Greenhouses, also known as hothouses or glasshouses, are generally transparent structures designed to cultivate plants that require regulated climactic conditions to grow.
They range in style from massive, industrial buildings, to upcycled plastic bottles housing a couple green sprigs. The primary purpose of a greenhouse is to absorb sunlight and create a warmer, interior environment than the outside weather.
Many hothouses are high-tech (like this one). They’re filled with computer-controlled lighting, cooling, heating elements designed to optimize plant growth.
We’ve assembled a list of 118 homemade greenhouse projects you can build yourself.
There are cheap, hoop-styled hothouses, tabletop designs, recycled cabinet hothouse lockers, geodesic domes, miniature automated hothouses, touch-screen controlled greenhouses, indoor LED greenhouses and even a rooftop swamp cooler design!
Scroll through our list and let us know what you think in the comment section!
This greenhouse is perfect for growing crops out of their season and protecting them from frost and hail. And it’s a simple construction that you can finish in a weekend. The plans are for a 12’ x 32′ hoop greenhouse, which you can build from rot-resistant cedar.
You’ll also need a 20’x50’ roll of 6mm plastic to cover this DIY greenhouse.
If you want an easy-to-build greenhouse, this barn-style greenhouse is just what you need.
The construction is pretty straightforward because you need 12′ long panels for the sides, which means that you won’t have to cut the lumber.
One more thing worth mentioning is that the builder uses roofing tins for the side panels because they are more durable than plywood.
This covered greenhouse has a unique design, featuring a raised garden frame with a mesh stapled to the underside, PVC arches, and a cover that opens to allow easy access to your plants. You need zip ties to secure the mesh to the PVC and a 6-feet chain, cut into two 3 feet pieces, to raise the lid.
For those on a tight budget, backwoodshome.com shows you how to build a cheap greenhouse for $100.
This 10 x 20 feet greenhouse can be constructed from leftover wood, PVC pipes, recycled windows, and 4-mill plastic. If you live in a windy place, you can opt for reinforced plastic.
In either case, make sure that the plastic is tightly stapled to the frame.
These DIY greenhouse plans are perfect for those that want a multifunctional shed that they can use as a workshop or a garden greenhouse.
It has angle wall windows made of thermoplastic, which filters UV rays and transmits 90% of the visible light. This backyard greenhouse measures 8 x 8 feet, and you can use red cedar as a building material because it’s pitch-free and rot-resistant.
What distinguishes this homemade greenhouse from other buildings is the wood-frame vent cover, which opens to allow ventilation on a hot summer day.
This greenhouse also has a sheet of weighted plastic as a door, which you can roll up and tie out of the way. Since this home greenhouse is made of quality wood materials, the frame will last for years.
This plastic greenhouse measures 8 x 10 feet, and its highest point stands at 8’6″ off the ground.
It has windows that span the top, and you can have a door at both ends if you wish. To hold this 8×10 greenhouse in place, you need to hammer some stakes and nail them to the sides.
If you don’t have a space for a large greenhouse in your garden, you can try this cute mini greenhouse.
The builder uses three storm windows to make the box’s frame. The roof is a simple pane of glass, and if you attach hinges, you can open it for extra air. For additional space, you can add a shelf inside. The whole construction lies on a pallet platform.
Wondering how to build a $50 greenhouse? Then these are the right greenhouse plans for you. To construct it, you’ll need recycled wood and PVC pipes.
The builder warns that if you live in an area with heavy snow, you should modify the design and add a PVC pipe as a ridgepole on top of the hoops to keep the greenhouse from collapsing.
This tabletop greenhouse is perfect for growing your plants and vegetables all year round when you don’t want to bother with complicated constructions. You can add hinges, latches and a chain (26 inches) to open and close the lid smoothly.
This adorable mini greenhouse with a unique roof will look fantastic in your garden.
First, you need to build a sturdy table base to hold the greenhouse – this one is 36″ off the ground to protect the greenhouse plants from snow. You’ll also need an inner frame to attach the windows and support the windowed roof.
It may seem unbelievable, but you can build this cheap garden greenhouse from recycled lumber, old windows, 3″ exterior decking screws and exterior framing nails. Moreover, this plan for a lean on greenhouse is easy to follow, and you can pick which side windows will open for ventilation.
The roof is a combination of glass and plastic with hinges.
To build this 10 x 10 greenhouse, the builder recommends redwood and UV-resistant greenhouse plastic for covering the frame. The design features 20′ x 3/4″ PVC pipes for the hoops, steel rebar for reinforcing the hoops, and rabbit wire to protect the planting beds from pests.
You can change the size by subtracting or adding hoops and planks.
perfect. It’s a tricky and time-consuming construction because you have to measure everything carefully and build one wall at a time.
It’s worth the effort, though because you’ll have a cheap greenhouse to grow plants and you’ll be recycling bottles at the same time.
Don’t need a large greenhouse or you just don’t have space? Then try this PVC greenhouse which is sturdy enough to withstand windy weather.
You can build this small greenhouse in a couple of hours with some PVC pipes and a plastic sheet. Just make sure that the plants are not touching any part of the construction or the cold might damage them.
