How To Build a Mini Greenhouse
Let's Get Those Seeds Started
Wintertime is over, and it is almost time to get your plants growing. The weather is not cooperating and the temperatures are still dropping below freezing. This is when you should have the great idea to build a greenhouse. The only problem is you don't have and extra money in your budget. That is where a little creativity comes in handy.
In the few weeks before winter ends, you only have a short amount of time to get your plants started. You just have to get the seeds into the ground or at least into some soil. By the time they sprout, the weather will be more hospitable. You need to build a small, cheap greenhouse. The following are a couple of ways to build them.
Mini Greenhouse Pt1 - Recycling your soda bottles
I was looking for a way to start some of my plants early, before the last frost of the winter. I needed a cold frame, a mini greenhouse. I didn't want to buy one. I wanted to make one from materials that I already had on hand. This video is the first of two I made to show you how I built a Mini Greenhouse. This part shows you how to harvest plastic from two liter bottles.
Two liter bottles are amazing things. They hold a lot of pressure when filled with a carbonated drink. They are completely recyclable and they can be reused to hold just about any liquid (I would not store Gasoline in a plastic bottle. I had one melt on me from the gasoline when I was trying to clean paint brushes one time. Learned the hard way.)The plastic they are made from are extremely rigid and can be a challenge to work with.
Mini Greenhouse Pt2 - Attaching the Soda Bottle Plastic to a Frame
Here is the second part of the videos I put together showing you how to make a cold-frame out of stuff you can find around the house. I built a wooden frame and attached the plastic from the first video to the top of it making an effective cold-frame. It is a small little frame. I guess you could make it as large as you wanted depending on your application and the size of your plastic.
There may be gaps between your plastic strips. I find if you tape them with a good clear packaging tape, you will be able to keep all the warmth in instead of letting it slip out between the strips.
The Complete Guide to Building Your Own Greenhouse - A Complete Step-by-Step Guide (Back-To-Basics)
I think this book is a great one to have in your library if you desire a greenhouse in your garden. If tells you everything you need to have a greenhouse, how to build that greenhouse and what to grow in your greenhouse. Take a few minutes to go to amazon.com and view the first few pages for free.
There is something to be said about having a complete guide to something. Just from the title you would think that you might have all the knowledge you would ever need to know to build you own greenhouse.
This is an awesome book that gives you more information than you could ever want to know about building your own greenhouse. It is beautifully published and shows what you will need every step of the way.
Even if you don't want to have a book like this for your library, you should at least run to the bookstore and leaf through it. It will make you smile.
The Amazing Lighbulb Greenhouse
I'm Not Really Sure How He Did It
You can Click the Image to find out more about how Max came up with the idea to make this little greenhouse. He used a broken bulb and a used Styrofoam cup to create something unique. I think it would be a great conversation starter for the office or even at home.
My guess is that he had a small pot underneath the cup that was raised up to the opening in the cup. Then there was a hole in the side of the bulb that the plant grew through. Somehow he was able to gut the bulb. I am not sure how he did it. I will have to do a little more research on that one.
This kind of project makes me wonder what other glass objects might make decent greenhouses. You might be able to use an old pickle jar. What if you found some of those ole Pepsi or CocaCola 2 liter bottles they used to make before plastic became so cheap to produce. All you have to do is fill the bottom of the bottle with some soil or peat moss and drop in a few seeds. Then you can water whenever it gets dry. The plant will grow and the condensation will keep most of the water in the bottle.
My $3 Greenhouse Coldframe - Easy and Affordable, What's Better Than That?
In early February of 2012 I noticed we were not having a very cold winter. In fact my apple trees were already putting out their flowers. So I thought it would be a good idea to start some of my gardening.
I went to the local box hardware store and looked around for something that might make a good cold frame or greenhouse. I thought about building one out of 2x4s and a clear plastic drop-cloth.
Hanging Greenhouse You Pick From Below - This is an amazing idea for those who live without a yard
Can you imagine hanging this mini garden on your front porch? You could grow all kinds of things inside of it. I figure it is best suited for greens like spinach or lettuce or herbs like basil. You will probably want something you can pick on a regular basis.
