Texas Gardening forum: How to Construct a Temporary Greenhouse

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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Mar 2, 2010 9:10 AM CST

Moderator

I know spring is right around the corner....it is isn't it, pleeeeez? These instructions are for you to put away somewhere for fall. You know, after you bought all those hibiscus and bananas from the co-ops and realize you don't have room to store them in the garage. This is very low tech. If you're an engineer, do not read any further... My husband usually puts this up for me, but was out of town and we had a freeze coming.

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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
Image
Bubbles
Mar 2, 2010 10:20 AM CST

Moderator

A partial supply list to get you started depending on what size you want the gh:

1/2 " pvc pipe for the ribs and purlin
Pipe connectors
1 5/8" drywall screws
2' pcs of 1/4'' rebar
Duct tapefor you to store away somewhere for fall
Spring clips
Batten tape
Plastic sheeting 6 mil

Portable drill
Drill bit to start the screws
Phillips screw driver
Hammer
Pvc cutter or saw



Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
Image
Bubbles
Mar 2, 2010 10:40 AM CST

Moderator

Gather supplies and equipment, preferably on a sunny, calm day. Mine goes against the fence and is high enough to cover some tropicals, and low enough that the neighbors don't see it from their garden. By now you've already decided how big you want yours and have drawn out a plan.


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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
Image
Bubbles
Mar 2, 2010 10:45 AM CST

Moderator

About every 4', I hammered a piece of rebar into the ground and slipped a piece of pipe over the rebar. You may decide to make a much smaller gh, so your rebar might be closer to 2' or 3'....

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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
Image
Bubbles
Mar 2, 2010 10:50 AM CST

Moderator

As you have already decided on how high and wide you want it, now you should attach a purlin (the pipe that attaches to the ribs across the top of the gh and holds the structure together) 1/2 the length of your pipe ribs. It's best to do this before you try to raise the pipes. Line up the ribs to the other side of your gh, then hammer rebar on the other side of the area you're covering.

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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
Image
Bubbles
Mar 2, 2010 10:55 AM CST

Moderator

Slip the other side of the pipe onto the rebar. You just built a greenhouse all by yourself! Now you have to cover it!

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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
Image
Bubbles
Mar 2, 2010 11:17 AM CST

Moderator

Unless your gh is very small, you'll need help unrolling the plastic and hoisting it over the gh frame. Before you cover the structure, make sure to cover any screws that may tear the plastic with duct tape. My daughter helped me unroll the plastic, but we could have used another pair of hands also. You can sort of eyeball the middle of the plastic by the folds. Make sure to leave enough plastic on both sides of the structure. Since mine was along the fenceline, I was able to secure the plastic to the fence by screwing the pvc pipe to the fence with the plastic between.
Depending on where you locate your gh, the wind may be a factor. We use batten tape to keep the structure from flying into the neighbors' yard. You can attach it the ground with tent anchors, or if it's against a fence drill one side into the fence and anchor the other to the ground. We secure it diagonally. To secure the bottom of the gh, you can run a board along the bottom and staple the plastic to it, or you may just use bricks or rocks. We'd done both. The only problem with using a board is you can't easily raise the side when it's a warm day. Use some spring clips to secure the plastic to the pvc pipe, depending on how long or large your gh is. It will help when the fronts blow thru!


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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
Image
Bubbles
Mar 2, 2010 11:26 AM CST

Moderator

The ends of your gh can be folded over and secured at the bottom, or you can add a small door if your gh is a larger one. Either way, leave yourself a way to get in and out. At some point, you'll want to go in and check on things, to water, add a small heater, or just smell the flowers.... I string large Xmas lights in mine. They give off a small bit of heat in a large gh, and a surprising amount of heat in a smaller one!
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
Image
Bubbles
Mar 2, 2010 11:43 AM CST

