Tag Archives: inexpensive

An Interview with Anna: Her Inexpensive Geodome Greenhouse

Some time ago I was introduced to Anna from northernhomegarden.com - a fellow gardening enthusiast from central Alberta. She writes a very interesting blog – and has a most interesting geodome greenhouse. If you’ve never seen a geodome greenhouse before – you’ve got to check this out!

GeoDome GreenhousePretty cool, huh? I recently interviewed Anna (via email) about her garden & her greenhouse, so I thought I’d share our conversation with all of you. It went kinda like this:

Dave: First of all, tell me a little bit about yourself.

Anna: We are Jakob and Anna, passionate suburban home gardeners in Alberta, Canada. We grow lots and lots of food in our square foot garden, in the greenhouse, and at our friend’s farm. Truth is we do not even own a single square foot of land, but we do what we can and call it Northern Home Garden.

Dave: What’s the most unique feature of your garden?

Anna: It sure is our Geodome Greenhouse.

Dave: Why did you choose the geodome style for your greenhouse?

When we started to plan to build a greenhouse, our expectations were very high. In an northern garden we are dealing with frost, nasty winds and hail and also loads of snow in the winter. Our days in spring and fall are short of direct sunlight, so we need to catch every sunbeam we can. Plus, we live in town and the greenhouse in our small back yard needed to be somehow catchy. ;) In our research we came across the GeoDome greenhouse:

  • Very unique, lightweight structure
  • Stable in wind and under snow
  • Optimal light absorption
  • Has the most growing ground space
  • A unique hang-out place
  • An eye catcher

The GeoDome greenhouse is just what we were looking for.

Dave: How difficult/expensive was it to build?

The most difficult part was to figure out how to build a Geodome, what kind of joints to use, what frequency is right for the size. We looked at dozens of How-To instructions and even bought an E-Book (with very little value). But all together it helped to build the GeoDome we have and love.

Building a Geodome Greenhouse

For the structure we used untreated spruce lumber, and stained it before assembling. For covering we used greenhouse plastic that was given to us from an commercial greenhouse. So the expenses were not very high, about $200, and it took us about a month to build it. All in all a very good experience, something we would recommend. We do share our experiences ‘How to build a GeoDome greenhouse’ here: http://www.northernhomegarden.com/2013/03/how-to-build-geodome-greenhouse.html

Dave: Do you have any future projects in mind?

Anna: We would really love to own some land to build up a real homestead, with trees, and berries and some animals (dreaming aloud).

Tomatoes in a Geodome Greenhouse

Got a unique or unusual greenhouse or garden? I’d love to hear about it. Go to my contact page and tell me all about it!

 

A Texas-Style Hoop Frame PVC Pipe GreenHouse

It’s almost Spring! Yes, there may be a foot of snow on the ground still. Yes, it may still be -10ºC. Yes, the ground may still be frozen solid. But Spring is on the way. Well, it may be a little while yet – at least, here in Alberta. But down in Texas Spring is just around the corner.

In fact, Big Jim just sent me a few pictures of the hoop-style greenhouse that He just built. Since many of you may be thinking about building your own greenhouse this spring, I thought I’d share Big Jim’s pictures and tell you about some of the modifications he made to my Inexpensive Hoop-Frame PVC Pipe Greenhouse. So first the pictures…

The first thing you might notice is that Big Jim has added some braces to his end walls. This is a great idea, since the ends tend to be pulled in by the weight of snow in the winter.

He also added some height to his walls. He’s a tall guy, so he’s used PVC pipes that were 22′ long instead of just 20′. Because of the extra length, He also used 1″ pipe instead of 1/2″ pipe to give it some more strength. Another change He made was to use electrical conduit clamps to attach the pipes to the base, as opposed to the strapping.

So this is what it looks like all said and done. He plans to grow tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, some flowers and hanging basket plants, and he even wants to try some hydroponics. Perhaps I’ll get a few more pics down the road and give you an update to how things are growing.

Anyway, hopefully that’ll inspire you  in your own greenhouse building endeavors. I think I may even integrate a few of his changes in my own greenhouse. But all in good time – I think I’ll let the ground thaw first.

