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Building a Greenhouse or Cold Frame out of a Dog Kennel

By Natalie
July 1, 2013

When we got our Lab pup, Bailey, we decided to buy an outside dog kennel so that she wouldn't get into all of my plants. The idea was that we would leave her in there if we needed to run an errand, instead of letting her have free run of the yard. By the time she was 1 1/2 years old, however, she had only spent an entire 1/2 hour in it. So, it was a wasted $250. Or so I thought! I really wanted a greenhouse, and the kennel made the perfect frame for it!

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Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
Be a voice - not an echo!
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Xeramtheum
Jun 30, 2013 8:16 PM CST
Well done! What a clever recycling project!

I use the kind of plastic you used on yours for my 2nd greenhouse before I put the cover over it and attached it to the frame by literally sewing the plastic around the frame with waxed dental floss. To keep the plastic from tearing I sandwiched two pieces of duct tape on the plastic. It worked out extremely well even during the most windiest of times - no tearing at all. You might want to consider doing that if your staples don't work out.
"We were all humans until race disconnected us, religion separated us, politics divided us and wealth classified us."

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Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Jun 30, 2013 9:28 PM CST
Thanks! I had some super strong winds, and the plastic never tore. I was really surprised by that! Duct tape is a really good idea though, and I'll probably do that when I set it up this fall. Not so sure I'd want to do all that sewing, but it's a great idea if the staples don't hold up here. The wind never stops blowing where we live now, and anything extra I can do would be wise!
Natalie
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Jun 30, 2013 9:29 PM CST
And if your plastic doesn't hold up well, you might consider looking around for clear, solar pool covers. They're sort of like heavy duty bubble pack and are generally UV stabilized. I had to wrap my not-very-well insulated GH in one of them and it has held up very well.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Jun 30, 2013 9:33 PM CST
The plastic did really well for me. I had a few issues with temp control, but it really wasn't too bad. I'll keep that in mind though! I was using it as a cold frame for winter sowing.
Natalie
Name: Mary
The dry side of Oregon
Be yourself, you can be no one else
Charter ATP Member Region: Oregon Farmer Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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MaryE
Jun 30, 2013 10:11 PM CST
Regular zip ties break down with UV rays in less than a year. They are ok for the short term.
Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.
More ramblings at http://thegatheringplacehome.myfastforum.org/forum54.php
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Jun 30, 2013 11:10 PM CST
Ours were still holding strong after a year. Took a bit of work to cut them off when we took it apart last month.
Natalie
Name: Renée
Northern KY
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Kentucky Sempervivums Cat Lover Dog Lover
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
KyWoods
Jul 1, 2013 6:55 AM CST
Great idea--deer proof, too! I wish ours was in the sun, I'd do the same with it. Instead, it's a cat pen now. LOL
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
Be a voice - not an echo!
Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hybridizer Birds Seed Starter Cat Lover
Pollen collector Morning Glories Greenhouse Bookworm Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
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Xeramtheum
Jul 1, 2013 7:03 AM CST
Put a box fan at one end to keep the air circulating and cut down on moisture and help distribute heat ... ever since I started doing that in my greenhouses I had less algae. mildew and bug attacks - though considering where you live that may not be problems for you. I have mine on a timer and it goes on late afternoon and cuts off mid morning.
"We were all humans until race disconnected us, religion separated us, politics divided us and wealth classified us."

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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Jul 1, 2013 8:34 AM CST
Mary is right about the regular zip ties, we had them holding a panel to one of our gates and they just snapped; but if you're dismantling it seasonally, they should be fine.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Jul 1, 2013 8:58 AM CST
I love it when people think outside the box! Hooray for you Natalie. Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Jul 1, 2013 10:38 AM CST
woofie, I don't think I had special zip ties, and they were as strong as the day we put them on there, when we cut them off. A neighbor down the street has the exact same ones on her chicken coop, and they are still going strong after 3 years.

Thanks Ann! This time, I was thinking inside the box - sort of? Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
Natalie
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Jul 1, 2013 10:48 AM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Jul 1, 2013 12:09 PM CST
Hmmm, maybe it's the lighter colored ones that hold up better? I think the ones of ours that broke were black. Heh, or maybe they were REALLY cheap (who, me? Hilarious! )
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Jul 1, 2013 12:25 PM CST
Maybe like the pink and green ones that I got from the dollar store? Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Those things broke if you looked at them wrong! The ones I used were from HD, and were super strong. Seems like we used both white and black ones, and not one of them broke. The black ones were smaller and a little thinner, but I had no problems with them!
Natalie
Name: Tina
Where the desert meets the sea (Zone 9b)
Daylilies Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Dog Lover Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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chalyse
Jul 2, 2013 2:25 AM CST
Superb repurposing, Natalie! If our dogs ever "outgrow" their same type of kennel ... I know exactly what I'll do with it now!! Hurray! Thumbs up

This idea deserves many Acorn Acorn Acorn Acorn Acorn Acorn Acorn Acorn Acorn Acorn
Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of old; seek what those of old sought. — Basho

Daylilies that thrive? click here! Thumbs up
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
Image
woofie
Jul 2, 2013 9:54 AM CST
My dog kennel is just a bit too large to re-purpose this way (30'x50'), but I'm toying with the idea of putting a secondary, small GH inside it!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Jul 2, 2013 10:07 AM CST
Thanks Tina!

woofie, you could just open a nursery inside of yours! Hilarious!
Natalie
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 3, 2013 9:05 AM CST
Fabulous idea, Natalie. For ventilation, I'd suggest you cut a 'window' or two in the end opposite the door. Then if you can face the greenhouse with the door towards the wind, you just need to open the windows in the opposite end to get great through-ventilation. Save the need for a fan, and let the wind do the work.

Just cut 3 sides of a square opening - bottom and two sides - reinforce the edges with duct tape as suggested above, tape or glue a wood batten across the bottom and then when you need to ventilate, you just roll it up. You could fasten it up with some velcro, the kind with the sticky back would probably work great. You could make one big one or several small ones to vary the amount of ventilation.

Down here, ventilation is everything for preventing mold, mildew, algae and the like. We did this for a hatch for our boat, and it worked great.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Jul 3, 2013 10:18 AM CST
Elaine, I did cut windows in the plastic in Spring, just like you said, on three sides, and then rolled the plastic up. I had this set up in zone 5a in Utah, so there were no windows needed or wanted during winter. If it got a little too warm, I'd just roll up some of the plastic along the bottom during the afternoon and opened the door, and would then unroll it and cover it back up with dirt when it started to cool off. I never had any problems with algae or mold. Utah is very arid, so I'm sure that everyone would need to figure out what works best for their area. We've recently moved to Idaho, and it is a little more humid here, and warmer, so I'll have to see what happens this year.

Thanks for adding that very useful information!
Natalie
Name: Mary
The dry side of Oregon
Be yourself, you can be no one else
Charter ATP Member Region: Oregon Farmer Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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MaryE
Jul 6, 2013 10:01 PM CST
Back to zip ties for a minute. We used clear ones one year, blue, yellow, green the next (mixed colors in a package). All lasted only a few months. Our neighbor lashed a few cattle panels together for a temporary fence, using clear ones, one day the fence just started falling over! I don't know where any of them were bought. Natalie, you just got lucky!
Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.
More ramblings at http://thegatheringplacehome.myfastforum.org/forum54.php

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