Every gardener knows the importance of seed starting. Many seeds require an early sowing in order to germinate properly. But what do you do if the seeds need to be started and there is still snow on the ground? Every window in the house could have seeds pots in them or you could simply build your own greenhouse and start them there. If you have decided to build your own greenhouse, simply follow these step by step instructions and have fun.
- First, you'll want to decide on the size of your greenhouse. Obviously, the larger the house, the more the cost. Next, look at your climate conditions. If high winds and strong wind gusts are a factor, you'll need a sturdy, hard sided house. In milder wind areas, a soft sided house is an economical option.
- Standard two by fours make a terrific frame for your house. A second option could be PVC pipe. Let's use two by fours for this particular house. Our greenhouse will be 8 by 8 by 8 on three sides and slightly taller on one to allow water run off. You will need a hammer, screws, nails, a screwdriver, a tape measure, and a level. Purchase boards 2 by 4 by 8 for the main frame on three sides. The front of the house will need two boards 2 by 4 by 7 and two boards 2 by 4 by 3 for the door and two 2 by 4 by 8 for the rest of the frame.
- Start by shaping the bottom of your house. Take four of the long boards and make a square with them. For the left side only take the boards and stack them rather than butt them against each other. This will give the left side a little extra height. Repeat this same procedure for the top of the house. You should have two squares that, when laid flat on the ground, are taller on one side. For the walls, take one of the long boards for each corner and attach them with screws. They should be placed next to the joint of the corners for all sides. At this time, it is safe to have someone help you lift the top and attach it in the same fashion, making sure your raised corners match up.
- For added support, I like to put cross bars on all walls. Take one long board and place it horizontally in the center of our house. Attach it to the corner supports. Do the same vertically. Repeat this for the three sides, excluding the front. Now we’ll make your door. Lay your 2 by 4 by 3s and 2 by 4 by 7s on the ground so they form a rectangle. Screw them at the corners as we did for the right side of the walls. Now we need to make a door frame. First, decide where you will want to place it. I like the corner. On the left side, attach the door using door hardware to the corner support.
- Measure the height of the house from floor to ceiling where you will need to place the support for the front. Purchase and attach your support. Now measure the distance from your door support to the other side. Purchase and place that board in the same fashion as we have been doing. Now we have our frame. It should be slightly taller on the one side but will look primarily square.
- The outside will be covered with a thick, clear plastic sheeting. The door should be wrapped front and back for extra support. If you like, you may choose to do cross boards on the door before wrapping it. Get help from a buddy and use a ladder. I like to use a good old staple gun for the plastic. It’s quick and easy and it works.