Just Photos

Greenhouse Update

Remember the article I wrote back in May about How To Build An Inexpensive Hoop-frame Greenhouse? Well, my mother-in-law (who is greatly enjoying her Mother’s Day present), took some pictures of the things she has growing in there. So I thought I’d share them here to further inspire you to build your own greenhouse next year.

Tomatoes down the length of the greenhouse

Mom's Greenhouse

Roma Tomatoes

Mom's Greenhouse (tomatoes)

Beefsteak Tomatoes

Mom's Greenhouse (tomatoes)


Mom's Greenhouse (zucchini)


Mom's Greenhouse (beans)


Mom's Greenhouse (watermelon)


Mom's Greenhouse (peppers)

Inspired yet?

Oh, and incidentally… I just visited my brother’s A-frame greenhouse, built in the same style as my plasticless A-frame greenhouse, and it’s doing beautifully. He used the woven poly from Northern Greenhouse Sales and it’s showing no signs of wear. I am absolutely going with their plastic next year.

32 replies on “Greenhouse Update”

hello I was wondering , how long will the plants stay in the greenhouse on the “floor ground” in the dirt with out freezing? I want to grow tomatoes in the cold winter season, so I wondering should I plant them in containers? thanks for your time Nancy-Jo Williams

Well, I can’t really say how long your plants will last without freezing, but it won’t matter if they are in containers or not. The soil is not what will freeze first, it will be the air temperature that kills your plants. The soil won’t freeze until long after the plant has frozen.

I showed your green house to my husband, but he says it would not stand up to the wind we have here. It does blow at 60 km at times and it would be unusual for us to have no wind at all. We live in Granum, Alberta, which is about 170 km south of Calgary. There are a ton of wind farms near, so you can guess we are in the windiest part of the province.
Do you think you plan for a green house would stand of to that sort of wind?

Hmmm… That’s a tough one. You would need strong poly for sure (11 or 12 mils). You would want to have a slightly different system of anchoring the greenhouse to the ground (as that kind of wind could lift the pvc pipes right off the rebar. And cross bracing would be a must! Depending on your budget, here are a couple of links to other home-made greenhouses:

I never intended to heat this greenhouse over the winter. With -30 degrees, it would cost way too much!

I have been looking in to the Rocket stove idea. this is a very good idea and is not expensive to build or use. Just google Rocket stove mass heater.

Oh man, that’s cooking! You’d need some serious ventilation. Blow open the ends of the greenhouse or roll up the sides or install some fans. You may also want to install some misters depending what you’re growing.

I live in N.E. Ga and had a hoop greenhouse. I am getting ready to build another for early and late veggies. Two methods I am looking at to heat it is 1. Passive solar using black tubing outside and 55 gal drums inside. circulate the solar heated water from the black tubing to the drums inside by natural convection. 2. Dig 24 inches deep inside greenhouse, lay 18 inches manure and 6 inches fill. First method seems best as I do not know what the stench would be from the second. HOW ABOUT SOME COMMENTS.

I think I would personally go with the solar. I don’t know if I’d bother with the tubing though – I might just go with black drums of water.

Great design. Have you thought about incorporating misters /sprinklers into the pvc.I think it would also help with the wind problem as it would weigh it down.

this is really nice Dave, a simple, doable, affordable greenhouse for everybody, but I have to ask how your plastic is holding up – have you had to replace it yet? Every year I have to hunt down the pieces that blow out of my aluminum frame, plastic panel greenhouse and try to make them stick another year….its gotten really tiresome, but hopefully this fall, we’ll be able to put up one similar to yours…thank-you for the inspiration.

Here is my plastic update: All is bright and well! The plastic looks the same today as when I put it up – though just a smidge dirtier…

Hi dave saw your greenhouse looks so awesome but i have one better.My kids build us a pond last year as a wedding gift, and we enjoy it allot. As winter was coming we got concerned about keeping the pond from freezing. So i went on line and found a site for constucting a dome cover from ponds. Actually we modified it and make a greenhouse instead. It covers the pond completly and adds another 6ft in the back for the flower garden and falls. And not only did the pond not freeze, but the roses were flowering in late feb. How cool is that.Now that summer is coming may just keep it up , may stop the cats, coons, squirrels from killing my plants and koi. What ya think?
Sry no picks but stay in touch and they will be posted on my website in the next few weeks.

hey i was wondering why you use the wood on the ends of the greenhouse and not just do plastic? What are the benefits? are there any draw backs to it? I also wondered if it would help to paint the wood white for reflecting the light more? I am planning on putting up a greenhouse as soon as i can and they are the same dimensions as yours. How long does the 11 mil plastic last? I am hoping it lasts for years.

Barbara: I’ve chosen to use wooden ends primarily because they add a lot of structural stability. Because of how the sun hits my greenhouse, plastic ends wouldn’t give me much more light anyway. You certainly could paint the wood white – and many people do. My 11 mil poly is going on three years now with no signs of trouble – I’m anticipating 5 – 7 years.

Hi!! I was wondering what the proper thickness of the plastic to cover the greenhouse? Thanks for ur reply in advance. 🙂

Trez: I’m not sure there is a ‘proper’ thickness – there are many variables to consider. But I would sure recommend the 11 mil woven poly from

Is there a problem with making the greenhouse larger, ie. 25’X 50′ and covering it with netting for the summer?

Isn’t 11 mil too thick? I’m having a hard time using 6 mil, I’d rather use the 4 if it weren’t for the occasional golf ball size hail storm. Is there much of a difference as far as the amount of light each thickness of plastic will let thru? I would think thinner the better but I’m no pro

Tyler: I’ve never measured the light differences, but I would think it’s quite minimal. My greenhouse grows fantastically! And for me, I want the toughness of 11mil. Anything less doesn’t stand up well to the weather.

I was wondering where you live. Here in northeast, Pa, we get a lot of heavy wet snow, especially this year and I was wondering how this would hold up to snow load or ice. Thank you !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *