthy warm atmosphere (ideal growth conditions).
Include a ventilation system – A greenhouse can get too hot so it’s important that there is some sort of ventilation system. This can be as simple as roof openings which you can open on a hot day.
When choosing your greenhouse design, make sure that it ticks all of these boxes.
Steps to Building a Greenhouse:
1. Pick your greenhouse plan
Your greenhouse design will all depend on how much space you have available and what you’re hoping to grow.
There are plenty of free plans online for all the different types of greenhouses (A-frames, PVC hoop greenhouses, etc.)
2. Choose your location
For your DIY greenhouse, you’ll want an area of your backyard that receives plenty of sunlight and has proper drainage.
Once you’ve chosen your location, you’ll want to measure it out and double-check that all the dimensions matches your plan from step 1.
Pro tip: Make sure the longer sides of your greenhouse face east and west so that your plants get maximum sun exposure.
3. Build the foundation
It’s important to have a stable and level foundation for your greenhouse. If you’re running on a tight budget, then you can make do with gravel or landscaping fabric.
However, concrete is the ideal choice for a lasting waterproof base. A strong foundation will save you time and money later on.
4. Assemble the greenhouse frame
The best materials to make your greenhouse out of is either wood or plastic tubing. Wood will generally look nicer but plastic tubing is a little cheaper.
Cut your chosen materials into the right length pieces and then assemble them per the instructions in your plan.
5. Cover the frame
Now it’s time to cover the frame with any combination of materials you might have available, including glass, fibreglass and plastic sheeting.
6. Install proper ventilation
Use a sealant to properly insulate the greenhouse against cold air leaking in.
You’ll also need to install roof vents or a circulation system to better replicate a natural environment and prevent the greenhouse from overheating.
Start Your DIY Project Today
Your new DIY greenhouse is the perfect place to grow your favourite fruits and plants all year long.