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How to build a garden greenhouse easily: step-by-step guide

build a garden greenhouse easily

A greenhouse enriches any garden, not just to grow seedlings or extend the harvest time for vegetables. It also extends the garden year as a place for cooler summer evenings. Our step-by-step guide shows how to build a garden greenhouse easily.

There are many good reasons to garden under glass or under plastic sheeting. Be it to prefer seedlings in the cold spring to cultivate magnificent ornamental plants or to harvest vegetables in the colder months. 

greenhouse does not necessarily always have to do with garden work when you build a garden greenhouse easily. The size of the greenhouse also increases the variability in use. For example, in a medium-sized glasshouse with the dimensions 2.3 x 3m you can even have a sitting area with a table, where you can spend some cool summer evenings.

Gardening in the greenhouse offers numerous advantages and opportunities: for example, you can grow bulbous and tuberous plants here, overwinter geraniums, grow exotic fruits and harvest strawberries earlier.

Before you decide to set up a greenhouse in the garden , you should answer some important questions.

When is a greenhouse worthwhile?

Anyone who grows vegetables or summer flowers himself knows that the window sills are too small and the seedlings are getting too long and thin for lack of light. Even rainy summers bring a rich vegetable harvest in their own garden to a quick end. But if you build a garden greenhouse easily, you can solve these problems
If you want to have fun and success gardening despite bad weather conditions , a greenhouse is just the right choice . Your plants are better protected and can develop better. The higher temperature in the greenhouse also allows you to cultivate other varieties.
A greenhouse is worthwhile if you …

  • Sow your need for summer flowers and / or vegetables for the most part yourself
  • To secure your crops success with heat-loving vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and eggplants
  • Southern potted plants such as oleander, fuchsias, lanterns and angel trumpets find attractive, but can offer them no suitable wintering quarters
  • also want to harvest fresh vegetables and herbs in winter
  • As a lover of orchids, bonsai, citrus plants, cacti, alpines or other special plant groups you would like to enlarge your collection and create better site conditions for the plants

Which greenhouse is best for my garden?

 From the simple foil tunnel to the flagship English-style greenhouse, everything is available at the hardware store or garden center. What you decide depends, on the one hand, on the purpose you intended for the greenhouse  . On the other hand, the purse and, last but not least, of your taste. 
Basically, you have the choice between freestanding and leaning greenhouses . The latter is built like a winter garden on a wall of the house or the garage. They have the advantage that the heat losses in cold weather are lower compared to detached houses. 
In the summer, however, it can get really hot. SuchLeaning greenhouses are thus suitable as hibernation quarters for potted plants and can still be used for sowing and growing summer flowers or vegetables. 
Free-standing greenhouses , on the other hand, allow light to penetrate from all sides and thus offer more cultivation space. If primarily vegetables are to be planted out, a walk-in foil house will be enough. It is inexpensive, but not as durable as a “real” greenhouse and offers in winter too little protection from the cold. 
If your own sowing is important to you, a glasshouse covered with special glass or plastic is better: shelves make it more space and easier work. In addition, they can be used by the higher thermal insulation in winter. 
Whatever type: According to experience, hobby gardeners, the greenhouse is quickly too narrow. If possible, if in doubt, choose the larger version!

Build your own greenhouse: the most important components

 Here’s what you need to know about the materials you need to build a greenhouse:

  • Foundation : Lightweight film houses simply anchor in the ground. All other greenhouse types need a foundation. For small greenhouses, an aluminum frame foundation is usually included. Larger and heavier houses are better protected on a concrete foundation or the most stable variant, a concrete ring foundationor a brick-built foundation .
  • Frame : Today, the frame is usually made of weather-resistant aluminum profiles . If left untreated, they will become dull and gray over time. Since many hobby gardeners see their greenhouse as a design element of the garden, they opt rather for colored anodized or powder-coated profiles.
  • Covering : The classic among the covering materials is glass tidied on the inside . The thundering scatters the sunlight and protects the plants from burns. If you want to keep the greenhouse frost-free or warmer in winter, however, more modern alternatives such as double-web or multi-skin sheets made of hard plastic are recommended. They reduce the heat losses by a third or half compared to the porridge glass. This is the luxury version of the special glass “Hortiplus N” opposite: It is heavier, but just as well and looks better. For film houses, only UV-stabilized horticultural film is eligible. Others become brittle when exposed to sunlight.

