|The first section of the greenhouse was built in 2009. This show it in 2011 when I finished it so it runs the full length of the south side of the house.|
If the south side of your house is level and clear then you can build a much wider greenhouse. If the south wall of your house is taller then you can build a much taller one. If you whole area is flat then you could have beds directly in the ground without retaining walls. My dream home will be two stories with a greenhouse room the full height of the south side and about 12-14 feet wide. It will have in ground planting beds with a meandering brick and gravel pathway, a pond and stream running through it, where I can grow avocados and some citrus which I cannot grow here now.
|2x4 screwed to side of house, pipe fits into hole, plastic stapled to top of 2x4|
I set a 2x12 (you could use a 2x6, I just happened to have a 2x12) at the outer edge of the greenhouse and then played around with my tape measure to get an idea of how long to cut the pipes. Just keep in mind that you don't want the pipes to bulge upward from the house wall, they should arc gently to the ground. Once I figured out the pipe length I cut all the pipes to size.
|The frame showing the wire mesh and the wood it's wired to.|
|The bottom of the PVC attached to 2x12 baseboard on inside|
|fairly simple end framing, seen here without the door in place|
When covering the greenhouse with plastic I cover the bottom part by stapling to the 1x3 board, then pull it smooth and staple it to the 1x12 at the bottom. I pull the edges tight and staple them to the wooden frame at the ends; this way you have a pretty good seal at the ends. For the top of the greenhouse first I staple the length of the plastic to the 2x4s that are attached to the house. Then I use fasteners that are made to go on plastic and will accept a rope or bungee cord. I use bungee cords attached to stakes, concrete blocks or what have you to stretch and anchor the top plastic and keep it as tight as possible. With this method I can open up the whole top of the greenhouse for venting when it gets too warm in spring. Then I cover the ends and the doors. I only got one door made, so at the far end I stapled the plastic to the top part of the frame and just weighted the bottom with rocks. That way I can open it for venting if needed.
|Sept. 2011 Greenhouse frame covered in morning glories.|
The greenhouse does freeze inside, in fact the air temp is usually almost the same as outdoors overnight. But the sun heats up the pots and soil during the day and I think that warm soil is part of why the plants grow so well in it, as well as the warmer temps during the day. During the winter on warm sunny days I open up the windows and get some of that lovely warm humid air into the house. The greenhouse also helps keep cold drying wind off the plants and I think that helps their growth too. Experiment, build your own little green shelter from what ever you have available and have fun!