Appalachia Gardening

Building A Greenhouse

How to build a greenhouse
Several weeks ago, I mentioned we took down the girls swing sets to make room for something new in our backyard-the something new-was a greenhouse.

A few of you may remember, last year I started all my tomatoes and peppers from seed and after they sprouted I was able to let them spend time in a local greenhouse. The result-we had the absolute best tomato and pepper production we’ve ever had. I’m convinced it’s cause I started the plants from seed and took care of them until they were big enough to plant outside.

We were going to follow the same plan of attack for this summer’s garden-only we hit a slight bump in the road. After I had all the seedlings planted I learned I wouldn’t be able to use the local greenhouse this year. The Deer Hunter came up with a plan-and it didn’t take him long to convince me it was the best option-we’d build our own greenhouse.

Our close friends have a greenhouse they’ve used for the last 7 years-I peppered them with questions-and since The Deer Hunter had seen it before-he already had a general idea of how a greenhouse should be constructed.

how to build a greenhouse

We decided a greenhouse 20 feet long would be plenty big enough for what we needed. First The Deer Hunter went looking through the scrap wood pile and found enough lumber to make the base/sides.

building a greenhouse with pvc pipe
He had already bought 13 pieces of 3/4 X 20 foot pvc pipe, 4- 4 X 4 posts, 7 sheets 1/2 inch osb, and a roll of 6 mil clear plastic. He attached 11 of the pieces to the 2 sides. He added 2 pieces of pvc down the length of the piece that would make the hoop-to add additional support.

how to build a cheap greenhouse
Next we raised it up-it took all four of us to get it into position-then we held it while The Deer Hunter made sure it was square and attached it to the ground with re-bar.

easy to build greenhouse
He then framed in the ends securing them to the ground with 4 X 4 posts. He put a door in one end and a framed opening for an exhaust fan in the other. When he got to this point-he decided to bring each end in 2 feet to make an over hang on each end which would help protect the wood framing.

How to build a greenhouse
After that-it was time for the plastic. We draped it over about 2 feet extra on each side. He attached the plastic on each end with metal roofing screws-screwing it directly to the pvc.

With the help of the girls-and Ruby Sue-we buried the plastic on each side. After he built and installed the door-we had us a greenhouse of our very own-for a little less than 2 days work-and 250 bucks.

I was so excited after it was built-actually we all were. But I was also a little nervous-I kept thinking what if it doesn’t work? My worries are now gone-the tomatoes, peppers, and melons I started are thriving-just like they did in the ‘borrowed’ greenhouse we used last year. The best part-I won’t ever have to worry about using someone else’s greenhouse again.

*For updates on the construction of the greenhouse-go here.



You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    May 12, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Wow, that’s awesome Tipper! We’ve talking about a green house for some time now. I think this year is the year… I’ll have to show DSH (dear sweet hubby) your photos. Great job!

  • Reply
    May 11, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Be careful greenhouses are addictive!!

  • Reply
    Jennifer in OR
    May 10, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Way to go!! Like the others, I’m so impressed with it all–your husband’s efforts and the kids and the talent and time… A belated happy Mother’s Day to you, you are some amazing mama!!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 10, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Tipper you might want to do a post sometime on all the uses the Deer Hunter has found for dry wall screws……and be sure to include a picture of the boot he repaired! lol!

  • Reply
    Julie at Elisharose
    May 10, 2011 at 10:28 am

    That’s wonderful! I would love a greenhouse. I have had my eye on the swing set for awhile now. I hope it will come down before too long. Then I will claim the backyard!

  • Reply
    fishing guy
    May 10, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Tipper, Your greenhouse is bigger them my garden. lol

  • Reply
    May 9, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    OK, You make that look a little to easy. How much would you charge to come up to Missouri and build me one? Nice job!

  • Reply
    janet pressley
    May 10, 2011 at 2:48 am

    Glad to see plants in the making!! I can’t get around the weeds here. I will miss the swings and times at the pools with the girls, however. That’s the way it goes. Nana

  • Reply
    May 10, 2011 at 1:06 am

    Awesome, just be aware that a green house is an evil taskmaster. Run it cold in the winter, don’t even think about trying to heat it.

  • Reply
    May 9, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Stacey-he used 2 inch dry wall screws. He screwed them through the plywood into the hoops. He also put the 4 x 4s directly under a hoop so he could screw down through the hoop into the 4 x 4 that he put in the ground.

  • Reply
    May 9, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Mary Jane-he drilled holes in the in the side boards that are laying on the ground. He drilled the holes from edge to edge of the board-not through the middle.Then he hammered a piece of rebar through the holes into the ground. He used 3 rebar on each side. You could use more rebar if you wanted to for extra strength.

  • Reply
    SandyCarlson (USA)
    May 9, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    I admire your effort and what you accomplish.

  • Reply
    Rooney Floyd
    May 9, 2011 at 7:52 pm


  • Reply
    May 9, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    That looks like a awesome project and it looks like it came together pretty good.
    Whitetail Woods™

  • Reply
    May 9, 2011 at 11:31 am

    the greenhouse is WONDERFUL!! and i love chitter’s poem…happy mothers day, my friend. xoxo

  • Reply
    May 9, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    You are one lucky dog! My green house was our dining room floor and then a card table. All 40 tomato plants were put out last week, and then today we got hail. Looks like they will survive!
    Happy Gardening.

