Picture of Build an Easy 5 x 5 Home Greenhouse for under $25
www.pondplantgirl.com/coldframe.htm Here is how you can build your own home greenshouse for under $25.

The main pic is a larger version of the 5x5 Greenhouse. See the actual 5x5 image below. For more pics and info please see my website at: www.pondplantgirl.com/coldframe.htm


See more videos at: www.pondplantgirl.com

Step 1: Supplies Needed

Picture of Supplies Needed
  • 1/2" PVC Pipe
4 sections, Total Cost about $8.00

  • 1/2" Corner Elbow Connectors
4 with 3 ports

  • 1/2" Adapters
4, Connectors + Adapters total cost about $4.00

  • Primer and PVC Cement
Total cost about $5.50, Borrowed cost = $0

  • Scissors
I had scissors - my cost $0

  • Long Zip Ties
My cost $1 from the dollar store

  • Hack Saw or Pipe Cutter
Borrowed - My cost $0

  • Visquene or Plastic Sheeting
6' x 6', 3.5 mil (6 mil is ideal)
Thin clear plastic will not withstand past one season.
Box of 10' x 25' is $13.50, Cost per section roughly $7.50

  • Total Cost = $20.50
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lmartin6213 years ago
This might sound silly... (I'm a first timer gardener) We just purchased a house with a huge fenced garden with raised beds and I have been having fun growing my veggies this summer. I wanted to build a greenhouse I could use to get my seeds started in spring without them getting damaged by all the excessive rain we get in the Pac NW.

can I use this model to start planting veggies/ flowers in Feb and March for next season or can I use to grow veggies year round?
This would be great placed on top of a preexisting raised bed. Or I could tack together some low pallet walls and use this as the roof. Thanks for the idea.
I love this idea. It's perfect for many of my clients who live in urban or suburban settings and can't build a large greenhouse. I'm going to link to this post in my newsletter, thanks for sharing!
custom home builder virginia
anon_inkpen4 years ago
Awesome instructable! FYI, you can usually get free 3.5 mil plastic from mattress stores - after a delivery, they throw the bags out. a king size mattress bag is 70x80 inches.
Haha, I just got some from the dumpster about 2 days ago. And now I read this. I guess great minds think alike ;)
mhayawi5 years ago
good idea thanks
I have a question, that is probably on the dumb side but I'm completely new to any of this. When I see plastic greenhouses such as these, they're always dome shaped. Is there a reason for this? Is square or rectangular a bad idea? Does it have to do with air circulation or is it a better hold for construction or something else entirely?
Could also be because round is easier to build, and allows rain to run off instead of pooling up and collapsing the structure.
Why are they round rather than rectangular? Round encloses more space with less marerials and has less surface for radiant and conductive or convective heat transfer. 

Heat could be stored into the evenings in buckets or barrels of water. Black buckets or barrels would absorb the sun's heat and light releasing it at night.
Thank you! I really do appreciate that answer. :)
Pizzapie5005 years ago
I made one of these last summer (without looking at this instructable). Mine was a bit different, it had a triangle roof and was a little bigger than 5x5. Also I used clear table plastic cloths that I found in the dollar store. Only problem was that I never got around to use it since I built it in the late summer and all the plants were already planted. I ended up taking it down in the fall. (Taking it apart was tough since I used pvc cement to glue them together).
CapnChkn5 years ago
Now people, you know all these things work on Magic, and not Science.-  I applaud your use of technology that removes all the radiation above the visible Violet and below the visible Red spectrum.  Who needs all those pesky frequencies?  As for the trees using up all our oxygen, I say we cut them all down and while we're at it, kill all the bugs!

Who will join me in the new revolution!
dkfa5 years ago
Theoretically, this would be helpful for a cannabis user?
omnibot dkfa5 years ago
Theoretically this could be used as an oxygen tent alá Michael Jackson.
Not thinking he needs one so much anymore. :P
jrwygant6 years ago
Instead of zip ties I've been using very short lengths of the PVC pipe, maybe 1/2 to 1-inch, that are then sliced open. They slip over the other PVC and plastic tarp to make great removable clamps. They were the idea of wife Sandy after I complained of not having a good way to fasten on the tarp. The one in the photo has been stretched open from use, but it was just cut straight across. I've had one of these hot houses for several years and always get 30-60 days head start on my vegetables.
How do you cut the PVC pipe?
I used a cheap replaceable-blade hand saw, the kind that has a U-shaped frame with a thin blade stretched between the ends. I sawed off a short length of pipe first, maybe about a 1/2-inch, producing a ring. Then I sawed a small gap across the ring to permit it to open. The PVC pipe saws very easily.
Thanks for responding. I am assuming you are talking about a hack saw - see the picture on this link.


