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1490 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Wingnut
I searched the archives, but didn't come up with much, so sorry if this has been asked alot before. I want to build a small greenhouse, say 10x20. I have considered PVC as the frame or some similar cheap construction material. I found a few plans for ones made from PVC on the net but am curious, are they rigid enough to stand up to wind? I line in North Central Texas, so snow is not an issue. I am looking for folks who have built one before and had success. Please ring in and tell me a descent, cheap way to build a greenhouse so I can get a jump on our growing season. I need fresh homegrown veggies!!!


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Got two 12 x 24 PVC hoop stype greenhouses. Been up for 12 years through snow and plenty high winds. Depending on the covering you use says how it will hold up. My covering is woven polyvinyl fabric been on the entire 12 years with no deterioration of any sort. check halfway s=down this forun under greenhouse vs cold frames for different covers.
Another thought is this book: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long by Eliot Coleman. He has lots of ideas on mobile hoop greenhouses as well as other ways to extend your season.
Thanks Zack, thats exactly the sorta thing I'm looking for. Thanks everybody else for the other suggestions and comments.

PoePoe, I've tried the pvc idea and it didn't work for me very well ~ too flimsy. DHKenny, BILMike and I came up with a much stronger and better alternative that's just about as cheap as pvc and about as easy if not easier to build, too. Here's a page I put up to show how we built it:

The main thing I like about using the cattle panels instead of the pvc is that, once it's finished with the plywood in the ends, the cattle panels are strong enough to hold hanging baskets lined up down each side, one after another. I haven't tried it yet, but I'll bet you could put TWO rows on each side and it'd still hold them no problem. Also, using the cattle panels and wood makes it a lot heavier, therefore much less prone to go blowing across the pasture. And since it's so heavy, no stakes are needed so it's really rather portable if you use a truck or tractor to pull it to where you want it. We have it sitting in an area we're solarizing to kill bermuda (that's the black plastic you see in the pics). Next year, we'll pull it off the plastic with the bobcat and build beds where it is.

I really love it! It's SO nice to go out there in freezing temps and see all that green!

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions. I'll do my best to answer them.
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Wingnut, your greenhouse looks great. You can also cover the plastic with poultry netting (smooth side down) and secure it to the "box" to help keep the plastic in place. This cuts down on the "flapping" and makes it quieter to work in. I made some from chainlink toprail covered with poultry net then plastic and another laver of poultry net 30 years ago but the livestock panels are much better from what I can see.
Way cool, Wingnut!
Nice, clear pictures and understandable instructions. The ability to create whatever you need is one of the best characteristics of homesteaders, and you've done a great job. Thumbs up to you, your DH and BIL!

Thanks for sharing,
That's a good idea, Whiterock! We solved the flapping problem by pulling the plastic tighter than we had it, then quickly setting a bunch of heavy plants on it before it had a chance to pull loose again. And the conduit hangers have to be just the right size ~ ours were too big at first and the plastic pulled loose at one end. But the chicken wire would certainly work very well, too, and I'll bet it would be better to add it if you live in a climate that get high wind rather often.

Between the three of us, I think we've worked the kinks out and we won't have those problems with the next one we build. We're not rich enough to get twin-wall polycarb, so plastic sheeting is the only thing we can use now and we've tried all manner of frames to put it on (wood, pvc, cattle panels without wood in the ends, t-posts and metal pipe, ...). The cattle panels closed in with plywood at the ends are BY FAR the best, IMHO.

Thank you for the compliments, Babyjane! Yeah, I'm proud of the guys. We all put our heads together to solve any problem we came up on, but they did the most of the work and came up with most of the ideas. They're rather resourceful. I read your response to them and they both said to tell you thanks. :)!
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