This large greenhouse is built from pressure-treated pine, and there are detailed schematics on how to do it. You’ll also need a 30″ x 80″ vinyl door, ten 4′ x 8′ fiberglass panels plus 3/4″ metal fasteners, nails, and hinges.
To protect the pressure-treated pine from cracking, the builder recommends a water repellent.
An old trampoline might look like rubbish, but instead of throwing it away, you can transform it into a greenhouse. It’s really simple – you need the trampoline frame. Don’t worry, you won’t have to cut it. Just pull it apart until you have two halves to use for each end of this DIY greenhouse. And the whole thing will cost you less that $100.
The most important thing when it comes to this garden greenhouse is to choose the right place. You want as much sunlight as possible for your crops and plants. That’s why you should build the greenhouse away from other constructions.
The design is for medium-sized 10 x 16 feet greenhouse, and the best greenhouse material, in this case, is pressure-treated lumber or cedar.
These DIY greenhouse plans are an excellent solution if you don’t want to spend a fortune on a professional greenhouse.
This one has a wooden base, a triangular roof, and 6mm plastic sheeting for siding. To add character to your plastic greenhouse, you can consider slatted shelves (they work great for drainage, too).
A mini greenhouse is excellent for protecting your raised flower beds during winter.
For each bed, you need four rebars (2 foot each) and two pieces of 1/2″ PVC pipe (10′ in length). Your goal is to position the pipes so that they cross in the middle of the bed. Then you duct tape them together for extra stability. Easy, right? To cover this winter greenhouse, the builder recommends floating row cover.
This large geodesic dome greenhouse design impresses with its simplicity and stability.
It’s a 3v 3/8 dome constructed from 1″ x 6″x 4′ boards and covered with greenhouse plastic 32′ x 75′. It might take you a couple of tries to raise the dome, but if you follow the instructions carefully, it should be a piece of cake. Don’t forget to get a ladder to reach the top of the dome.
This beautiful homemade greenhouse measures 17 x 13 feet, and all you need to build it is recycled material.
The builder uses an acrylic sheet as a cover, but you can use glass windows if you have standard size agricultural windows available or 2m wide UV-resistant plastic. It’s not a simple project, and it will take you several months to finish. Be sure to plan everything with care.
You can use these plans for a Myfood gardening system to make growing plants and vegetable easier than ever.
The system uses Permaculture and Aquaponics for creating a balanced garden inside the homemade greenhouse. And since this is a connected greenhouse, you can monitor it on your phone or tablet wherever you want.
This greenhouse is made from the geodesic dome design that we mentioned earlier.
However, the builder makes several recommendations for keeping the structure stable and what you should do to avoid making mistakes.
A simple garden greenhouse might be perfect for places with no heavy snow. However, if you need something sturdier that won’t crumble when winter comes, try this snow-proofed greenhouse.
It has an ogive shape to strengthen the top and a steeper roof to prevent snow from accumulating.
For those of you that want to monitor the temperature and humidity in your greenhouse, you can use these plans to build an Arduino Grove WiFi connected greenhouse.
However, this is not a project suitable for novice, so if you don’t have any experience in coding, get help.
This lovely homemade garden greenhouse is an excellent idea for those of you that look for a temporary construction to protect the crops in the winter.
The builder uses angled profiles with holes as the main greenhouse material. There is also solar lighting if you wish to visit your garden during the night.
This miniature tabletop greenhouse is a project that it’s suitable for someone experienced in electronics. It features a lamp, a PVC fan, and a servomotor to regulate the temperature. The builder also uses a website to control this small automated greenhouse remotely – you can get reading from the devices and change the settings if there is a problem.
You want to go on a vacation, but you worry about your greenhouse? Then take a look at these plans for an automatic solar powered greenhouse.
When you have everything installed, you can set the 12v programmable timer to water the vegetables every few hours. You’ll also need two 12v batteries.
For those who have a busy lifestyle, but still want to enjoy fresh vegetables, these greenhouse plans will come in handy.
The design shows you how to make a raised garden bed and how to build a small greenhouse around it. There are also detailed instructions for setting up a watering and temperature system with sensors.
This stylish window greenhouse will make all your friends green with envy. And it’s made from nothing more than recycled windows with flagstones on the inside as a floor.
The construction measures 12’ x 12’, and the builder advises that you plan the angle of the roof carefully to get the as much sunlight as possible in summer and winter.
Looking for a greenhouse that will make your neighbors gasp with wonder? Then this large greenhouse design is everything you could wish for with its vaulted roof and unusual window pattern. It measures 16’ x 12’, and there are details how to wire it for 110v if you want to install a hydroponic growing system. There are very well-written instructions, so it shouldn’t be a problem even for a novice.
What you need to build this beauty in your garden is a 10 x 12 greenhouse kit, some tools including a skill saw, a drill, and a hand saw, and extreme weather foil tape. There also instructions how to add solar panels connected to a 12 v fan and if you wish you can set a hydroponic system. The whole project will take you less than a month.
For those of you that want a unique greenhouse, these plans show you how to build a garden planter with some amazing features. The main pros of this design are that the planter is portable, self-watering, self-filling and moisture regulating. What’s more the greenhouse cage will protect the plants from animals, and you can remove it when harvest time comes.
