Build Your Own Simple Greenhouse

In the fall of 2013, I decided to throw together a greenhouse over two of my raised beds so that I could grow some winter crops AND so that my tomatoes would be well protected for the 2014 growing season. I thought I might take it down halfway through the summer but it worked out so well and my tomatoes were so happy that I never ended up taking it down but instead improved upon the original design.
In the spring, I start my seeds indoors in seed trays. Once the seedlings emerge and are strong, I transplant them to 4 inch pots and move them out to the little greenhouse with lots of good plant happy lighting. When I have too many in the little greenhouse, the more mature plants can now be moved out to the big greenhouse. This past spring, we started over 100 plants using this process and most of them grew up to be big and strong. I added a brooder light in the spring when the nights were still dropping down to freezing or below. That kept the plants just warm enough to continue to thrive.
Also, I suspended an old crib side from the ceiling. It served as a great slatted shelf for the plants so the water could drain off but they received lots of sunlight.
It is vitally important to keep the air moving inside the greenhouse. In the warmer summer months, I rolled up the sides and opened the doors. My tomatoes LOVED having the protection from the top while still receiving tons of good sunlight and a cross breeze.
Now here's one final picture to inspire you to build your own and to get excited about your 2015 garden.
For more details on how to build your own amazing greenhouse, check out my blog at:

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Julie at Build, Sew, Reap

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4 of 7 comments
  • Carole
    on Jan 12, 2015

    I love this idea! I would do this myself but we get a few months of very savage winds up here in the mountains which easily take out trees and would play havoc with a greenhouse.. I don't think this would survive where I live. I love all the information you gave about starting your seedlings and moving them on. We tend to start ours inside the house and when big enough they go to a sheltered corner of the garden (close to the house and protected by walls of the house) and then they take their chances outside. We don't get a very high success rate though. Looks like you have got it all figured out!

    • Carole
      on Jan 13, 2015

      @Julie at Build, Sew, Reap I clipped to my garden inspiration board as I hope many people will take this up. It is a good idea!

  • Douglas Hunt
    Douglas Hunt
    on Jan 13, 2015

    Great project. Sounds like it has really increased your gardening power.

    • Julie at Build, Sew, Reap
      Julie at Build, Sew, Reap
      on Jan 26, 2015

      @Douglas Hunt It really has. Today I wandered out with some scrap 2x4s that I ripped for another project then didn't use. I laid them across from one end to the other and now have a shelf for my seedling trays. Seed starting time is right around the corner and this year I'm doing MORE MORE MORE! :) Bring on the new growth.

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