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Thread: Inexpensive Greenhouse Plans - Learning More Before You Decide

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
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    Inexpensive Greenhouse Plans - Learning More Before You Decide

    Hi, Everyone!

    Every day, every week, every month is so packed with things to learn and do, and the time passes before I know it! It's hard to believe it is already past midsummer. and it's time to start thinking about greenhouse plans again.

    Since I am in dire need of a larger greenhouse, I thought I would take the time to share with you some of the information that I have been researching. Indeed, when making the decision to build a greenhouse, you can spend as little as around $100 or invest more and have a substantial structure for many years to come.

    Don't get me wrong, I love my little greenhouse. It is now over 15 years old and at the time cost about $800, it has served me very well and withstood several minimal hurricanes, and I thank God for the minimal and numerous tropical storms.

    The addition of the cool mist system last year has helped me more than I ever anticipated. It means the plants that I normally would have already removed due to heat are thriving despite the fact that I never added a thermostatic controlled roof vent. And the best part is that I have not had to worry about watering them at all in the last couple of months. The cool mist system and timer are doing better than I could have ever done.

    The only problem that I have right now is more space and finding the time to repot what I have in there now as they are root bound, and where in the world am I going to put them until I get the beds prepared?

    In the meantime, there is an awful lot of knowledge on the internet, and it is free for the searching, but searching can often be extensive and exhausting. You have to weed through all the advertisements to get to the information that you need.

    And realizing that many of you have dialup links, I thought I might give you a little edge and share with you some of the ones from which I am learning and will continue to do so until I can begin construction of my own.

    The basic, least expensive approach will cost you approximately $100 and depending on your needs and the amount of money you have to spend, it is not a bad way to go. It will certainly suffice until you can afford more.

    The only concern is the one that I have to face, and that is the possiblilty of a hurricane or damaging tropical storm which could destroy those little gems inside. Don't get me wrong, I am not as worried about losing a $100 structure as I am about losing those precious cuttings or seedlings. But then again, I must say that I am overly attached to my little babies and any protection at all that I can give them in the winter is better than none at all, so I may have to go this approach.

    Backyard Greenhouse for about $100
    by
    North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service
    Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering
    College of Agriculture and Life Science


    Keep in mind there are many styles of greenhouses and coldframes. Below is a link that will help you understand more about the choices available to you along with the pros and cons.

    Hobby Greenhouse Construction
    by
    Alabama Cooperative Extension Service

    Another interesting inexpensive greenhouse plan that I found is...

    Greenhouse Plan
    by
    WBRZ.7com abc NEWS 2 Lousiana

    Now, the following illustration is close to my heart. It is what I have wanted to do since I bought my home 20 years ago, but somehow my dream never materialized. It is what I have always thought of as my own small conservatory. I can still dream and perhaps one day, it will come true for I certainly have a perfect place for contructing one of these, and this one gives tips for solar heating which Log Cabin Pat has told us so much about.

    Solar Heated Greenhouse and Information
    by
    The Sun Country Greenhouse Company


    More pictures, ideas and information that may influence your choices:

    Greenhouse Pictures with Information that Might Influence Your Decisions
    by
    South Dekota State University

    and here are some more pictures that may help.

    Greenhouse Construction
    by
    West Virginia Extension Service

    If any of you have found other sites that might influence a decision as to which route to take, please post it here. Links to commercial greenhouse companies are welcome as long as you feel they are helpful to those like me that are in the need to know....

    Many Thanks!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    9

    Bow-Roof Greenhouse

    Ann,

    Here's a link to plans offered by a Maine boat builder for a bow-roofed green house 14' x 32' for $400-$600. Design has withstood 70mph winds and snowloads in Maine. It is also a handsome looking structure.

