How to Build a Greenhouse for Your Homestead

A greenhouse can be an excellent way to extend your growing season in a suitable climate. A greenhouse is also helpful for starting plants early, propagating cuttings, and rooting cuttings in close quarters for later transplanting outside. 

If you consider building a greenhouse on your homestead, many considerations will affect the size and design of the structure. In addition, if you are building a greenhouse in your backyard, space limitations are possible. 

Therefore, it will be beneficial to choose one built into the ground (subsurface) or partially into the ground so that planting beds can easily rest on top of slatted frames for drainage and ventilation. 

This article shares some tips on building a small greenhouse that fits well with most backyard conditions while still providing good light levels and ventilation.

How to Build a Greenhouse for Your Homestead

1. Why build a greenhouse on your homestead

To build a greenhouse on your homestead is to invest in the future of your food production. A well-constructed and well-placed greenhouse can extend the growing season, provide a place for starting seeds, propagate plants, and tender shelter plants from harsh weather conditions. 

In addition, greenhouses are structures that can convert solar energy into heat energy, which helps grow plants and has been used for centuries. In the past, greenhouses were typically made from glass or polyethylene sheeting. 

Still, there are several other options, including plastic films, that you can use to cover a greenhouse frame built with lumber two-by-fours or metal pipe. 

The main drawback of building a greenhouse is it requires knowledge on how to construct one safely, so you don’t risk burning down your homestead in the process. 

If you are not interested in building your greenhouse, several companies sell greenhouses kits that can be assembled relatively easily. 

2. How to choose the right location for your greenhouse

A greenhouse is an investment, so you will need to give it plenty of space to be effective. You will want to build your greenhouse near a source of electricity and water. 

It is also essential to have enough space to locate tools, supplies, soil storage, and workbench available nearby. Remember to consider access from all sides to get materials easily inside. 

If there are trees or other obstructions around the area where you plan on building your greenhouse, make sure they can survive with less sunlight by pruning them before construction begins. 

Finally, remember that a greenhouse works best when facing south to get plenty of sunlight. 

3. Considerations when choosing the size of your greenhouse

When choosing the size of your greenhouse, you want to consider space, heat retention, and airflow. Ensure the greenhouse allows enough room to walk around inside comfortably without bumping into or knocking over things. 

The more warmth a greenhouse retains from sunlight, the less you’ll need supplemental lighting in the winter months. Make sure your greenhouse is large enough that plants aren’t overcrowded, leading to poor air circulation and plant disease problems down the line. 

A properly sized ventilation system will allow good airflow but not so much that it becomes drafty when closed up against cold weather outside while still preventing excess moisture buildup on windows during humid weather conditions. 

If humidity levels become too high, you risk creating an environment where harmful mold spores can grow.

4. What materials you will need to build a small backyard greenhouse

You can use various materials, depending on your budget and the size of your greenhouse. A greenhouse can be made from wood, plastic, or metal. If you choose to build your greenhouse out of wood, you will need to purchase lumber and a sheet of Plexiglas or another type of transparent roofing material. 

The greenhouse can be made from recycled materials or purchased new if you select plastic. If you decide to build your greenhouse out of metal, you can use various materials. The size and design of the greenhouse will also affect the amount of material needed to complete this project.

Depending on its dimensions, a small backyard greenhouse may only require a few pieces of lumber or plastic sheeting. In addition, garden glass Greenhouses are naturally cool in summer so that you can enjoy exotic fruit all year round! 

5. Add vents to control airflow inside the greenhouse

If you have a greenhouse, you know how beneficial it can be for your plants. If not properly sealed, however, it is very easy for the inside of a greenhouse to get too hot and dry out all of your plants. 

To control airflow into the greenhouse, add vents that allow you to increase or decrease airflow as needed. In addition to adding ventilation controls, there are also other ways you can keep temperatures from rising excessively high in your greenhouses:

  • Use reflective material on roofing panels so less sunlight gets through.
  • Paint exterior walls white or another bright color, so more light reflects them instead of being absorbed by dark colors.
  • Keep any doors open during sunshine hours but closed at night when insolation will drop.

These are just a few tips to help keep your greenhouse temperatures under control. Experiment with different methods to find what works best for you and your plants. With a little bit of effort, you can create the perfect environment for growing beautiful plants all year long!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use a greenhouse when doing hydroponic gardening?

You can use a greenhouse for hydroponic gardening, but you need to make some modifications. The main thing you need to do is add a ventilation system so that the hot air can escape. You also need to make sure that your plants are getting enough light. If you cannot provide enough natural light, you will need to add grow lights. Also, you can add insulation to the greenhouse to keep your plants warm during the winter.

Do you need to be licensed to build a greenhouse?

Generally speaking, most people don’t need a license to make a small garden greenhouse for personal use. However, if you are planning on building something larger or more complicated, it’s best to check with your local municipality just to be sure. In some cases, you may need a permit or construction drawings to begin building. 

How hard is it to install electrical wiring in a greenhouse?

Installing electrical wiring in a greenhouse is no different than installing it in any other building – you just need to be sure that you have enough outlets to meet your needs. If you’re planning on using heating or cooling systems in your greenhouse, be sure to install an adequate electrical supply.

Takeaway

Now that you understand why you need to build a greenhouse and its features let’s talk about how we can make this happen. A great thing about the internet age is that there’s no shortage of tutorials on anything from basic carpentry skills to advanced robotics projects. 

Sometimes circumstances get in the way (time restrictions, etc.), or perhaps you simply don’t feel confident enough with tools yet- which is understandable! If any of these apply to you, check out some guides online for pre-built greenhouses.



Written by Brian Rucker

Brian Rucker has spent his entire life participating in essentially all things homestead. He grew up on a homestead and helped his parents do the day-to-day. Read more of Brian's articles.