What else belongs in the greenhouse

 Plants need light, air, heat and water . To give plants in the greenhouse optimal conditions , you should plan the following components in your garden house:

  • Light:  The plants get light through the transparent covering materials . Additional plant lamps in winter are only needed for special crops and extremely early sowings from December or January.
  • Air:  The air is provided by doors and ventilation flaps , which however should close tightly if the greenhouses are also used in winter. In transitional periods, nights are often cold. However, when the sun is shining during the day, the house soon gets too warm. If you do not want to open and close the ventilation windows yourself, you can equip them with automatic openers .
  • Water:  As the rain falls away in the house, you must pay increased attention to ensure that the plants are sufficiently poured. If you do not want to drag watering cans all the time, you will find a tap with hose connection near the house. Or he attaches an automatic irrigation system . This is primarily worthwhile for cultures that are longer, such as tomatoes.

Build a garden greenhouse easily: instructions

The construction of a greenhouse is relatively easy and it takes about half a day with two people. Little time, considering how much happiness you will have with it! All connections to this greenhouse are bolted, either by metal or by plastic connectors, as here on a gable corner. Hexagon bolts and matching nuts are included. Follow our step-by-step guide below to build a garden greenhouse easily.

The longitudinal profiles of the aluminum foundations are not delivered along the entire length, but in 150 cm long individual parts. Thus, for our 3-meter-long greenhouse, two such profiles are assembled with strut connectors.

Screw the longitudinal and transverse profiles with the metal angles to the finished foundation frame.

For the subsequent connection of the foundation frame with the soil profile and the foundation, the connecting plates are initially only loosely mounted, because their exact position can be determined later.

To set the size of the concrete foundation, place the foundation frame in place and place boards about 8 to 10 cm wide inside and outside. This area is marked, any turf is tapped with a spade, then the foundation frame is removed and a trench excavated for the concrete foundation.

Sheathing boards as a lateral boundary ensure a clean edge of the foundation.

The floor profiles are also assembled with strut connectors and placed on the foundation frame.At the corners of the frame, the gable wall corner profiles are now placed and loosely preassembled by means of the plastic floor corner connectors.

The gable consists of three profiles and is screwed together on the ground. Note: The window in the front gable must be used in this operation.

The pre-assembled gable elements are now placed on the gable corner profiles and loosely attached.

Screw an upright strut and a hinged door strut at the bottom with the preassembled strut connectors (Fig. 3) and loosely at the top with the door cross strut.

Assemble the two-piece gutters (eaves profile) with strut connectors and insert them into the gable connectors. The ends must be flush with the gable corner profile.

build a garden greenhouse easily

Insert the middle clear plate of the rear gable on the outside.

build a garden greenhouse easily

Assemble two-piece ridge profile with strut connectors.

build a garden greenhouse easily

Insert the ridge profile from the inside into the gable connectors. The ends must be flush with the gable.

build a garden greenhouse easily

Loosely secure the roof and wall braces to the pre-assembled brace connectors. These screws are only tightened when the web plates are inserted and everything fits.

build a garden greenhouse easily

Now stand the scaffolding (partially only loosely screwed) and it can be pushed in the web plates. Start with the gable walls and then go to the …

build a garden greenhouse easily

… roof surfaces insertion.

build a garden greenhouse easily

Finally, the plates are pushed into the sides from above.

build a garden greenhouse easily

With a clip profile made of plastic, the plates of the roof are attached to the aluminum profiles all around

build a garden greenhouse easily

The roof window cross brace is inserted and then …

build a garden greenhouse easily

… the roof window is pushed from the side into the ridge profile.

build a garden greenhouse easily

The automatic window opener is installed and adjusted according to instructions.

build a garden greenhouse easily

Gable struts provide the stability against transverse forces.

build a garden greenhouse easily

The bottom door holder is clipped in and the lower door is pushed from above into the door hinge strut.

build a garden greenhouse easily

Secure the washer.

build a garden greenhouse easily

Finally, the upper door is inserted.

build a garden greenhouse easily

The door handle can also serve as a latch.

build a garden greenhouse easily

If all struts and profiles are aligned and the house stands at right angles and vertically, all loose connections are tightened and the entire greenhouse is secured in the concrete foundation with dowels and screws.

build a garden greenhouse easily

The rain drain is pushed onto the aluminum gutter. With an additional hose, the water can be collected in a bin.

Build a garden greenhouse easily: approvals tip

Small greenhouses are usually not subject to approval. Exceptions are conservatories and greenhouses that have a lounge or a fireplace. The regulations are laid down in the state building regulations. The generally applicable regulations on construction lines and margins must also be complied with in the construction of permit-free houses. For greenhouses in allotment areas, the statutes of the respective allotment garden clubs apply.

Find more great garden enhancements in our Garden section.

Gerhardt Richter is a writer and a trainer at trade technical colleges, specializing in carpentry, plumbing and construction.

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