DIY Greenhouse
The interior of a basic hoop house design using inexpensive fence panels – in place of full plastic – you can build 3′ high walls and use reclaimed windows to add a little interest and beauty

One of the best ways to continue your growing season is with your very own DIY Greenhouse / Hoophouse. It helps to extend both the spring and fall growing seasons, allowing you to grow fresh vegetables nearly year round. In addition, it can be used to finish growing and hardening off vegetable and flower plantings that we start from seed each year in the early spring.

When it comes to DIY Greenhouse plans – a large majority of the commercial kits simply look flimsy and unattractive. Those that are a little more pleasing to the eye unfortunately also seem to cost a small fortune!

So with the goal of building an attractive and yet inexpensive hoop house – we set about designing one that can use a mix of recycled and reclaimed materials, along with some unique new ones. We want it to be more of a permanent structure – much like a greenhouse would be – minus the high cost. To cover, you can use an inexpensive, good quality 6 ML. Clear Plastic Film Polyethylene

An Attractive DIY Greenhouse Design:

Hoop House Base Design

This hoop house measures 11′ x 20′ – with side walls that are 3′ high.  To give it a little more of a permanent feel – you can use reclaimed windows along the lower portion, or simply run plastic to the ground if the windows are not an option.

Start by sinking (5) 4x4x6′ posts 30″ into the ground on each side – runing a simple bottom and top board along each side to frame it in.  The windows will then get attached between the posts for the base.  The two ends can be finished off by framing out with common lumber and attaching two recycled glass doors, or building a wooden frame with scrap lumber and attaching plastic.  For the arched roof, instead of metal poles or pvc  – inexpensive cattle panels can be used to create a strong and attractive roof line.

We will use cattle panels to create the arched canopy over the hoop house.
Use cattle panels to create the arched canopy over the hoop house.

The panels ($19.99 each) are a great looking and low cost way to provide strength  – and can be easily covered with clear plastic for fall, winter and spring use – or an attractive shade cloth for the summertime.  Each panel is 16′ long x 48″ wide – so it only takes 5 to make the entire 20′ length needed.  The panels bow into shape for a perfect arched form. They  can be secured to top of the 36″ side walls with nails, and panels can then be secured together with ties to a single pipe running from end to end at the top of the curved roof.

The hoop house is 9′ high at the apex of the center line.  This design allows plenty of room to work inside and have a total of 3 raised row beds. The two outer beds can be 20″ wide and run along each windowed side – the middle row is 3′ wide and can be accessed by one of the two walking rows down the middle. You can place 24″ wire racking at the top of the 3′ knee walls to flats when growing them out for the garden each spring.

We will use the hoop house to grow lettuce, spring onions, radishes, kale and other crops through much of the year
The hoop house is perfect for growing lettuce, spring onions, radishes, kale and other crops through much of the year

The growing rows below on the sides may not sound wide – but they can be used for growing lettuce, kale, cabbage, onions, radishes and other quick turnaround crops that do not require much room.

Between the ten posts ($60) the five fence panels ($100), assorted lumber for framing and the plastic sheeting ($60) – you should be able to complete the project for under $250, which is a far cry from what the commercial units cost. 

And that leaves you with your very own DIY Greenhouse / Hoophouse! This post may contain affiliate links.

Happy Gardening – Mary and Jim

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