Introduction: Simple Easy Greenhouse

I started this project out of a necessity to start my seeds early. I live in New England where the weather is downright unfriendly for starting seedlings in the ground. I went looking through several hundred websites to find a simple greenhouse that would be inexpensive or easy to make. After hours of fruitless searching, I ended up designing my own. It is 5 foot by 10 foot long, but It can be scaled down or up to fit any size you need.

I broke this down into many steps to make it easier. This is such a simple project that even a couple of kids can do it with little to no adult supervision.

This whole unit costs less than $25.00, but gives you the room of a $500 greenhouse.

The whole assembly to less than 20 minutes from start to end.

This is my first post, but hopefully with success it will entice me to post more.

Step 1: Collecting the Supplies

The very first step you need to do is collect all your supplies. Below is a list of the supplies and the cost that I paid.
Cost (est) Total

A 6 1/2" Schedule 40 PVC Pipe 10' Plain End $1.25 $7.50
B 6 1/2" "T" Connector $0.30 $1.80
C 4 1/2" 90' Elbow $0.25 $1.00
D 0.5 10 Ft. x 25 Ft. Clear 6 Mil Consumer Sheeting $26.20 $13.10
(Enough to make 2 mini greenhouses)

And a cup of coffee or a soda.
(this project will be completed before your coffee can get cold for your soda warm!)

Total cost (minus your drink and taxes) comes to& $23.40

Step 2: Gathering the Tools You Will Need

There are a lot of tools that you will need .

Tape measure (at least 10 feet long)
Marker of some type (a sharpie works wonders)
Razor knife or scissors (to cut the plastic sheet)
A saw capable of cutting PVC (I used my saw-all, but with kids they could use a hacksaw).

If you're trying to do this alone, like I was, I used a couple of clamps and saw horses to work on.

Step 3: Start Measuring

Mark 56 inches on two of the 10 foot poles.

Step 4: More Measuring

Cut 56 inches again offer the same 2 pipes (You will be able to get two sections out of each pole, with a left over piece of 8 inches). Do not throw that away, it will be used very soon.

Step 5: And Still More Measuring

Take the 2 eight inch pieces of pipe you have leftover, and cut them in half (4 inches each).
This is all the pieces you need (and should have) to make the greenhouse.

Step 6: And the Final Measuring

Take another 10 foot pipe and cut it to 60 inches long (basically in half).

Step 7: All of the Cut Are Finished

Now you should have

2 pipes 60 inches long
4 pipes 56 inches long
4 pipes 4 inches long

Coffee is still warm…

Now on to assembling…

Step 8: Assembly Time

Make sure you have enough room to assemble it (recommend doing it where you're going to put it).
Start off with one 90' elbow
Next add 4 inch piece
Connect to T connector
Add on 56 inch pipe
Add another T connector
Add on another 56 inch pipe
Add another T connector
At another 4 inch piece
And finally add in another 90° elbow

Make sure elbows are parallel to the ground while T connectors are pointing upward.

Repeat the above steps making sure the elbows are pointed in the other direction.

Now you should have all of the ground frame altogether.

Step 9: Connecting the Sections Together

Now to take the 2 60 inch pieces and adjust your side legs to the width.

Step 10: Time to Go Upward

Take your three remaining 10 foot pieces of pipe and insert them into the T connectors on one side. Then bow them over to the opposite side connector. Do not worry about the middle one trying to bow the frame outward. As you can see by my second picture, I used a piece of rope to straighten it out.

Step 11: Time to Cover It

Unroll your plastic sheet to the length of the greenhouse (I unrolled the whole thing and folded in half to cut it in half with a razor knife).
Then carefully unfold and slide the sheet over the framework. (I was doing this alone and it was windy, so I had to use clamps to hold it in place.)

Depending on the size in length of your greenhouse you have to adjust plastic sheet so one end is close. If you need to, add a small piece to the open end to seal it (don't forget you need to be able to get into it).

Step 12: Keeping the Edges Down

Use duct tape along the sides to hold the plastic sheet down to the frame. And voila, you're all done. All you need to do now is to put your plants in there.

And you're coffee never got cold.

Earthjustice United States of Efficiency Contest

Participated in the
Earthjustice United States of Efficiency Contest