If so, how did you hold the pvc pipe so that you didn't cut your fingers. Sorry for the silly question.
A hacksaw is used mostly for cutting metal, although pretty much any kind of saw will work. I was actually referring to a coping saw, which is cheaper and smaller: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coping_saw
The coping saw also has less risk of cutting fingers, since it's smaller and lighter. PVC comes is long lengths, so you can hold it well back from where you're cutting. A vise works best to hold it but is not necessary.
Ahhhh, never heard of a coping saw. Thanks for the link and info.
A hacksaw will cut through pvc just fine. No need to go out and buy a coping saw unless you need help coping.
yep, coping saws are primarily for sawing intricate shapes, not straight lines. Mine actually has a far rougher blade than my hack saw, a hack saw, or junior hack saw is the ideal tool for cutting this plastic, though you can butcher it with many tools, scissors, tin snips etc.

I saw similar fancy green houses for sale in the garden centre, but they're were made by folding the pvc sheet over, then sewing it. It looked like it was just done on a sewing machine so I just bought the pvc sheet at a fraction the cost of the kit and sewed it on my girlfriends machine. Its been going for two years now and still not come apart. Brilliant solution.
We don't have plastic pipes and all connectors though, we just use bent hoops of stiff wire stuck in the ground.
PondPlantGirl (author)  jrwygant6 years ago
That is a fantastic idea! I will be sure to pass the information on.
Thanks. My wife gets credit. I forgot to mention that I built my hot house over a 4x8' raised bed, with embedded PVC in the corners (slightly larger diameter than the tarp supports), into which I slip the bowed verticals that support the tarp. It makes take up/down quick and easy.
linda44446 years ago
We are doign this over 2 x 8 framed raised beds. Drilling holes is the 4x4 supports and bending the pvc into the holes will create the frame for the plastic, and can be easily removed when the plants get to tall.
Seth Black6 years ago
...very nice Instructable. Just a suggestion: Instead of cutting small holes, and using zip ties, cut some PVC clips from surplus pipe, and snap them over the top of the plastic, and onto the framework. They'll hold the plastic tightly to the frame, and there won't be any holes to keep an eye on...
PVC Clip.jpg
oooo nice idea! I have had problems in the past with cut holes through plastic and zip ties so I was worried about that!
This is coolio
skcactus6 years ago
Hi, I have a question how to bend PVC pipe to join? and the Plastic cover is strong not to blow away in wind? I live in North East (Philadelphia, PA) and grow cactus. Please let me know. Thanks in advance.
I just finished mine yesterday. So far, I've planted lettuce and some other mixed greens thingy. Here it is.
Have you got any buds yet. Where did you put yours, I can't find where mine can go.
You know where I put it genius. For all the other people, it's about 15 feet in the air on top of a wooden play set.
swlindy6 years ago
One way to add heat under row cover or plastic cover is to string C-9 Christmas lights among the plants. I string 2 boxes of the C-9s per 12 x 6 foot plant bed and find that they keep the bed 10-15 degrees warmer than the cover alone even when the temperatures go down to the low teens. My row cover is rated to protect plants down to 22 degrees, so the lights keep my plants producing all winter.
That's brilliant! I'll have to try something similar to extend my growing season - our winters get far below 22, but I bet I could keep growing past early October (our frost date) and into November.
PondPlantGirl (author)  swlindy6 years ago
Wow! That is awesome! I will certainly pass this valuable information on to all my viewers and friends.
I'm thinking of making one of these, but I have a question. What plants should I try to grow in this that are edible? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
kiefmom6 years ago
Trassin, I live in the U.P. (Michigan) and thought this might be good but I think I am going to go for a smaller version of the "old windows" greenhouse instead.... did you try this one, if so how did it work for you?
kiefmom6 years ago
about how far are they spaced apart?
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