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Build your own mini greenhouse

Updated: Oct 15, 2019

These greenhouses are great because you can start your own plants from seed, and you can also extend your season through the winter (more on this below).  Start any plants for your summer garden inside and then transplant them out.  Good winter crops to grow inside the greenhouse are: beets, carrots, turnips, cabbage, kale, lettuce, spinach, broccoli, salad mix, and any other frost hardy vegetable.  These plants are more tolerant to cold temperatures and frost. 


The key to having veggies through the winter is to have them at their harvesting size before the first frost in mid-October.  This means sowing the seeds in  early to mid-August.  You can also get a head start on summer veggies like tomatoes, basil and peppers by planting your earliest rotation in the greenhouse. Four Season Harvest by Elliot Colman is a great book to read regarding season extension. Be sure to tether your greenhouse or it will blow away!



A sketch of a DIY greenhouse blueprint

Here’s how to do it:


  1. Gather some friends to help!

  2. 2. Clear and level a 10x15’ space for your greenhouse.

  3. 3. The base of the green house is built with the 2x8’s

  4. 4. Cut both 2x8x16’ to 15’9”

  5. 5. Attach 2x8x10’ to the ends of the 15’9” boards with screws. (This will create a 10’x15’ rectangle)

  6. 6. Level the base of your site.

  7. 7. Pound rebar pieces into the ground (on the insides of the green house) so that 1’ of rebar sits above the 2x8’s. They should be evenly spaced along the sides.

  8. 8. Bend two nails over each piece of rebar to connect them to the 2x8’s

  9. 9. Cut 6 pieces of PVC to 19’.

  10. 10. PVC will slip over the rebar.

  11. 11. Cut one piece of rebar to 15’

  12. 12. Drill a hole in the end of the PVC.

  13. 13. Drill a hole in the top of the hoops of PVC on each end of the greenhouse.

  14. 14. Attach the PVC pieces with the bolts.

  15. 15. Duct tape the bolts to protect the plastic from being ripped.

  16. 16. Attach a 2x4 door header to the PVC hoops at the ends of the greenhouse with bolts. Be sure the header is level.

  17. 17. Attach two 2x4’s from the header to the 2x8 base for support.

  18. Build frame for doors by attaching two 2x4’s from the header to the 2x8 base for the doorframe. Be sure the doorframe is plumb. The width can be around 30”

  19. Cover greenhouse with plastic starting on one end and working your way to the other using staples

  20. Pull the plastic tight.

  21. Nail lath over the plastic to hold it down.

  22. Build doors to fit the door frames

  23. Install hinges and hook and eye latches.

  24. Staple plastic to doors and ends of the greenhouse.

  25. Start gardening!

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