Another name for a greenhouse is a glasshouse and that would lead you to expect that all greenhouses have glass roofs.
It is true that traditional greenhouse use glass panels but plastic panels are a worthy alternative if you are on a tight budget.
It is actually better to consider building plastic greenhouses if you are going for larger scales because modern plastics are more durable, easier to clean, lighter and regulate the heat more efficiently.
At the same time, plastic greenhouses still bring out the best benefits of greenhouses in general so your plants are well-protected even if the weather conditions are harsh. You can also get an early start on the growing season by doing all of your gardening with the greenhouse and moving the planted seeds outside during better weather conditions. Just prepare these materials and follow these steps to build a small plastic greenhouse.
Prepare 6 pieces of ½-inch reinforced bar or rebar that is 2 feet long. You also need to prepare 7 10-foot lengths of white PVC pipe each with a ¾-inch diameter. Find or purchase 8 of those large binder clips along with 4 PVC Tee slip fittings with ¾-inch measurements. You should also have a single piece of painter’s plastic measuring about 12 by 25 feet. The rest of the items you need include a hacksaw or pipe cutter, hammer and PVC cement.
Clear the area and smoothen the surface area where your greenhouse will be situated at. The perimeter should measure 7 feet long and 15 feet wide. Your finished product should measure 6 by 14 feet so it will be placed within those dimensions. Be sure to mark the corners of your planned structure as well as the center of both sides. You can find the center by measuring 3 feet from each end. You can use a piece of rebar to scratch the ground for marking purposes.
Use the hammer to pound a single piece of rebar into the ground. Repeat for each corner as well as the midpoint. The depth of each should measure around 1 foot. Take out your pipe cutter or hacksaw and cut two pieces out of the PVC pipe. Make sure each piece measures 3 feet long because they will be used for center supports. Cut another 3-inch piece out of the same PVC pipe.
Set aside four of the other 10-foot PVC pipes that you haven’t cut and glue a Tee slip fitting to each of these pieces. Combine two full-length PVC pipes end to end by applying glue so they can connect to the Tee slip fitting. Attach the 3-foot piece to that Tee slip fitting to form a perpendicular connection. Do the same step with the other pair of 10-foot length PPC pipes.
One of the 10-foot pieces should be marked as the back while the other one should be marked as the front. All the rest of the pieces should be joined as the center. Form the center section by gluing the 3-foot piece of the front part to one of 10-foot pieces remaining with a Tee fitting.
Use the glue once again to attach the 3-inch piece to the Tee fitting found on the center section. Make sure you do this in a straight line with the 10-foot PVC pipe. As a result, the Tee openings should be facing opposite directions. Form a long pipe by gluing another 10-foot PVC pipe to your creation so you finally end up with a pair of Tee fittings that are facing opposite directions. The center support pieces will be placed there.
Complete the frame assembly by gluing the 3-foot center piece to the Tee fitting on that piece which you marked as the back. Do not proceed to the next step until the glue you applied on all pieces has dried up.
Each open end of the PVC pipe should be inserted onto the reinforced bar that you previously pounded deep into the ground several steps back. When you move to the next side, be sure to apply some pressure towards the previous side so an arc is formed. Then you can insert that side onto the rebar. Finalize the plastic greenhouse by covering the frame with that large piece of painter’s plastic. Use the binder clips to secure the plastic onto the frame.
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