Moderator

As soon as spring comes, we take off the plastic, fold it up into a little square and store it. Disassemble the pipe and hide it behind the storage shed. And the garden has a head start.
Hope this helps. Let me know if you have questions or suggestions. If you already build your own gh, please add to this forum. We can all learn....
Name: Anna
North Texas (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Texas Clematis Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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canadanna
Oct 17, 2010 9:41 PM CST
Explain to me again how you attach the PVC ribs to the purlin. Did you drill the drywall screws in through both PVC pieces at right angles? Where did you use the connectors?
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
Image
Bubbles
Oct 18, 2010 2:12 PM CST

Moderator

Read thru this article. I may have explained it better in the article.

http://cubits.org/TexasGardening/articles/view/76/

I did attach the ribs to the purlin with screws at right angles. I used connectors to extend the length of the ribs when I wanted to make the gh taller. Let me know if you need me to explain it better. What I see in my head doesn't always transfer to the written word!
Name: Anna
North Texas (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Texas Clematis Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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canadanna
Nov 4, 2010 9:42 PM CST
I think I understand it. I am not sure it would work for me b/c I have dogsthat I don't know if I could trust near plastic. I am also worried that if gets too much sun, I will fry the plants. I love the idea though.

isuvb2
Nov 8, 2010 10:22 PM CST
Aggie Greenhouse:

Bubbles-Thought you might like this picture of our greenhouse! My husband graduated from Texas A&M so we felt confident we could use your post to make our own greenhouse this winter. We don't have as many plants as you do so ours is a little smaller but thought some of your readers might enjoy a different version. We started with a PVC frame and then went to the local BBQ place for the "ribs and purlin" but they had no idea what we were talking about, so when we go back home we just screwed in some wood for added strength. We paid close attention to your note about adding a door so you could get in to check on things-you are so smart!

Here it is all done....whaddya think?!
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isuvb2
Nov 8, 2010 11:13 PM CST
Hi again-
Sorry for the additional post, but think we forgot something. While working on the greenhouse the Mr. and I were commenting on how fun it would be to meet Bubbles- anyone who listed "hammer and rebar" in the directions sounded like a lot of fun!! Looking back, I guess we must have read some of the steps out of order cause after we finished with the door we left for the rebar to get hammered. Back at the house we sat and admired our handy work, however the Mr. just couldn't figure out how that one door was going to keep the cold out. He thought about adding more doors but had run out of wood. I decided to check your instructions again and lordy lordy, we didn't need more doors, just plastic! Now that is smart!

Here is a picture of it with the plastic! So not as big as yours, and a little different, but I think it'll do the trick. And when the Mr. acts up, he can sleep out there!

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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
Image
Bubbles
Nov 8, 2010 11:38 PM CST

Moderator

I can assure you, it will work better with plastic on it...tho I wouldn't have suggested it and hurt anyone's feelings. I did notice that your door has not one, but two locks on it. I bet your Aggie thought of that too, didn't he?

(BTW, there's only room for one comedian in this family....)
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
Image
Bubbles
Nov 9, 2010 2:58 PM CST

Moderator

isuvb2......I'm a little concerned...

The Farmers Almanac is predicting an extremely cold winter.

It must be true, the squirrels are gathering Nuts.

Three of my neighbors have disappeared.

Are you okay....
Name: Anna
North Texas (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Texas Clematis Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
canadanna
Nov 9, 2010 7:58 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
Image
Bubbles
Feb 9, 2014 12:03 AM CST

Moderator

@canadanna, did you ever get your greenhouse? I was looking back at old threads and came across this one.
[Last edited by Bubbles - Feb 9, 2014 8:32 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #552685 (18)
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Feb 9, 2014 12:25 AM CST
I'm glad I didn't see this before I build the lean-to. That was your idea also that worked out perfectly. But this? I lost you at purlin.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
[Last edited by ShadyGreenThumb - Feb 9, 2014 12:25 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #552692 (19)
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
Image
Bubbles
Feb 9, 2014 12:43 AM CST

Moderator

A purlin is the pipe that goes across the center of the top to hold the hoops up. I was just curious to see if Anna had ever put one up. At this late hour, I didn't realize it would bump the whole thread up to the first page.

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