An Inexpensive, Hail Proof, PVC Pipe Greenhouse

I’ve finally built my greenhouse for my new garden. It’s a twenty by twelve foot hoop-style greenhouse with wooden ends and is covered with 11 mil woven poly. This greenhouse has some pretty cool features that I really appreciate, and I think you will too.

My third hoop style greenhouse

First of all, the poly I used to cover it is fantastic. It is a super tough woven poly that I got from Northern Greenhouse out of Manitoba. How tough is it? Well, my brother (who operates the Saskaberry Ranch near Sundre) just got pounded by hail last Sunday. The hail broke windows, shredded siding, and striped everything off of his saskatoon and raspberry bushes – but his greenhouse covered with this same woven poly was completely undamaged! Amazing! (I’ll try to post a picture if I can get one.)

Secondly, to eliminate wear and tear on the plastic, I covered edges of the wooden ends with copper pipe insulation. This foam protects the poly from the sharp edges of the wood.

Insultation on greenhouse

Thirdly, it was very inexpensive and easy to build. The lumber was under $100, the poly was just over $200, and the pvc pipes were under $100. By the time I got all the misc. stuff, I was still under $500 total. Not bad, eh?

My third hoop style greenhouse

Being so late I only got a single row of tomatoes down one side, but next year I’ll be bursting at the seams once again! If you want to build a greenhouse like this one, check out my previous post that gives step by step instructions for building this same greenhouse. Since I’ve improved the design since then, I would recommend the following changes:

  • Use wooden ends instead of plastic – and cover the ends with pipe insulation.
  • Use 11 mil woven poly instead of the 6 mil.
  • Put the PVC pipes on the inside of the frame rather than on the outside

Other than that, you should be able to follow all the other steps. If you do follow this design, be sure to leave me a comment – I’d love to hear (and see) what you’ve been doing!

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Hoop Frame Greenhouse in New Zealand

It seems everyone is in the greenhouse building mode! Ok, well, maybe not EVERYONE, but many are. I’m still working on plans for my next  greenhouse, but until then I wanted to show you another greenhouse that was built from my plans in my article “How to Build an Inexpensive Hoop-Style Greenhouse“. This one is from Farshid out of New Zealand. It took him three afternoons to build (after work that is), and cost about $200 NZ – that’s about $137 Canadian.

Hoop Frame Greenhouse in New Zealand

Hoop Frame Greenhouse in New Zealand

Thanks Farshid! Looks great!

My “Inexpensive Hoop-Frame Greenhouse” Design in Nova Scotia

Recently I received a comment on my post “How to Build An Inexpensive Hoop-Frame Greenhouse” from Stacy in Nova Scotia. Using the design she found at AlbertaHomeGardening.com, she built a 10 x 22 greenhouse. I asked her to send along a few pictures and she did. So I thought it would be good to share them with you to show you another example of how you too can build your own greenhouse. So here is her comments and her pictures. Thanks Stacy!

Well, we just built this greenhouse, with a few changes, we made ours 10×22. We put a piece of strapping 2 feet off the floor running the length of the greenhouse to sturdy it up. We also used strapping in the top centre (instead of pipe and zip ties)attached to the hoops with the metal electrical bands , we got a box of 50 for 8$.

Nova Scotia Hoop-Frame Greenhouse
It was complete in 2 days! Its wonderful! When we bought our farm it came with a huge pile of electrical conduit, enough for 3 or 4 of these greenhouses. We plan to build another very soon. We couldn’t have been happier to find this design! Good job!

Nova Scotia Greenhouse
It is now full of many vegetables, flowers and herbs getting ready for the upcoming season.
Happy gardening,
Stacy

How to Build an Inexpensive Hoop-Style Greenhouse

One of the most valuable assets in my garden is my greenhouse. It has allowed me to grow plants that I normally would not be able to grow, produce crops that the season is not usually long enough to produce, and protect my plants from frosts, hail, or other severe weather that normally would have destroyed my garden.

But I don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on a greenhouse. I just priced out an 8’x12’ greenhouse for $3,500. I would love to have a large, professional greenhouse, but that simply isn’t financially feasible for me. So, instead I’ve found a way to make a large greenhouse that is functional, easy to build, and inexpensive. This article will explain to you exactly how to build a 12’x32’ hoop-style greenhouse for under $400.