PVC Greenhouse, Part 2

Since my readership has double after posting about building my greenhouse, I’m adding a follow-up post about the finishing touches. The original post about designing and building the greenhouse is here: First Post

At first I used duct tape where I needed to tape things. Duct tape doesn’t stand up to weather, but it’s cheap and readily available. In a comment I received, I learned that polyethylene tape is available online, and is made for such uses as greenhouses. It’s also pretty expensive online. I stopped at Ace Hardware in Los Gatos last week, and they had poly tape for $8. a roll. My daughter helped me replace all the exterior tape, by putting her hand on the inside of the wall so I had something to press against. The total cost for the greenhouse, by the way, was just about $200. That includes about $30 for shipping. If you can figure out everything you need shipped in one order you can probably cut that part of the cost by half.

The poly walls flap a bit with any amount of wind, and flap quite a lot when it’s gusty. They aren’t loose enough to put clamps on the posts along the walls. I’m not sure if it would be better to have clamped it at each post when I installed it, or had someone help me make it tighter. The diagrams I found online only showed clamps on the corner posts. I have plenty of clamps left, so in a few years when this poly needs replacing, I may try making it loose enough to put clamps on every post.

I wrote that I intended to make a velcro closure for the door, and it’s working very well. So here’s how I made it. I had some leftover strapping from making a handle for a tote bag, and cut two strips of it a foot long long. I bought some sticky-back velcro. Onto each piece of strapping I stuck 6 1/2 inches of the fuzzy side to one end of the strapping pieces. Then I stuck the same length of the prickly side of the velcro to the other end, other side of each strapping piece.

door with velcro

Door post wrapped with velcro covered strap.

I cut a slit in the poly by the door frame post, and one at the same height on the door post. As usual, I lined the cut piece of plastic with duct tape so the poly wouldn’t tear. Then I pushed the velcro through the hole and around the posts so that the fuzzy side was on the outside around each post until the prickly part connected with it, and the rest of the prickly part stuck straight out from the frame post, and straight in from the door post. That way, I can hold the door shut whether I am inside or outside.

I also have a brick just outside the door. My daughter moved some soil around and placed a couple pieces of scrap wood outside the front of the greenhouse to make it level with the edge of the raised garden bed where I built the greenhouse. That’s a big improvement over stepping over the wooden frame.


Door with velcro tab near top, and brick below. The clear poly tape has replaced exterior duct tape.

I put in a thermometer. On warm days (70s), it gets over 100 degrees, so I leave the door ajar during the hottest part of the afternoon. On cool days (high 50s to low 60s) it gets into the 80s inside. I can’t wait to try growing some basil and a tomato plant or two in there!

June update: Everything is working well except the roof poly. Because the roll was folded, the fold lines are weak. I’m making a new roof, covering all the fold lines with poly tape. Only one piece of a fold line has ripped on the wall poly, so I’m going to tape a scrap piece over it. If you can avoid the folded rolls of poly you shouldn’t have this problem. Today, I found that a nursery/farm supply store about 15 miles from me carries poly 10′ wide, and clamps to hold it on the PVC pipe.


About Jill Perry

Since 2005, I have been the Curator of the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden, a part of Guadalupe River Parks and Gardens near downtown San Jose. I write about the Heritage Rose Garden, my garden and my travels when I feel inspired and have time. Since I have no regular schedule, if you'd like to know when I write a new article, please subscribe to this blog.
This entry was posted in Home garden. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to PVC Greenhouse, Part 2

  1. Nature Girl says:

    Very nice greenhouse. I hope to start working on one very soon!

  2. Hydrofarmer says:

    Random thoughts: Another tape that holds up somewhat better in the sun than duct tape is electrical tape. But plastic coated wire designed for outdoor clothes drying is a much better alternative for connecting two pipes together if you dont want to use nuts and bolts. Cheap clear poly covers may not last a year in the sun, better to order some UV protected poly from a greenhouse supplier online. Tomato plants won’t set fruit if it gets too hot, a design like this would need a roof vent in your climate, in my experience. Wood screws just long enough to pass through the PVC pipe on one side but not through the second side make good set screws to hold your vertical PVC pipe to the rebar. Just a few tips from a fellow PVC greenhouse builder. đŸ™‚

  3. Jason Helfman says:

    Thanks as I have been working on my greenhouse for a year and your plans make better use of the materials.


    WOW. Thanks for sharing this ! Now I can have a greenhouse ! Love, love your talent for stretching a dollar ! How blessed we are to be able to think outside the box !

  5. Thalia says:

    I loved your description of your project. One thought I have is using pieces of plastic on the sides, fastened to each pole, rather than the one large piece. The advantage I see in doing it this way, are: easier to handle, than one huge roll, easier to fix, you can take an entire panel out for ventillation if needed, or put back as needed, perhaps less flopping in the wind. The clamps would have to handle 2 layers of plastic though.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s