How to Build a DIY Greenhouse

If you really want to spite your gardening friends, install a DIY greenhouse in your backyard. Even if your intention isn’t to upset them, it inevitably will be the resulting outcome. Why? Because every gardener wants one. Don’t they?

I know I do. In fact, if I had just a little more room there would be a greenhouse featuring prominently in my backyard. Alas, as with all things there is an economic cost to consider. Do I forego the backyard aquaponics and vegetable garden? Should I resist adding a chicken coop? And can I really do without a potting shed? Nuh!

Therefore, the reason I don’t have (or will have – in the short term anyhow!) a greenhouse is the limited space in which to house one. And while this might also be the reason for others not having one some may claim that they can’t afford one.


DIY Greenhouse Options to Choose From

DIY greenhouse

Well, I’m here to inform you that cost is no longer a barrier. Building your own greenhouse is accessible for less than a few hundred bucks.

For those gardeners who are looking for something that might be a little more stable – or more attractive – have plans for another greenhouse. Their plans are for a more manageable 8 ft (2.4 m) x 10 ft (3 m) construction but the materials are more rigid and therefore more expensive.

And, for the gardener who would rather spend time in the garden than waste it constructing their own greenhouse, Amazon offers greenhouse products that range from a small Walk-In greenhouse up to the modest Greenhouse 8' x 6' by DuraMax. But if you really want to pique your neighbours’ interest then the Rion 8’6" W x 24' L Prestige Greenhouse might be more your style.

So, apart from my excuse of not having enough room there aren’t many other reasons why any gardener should be without a greenhouse. Especially those who live in colder climates where frosts are not only prone, but commonplace.

How to Build a DIY Greenhouse

Attaching a Greenhouse Cover

One of the problems with our climate is that in summer it gets far too hot for far too long. So, I couldn’t just construct a standard greenhouse, or all the plants would sizzle in summer and die. Therefore, I needed another option, and it came quite suddenly and somewhat divinely – in other words I can’t remember how I came up with it!

I plan to have two types of cover – clear plastic sheeting for the cooler months and UV-resistant shade cloth for the warmer ones. Both will be made as single, continuous sheets that can be taken off and put back on again.

Here’s how they will be attached.

  1. Steel REO bars – approximately 2m long – will be concreted 500mm into the ground opposite the shed wall and on the other side of the 2m wide path. They will be spaced out at 1m intervals requiring 6 for my 5m long shed.
  2. Channels will be sown into both the clear sheeting and the shade cloth at similar intervals wide enough for 20mm PVC pipe to travel through – much like a tent would work.
  3. Then brackets will be attached to the roofline at the same width intervals and will hold the PVC piping.
  4. Once these things are in place it’s simply a matter of pushing the PVC piping through the channels on the cover and placing one end through the roof brackets and the other over the vertical REO bar. This will create a half-dome effect.
  5. As the seasons switch the covers can be interchanged to turn the greenhouse into a shade house and vice versa.

It’s a very simple system but will provide me with the space to grow a quantity of plants both for use in the garden and also for experimentation.

Last Updated on October 29, 2023

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About the author 

Gary Clarke

Hi, I'm Gary Clarke, gardening enthusiast and former landscaper. I have had privilege of sharing my gardening knowledge at Aussie Green Thumb since early 2020.

I have a passion for using native Australian plants in Aussie gardens and I always try to promote growing fruit trees and vegetable gardens whenever possible.

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