  • Reply
    May 9, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    YAY! I love it!
    I’ve always wanted a greenhouse. And one day I’ll have one, too. But the chicken house comes first. LOL

  • Reply
    lynn legge
    May 9, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    wow tipper. .that is wonderful .. the deerhunter is one talented man.. youre lucky 🙂 and sings good to boot..
    now you will be able to have many years use out of the greenhouse.. and can even get to growing a few flowers too . i pray that you and yours have a very bountiful garden.. im sure you will.. with such a closeness to nature and the good Lord.
    sending big ladybug hugs

  • Reply
    May 9, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Great greenhouse; this must be the year for beginner greenhouses. I started seeds in my little 6x6x8 greenhouse and am waiting their sprouting with baited breath. I don’t have a hoop; it’s from Tractor Supply.

  • Reply
    May 9, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    I know you’re excited with the new
    greenhouse you all built. I’m happy for you! Just having a family project is rewarding and a
    good learning experience. Thanks
    for posting all the pictures and
    directions on how to build. This
    is something I might want to do
    sometime…nice job, Deer Hunter.

  • Reply
    Just Jackie
    May 9, 2011 at 8:55 am

    LOVE IT !!!! I’m green with envy. LOL

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    May 9, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Love your greenhouse. Since I pretty much live in a greenhouse, building one here would be redundant.

  • Reply
    May 9, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Hooray for you! A greenhouse and a clever husband to bring it into being!

  • Reply
    Pat in east TN
    May 9, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Tipper … I am impressed, yet SO jealous! I have always wanted a greenhouse, but so it goes. So glad that it’s working out for you and two thumbs up for the Deer Hunter building it for you.

  • Reply
    Susie Swanson
    May 9, 2011 at 10:57 am

    I love your greenhouse. They did a good job, I ve always wanted one. I know you will enjoy it.. Susie

  • Reply
    May 9, 2011 at 10:31 am

    I’m going to have to show this post to my husband and son. My son and I have been thinking about building a greenhouse. Yours looks like a real nice one.

  • Reply
    May 9, 2011 at 9:31 am

    That’s so neat -wish deer hunter could come here and build me one my windowsill is very full right now!
    Have a great day.

  • Reply
    Mary Jane
    May 9, 2011 at 9:22 am

    I am so interested. We have wanted one, too, and I asked my husband to read this. How did you attach it to the ground with rebar? We have very high winds here, and I wonder how well it would stand up to that.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 9, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Tipper, I was so impressed with your new greenhouse when I was there this weekend. The Deer Hunter did a great job…with help from you and the girls, of course!
    You are lucky to have a man who can build, fix, or do anything. If I were to write a profile of your Deer Hunter it would include such words as competent, capable, imaginative, integrity, honesty, loyalty caring, loving,quiet, smart, strong, able to do anything with his hands….to name a few.
    You’ll be able to grow greens all winter in your new greenhouse!
    Congratulations….on the greenhouse and the man!

  • Reply
    May 9, 2011 at 9:02 am

    tell the deer hunter i am impressed with his skills, looks perfect to me, you will have more produce than you can handle, bring out the canning stuff

  • Reply
    May 9, 2011 at 8:36 am

    Ah, Ha! So that is why you had a picture of a level a few weeks back. I never thought of building a green house to start my tomatoes. Looks great!

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    May 9, 2011 at 8:17 am

    Tipper–I’s envious on several counts. The Deer Hunter’s practical bulding skills, the finished product, the ample assistance Matt had while construction was going on, and most of all, what you have to look forward to this year and in years to come.
    I started tomato plants and several herbs in seed flats this year, using clear plastic lids and a inside/outside shuttle depending on the weather. While we have a sun porch, it isn’t the same as a greenhouse. All my plants were leggy, although most are now in the ground and time will tell how things go. As usual, I’ve overdone it with somewhere around 80 mater plants in the ground in Bryson City and Rock Hill, and Don picked up another dozen this past week (two types of yellow ones neither of us were familiar with).
    I look forward to progress reports, as I know is the case with other readers, and you might want to think about some fun things in the future such as growing orchids from seed or rooting them from cuttings.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    May 9, 2011 at 7:49 am

    That is awesome! I have started my seeds in the house for two years now & they sprout but then get spindly & do not thrive & I end up buying plants from our local greenhouse. I’ve decided that its because the little sprouts need a greenhouse. I am going to print out your directions in the hopes that my hubby may someday build me one. How were the hoops secured to the wood so they would stay in place? That’s the only part I didn’t get.
    Great job Deer Hunter!

  • Reply
    Mary Shipman
    May 9, 2011 at 7:20 am

    Two thumbs up! Makes me want one too. I have seedling plants that go ‘in and out’ right now.
    Maybe I can get Hubby to give up some of his other projects fr a day or two and see what he can ‘recycle’ to make one here after reading this.
    As always, Thanks Tipper for a great post.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    May 9, 2011 at 7:05 am

    You are going to love your greenhouse….Be careful…you will find that you are taking cuttings from everyones plants to start..Next comes seed heating mats..for early winter sprouting..
    You will want to keep house plants in the winter and add more..It can be a money pit…..
    just like any hobby! lol
    We loved ours and sold enough at little spring plant sales,etc. to pay for our potting mixes, seeds plus we had our own plants for the garden…but it does take some work, but fun…We heated ours with an electric blower type heater when the temp was to drop below freezing..but then I got in a habit of keeping plants in it year round…LOL
    Ours was a hoop…but back then there was no PVC..we used pipe, hammered in the ground, put rebar in the pipe holes and two men bent the rebar over into the other side of the pipe hole. I do have a little plastic greenhouse with shelves and grow lights..but didn’t use it this year…
    You guys did a great job on it…Now when can I come over to buy some plants?
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    May 9, 2011 at 6:22 am

    I’m so very jealous! My *greenhouse* is a huge recessed window in the living room..

  • Leave a Reply