Are you an avid home gardener who would like to maximize your gardening season all the way into the cold winter months? Since many garden plants do not do well in the winter cold and the outdoor frosty environment – why not bring your gardening indoors? Greenhouses are the perfect way to continue cultivating a garden in the middle of winter!
From a cost and space angle, it definitely makes sense to DIY your own greenhouse than to buy them ready off the shelves. Like the DIY nature of gardening, by building your own greenhouse you will be able to develop a unique space perfect for your greens!
Today we will be sharing some tips and tricks on how you can use Plexiglass to create the greenhouse of your dreams!
Advantage of Using Plastic material instead of Glass to Build Your Greenhouse
When it comes to the construction of greenhouses, you might think that glass is involved! Thankfully, that is not the case in modern times!
A whole range of special greenhouse plastics have been developed for the construction of greenhouses thanks to their special properties:
- Lightweight and durable
- Designed to resist harsh weather conditions
- Easily moldable for construction purpose
- Good at trapping heat and moisture well
- More affordable than glass
Comparing the Different Classes of Greenhouse Plastics – And Why Plexiglass is the Best?
Here are some common types of plastic materials used in the building DIY greenhouses:
This is probably the most common material you will find in home gardens since it is cheap and accessible! Due to its affordable price, it tends to wear down more easily than other materials. You can expect to repair or replace your sheets multiple times in 2 -3 years.
A more durable and expensive alternative to polyethylene. It comes in panels usually made with triple-layered polycarbonate sheets which provide great insulation and durability that your DIY greenhouse will require in the cold season.
The most “glass-like” plastic alternative with all the benefits of glass – such as transparency, great light diffusion, insulation – and none of its cons.
Among the 3 common types of greenhouse plastics, Plexiglass is the choice of discerning home gardeners looking to provide the best environment for their greens!
Why? It is the perfect middle ground in terms of cost – between polyethylene and polycarbonate. On all other counts, it has incredible tensile strength, provides greater insulation than most materials, is resistant to chemicals and more. Plus, it looks the best amongst all the 3 options – with a clear, transparent, and smooth surface!
Basic Tools and Materials that are required to Build A DIY Greenhouse
- Greenhouse frame and structure hardware (e.g. nuts, bolts and brackets)
- Covering – have you decided amongst the 3 common covering materials?
- Tape measure
- Leveling tools
- Drill driver
- Circular saw
- Safety glasses, ear protection
Simple Steps to Building a DIY Greenhouse
Excited to get your DIY greenhouse project started? Here are some simple steps you can follow:
- Get Approval – Yes it may be your backyard but do make sure to do your due diligence and check if any building permits are required before you start on the project!
- Selecting Your Site – You will need enough sunlight from the winter sun for your greenhouse to function correctly. So, when building, make sure you take into consideration the angle of sunlight shining into your garden and find the spot with the most uninterrupted sunlight. It needs at least 6 hours of sunlight even during the winter months!
- Create a Level Area – if your backyard already has a level area that is great! If not, you will need to create one for your greenhouse to sit on!
- Building a Frame – choose between metal and wood frames and build the supporting structure around the area designated for the greenhouse. Build up the frame wall by wall before attaching them together! Followed by the roof.
- Cover Up – Using your choice of covering materials, start to cover up the frame and make sure every nook and cranny is accounted for. You do not want any holes or cracks where the cold winter frost can get it.
- It is Moving Time – It’s time to move your garden into your DIY greenhouse! Make sure you take the time to slowly acclimatize them to the new “indoor” environment before the winter season!
Some Tips to Maintain Your Greenhouse
Congratulations on successfully building your very own greenhouse! Now to make sure that your greenhouse functions at its optimal level, do take note of some of these simple maintenance tips:
- Make sure your plastic panels or sheets of the greenhouse is clear and clean to allow enough sunlight into the interior
- Regularly check for gaps or cracks in your coverings – and patch them up!
- Clear organic matter away regularly from the greenhouse to prevent spreading of diseases or pests within the greenhouse.