Whether you want to grow veggies for home use or commercial farming, it is a good idea to get started with a small greenhouse. With the right plan, some simple efforts, and time you can set up your miniature nursery in the backyard itself.
To help you do the chore, herein is a step-by-step guide on how to build a small greenhouse.
How to Make a Small Greenhouse For Vegetables: Step by Step
Step 1: Choose the Land to Setup Your Greenhouse
Even before getting started or ordering materials, it is essential to choose the right location for your plant house.
Position: The horticulturists recommend choosing a land with some partial shade. Plants require more heat and sunlight to survive in regions under the hardiness zones 1-6. The temperature is too low so greater sun exposure is recommended. You need more open space in the east and southeast.
If you are not residing in an extremely low-temperature zone, having a bit of shade will help to protect the crops from overexposure to sun rays and heat. In the absence of adequate shade, you may also use a shade cloth to protect the plants.
Landscape: Your land must be leveled properly so that you can raise the nursery beds comfortably.
Step 2: Plan the Greenhouse Design
There is no end to options when it comes to designing a greenhouse. You need to consider several aspects while finalizing the design.
Size: You do not need 100sqft or more free space for building a glasshouse. Your plants can even grow in a little wooden box, a hooded tunnel of 30sqft, and the list is long. With the right design, you can even convert a small passage into a beautiful orangery.
Shape: The structure of the conservatory is really important. Your plants require proper sunlight and ventilation. You can create almost any design as long as it allows sufficient light inside, supports ventilation, and has a good drainage system.
You may take inspiration from your friends or even research online to get the right design. If you are not sure, it is worth taking the help of a professional so that you do not end up wasting money.
Note: Before you spend a cent, it is necessary to get your greenhouse project approved by the local government. You must have a valid permit to start the construction. Depending on the size and structure of your nursery, you will be liable to pay the necessary taxes and abide by the legal regulations.
Step 3: Material Selection
For beginners, it becomes quite easy to build the entire structure with a greenhouse kit. However, if you are not going that way it is necessary to choose the materials wisely. The choice of material determines the strength, durability, and the type of insulation you can achieve.
For instance, you can get better sunlight, strength, and insulation with polycarbonate or fiberglass panels compared to wood or plastic walls. For framing, pressure-treated wood can be a good option.
Step 4: Assemble the Greenhouse
If you are not a construction or woodworking ninja, it is wise to seek advice from an expert. With professional help, you can get the proper measurement, fix the frames to the panels tightly, and erect the ventilators and doors without leaving spaces. This is important so that there is no leaking point anywhere and to get a robust structure to withstand adverse climatic conditions.
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For those who want to walk the DIY route can take inspiration from building plans and guides online. With a little research, you can find all the information on the required tools and construction guide.
Steps 5: Create a Proper Farming Environment
Building the structure with doors and ventilators is just the first phase of your greenhouse project. You must have a growing system to get healthy plant cultivation.
If you are a novice gardener, getting right with the plant watering process may take some time. To make sure you do not provide insufficient water or overdo it, you can install an automatic watering system to keep the plants healthy.
However, those who have mastered the art of farming can save money by skipping an irrigation system installation.
There are several forms of greenhouse heaters that can help you to keep the crops from freezing in winter. The electric heaters are the most popular and convenient supplementary heating systems. It is preferable to choose a heater with a fan and thermostat. The fan helps to spread the heat evenly in the entire nursery. The thermostat automatically shuts off the heater upon attaining the preset maximum temperature to prevent overheating.
However, if you do not have an electricity connection in the greenhouse, there are several other alternative supplementary heaters to serve the purpose. You can also choose any of these low-cost heating systems in your greenhouse:
- Paraffin heaters
- Propane/natural gas heaters
- Oil heaters
- Hot water heaters
- Straw bales
- Convection tubing heating systems
Ventilation and Cooling
Over the period of constant heating and watering, the humidity level in your greenhouse can rise beyond the normal range. This can even cause an increase in temperature even if the heater is not running. Moreover, paraffin, propane, and gas heaters liberate toxic fumes that can damage the entire vegetation in your plant house.
If you have ventilators in your greenhouse already, you can open the vents periodically to refresh the air. There are also mechanical ventilators running on electricity that allows you to purify the greenhouse air without opening any outlet. A proper ventilation system helps in cooling and refreshing the air.
Step 6: Use Benches for Proper Drainage
Keeping the raising beds on the floor can make the soil soggy harming your crops. The soil requires the right drainage system to provide strength and nutrition to the roots. Place your plant containers on the benches to prevent dampness on the floor. You can place benches of different heights and lengths in proper alignment to ease the growing process in a small greenhouse.
You can employ some carpentry skills to create them on your own, buy benches online, or even contact a woodworking expert for the job.
Creating a small plant house does not takes much effort or money. You can get started with a small budget too. I hope that our guide will help you to complete your DIY greenhouse project with perfection.