This 5×5 greenhouse is simple, easy to build and a great solution if you don’t want to spend months on a greenhouse project. This cold frame greenhouse can be ready in a couple of hours, and it will cost you next to nothing. But you’ll need a hacksaw or a pipe cutter to cut the 1/2″ PVC pipe.
For a $10 you can build this tent-like greenhouse with minimum efforts. The construction requires three things – tarp, two PVC pipes, 10 foot in length, and four water cones. You can secure the clear 4mm plastic tarp to the PVC with zip ties and anchor it at the bottom with a heavy object.
If you have bought a 6×8 Harbor Freight greenhouse kit and you’re not happy with it, you can use these plans to modify it. The builder offers valuable advice how to deal with the major disadvantage of the Harbor Freight greenhouse with easy to follow instructions and pictures.
This greenhouse is made of 56 x 56 cm triangles, but you can tweak the design to suit your needs. What’s awesome about the triangular greenhouse design is that it adds character and visual to your garden, and you can fold the greenhouse and store it away. And you don’t have to worry about the greenhouse’s durability thanks to the firm plastic.
Wouldn’t it be cool if your greenhouse takes care of everything on its own? Well, you can have that now with these connected greenhouse plans. They will guide you through installing hardware and software in easy, understandable steps. You’ll need a NodeMCU board for the WiFi connection.
This pop top greenhouse is perfect for small flower pots. It measures 10.5″ x 10.5″ x 15.2″, and it provides enough headroom for the plants to grow comfortably. What’s more, this small countertop greenhouse has a triangular roof that opens and transparent vinyl glued to the wood frame.
A lean away greenhouse might seem a strange idea at first. But if you are willing to give it a go these plans will help you build a beautiful glass greenhouse. The builder uses five sheets of 5′ x 6′ glass and states that a lean away greenhouse reflects more light than a lean to one.
Thanks to these plans, you can have a pallet greenhouse in four easy steps. This cheap greenhouse has a triangle door with two hinges and a wooden frame covered with plastic. The builder recommends that you use a 3m x 4m plastic sheet, which you have to cut and staple to the frame.
Thanks to the informative YouTube videos and the detailed instructions, these greenhouse plans are easy to follow. The builder recommends that you use Google SketchUp to design the dimensions of your greenhouse or use his if you want a 12 x 10 greenhouse. Another distinguishing feature of this DIY greenhouse is the gambler roof and the polycarbonate panels.
Don’t have a garden, but you still want to grow plants? Now you can, thanks to this indoor greenhouse design, which turns an ordinary table into a mini greenhouse. You just need an IKEA table, space blankets, and a light bulb. To wrap the space blanket around your construction, you can use hot glue or duct tape.
Ever thought about a rooftop greenhouse? Well, then this is the greenhouse design for you. The builder provides detailed instruction how to create a hydroponic greenhouse system for three 100lt boxes and two 19lt buckets, but you can change it to accommodate as many plants as you want. You’ll also need to build a wooden deck as a base to allow airflow.
To build this stylish DIY greenhouse, you need four old windows. You screw three of the windows together in a U-shape and then fashioned the last one as a door with hinges. The builder uses antique rusting tin tiles for the roof to achieve this unique look.
You can transform an old swing set into a garden greenhouse for your plants. Just get rid of the swing hardware, but leave the hooks and then add a shelf across the middle. As for the swing hooks, you can use them to hang plants and planters. The builder also offers you advice how to set an automatic watering system.
If you want a challenge, you can try these greenhouse plans that show you how to build a geodesic dome greenhouse. The project is a complicated one, and it’s better if you have several hands to help you with the task of piecing together the pentagons. You’ll also need a ladder to cut a vent in the plastic cover.
Wondering how to install polycarbonate on your dome greenhouse? Then these detailed plans and a video will be of immense help to you. The builder uses 6 x 24 Polycarbonate sheets, and a circular saw to cut them.
The first thing you have to do before building this dome greenhouse is to think about dimensions. The builder recommends Desert domes to calculate the length of the struts, and plastic plumbing pipes and elastic bands to assemble the struts. As a finishing touch, you can cover the bottom wall of this cheap greenhouse with a blue plastic film.
Wondering how to make your own mini greenhouse? It’s simple – just get a soda bottle, soil, some seeds, and scissors. It’s so easy to make this mini greenhouse that anyone could do it, even a child. Just pick a sunny stop to place the bottle and pay attention to the planting instructions on the seed package.
What distinguishes this glass greenhouse from all others is that it’s made of stacked glass jars. Of course, you’ll have to build a wooden frame (10×10 cm pocket post in this case) and fill the gaps with moss. If you want the greenhouse to be even more extravagant, you can use the lids of the jars as floor tiles.
This off-the-grid greenhouse plan can help you install a solar system for your geodesic greenhouse dome. However, don’t attempt to execute this plan, if you are not an experienced electrician. Get help because the calculations have to be very precious or your off-the-grid system will run out of batteries.
Living in a hurricane prone regions doesn’t mean that you can’t have a greenhouse. These plans will help you build a 12′ x 12′ greenhouse with 12′ polycarb corrugated panels. As a bonus, the builder provides information how to set up an Aquaponics system.
In just seven steps you can fashion a greenhouse out of a simple cardboard box. And you don’t require any special tools – only a plastic wrap, tape, a cutter knife, and hot glue gun.
