My Little DIY Greenhouse Project
Every year I tackle some kind of gardening project or another. Last year when the pandemic stay-at-home order took affect, I decided I was going to build my little DIY greenhouse.
Although I don’t mind sharing my crop, I’ve had an ongoing battle with chipmunks. They just don’t seem to get the sharing aspect of it all. If they’re not taking little bites out of veggies (testing them before they’re ripe), there’re uprooting things. I’ve tried fences, onions and rosemary and other deterrents as barriers and various natural sprays too. Nothing worked. Luckily, my little DIY greenhouse has solved my chipmunk problem.
This year I want to do some revisions. More on that later. All in all it was a great first time greenhouse growing experience! Here’s how it all came together.
The majority of my gardening was inside the 4′ x 8′ x 10″ wooden frame (in above pic) staked firmly into the ground. That would now serve as the greenhouse base. I’ve built a few things, but nothing like this before.
Material List – Approximately $150 Build
- 12 – 2x3x10’s would be enough for the framing (~$30-Lowes)
- 10ft x 40ft of 6 mil plastic (~$40)
- Roll of 1/8″ hardware screen, 3′ wide (~$33)
- Box of #8 – 3″ long decking screws (~$17)
- Roll of nylon screen for windows, and door (~$20)
- 8- 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ lag bolts. (~$6 Rockys)
- Box of 1/2″ pointed staples for the staple gun (~$7)
Anything else I need for my little DIY greenhouse, I believe can be sourced from extra materials stored under the deck.
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I’ve always been very independent. As far back as I can remember I’ve liked to fix things or use ingenuity to solve a problem. I’ve been told it’s quite comical watching me do my projects.
Constantly talk aloud to myself as if I’m consulting with someone. I guess in a way I am! Angles are hard for me to figure, so I bolted two strips of aluminum loosely together at the top. It’s a large compass of sorts, In this project it’ll be good for the angle cuts on the peaky parts. They might be called the trusses – not sure – don’t really care lol.
Taking a break, usually means I’m in a jam and need to jump on YouTube to find the answer. So, it takes me a while, but I get things done! Times when I’m doing projects like my little DIY greenhouse are the times I’m the happiest!
I’ve been very fortunate in that I’ve known a few good men who taught me basic carpentry, plumbing, electric, and even auto repair. I’ve used their teachings to get myself and others out of a pickle or two over the years!
My Little DIY Greenhouse Process
The first thing I needed to do was to assure my little chipmunk friends couldn’t burrow in from underneath. I dug the whole 4×8 section out and then laid down the hardware screen across the whole floor.
I decided to attach frame staked into the ground and work up from there. So I cut 8 – 2×3’s to 54″. Then cut the 8 left over end pieces to 38″. Whatever length they end up, after I “compass” the angles for the peak, will be tall enough. I’m around 5’7″ so I’ll for sure be able to stand up straight. And that’s how Cindy’s technical engineering works.
Next I cut 2 of the remaining 2×3’s to 8’3″ lengths and cut another down to 51″ long. These measurements will compensate for the thickness of the sidewalls since the frame will be bolted to the outside of them. The last piece will be cut in half to make two approximately 5′ lengths. These will be used for the door frame on my little DIY greenhouse.
Putting My Little Greenhouse Together
Now that the pieces are all cut it’s time start by bolting the 54″ long pieces to the sidewall. Four on each side. A board and level are used across the top to be sure they’ll all be level across.
Next one 8’3″ piece goes across the top of the leveled 2×3’s bolted to the sidewall. Then the 51″er is attached between the two sidewalls in the back.
Time to break out the trusty compass to cut the angles for the peaks! A slight angle needs to be cut on the legs also so they’ll sit even on top of the sidewall. There’s a notch, I forget what it’s called something to do with a bird. I couldn’t master that so the legs were cut at a simple angle instead.
There was a large piece of plywood leftover from something or other that worked perfect for the back wall. I also cut a 2″ thick foam pad into 2″ wide strips. They were stapled up and over the peak frame to protect the plastic from tearing.
Extra pieces and scrap wood were used to frame in the little windows, make the door, the peak covers, the wall braces and the ones across each peak.
Now we’re ready to pull the plastic over the top and staple it to the frame. After that’s finished, I attach furring strips along the bottom, and the front and back peaks to secure the plastic. Then use up most of the redwood pickets from a fence that I replaced to cover the staples and spiff it up a bit.
The Finishing Touches
There were still a few things I wanted to do. The windows and door needed to be screened in and a couple shelves would be nice.
Finally the solar needed to be hooked up. I purchased a 100w Thunderbolt System from Harbor Freight and a 115w one from Northern Tool along with a 35amp hour battery from both places too. This would run the fan and lights.
After completed my little DIY greenhouse system really worked quite well. Much better than I thought it would.
This year a few improvements will be the project. I’m adding automatic drip line irrigation, move the shelves up higher and I’d like to put hatch type windows on either side of the roof, in the middle, for better ventilation.
On that….I’ll keep you posted!