I can day-dream about them all day long … greenhouses and cold frames! They are such effective structures to extend the season, allowing us to grow an abundant garden year round even in the cold winter!
Here are some of the BEST tutorials on how to build amazing DIY greenhouses , simple cold frames and cost-effective hoop houses.
You will discover that you can have a great productive greenhouse or cold frame even when you have little budget and little carpentry skills.
There is a perfect DIY greenhouse for everyone! ( Note: this post has been updated: now we have 42 greenhouses! Just have to add some really great new ones! )
Every one of these greenhouses and cold frames contain lots of inspirations to learn from. You will find ingenious ideas such as passive heating elements of painted jugs, straw bale as building material that needs no tools, using tree branches, old bottles, windows, and even a trampoline! ( Some of the helpful resources are affiliate links. Full disclosure here. )
Before we dive in, I want to share with you two of my FAVORITE books on greenhouse gardening-
The classic is Four Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long by Elliot Colman. He gardens year round in cold Vermont, and shares simple, inexpensive designs for cold frames, unheated mobile greenhouses, and root cellars in this amazing book.
The new ground breaking ( literally) book The Forest Garden Greenhouse is written by the brilliant permaculture designer Jerome Osentowski who grows bananas and citrus on a rocky hillside in Colorado with winters in -30s.
1. Cut Bottle Mini Greenhouses
The easiest 1-minute DIY greenhouse, yet surprisingly effective. Check out the 3 secrets to success here at A Piece Of Rainbow !
2. Cedar Branch Hoop House
This DIY cedar hoop can last 30 years! If you have Cedar or other rot resistant trees where you live, they can be an attractive and all-natural alternative to PVC pipes. Just add good quality greenhouse plastic or less expensive plastic sheeting such as this one!
3. Instant Small Greenhouses
Just want to include these no-work version of greenhouses: these collapsible covers are made of Polyethylene greenhouse fabric. They are inexpensive and easy to store when not in use! You can find them here and here.
4-6. Straw Bale Cold Frame
These are very easy cold frames to build. So simple and so ingenious! Straw Bales hold the heat as walls that need no tools to construct, just add windows or plastic, and frame.
7. Old window cold frame
8-10. Easy DIY A-frame greenhouses
A-frame greenhouses are very easy to DIY. Here are 3 variations showing different easy-to-work-with materials such as straw bales, old windows, and poly sheeting. ( Source: 8 | 9 | 10 )
11. Hardware Fencing Hoop House
An easy way to create a hoop house tunnel is to use hardware wire mesh! The livestock panels used here are a heavy gauge galvanized welded wire fencing material. The plastic cover can be removable to allow beans, gourds etc to grow in the summer! ( Dave’s Garden , and Peak Prosperity )
12. Pallet Greenhouse
Having 2 greenhouses is 8 times more amazing! ( The Green Lever )
Here’s our favorite tool for taking apart pallets – a Duckbill Deck Wrecker that makes it so fast and easy!
Related article: All about how to find and use pallets as a building material!
13. Hoop House Over Garden Bed
Two variations of PVC hoop houses over garden beds – first one has a great video showing how to secure the PVC onto rebar stakes, while in second one the PVC goes into the ground directly. ( Bonnie Plants , and Whole Lifestyle Nutrition )
14. DIY Hoop House made easy
Cut sections from an old hose to clamp the greenhouse plastic to the PVC hoop. Great idea here! Continue to next page –