This design is perfect if you want a simple indoor greenhouse that won’t take much space.
If you are interested in an eco greenhouse to suit the changing climate, you can take a look at this large greenhouse design. However, the plans are not very detailed, and you’ll have to rely on your intuition so don’t try it if you don’t have any experience in the area.
This adorable small greenhouse is perfect for the first weeks of the germination of your plants. The builder uses cardboard as main greenhouse material, but if you wish you can make it from wood. You can also pick a paper design that you like and wrap all the parts carefully to add character to your miniature greenhouse.
This is another design for a greenhouse made from recycled windows. Here the builder shows you how to build a 7′ high x 10’deep x 6′ wide greenhouse with a rock floor and a slanted roof. The design also features a place for a greenhouse fan and some ideas how to install a ventilation system on the roof.
This small greenhouse is easy to build from a multi-cell plant tray and 30 wooden coffee stirrers. It measures 28 x 11 x 14 cm, and you can fit a 2 x 5 cell tray in it. Cover the construction with a cling film, and voila. Even such mini greenhouse will be useful for shortening the seed germination period.
This domed greenhouse is perfect for growing tomatoes, radishes, paprika, and spices. The dome consists of pentagons and hexagons, and the builder uses furniture magnets for the door. To add character to your geodesic dome greenhouse, you can install LED lights on the inside.
Since every greenhouse needs a place for growing crops, you can use these well-written instructions to build a handy three-tier bench. The builder uses 2x4s and 1x5s to construct the table, and he covers the shelves with half-galvanized hardware fabric to make watering the plants easier. You’ll also need a staple gun to attach the mesh.
You don’t need an expensive greenhouse kit to make a beautiful wooden greenhouse in your backyard. These detailed plans and step-by-step guides are everything you need, plus some recycled windows, doors and a 4mm plastic. Additionally, you can use the instructions to build soil sink potting benches which are perfect for tomatoes.
If you have a small 6×8 Harbor Freight greenhouse, you can use these plans to improve the design. The builder shows how to add some height to the greenhouse and build raised plant boxes on the inside. Another impressive thing about this greenhouse is that it has a custom-made cedar door with a wooden latch.
A jar-sized greenhouse is an excellent choice if you want something simple, easy to make and low-maintenance. The design calls for an empty peanut jar, soil, and a nail (drill will work too). As a drainage system, you can use either rocks or a coffee filter and holes in the bottom. And don’t forget that you have to wash the jar before planting the seeds.
These plans will help you build a modified greenhouse so that you can grow rare tropical plants or keep your crops alive in a very hot climate. Another excellent feature of this greenhouse is that the builder explains how to make a cooling system and walkways inside the greenhouse. As a greenhouse cover, he uses aluminum shade cloth, but that won’t be necessary when you create a functioning ecosystem inside.
For those looking for a unique greenhouse design, this wall-embedded greenhouse is worth checking. The greenhouse has a frame made of aluminum posts and Plexiglas, and it measures 4 meters by 80 cm. In addition to this, there are three shelves for pots and planters so that you can grow all the veggies you want.
This plan will show you how to build a greenhouse using a garden chalet greenhouse kit. The greenhouse measures 10′ x 12′, so you’ll need to clear an area 14’ x 12’ to accommodate it and build a wooden deck as a base. The builder upgrades the design by adding side vents, an electrical outlet, a light switch, and an Arctic Cove mist sprinkler system.
This smart nursery greenhouse will be very useful if you want to keep an eye on your plant while playing or working on your laptop. The design features instructions for setting up a temperature control system, a watering system and a website for getting reports. There are also detailed electric circuit schemes, but if you are not familiar with the field, get help.
You can use these plans to transform an old and ugly greenhouse into a thing of beauty. The most distinguishing features of this design are the double-glazed hardwood windows and the decorative roof trims. Since you’ll be using windows of different sizes, the builder recommends that you use Google SketchUp to help you with the calculations.
The builder uses special greenhouse plastic – UV-resistant and reinforced – to cover the roof.
Thanks to this simple greenhouse design you can have a decorative greenhouse ready in five minutes. You just need a bottle big enough for the plant you wish to grow, soil, tape, and scissors. However, you’ll have to remove the tape from the bottle every time you water the plant.
If you want to build a homemade greenhouse powered by USB, you can check this video. However, there are no detailed instructions for building it so that it’s not a good choice for a novice.
A Hydroponic greenhouse is an ideal choice if you want to monitor your crops closely and control the environment. And thanks to the step-by-step instructions and the videos, you can have such a greenhouse very easy. Moreover, you can build your greenhouse as big as you want and all you’ll have to change is the length of the wire.
Sometimes it’s hard to keep tabs on your greenhouse, but now you don’t have to worry about your plants dying. This intelligent greenhouse automatically opens the door and the windows and waters the crops when they get dry. Also, you can monitor everything on a homepage, and there are well-written instructions that show how to do the coding.
What makes this greenhouse design worth considering is that you can use it to build an outdoor/indoor greenhouse in just eight steps. The builder uses Google SketchUp for the plans, and his design also features a 48″ florescent work light, a timer for the light, and a heater. But you can also use Arduino to create a system for monitoring the plants.
