Greenhouse project

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Macybaby, Jan 6, 2007.

  1. Macybaby

    Macybaby I love South Dakota Supporter

    Jun 15, 2006
    South Dakota
    I’m trying to get motivated to get started on my greenhouse. I really do hope to be able to use it this spring – so I’d better not take too much time.

    The plans are to convert the south east corner of the “Bug Shed” (see name explanation below) into a greenhouse. This shed already has water and electricity (though the wiring needs to be updated). The cement floor is in very good shape (I think the date in the cement is 1956) for it’s age.


    This building is actually two sheds. The west end (to your left as you look at the picture) is older, and the floor in that section is cracked and coming apart. The east end was added on at some point. The tin was added about 7-8 years ago(previous owners) right over what was there. Looks sort of like a quick fix out of supplies from a farm auction. Has kept the rain out, but looks best from a decent distance. Dealing with that has not gotten very high up on our “Do to” list.

    This is a closer shot of the end where the greenhouse will go.

    I will take off the tin and the siding, and replace that with some sort of poly panels. I’ve found a supplier, but have not decided exactly what I want to use yet. I don’t plan on running the panels all the way to the cement floor, but not sure how far down I’ll go yet.

    I’ll start at the door and go to the corner, then around the east end about to the peak. The front roof section will also be replaced with poly panels.

    Here is the inside of the building.

    Hmmmm – looks like cleaning the inside will be the first thing to get done! I plan on framing in a wall to section off the greenhouse part from the rest, and will get that all done before removing any of the exterior.

    I’m trying to decide if I should install one layer of triple wall panels, or two layers of double or single wall panels. Because I am using the existing 2x4 framing, I can easily attach panels on both the outside and the inside of the structure. The framing is 24” on center, and I can get panels that width.

    I live in SD, so I don’t know if trying to make a four season greenhouse is practical, but it sure would be fun. I’ve still got a lot of designing and figuring to do. This will be my third greenhouse. The 1st was a frame with plastic covering that was great for starting seeds. That was when we had 1/3 acre in suburbia. Learned that greenhouses need windows – it can really heat up in there!

    2nd was in WI, that was a combo greenhouse/garden shed. It did have electricity but no water. That one had a panel roof and sheet plastic sides. Ended up converting it to a chicken coop, then removing it all together when I decided to give up having a garden in that spot. Plans in WI included eventually adding a sunroom onto the house, but then plans changed and we moved to SD.

    I have not done much gardening since we left MN, and I really want to get back to it. If I had to choose only one hobby, it would be gardening, so it’s time for me to get back to my favorite pastime.

    On a side note, this is Bug

    Bug was born when we lived in WI. She had great big eyes, so I called her my bug eyed kitten, and the name “Bug” stuck. She lived in our barn in WI, and would come up to the house and visit with us when we were working in the shop, or around the place. She got to know the house cats and horses.

    When we bought the home in SD, we moved just about everything but Bug out here. DH didn’t want to be all alone, so he kept Bug with him. When the place didn’t sell, and DH decided to move into his folks condo for the winter (while they went south) Bug got moved to SD.

    Being that there was no way to lock up the barn, and that we already got some local kittens for barn cat duty, we locked Bug up in the shed when she first came out. Didn’t want her running off in search of “home”. I would let her out when I was around to keep an eye on her, and it was almost like she realized that this is where everyone else had gone. The house cats go out a lot, and she already knew them, and she knew the horses too. Bug soon grew accustomed to the shed, and I would leave the top half of the door open for her to go in and out as she pleased. That is when we started referring to the building as the “Bug Shed”.

    Then when it started getting cold, we put a cat door into the wall, with a shelf so Bug could get in and out easily. We had been using cat doors in our sheds in WI, so Bug already knew what they were, and she got use to it in no time. Cat doors half way up the wall with a shelf for the cat really do help keep other things out.

    When it is not real nice outside, Bug will sit in front of the window and watch from the comfort of her home. Helps keep down on mice in the shed too!


  2. jd4020

    jd4020 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Feb 24, 2005
    Love the name Bug for your cat.
    This building is really great, hope it fulfills all that you want it too.
    Thanks for sharing your plans.

  3. rzrubek

    rzrubek Flying Z

    May 12, 2004
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Macybaby, here is a website that you may find very helpful in your project. It has some really good info about what you are wanting to do. Just be careful with the structural aspects when stripping the sheathing off [​IMG].
    Good luck, Randy
  4. savinggrace

    savinggrace COO of manure management

    Oct 27, 2005
    I love Bug! Looks like a great project; please keep us posted (with photos) as it progresses! I hope to do something similar someday :p

    GREENCOUNTYPETE Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 25, 2006
    just a thought i looks like you could use the storage space have you thought about a leanto green house off the south side
    you have plenty of roof height to work with and it would probably be easier than pealing of the tin and planks and then re bracing and patchining in polly pannels to just put up a 3 sided with treated lumber and polly pannels for the roof you may be able to find storm windows used for the side walls then the bellow 3 feet make tin or whatever

    one thing to remember with green houses is they are very hard on lumber
    use stainless nails or coated screws with the heat and humidity things will rust fast and untreated wood will rot fast

    then maybe paint the back wall with a zinc paint (silver in color)to reflect the light on the back of the plants

    i have also heard that 55 gallon drums around the perimiter painted black
    they make good support for benches and filled with a anti freeze (use rv anyfreeze or salt) will take on heat all day and release all night.
  6. SquashNut

    SquashNut Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2005
    This is my lean to green house. We put tin on the roof for snow load. But you could put poly panels.