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We’re in the middle of a scorched-Earth summer here in Texas, but I know that some of you up north –especially those of you into gardening — are already starting to think about how you’re going to handle the snow-laden “off” season. Here’s a thought: Build yourself a low-buck greenhouse. What’s “cheap” for a greenhouse? Try $140.27. At least that’s what David LaFerney claims he spent to build the one you see pictured above.

LaFerney details the whole build process — complete with pictures and a whole lot of really helpful how-to language — over on The Door Garden. It’s essentially what he calls “a hoop house,” assembled from 20′ lengths of PVC tubing bent into arches and attached to a small 1×4 and ply frame. These “ribs” are then held together with stringers and covered in cheap plastic sheeting. (He suggests that real greenhouse plastic would likely prove more durable and better for the plants, but will also take a bigger chunk out of your wallet.)

Anyway, if you’re looking for a cheap way to get into year-round gardening, his writeup is a pretty good read. In good DIYer form, he spends less time telling you what to do than he does explaining why he chose the path he chose–and why you might want to vary from it. And if you’re wondering whether the greenhouse worked out, check out his post six months later documenting his plant-tending exploits in said greenhouse.

How to Build My $50 Greenhouse [The Door Garden]


3 Responses to A Low-Buck Greenhouse

  1. lowly says:

    You’ll see the ‘bent PVC tubing/Visqueen’ structures frequently in harbors. For a season, or three, they do a good job of protecting a boat from the element, should you not want to go the considerably more expensive canvas route.

  2. browndog77 says:

    In the northeast we have lots of these poly-houses w/ various different types of frames, and many of them are “double-inflated” to allow for earlier planting. By simply adding a second layer of poly over the top of the first, and installing a sturdy hair dryer to blow into the void between the layers, an encapsulated air insulation factor is created. ad a semi-transparent shade cloth to cover most of the top & you have a multi-season greenhouse!

  3. browndog77 says:

    If I could edit my post, I’d fix my typo!

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