For better control of humidity and temperature, you can try this covered indoor greenhouse. You can build the frame from 12in bamboo shish-ka-bob skewers and 3/8in hardwood. Then cover the frame with plastic, and you’re ready. The good thing is that with some creativity you can adjust the frame size to fit as many flower pots as you desire.
This small indoor greenhouse can be a beautiful decoration for your living room and a place to grow your favorite flower. The best thing about the design is that you can control the greenhouse through a touch screen, so no more knobs to turn to adjust the temperature. What’s more, the instructions are well-written so that you can do the programming by yourself and the interface is user-friendly.
This video will help you build a pallet greenhouse in less than an hour. The builder uses standard pallet wrap. If you cover the greenhouse tightly with it, the construction will withstand winds exceeding 35 mph. The design also features mirrors for reflecting and redirecting the light during the winter.
If you don’t want to bother to level the ground before building a greenhouse, then you can try this greenhouse design. The builder uses raised beds to match the uneven terrain and props up the greenhouse on them. As a frame, he uses metal pipes, which he secures to the beds.
While traditionally greenhouses are used as a place for growing crops, you can also use it as a temporary outdoor living place. And thanks to these live-in nursery greenhouse plans you can build a tent-like greenhouse with a stove and a rain collector. The construction is stable, and it won’t collapse under heavy snow because the warmth keeps snow from accumulating on the roof.
In just four steps, you can build a plastic greenhouse for less than $200. This DIY greenhouse has a wooden frame from 1” x 2″ fir, which is covered with a polyethylene sheet. The builder also provides instructions how to build planter shelves for the plants.
If you have an old metal carport, use these plans to turn it into a beautiful backyard greenhouse. A nice feature of the design is the automatic window openers which will prevent the plants from withering in the summer. The greenhouse also has a shade cover on the top, which you can remove when the weather gets too hot.
It may seem unbelievable, but it’s achievable – you can make a mini greenhouse in two minutes and with no tools. You just need a plastic container, plastic film, two coat hangers, and one wooden bar. There is a video that illustrates the process so even a child could do this as a home project.
If you are attempting to build a greenhouse for the first time, this is the plan for you. The builder goes into details about building the structure, planting the greenhouse seeds evenly, and selecting the best fertilizer. Another thing worth mentioning is he uses three types of greenhouse materials – multi-layered polyethylene sheets, netted sheets, and transparent sheets.
This miniature indoor greenhouse is ultra simple. It sort of resembles a suburban home. It’s wrapped with what looks like a type of cellophane and propped up with small sticks. A portable greenhouse, you can even experiment adding in some shelves to make more room inside the tiny space.
Another miniature greenhouse option, this one comes with robust instructions including a materials list. You’ll need to acquire some wooden sticks, tape, plastic sheeting and have around 20 minutes of time to spare. In the end, you’ll end up with a cube-shaped hot-house that you can install inside a wooden window box.
If you have spare milk jugs lying around your home, experiment with recycling them into a milk jug greenhouse. The builder says that because the climate in this area is particularly unpredictable, he decided to harvest some recyclables and create a space for his plants to safely grow in a climate-controlled environment. The way it’s built, all you’ll need is a plastic carton, some scissors, some duct tape and a nail to puncture it with. It’s important that the jug has a handle because this will help you to close and open the top.
This toilet paper roll miniature greenhouse sits inside of a plastic container. Obviously, these blueprints are best for individuals looking for an upcycled alternative to a large outdoor atrium. The way it’s built, you’ll need to flatten and cut slots into the toilet paper core so that you can fold and close up their bottoms and create miniature soil-filled chutes to help harvest your seedlings.
This recycled wood green house is created from an old deck. The builder uses it to house bonsai plants and wrapped in plastic sheeting that he says is not doubled intentionally. In the summer months inside, on average, it is 10 to 15° hotter. He says that the roof is constructed from a welded rebar rods with plastic tarp double wrapped over it.
This 2.5 m x 4 m greenhouse has been functioning for over a decade, the builder says. The woodworker helpfully provides three-dimensional PDF files to help you construct it. You’ll need Adobe Reader to access the three-dimensional visualization information. The included blueprint provides specific measurement guidelines to create its durable frame.
The no budget windowsill greenhouse is a great option if you don’t have a lot of money or space and want a quick way of germinating seedlings or cultivating plants that need a temperature-controlled environment.
The builder says that their goal was to moderate temperature fluctuations while also shielding the plants from birds and pests. Importantly, this particular plan provides extensive customization possibilities so that you can alter the dimensions to fit your indoor gardening and cultivation needs.
You’ll need to source some wooden skewers, a see-through plastic bag, and some scissors to create this DIY option for tiny plants. Make sure to reinforce the roof if you plan to install a LED light on top- though the lighting source should run cold because otherwise it might melt the plastic.
This outdoor octagonal greenhouse was designed by a woodworker who was dissatisfied with all of the pre-fabricated kits on the market. He was looking for a hot house atrium solution so that he could store plants over the long winter months as well as create new plants later in the winter months.
Another goal was to ensure that the costs didn’t get to excessive. Before getting started, he consulted with an experienced landscaper who found an ideal location that would get strong southern sun exposure as well as sun exposure east to west even with the low-lying sun angles of the cold winter months.
