PVC Greenhouse-any tips-Progress photos added (day 3)

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Carols Clucks, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. Carols Clucks

    Carols Clucks Songster

    Oct 13, 2010
    I am on day two of building a pvc green house.

    I have my plans for the building pretty well set and have a 20 year old roll of plastic (of some sort) my dad had ordered from Sears Catalog eons ago to build a green house with. Mom says he was in a huff back in the day when he ordered it, they kept not sending it and he was in a hurry to get that green house in! It is not your usual plastic, feels stiffer and is more clear than what I see in stores

    We have a nice old alum table to start seedlings on (8+ feet long) and our green house will be 8.5 x 6. Kind of the max foot print I can fit in the upper yard close to the house. Lots of room under the table for pots and soil in bins. We have old bus tubs to set the pots in for watering.If I have extra plastic, I may have an extra green house in the lower garden some day. (thinking row covers might be a better idea though-pvc raised ones of course)

    I figure to have room for at least 6 large pots for veggies. Being in SoCal, we don't worry about snow or hard freezes, just the occasional frost. I am hoping to plant a zucchini, a couple of cucumbers and 3 pots of tomatoes. Do have have to hand pollinate any of these plants?

    We have some gravel for part of the floor, but for now it will be mostly dirt. It is set between a couple of lemon trees, so hopefully not too sunny in there and protected from the wind as well, because it gets hot here, I have plans for "windows" that will lift to allow excess heat out when needed.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011

  2. kevinhannan

    kevinhannan Chirping

    Aug 3, 2011
    While this is a brilliant place to come for hens and other stuff,
    take a look at growveg.com - they are quite comprehensive.
    Good luck with your project!
  3. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    The recent edition of Mother Earth news has an article on this, along with a drawn out plan. I'm thinking of building one, but I have to make some modifications to keep the goats from bulldozing it over...
  4. Carols Clucks

    Carols Clucks Songster

    Oct 13, 2010
    Thanks, growveg.com looks interesting. Too bad I don't have the extra $$ for the subscription

    Motherearthnews, I could not find the article? Maybe it is only in print?
  5. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    Hand-pollinate the Zucchinni, depends on your variety of Cucumber. Shake the tomato flowers in a vibrating manner.

    My greenhouse just has a dirt floor, really.

    My main advice to you is make sure your greenhouse is ready for wind, if you have any.
  6. Carols Clucks

    Carols Clucks Songster

    Oct 13, 2010
    Thanks Illa! Our green house is tucked in a corner, 2feet from a fence, between a pair of lemon trees. That should cut most of the wind down. We also sunk galv pipes down over a foot in the footing so the pvc slips inside. I am thinking on one side I am going to build an L shaped planter out of vintage (but cracked) 1x12 redwood, that will give me something very heavy to attach it to as well.

    Does anyone leave a small cat door in to their greenhouse? I want to make sure no rodents decide that our house is a nice place to live.
  7. StupidBird

    StupidBird Songster

    Apr 8, 2009
    IMHO, the growveg.com program looks just like the one on Motherearthnews, that I subscribed to this spring.

    I'm thinking of doing the little pvc greenhouse/hoop house, but there are so very many other projects unfinished that I'd guilt out over yet another unfinished project.

    The only thing I've accomplished in the last week was to finally rototill the big new garden (approx. 100x25) shallowly, and hand broadcast a $4 for a half pound? custom mix from the feed and seed that I love. Turnip, kale, mustard, collard, spinach, radish...using the handful of this and a dumping of that method to mix. Today I will water it all in, since still no rain.

    Dreaming of a greenhouse: big enough for the patio pots of citrus and such, some cukes, lettuce and tomatoes through the winter, and seedling trays. Lots of trays. Built to withstand wind, a rainbarrel drip system, and good ventilation.


    eta: the cat door sounds great, but I think here it'd only let in the possum, the raccoon, the neighbor's cat, the squirrels and chipmunks.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011

  8. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    Here is one of my earlier PVC greenhouses.


    Pretty simple as you can see. The bottom frame is 2x4s. The hoops at either end have a T-joint in them for the vertical members. Pipe strapping holds the plastic to the wood. I used half-inch pipe as I recall. The plastic was ordinary builder's plastic. Good for about six or seven months of Florida sun which will get me through the late fall, winter, early spring when I'd need it. Not insulated in any way so it needs a heater. Ventilation is controlled by how much I roll ends down. As with any plastic greenhouse use great care in where and how you set up your heating.

    Here is my current greenhouse. Twelve feet wide by twenty long.


    This time the bottom frame is made of treated 2x6's. The PVC pipe is one inch. Because of the outward pressure the hoops exert on the frame there are three stakes driven into the ground on either side to keep the frame from bowing out. The rest of the wood is treated 1x4s. Ordinary builder's plastic overall. Actual greenhouse plastic would last a lot longer but as I only need the house over the winter I stay with builder's plastic and replace it every year.

    Here are some photos of the house under construction.


    Note the double pipestrapping at the bottom of each hoop. This keeps it from moving.


    At the top of each hoop is a T-joint with a short length of pipe binding two hoops together for increased structural rigidity.


    This is how I tie the wood to the pipe. That one wasn't my neatest job but it stays where I put it. The wire is 14-gauge electric fence wire, but any galvanized wire of sufficient thickness will do.


    This is how I tied the corners together. You can also see how I secured the plastic to the frame.

    The height and width of your house is determined by the width of the plastic you are using.

    At twenty feet long mine is just a bit too much as these last two unusually cold winters here in Florida have shown. I only have a standard 110v 15amp outlet to supply power to my heaters and of necessity I have to use extension cords to get the power to the house. Even using the heaviest gauge cords I could find I quickly discovered there was an upper limit to my heater settings before I tripped the breaker. Unfortunately we had several nights that the amount of power I could supply just was not enough for my uninsulated house on our coldest nights which forced me to use emergency backup LPG heat. This worked, but it's not a length I want to have to go to regularly so I'm going to knock off 4 to 6 feet of length so I can keep it within what I can heat.

    Heating and ventilation are the two major areas you have to concern yourself with if you build your own greenhouse. You'll end up having to tweak it constantly to keep it where you want unless you want to explore more automatic (and costly) controls systems.

    Good luck with your house!
  9. Runt Of The Litter

    Runt Of The Litter Chirping

    Sep 7, 2011
    Quote:dad built a green house this year-he leaves the door open enough for the kittehs to get in and out,it has to be quite wide for our rather portly lady of leisure-biscuit,though:
    http://sadpanda.us/images/672680-H1RQ15H.jpg [​IMG]

    woud hit the floor,fainting if one of those lazy sods concerned themselves enough to get up and catch a rat in there, it can be like a sauna even with the door open.

    be aware if have got any issues with spiders,that the greenhouse will probably attract them like flies to a steaming pile of...manure.
    dads is absolutely full of them,and theyre not small either,pic of the biggest one in dads:
    we are always going in there and getting spiders fall on our heads due to accidentaly knocking the webs,
    woud definitely recommend good lighting for night,he uses solar lights but they are cheap and nasty like most things he buys so not very useful at all.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011
  10. Carols Clucks

    Carols Clucks Songster

    Oct 13, 2010
    I scored some free gravel this morning.

    Kind of bigger than I would have picked, but it will be a good base for smaller gravel and it was free.

    I ran out of glue and "T" or the roof would have been up. It sits next to the garden shed I am just finishing up. The roof lines of both are going to be similar. A hoop hut would have been MUCH easier and already done. But we put a few of Moms things in it today, so she can better visualize the space.


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