It is not an easy thing to make yourself. If you are an experienced glass blower, you might be able to make your own. I have not come up with a cheap way to make this project. I am wondering if I could find a clay dish with a hole in the middle. Then attach some sort of glass top to it, a top like one you might find on a glass cake dish.
If you find a way to make your own version of this one, make sure you leave details in the comments below so we can all benefit from your successes.
Build Your Own Greenhouse - Out of Old Discarded Windows
I like this project, because it is a form of upcycling. Click on the Photo to see exactly how Ant made this little hot box. He bought most of the pieces he needed to build this project. The windows he bought from a yard sale or thrift store. Then he bought the hinges and other hardware he needed from the home improvement store.
When you have all the pieces, you must do your best to assemble all the sides in a fashion where very little air escapes. The idea is to make a space that will hold in the heat when the air outside the box is cold. You can help keep the cold out if you invest in a bit of weather stripping. Run the stripping along every seam where air might be able to get out.
Once you have the pieces together, you will want to make sure you have a way to vent the box if it starts to get warmer than you plan on.
Greenhouse in a Comforter Bag - Plastic over a crate with plants inside
This one was interesting to see. The author took a crate and places their pots inside. Then they place the whole thing into what looks like a plastic cover to a comforter you might buy from a department store.
I think this is an ingenious way to make a greenhouse. It uses some of the things you probably already have laying around the house.
You Can Always Use Soda Bottles - They will keep the heat in a small area
Most people have a few soda or water or juice bottles laying around the house or sitting in their recycle bins. You can always use these to help start your seedlings in chili weather. All you have to do is cut part of the bottle off and turn it upside down, placing it over your seedling in the pot.
This is a kind of upcycling, the reuse of something instead of throwing it out. It is not recycling because you are not melting it down to form something new, you are finding new ways to reuse and old item.
You don't have to limit yourself to just drink bottles. You can use anything that has a clear surface. Below there is a guy who used an old aquarium. I have seen those glass bricks broken and used as a greenhouse.
You Can get as Eloborate as You Want - If your Wood Working Skills are Honed to Build Such a Project
I don't know about you, but I like to build things. I like to figure out how things work. I like to make them work for me and will sometimes make them as elaborate as they need to be. This is one of those projects. All you need are a few scraps of wood and some liner and a few nails and staples. The rest you can figure out by fitting it to your raised bed.
The best way to go about this is to set up a frame matching the perimeter of your raised bed. Then you build up from there. You will want to make the frame large enough to allow the plants to grow as large as they want to.
The doors on top should be able to lift high enough to let air in and still let the sun pass through to the plants. you may want this project to be permanent, If you do, you want to make the flaps lift in a way they will be open all summer long when the temperatures are high.
What is Your Preference
I want to know how you prefer to plant your annual garden. Different people choose to grow their gardens in different ways. some like to plant in pots, other want to sow their seed directly into the ground. still others like to have upside-down plants.
How Does Your Garden Grow?
Build a Milk Jug Greenhouse - This one is quick and easy.
The next video is one I put together based on an idea I found in a magazine. It has been an easy way to start your seeds and I thought I would go ahead and get a few of my broccoli started. All I need is an empty milk jug, a little soil and some seeds.
Use a Glass Jar - Another idea for a mini Greenhouse
The next few videos are plans made by other people. I thought they were important enough to show you. Take a minute to watch them and maybe you will find something useful for your own back yard.
I like this one because you really don't have to do any prep work.
Pick Up a Gardening T-Shirt
Wearing your Gardening Hobby
I found some Great T-Shirts for the at-home or backyard gardener I thought if we state out feeling about gardening at home, maybe more people will want to think about taking up the hobby. Let's face it. Gardening is something that everyone needs to learn how to do. Not only does it relieve stress, but it also takes us one step closer to self-sustainability. Take a look at the shirts below and support the artists if you like one or more of them. Keep on Gardening.
Use an Aquarium - You Can See the Difference
I love this guy's survival podcast. In this video, he shows you the difference it makes when you cover your plants in the cold months with some kind of cold frame; something that will keep the heat in.
Watch 10x12 Greenhouse Assymbly - All at Super Fast Speed
I found this time lapse video interesting. They assembled a large greenhouse in a few days. I think if you have the space for it on your property a greenhouse is a great thing to invest in if you like to garden. You can save a lot of money as well if you take the time to put it together yourself.