When it comes to construction, this woodworker provides directions for creating the foundation, setting the form, framing the structure, preparing the cleats and trim, framing the rafters, rafter blocking, framing the door, and generating the ornamental ridge block.
When it comes to cultivating greenhouse plants, you’ll want to investigate cool season crops versus warm season crops. Some examples of cool-season crops are carrots, peas, broccoli, and lettuce- these are ideal for unseated backyard green houses as well as cold frames. Warm-season vegetables are typified by peppers, tomatoes, squash, and cucumbers that ideally enjoy temperatures in the range between 55° and 85°F.
There is also a range of ornamental plants, either sun-loving or shade-loving perennials and annuals. Examples of these include petunias, impatiens, geraniums, ferns, pansies, poinsettias, chrysanthemums, salvia and coleus.
Another DIY option is this plastic greenhouse kit installed in the backyard of a home with a zipper down front for convenient access. It is provided by a German gardener who only has a balcony to work with- not a spacious backyard to install a large commercial-grade solution. He’s been growing eggplant and zucchini inside and says it it cost under €10 to create.
This impressive poly pipe greenhouse is outfitted with a sprinkler system. Provided by an Australian a builder, he says that it’s covered in 70% shade cloth and is a pretty inexpensive solution.
It’s built from star pickets, rural grade poly pipe, and shade cloth. In terms of its construction, the supports are created first, then its stability is tested by rocking and shaking it extensively.
The watering system is screwed to the uprights and the cloth is sewn by hand. This green-thumbed gardener advises to get a second person to help you with it. As well, you should try to stretch the shade cloth as tight as possible. In addition, if you work in a hot climate, you’ll want to put the shade cloth up first before the watering system that way you don’t get sunburnt working outside so much.
To guard against weeds you can additionally modify by installing thick builders plastic as flooring. While this builder didn’t install a pump to power the sprinkler systems pressure, that is also an option in areas where tap water doesn’t have good water pressure.
This recycled green house is built from unused materials lying around the builder’s garden. The flooring is a geotextile blanket. Materials include 32 mm pipes, 15 mm pipes, plastic clamps, and plastic covers for the walls and ceiling.
Another recycled plastic miniature greenhouse, this one is constructed from a plastic container that supermarkets sell cooked chickens in. In terms of creation, you’ll want to sterilize the container, add potting soil, dirt or even a peat pellet. Then you moisten it with water. Keeping with the recycling theme, the creator uses an emptied Siracha bottle to drip water into the plant media.
These instructions are for an automated, ‘smart’ greenhouse. The builder says he created it to solve the problem of automating greenhouse tasks to optimize plant care.
Its sensors are designed to monitor the weather, the temperature, moisture levels, and the light levels. Moisture sensors are capable of assessing the dirt’s humidity, which effectively combines with an irrigation system to ensure the plants are supplied water properly.
Temperature sensors are equipped to monitor both interior and exterior temperatures so that it triggers a fan as well as a ceiling vent to keep the environment optimally maintained. As well, whenever it gets too dark, a LED strip installed in the roof is activated- giving you vision inside as well as helping plants grow faster.
This is a fairly complex creation and the builder says he used plexiglass, wood, aluminum together to create a dynamic and durable structure. The device that opens the hatch in the roof is installed on two hinges. The irrigation system is built from a pump and tubes used on pneumatic machines. He grabbed some code from GitHub and placed it on RaspberryPi with PyCharm.
The simple easy greenhouse pictured here is built by a gardener from New England. They say that because the weather is so unpleasant they wanted a special outdoor space to cultivate seedlings in a protected environment.
It measures 5′ x 10′, though the spatial dimensions can be customized to adapt to your cultivation requirements.
It cost less than $25 to build and under 20 minutes to create. In terms of the planning steps, the carpenter advises that you’ll want to collect supplies, assemble all the needed tools, take measurements, perform all the cuts, connect the sections together, erect it, cover it with sheeting and tamp down the edges.
Another simple greenhouse solution, this one is ideal for New York City apartment dwellers who need an indoor solution. It’s built from a recycled bookshelf. In terms of its materials, you’ll need a drill, some screws, a hot glue gun, some string, grow lights, a power strip and the bookshelf itself. Living in Brooklyn myself, you’ll probably be able to source the bookshelf from the curb in a city- often times people throw out furniture when they move.
This small solar-powered greenhouse is another indoor solution that utilizes sunlight during the day and night to help your plants grow.
It’s provided by a Wisconsin builder frustrated by the incredibly long and cold winter months. He wanted to create a lighting system that would only activate at night time. His creation is a small acrylic plant incubator equipped to generate nighttime light that’s powered by the sun’s energy.
In terms of the tools you’ll need, he advises employing a soldering iron, a solder, scissors, wire cutters and wire strippers. He also helpfully provides an electronics part list that includes a transistor, a diode, a resistor, LEDs, AA battery holders and a solar cell.
The indoor gardener says that red and blue wavelengths are the best for achieving optimal grow results. Using a solar dark detecting circuit, the solar cell recharges the batteries during the day and then at night the LED is activated using batteries.