    http://www.by-the-sea.com/stimsonmarine/bowroof.html

    JohnM

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    8A East Texas
    Posts
    44
    Ann, thank you for making this information available to us. I found many good ideas and it really got me to thinking! One thing does lead to another and having started a very few plants I've already started considering a greenhouse. I'm not real handy, but would love to build it myself. I have "saw fear", but some of these don't even need a saw!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    upstate NY zone 4
    Posts
    40
    Ann, I have read your post with great interest. I too have a small greenhouse that is nearing completion. I agree with the part about doing your research. I have read several articles and books on the subject concluding that first and foremost is location, location, location! I found a site while surfing the web one day, and while not essential I found it most informative and a heck of a lot of fun. Go to http://www.susdesign.com/sunangle/ all you have to do is fill in the required info and the site will calculate the sun angle for whatever time of the day you choose. That info can, in turn be used to determine the shadow length of objects at your location so you can choose your best site. As I said, It is not an essential tool, but the excersise was fun. It also helped me set up my greenhouse for full winter sun and using my lone maple tree to provide shade in the summer. Some books I would recommend are " The Solar Greenhouse book" edited by James C. McCullagh, This one is fairly old but it covers everything from cold frames to free-standing . The next book is titled " Secrets to a Successful Greenhouse and Business" by T.M. Taylor. Another title which inspired my final design is " Ortho's All about Greenhouses" . This book has several inexpensive designs in it and there is something for everyone. It took me a long time to research and choose my final design but it was well worth the effort. I hope this info can be of some help to others out there who are contemplating a backyard greenhouse

    Mike

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
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    9,934

    Cool Sunrise/Sunset

    Mike,

    That is so much fun!

    I went to the site, saw that I needed the longitude and latitude and couldn't help but SMILE...

    How many people do you know have an old and yellowed sheet of paper taped inside one of their kitchen cabinets that says 'You are Here' followed by the exact longitude and latitude? Well, now you know that you know at least one...

    Yep, yours truly! I obtained it from a Loran reading years ago and use it when we have a pending hurricane or tropical storm.

    Now, I have a new way to figure out how many hours of sun my flower beds are getting during different times of the year AND I can calculate sunrise/sunset information for any given day.

    Thanks!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    upstate NY zone 4
    Posts
    40
    Ann;

    Wrong! There are at least two. My Longitude and Latitude is on a printout that sits on my desk. Folks think I need to get out more, Since I can tell my exact location to the ten thousandth degree. slight overkill but fun anyway. When I went to the sight I didn't know my long. or lat. OR the GMT! They have directions to figure all that stuff, It was pretty cool! Bottom line, I have my greenhouse in a great location that will work very well for my commitment to solar heat. Starting this fall I am going to keep a journal of daily temps and conditions, My goal is to be able to start tree seedlings in there but that may change as i am pretty close to securing my first clients for my landscape business. One more thing, not related to the greenhouse post but important just the same. My master Gardner classes start this New Year, Been waiting a long time for that. I am looking forward to learning and fellowship
    Thanks
    Mike

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
    Posts
    9,934

    Greenhouse Drawings and Material List

    Just in case some of you missed it, there is a place in the following link:

    Hobby Greenhouse Construction
    by
    Alabama Cooperative Extension Service

    that says "click here". It leads you to the following page which has drawing and detailed material lists for several greenhouse structures.

    Greenhouse Drawings and Material Lists

    With this information, you can figure out your options and how much it will costs to build one yourselves...

    Have FUN!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
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    Here is another link that was passed on to me...


    Planning and Building Greenhouses
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Chester, Texas - very small country town
    Posts
    30

    Thumbs up Greenhouse sites

    Just wanted to say THANK YOU for all the great sites concerning greenhouses and cold frames -

    Very informative !!
    goldeneagle = Beth S.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
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    Here's a link that Shepp shared....

    How to Build a PVC Hoophouse

    It's a small one, for the hobbyist...
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
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    Brenda sent me this link....


    Backyard Greenhouse

    Thanks, Brenda!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Tex .. near Dallas
    Posts
    280

    More Plans

    This set of plans is good on "door hinges" and vents ... I am still in the learning process but this one looks good to me... but open to suggestions.

    http://www.pvcplans.com/pvc-greenhouse.htm

    jim

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
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    Jim,

    Just wanted to let you know that I am here, and I am listening. I see you going through the same process that I have many times before. There are so many options.

    And I am learning more as everyone chimes in to tell about their experiences...

    Remember this?

    Construction of My Little Greenhouse

    Well... That little greenhouse costs a lot more than $100 to build, but I must say, the wood has held up, the corrugated fiberglass is no longer white do the aging and nearby pecan trees...

    But, I must have done something right because it has withstood some mighty strong hurricane winds and severe flooding, yet somehow still does what I need it to do.

    Gee, how I wish I could afford a much larger one, though! You know as well as I do that it doesn't take long to fill them up...

    Take your time, Jim! Learn! Share experiences with others and do what feels right to YOU!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Staten Island, NY
    Posts
    121
    Here are some hints on bending your own tubing, and building a mist timer, both of which can save you a few bucks.

    http://www.johngrows.com/tipsandtricks.html
    John_NY
    USDA Zone 6/7
    Sunset Zone 34

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
    Posts
    9,934
    Bumping for John...
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


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