DIY greenhouse

How to start building a DIY greenhouse

First you need to identify the point where to place the greenhouse trying to orient the short side towards the south. Once the area has been defined and the dimensions established, we can choose whether to build a tunnel greenhouse or a small house. Tunnel greenhouses are low in height but long enough and semicircular in shape. The house greenhouses, on the other hand, are higher and larger than the first ones. The climate of the place where it will be built will also be considered. If we are in an area subject to snowfall or exposed to strong winds, it must be built with more resistant materials, which can support the weight of the snow and face strong gusts of wind. Once the choice has been made, we will calculate the material that will be used to build it, evaluating its cost. Taking into consideration a tunnel structure two meters by five meters in size, with a height of two meters, it will need six arches spaced one meter from each other. The cover will be made with a transparent plastic sheet.

To choose the supporting structure of a greenhouse we have several alternatives and different materials. The wood is aesthetically the most beautiful but it needs large dimensions and constant maintenance. Plastic is light but less beautiful. Iron is the cheapest of the range of metals but is very heavy. Steel and aluminum are the best solution but they have a fairly high cost. We also have various solutions for coverage. The most beautiful is certainly glass but it is expensive and very fragile. Transparent polyurethane, the most practical and popular but will need to be replaced over time. Among the plastic materials, plexiglass is certainly not at a good price but aesthetically it is beautiful. It tends to bend when stressed by excessive weights, it is easy to handle and has good thermal insulation.

How to complete a DIY greenhouse

In the construction of the greenhouse, we must take into account the openings. There will be access to enter and take care of the plants but this alone is not enough. The main purpose of this environment is to have a constant and higher temperature outside. The humidity that can be created inside this habitat is as harmful as low temperatures because it can cause plants to develop fungal diseases. It will therefore be necessary to provide openings to allow air exchange. Irrigation is another aspect to consider. You can place containers with water inside the greenhouse in order to water the plants with water at room temperature. Or you can provide an automatic drip irrigation system being careful, in the winter period,

Before starting, it is necessary to establish whether the small greenhouse will have to cover a single plant or a bed of earth that contains more than one. The height of the plants is another important element that will determine the size of the building. You can build mini greenhouses in plastic bottles that are ideal for an orchid, a cactus or plants with shallow roots. The ones in a glass jar are beautiful, using a jar with a lid. By creating the right terrarium inside, we will achieve a surprising effect. With an old rectangular aquarium we will be able to increase the size of the mini greenhouse. It can also be used as a terrarium but we will have to cover it with plastic. Or, upside down, it will act as a greenhouse for a soil base created in a wooden frame. Another solution are the wooden frames that will be assembled as for a large greenhouse. The latter solution also includes the roof and can be positioned safely outside. The size will be established according to the quantity of plants that we decide to put there.

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