This stretch film greenhouse conservatory design is provided by Instructables. This is a unique design- the greenhouse is basically covered with Saran Wrap that cost two dollars. Surprisingly, the builder says that over the course of six months and it hasn’t been punctured or otherwise damaged.
Another unique option, this hydroponic swamp cooler rooftop greenhouse perches atop the shingled eave of your home. It essentially converts a swamp cooler into a winter rooftop garden.
For those of you who don’t live in hot dry climates, a swamp cooler, also known as an evaporator cooler, it’s merely a box with a fan inside of it and wet padded walls that helps push moist, humid air into the home. Since swamp coolers are needed in the winter, this builder figured he can convert it into a moderate-sized greenhouse during the winter months.
The rooftop gardener walks you through a materials list, how to deconstruct the cooler, build new walls, create plant frames, route an irrigation system and even include an optional illuminating flare into the interior.
Indeed, this builder really went the extra mile and describes how to incorporate an Arduino micro-controller powered data logger control system, water heater, and fans to fully automate and optimize plant growth. This sensor-enabled greenhouse logs data that helps to modify the heater control algorithm so the temperatures are appropriately maintained.
Another ambitious project, this greenhouse is advertised as a climate-controlled, networking-enabled, automated option. It’s equipped with a centralized hydroponic system that’s powerful enough to accommodate 40 large plants as well as up to 72 small plants, for a combined total of 112 plants.
It is built with a climate control system that processes the interior environment through sensors that gauge the humidity, the light intensity, the temperature, the CO2 concentration and then automatically modify each of these by using heaters, exhaust fans, louvre doors, grow lights, pumps, and solenoid valves.
Even better, all of these sensors will feed you the information to your computer or smart phone. Before this builder started, he did extensive planning to ensure that the location of the greenhouse was optimized for sun exposure. To do that, he positioned it so that it had the greatest amount of exposure to undiluted southern sky.
He was careful to ensure that the large structures on his property like the garage, fence, trees and the home itself didn’t cast long shadows over the greenhouse structure on its north side. His instructions walk you through how to prepare the work site, create the concrete form, pour the concrete, frame and erect the walls, frame the roof and install the purlins, create the door openings and exhaust fans, paint the structure, and add the glazing.
The second component of his guide covers the creation of the climate control and monitoring system, building a vertical garden, installing large grow tubes and integrating the solar thermal collector.
The indoor LED automated greenhouse includes a fan and a light timer and can be adapted for different budgets. The materials include a blue LED light strip, a wall charger, a fan, electrical tape, while you’ll need a drill, a hot glue gun, a soldering iron and an X-Acto knife.
The builder walks you through how to prepare the grow lights, how to glue the greenhouse lights in place, drilling the holes to install the fan, how to connect the timer and proper maintenance of your compact greenhouse.
One commentator says that while blue spectrum light is great for the growth phase, if you are interested in cultivating blooming plants as well as fruit-producing plants you’ll want to switch the lights to red lights.
This next build is a little bit different- it’s essentially a tomato greenhouse that’s great for those who live on balconies or just don’t have a spacious backyard to install something bigger.
The instructions are provided by a Switzerland gardener who created these adorable little tents for the plants. The instructions guide you through a materials list, how to build the tomato pole, how to stabilize the tomato pole, how to cut the plastic sheeting, and how to install the greenhouse tent.
One American commenter says that as an alternative you can purchase a tomato cage that helps support the plants as they grow.
This next option is another completely unique build. It’s advertised as a portable, unheated seed starting greenhouse. The builder says that the goal here was to cultivate vegetables in the cold months in anticipation of warmer growing weather.
As well, he was looking to create and ultra-efficient model that was completely portable and equipped to germinate different food crop seeds. It has a glass top, wheels on its base, and is built from a recycled wooden box held together by wood screws and O-rings.
Another upcycled greenhouse option, this one is built from a European water bottle.
The ‘instant cloche’ design is an uber-simple construction that essentially creates a plastic tarmac over bent branches that are tied together. This builder was looking to cultivate pepper plants and because they thrive in tropical environments they needed to build a warm area immune to the cool spring rain.
The branches are harvested from a conifer tree with the builder saying that cedar trees are a great option because they are naturally rot-resistant.
The instructions walk you through how to harvest the branches, how to trim them down to create sharpened ends, installing them in the soil, and then creating the hoop design with a lashed stick down the middle that helps hold the clear plastic sheeting that creates the cover.
This barn greenhouse plan creates a 10′ x 12′ greenhouse that is advertised as the easiest design on the Internet for creating this style of structure.
The instructions walk you through how to build the side walls, the end rafters, setting the top ridge, fitting the rafters, fitting the blockings, constructing the front wall, the back wall, building the back wall supports creating the front door and how to assemble the entire construction together.
This geodome greenhouse plan is provided by NorthernHomestead.com. Because the builders live in a colder climate that frequently encounters hail, brutal winds, frost, and tons of winter snow, the imperative was to harvest and utilize as much of the sun’s life-giving energy as possible for their plants.
Some of the core requirements they had for their greenhouse was something lightweight that would be stable in snowy and windy environments, optimized for light absorption, had tons of growing space and would be visually distinctive.
As well, the structure is portable and temporary, which means you don’t need to gather building permits before constructing it.
This green house is built from repurposed antique windows. The builder says that over the course of two years she gathered windows from friends that were doing home renovations.
