With winter blanketing much of the northern hemisphere in a layer of frost and snow, you’d think that it’s an impossible time to garden for anyone without a professionally built, fully equipped greenhouse. It would seem that the average home gardener would be in hibernation until spring comes. The truth, however, is a pleasant surprise.
When we discovered how easy it is to craft your own DIY greenhouse, right at home, with a minimum of cost, we simply had to share!
Looking to see about effective homemade greenhouse solutions, we discovered a wealth of information around the web. We then gathered up our favorite projects and shared them here. Below, you’ll find an astonishing variety of DIY plans for building a backyard greenhouse, from small and simple to large and elegant. If there’s a style of greenhouse you prefer, there’s a set of instructions for building it yourself.
We love how many of these projects involve reclaimed elements, reducing both cost and materials. If being frugal is as important to you as it is to us, you’ll appreciate the low impact these greenhouses have on both the environment and your wallet.
Because there’s nothing more satisfying than witnessing your own creations flourish, we encourage you to try out any of these projects in your own garden. You’ll be able to shake those winter blues and keep your green thumb active throughout the season.
1. Cold Frame
Source: Three Dogs In A Garden
This unassuming project features a simple but handsome design and relatively easy setup. The compact size of this cold frame makes it perfect for virtually any yard or garden, requiring very little landscape space to keep your garden thriving all winter long.
2. Attached Greenhouse
The great thing about this project is that it’s designed to butt up against and extend from, an existing structure. This means you’ll only have to build 3 complete walls, and it’ll be inherently stronger. You can design it to blend in with the existing structure or stand apart loud and clear.
3. $50 Greenhouse
Source: The Door Garden
The key to this super-cheap but fully featured and large greenhouse is recycling. If you go out and buy the components, however, it will still run you only $200 at most. The results speak for themselves, with a massive space to plant and grown greenery of any stripe.
4. Jewel Box Greenhouse
Source: Mega Crafty
Take a close look, and you might recognize exactly what this greenhouse is crafted from. It’s simple, abundant, eminently recyclable jewel cases – the clear boxes that your CDs are sold in! The project involves a minimum of cost, and a lot of ingenuity. It’s perfect for when you need a relatively compact greenhouse on a budget.
5. Window Cold Frame
Source: Deep Roots At Home
This project is another low-key cold frame style greenhouse, the perfect way to preserve and grow your plants during the winter if all you need is a little bit of space. There’s absolutely no land wasted with this project, which utilizes large windows to grant maximum sun exposure to a boxed in garden.
6. Storm Window Greenhouse
Source: Design Dreams By Anne
This compact, cozy, and handsome greenhouse design is built entirely out of storm windows and frames. If you’ve got any extras lying around the home, you’re already on the right track. This is perfect for small container gardens and for anyone lacking in extra space.
7. Window Box Greenhouse
Just like the cold frames pictured above, this project is ready made for anyone with a specific and not-too-large need for a greenhouse during the winter. The compact size and shallow depth means that it’ll keep a cozy space very warm, and the recycled nature of the project means that it will cost very little to implement in your own backyard.
8. Barn Greenhouse
One look at this project and you can tell it’s a little more elaborate than most. The key element here is that a barn is already the perfect shape for a greenhouse, so building a small one out of greenhouse materials makes a lot of sense. The elaborate setup and building process results in a greenhouse that’s a cut above what most DIY plans offer.
9. Old Window Greenhouse
The best thing about this project is its ad hoc nature, looking exactly like what it is: a collection of old windows cobbled together in the most efficient way. With the entire structure built out of existing window panes, the real work comes in fitting them all together, like a jigsaw puzzle or Tetris pieces.
10. Blue Window Greenhouse
Similar to the old window greenhouse, this project is a little more organized and focused, with a standard slanted roof over the structure instead of the flat windows seen above. The project can be completed in any color, of course, but the blue gives it a nice fresh quality that draws attention and stands out in any yard.
11. Reclaimed Greenhouse
Source: The Green Lover
The biggest draw for going DIY, for most folks, is the massive money savings. This project stands at the vanguard of that idea, allowing for the building of a fully featured greenhouse entirely from reclaimed, repurposed, and recycled parts. The results, pictured above, speak volumes about the potential of materials that other folks might consider a waste.
12. Geo Dome Greenhouse
A surprisingly simple construction results in this futuristic looking greenhouse, based on Buckminster Fuller’s famed geodesic dome designs. As the most efficient, strong shape for construction like this, the triangle-covered structure will house an enormous amount of plants and keep them warm and cozy all winter in arresting style.
13. Easy Thrifty Greenhouse
This incredible project is designed to let you build your own fully functional greenhouse for only $25. The lightweight design uses PVC pipes and plastic sheeting, and while it’s certainly not the most handsome project on our list, it’s definitely the most frugal. As long as it works properly, which this does, your plants will be happy and thriving all winter long.
14. Easy Kit Greenhouse
DIY doesn’t always mean recycling old materials or reclaiming parts; sometimes it simply means piecing together the parts of a kit that you’ve purchased. Sure, it’s not as cheap as finding the components yourself, but it’s much less labor intensive and will take less of your time. The resulting greenhouse can look a little more professional as well, depending on how much effort you want to put in.
15. Raised Garden Greenhouse
Source: The Interior Frugalista
While the actual construction of this greenhouse doesn’t vary extremely from some of the other projects on our list, the key element is how it’s raised above the ground. This helps keep things warmer, away from the frosty landscape and protects against the occasional winter critter attack. Also, it’s simply a fun and attractive project for your yard.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our selection of DIY greenhouses and got some inspiration and ideas for your own wintertime gardening. When you’ve got as much enthusiasm for all things green as we do, there’s really no reason to put that hobby on hold for an entire quarter of the year!