Welcome to Bepa's Garden!
This blog is about organic gardening, healthy eating and healthy living.
Each month I will be posting Garden To-Do Lists, Tips & Techniques, Garden Project Plans, Photos from the Garden, Recipes and Book Reviews.
I hope you enjoy reading and I hope I can inspire others to start a backyard garden!
Happy Gardening!
~Rob~

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Building a Greenhouse




I grew up living next to my grandparents and spent many days working side by side, starting seeds and transplanting plants, with my grandfather in his greenhouse. It was a fairly good size with a stone foundation and glass panels. It was attached to his garage which had a furnace to heat the garage and greenhouse and had running water and electricity. I have many fond memories of spending afternoons with my grandfather in his greenhouse.

Now that I am older I often dreamt of having my own greenhouse so I could start seedlings in the spring, extend the season in the fall and possibly relive some of those childhood memories. For several years I looked into purchasing a kit but was discouraged by the high prices and cheap plastic panels they came with so I decided to do some research and design and build my own.

Three years ago, after spending countless hours deciding what size to build, what materials to use and what accessories to add, I finally built my greenhouse.


My original plan was to build the greenhouse out of cedar, but because this was my first attempt I didn't want to invest too much into something that might not be exactly what I wanted, so I decided to use pine 2 x 3's for the framing and 6 mil greenhouse plastic for the covering. The entire cost for the 6'-10" x 8' greenhouse the was less than $150.00 including all the hardware.



Framed greenhouse.

Covered greenhouse.
The greenhouse has two work benches, the one on the south wall is 24" high and the one on the north wall is 36" high. There is a vent/window on the wall opposite the door. The floor is covered with landscape fabric which seems to work well for now. The late spring sun can really raise the temperature inside, so I have added an automatic vent opener to the window this year. The vent opener can be adjusted to open and maintain a constant temperature inside. It has been working perfectly and has saved me on several occasions when I would have forgotten to open the vent in the afternoon or close it at night when the temps dip below 50 degrees.






This greenhouse has held up remarkably well considering the framing is untreated and unpainted pine. The greenhouse film is rated for 5 years and hasn't cracked, ripped or yellowed despite being exposed to the northeast bitterly cold and snowy winters.

This fall I am planning on building a new greenhouse. It will be a more permanent one so I am going to construct it out of 2 x 4 cedar. I am planning on making a larger one- probably 8' x 12'. It will have a crushed stone and paver floor, running water with irrigation system, more vents, shade screens and possibly a propane heater. I am also considering using polycarbonate panels instead of the 6 mil greenhouse film to try and better control heat loss in the winter.

****** Update 9/29/12 - Greenhouse Plans are now available! ****** 

You can purchase them from my website or ETSY store
and they are available in both PDF and Print.

The Chicken Chick 
 
 
Sustainable Suburbia: Striving for a lower impact lifestyle. Join 
the Sustainable Living Blogs Linky Lists

23 comments:

  1. I so so so want a green house. The climate where I live allows me to garden through the whole year. But I would love to extend the growing time for tomatoes and the like. *sigh* One day. I am not handy, so making one myself is a bit daunting.

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  2. You're hired!!!! I want one!! Just kidding. Actually, not really. I do want one. I just have NO where to put it. A tad bit jealous, I am!!

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  3. They really are easy to build. I am also going to be designing and building a smaller one that attaches to the side of a house or garage.

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  4. That is fantastic! You have made building a greenhouse look so easy. I hope we can try that someday. We have a hill in the back, and we would probably have to build some sort of foundation to keep it stable.

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  5. you should start taking orders!!!
    thanks, rob, for your great pictures, as usual, and great writing. yes, post/send along the plans, and maybe i can get someone to build me one. i never did report progress on my cold frames, as you asked for last fall from your readers/followers. i neglected them once it got really cold, and they were TOTALLY covered with snow for all those weeks, or was it months. but once the snow cleared (now i know i was supposed to keep them clean), we aired them a bit to get rid of algae; we have already eaten SEVERAL large bags of spinach, some cilantro, and the lettuces are just starting to grow a bit. chard survived the winter, as did a few broccoli plants, but not looking super productive! planted radish seeds and arugula a few weeks ago, and those are now ready to thin. (wish i have Bepa's patience to sow tiny seeds more carefully and make the thinning job easier!)

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  6. Hi Patty,
    I am actually considering selling cold frames and greenhouse as kits and pre-builts. The garden is going to be much bigger this year so I have started a ton of seedlings. The greenhouse and cold frames make it much easier to grow!

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  7. Wow, impressive! Thank you for sharing this post on the Clever Chicks Blog Hop!
    I hope we see you back again next week with another clever idea!

    Cheers,
    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

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    1. Thanks Kathy. I will definitely be back next week to share in the Blog Hop!

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  8. Oh thanks so much! I have been coveting a greenhouse for years and was also discouraged by the prices! You have inspired me! I am going to start my plans soon.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Danielle. This greenhouse cost me less than $200 to build and it was very easy to construct! You won't regret building one!

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  9. That greenhouse is beautiful! We have plans to make one in a year or two. I just started a new link up hop and would love you to join: http://www.simplejoyfulliving.com/2012/10/backyard-farming-connection-hop-2.html

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    1. Thank you Gretchen and thanks for the invitation to join your blog hop!

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    2. Thanks for linking up this week at the Backyard Farming Connection Hop – hope to see you next week :)

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  10. Fantastic Rob! I love your first greenhouse! Can't wait to see the second one. So glad we've met!

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    1. Thanks! This first greenhouse works great but I've already out grown it. I have plans in the works to build a larger one. Thanks for stopping by!
      ~Rob

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  11. That is very cool, you make it look quite doable - and for under $150, even worth trying!

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    1. Hi Kristen, it was pretty easy to build. I am working on plans for a 10' x 12' greenhouse and will be posting them soon. Keep checking back on my blog and facebook page, I am thinking about doing a contest with a chance to win a free set of greenhouse plans!
      Thanks for stopping by!
      ~Rob

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  12. This is just what I've been looking for, a greenhouse we can build ourselves.
    What a great blog you have!
    Happy Gardening! : )

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  13. Thank you thank you thank you! I have been looking for so long for something that I could not only afford, but could actually build myself. This is perfect. I have shared a few of your photos on my farm website, with a link back to you for readers to see them all.

    Thanks again!

    Tina Elliott
    www.billyjoesfoodfarm.com
    www.facebook.com/BillyJoesFoodFarm

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    1. I am happy to enable others to build their own greenhouses! I have a materials calculation worksheet on my website http://www.bepasgarden.com/greenhouseplans.html so you can get an estimate of material costs for your area. Thanks for posting on your website!

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  14. Where do you get the panels from that go on the outside?

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    1. Hi Samantha,
      This greenhouse is actually covered with greenhouse plastic, not polycarbonate panels. I purchased the plastic at Growers Supply, www.growerssupply.com. They also sell polycarbonate panels, but they are a bit expensive with shipping. Another source for panels is Griffin Greenhouse Supplies, www.griffins.com.

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