As an alternative, they advise you can contact window replacement companies who often discard old windows in landfills. Because the builder was in her 60s, saving money on materials enabled her to hire some skilled muscle for some of the more arduous construction tasks.
This upcycled DIY greenhouse attaches to the home and sits on a raised deck. The roof is made from corrugated polycarbonate clear roof panels that are attached with Tuftex fasteners that have waterproof screw gaskets.
PremeditatedLeftovers.com provides project plans for this sustainable bamboo greenhouse. The ambition here was to save money at the grocery store by cultivating vegetables rather than purchasing them.
As well, this eco-conscious gardener wanted to use bamboo because in their minds it is the greenest building material that is available.
It is a basic bamboo frame combined with plastic sheeting to create a 6′ x 4′ greenhouse. The instructions provided a tools list that includes a post digger, hacksaw, a drill with a half-inch bit, and a staple gun.
Rockler provides project plans for a fold up greenhouse project that is ideal for seasonal storage. This plan helps you save valuable backyard space, in comparison to designs that are permanent structures and usually immovable.
This particular option measures 4′ x 4′, can be completed in a weekends time. It has a material cost of under $300. It uses bolt and wing nuts for the platform connections to facilitate collapse. They advise you situate it in a sunny area that you don’t frequently use. The land should also be flat to help anchor the structure.
This attractive indoor greenhouse opens from the top and is held with gold braided chain, which is an attractive complement to its white finish. It’s built from three-quarter inch Hemlock, which the builder actually regrets using because it has a lot of sharp edges and a tendency to split.
This large greenhouse build has a sloping roof and connects to the wall of a backyard shed. The woodworker provides some interesting direction regarding embedding the pressure-treated posts into crushed rock. You can also adapt his instructions to build a freestanding greenhouse.
A fun and unique option, this poly tunnel DIY greenhouse cost under $50 to build and helps protect the gardeners West Coast tomatoes from bad weather. It takes under an hour to build and is advertised as a tomato fort that protects tomatoes from rain and the consequent fungal spores and blight it causes.
It’s built from PVC pipes, wood boards, metal corner braces and clear plastic roll. The builder was careful to situate it in her back yard where it would get the most sun nearby a potting shed. The pipes need to be bent to create the tunnel frame that the plastic will be stretched over and stapled.
The wood strip is used to roll open the plastic sheeting to vent the interior on exceptionally hot days.
So You Think You Are Crafty provides a CD case greenhouse tutorial. You don’t need to have a lot of old CD cases lying around, about 40 of them that measure 11″ x 18″ x 20″. You’ll also need to purchase some plastic glue, painters tape, tweezers, a craft knife, cutting board and ruler.
You’ll have to cut up the CD cases to create some of the triangular, steepled effects as well as using the square fronts and backs to create the walls.
The lengthy blueprint guide will walk you through how to prepare the cases, create the walls, attach the center CD to the wall’s peak, cut the cases for the wall peak, glue the walls together, assemble the peak of the roof, and finish the roof with folding panels.
The Green Lover website offers a homemade, inexpensive recycled pallet wood greenhouse that was constructed to provide year round food production for its creator.
This builder actually employs organic poultry to help control pests inside of it. The woodworker also says that you can control costs depending on how you source the glass windows, pallet wood and whether you choose to install interior lighting.
With almost a disaster preppers mindset, the woodworker says his greenhouse anticipates future water shortages, uncertain weather as a result of climate change, and even Fukushima radiation fallout concerns.
The recuperated windows are designed to retain heat and the addition of felt covers can help cultivate extra-sensitive vegetables throughout the course of the year. The instructions walk you through disassembling pallet wood shelving frames, working with roof trusses and building the bottom rails.
The Tom’s Gardens website provides DIY instructions for creating a greenhouse against a basement door so that it abuts the house.
One of the challenges here was to create the structure very narrow so that it would fit and the small space the builder had to work with. It’s outfitted with a storm door on its front. In addition, he writes that he employed a wire and aluminum channel to help bind the plastic covering to the wall corners and the gable ends.
There you have it- that’s our list! If you decide to make one of these, instead of buying a prefabricated kit or sourcing one for sale from Home Depot, let us know in the comments section! We’d love to highlight any builds you’ve created in this post. In addition, we compiled a list below that highlights the best plants for a greenhouse.
Below we’ve assembled a list of the best plants for amateur green thumbs to cultivate in a greenhouse. The list is adapted from a Thegardeningbible.com post.
|Greenhouse Plant List|
|Canna (Indian Shot)|
|Alonsoa (Mask Flower)|
|Francoa (Bridal Wreath)|
|Heliotrope ( Cherry Pie)|
|Solanum (Winter Cherry)|
|Calendula (Pot Marigold )|
|Cobaea (Cups and Saucers)|
|Gerbera (Barberton Daisy)|
|Nicotiana (Tobacco Plant)|
|Eucomis (Pineapple Flower)|
|Anthericum (St Bernard Lily)|
|Calceolaria (Slipper Flower)|
|Beloperone (The Shrimp Plant)|
|Aristolochia (Dutchman’s Pipe)|
|Saintpaulia (The African Violet)|
|Schizanthus (The Butterfly Flower)|