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Top Small Greenhouse Projects to Do While You Have Some Extra Time

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Many novice (and experienced) gardeners are intimidated by the idea of a greenhouse. Its time to stop putting it off and tackle this essential, practical garden staple once and for all. While you are still working from home, or have a little extra time due to canceled social engagements, use this opportunity to accomplish these small greenhouse projects and make your yard space even more valuable and usable.

Reasons to have a greenhouse

Having a greenhouse is an excellent idea if you want to grow vegetables, live in an area with a  short growing season, or simply want a little more control over your plants and their environment. Here are a few reasons you need a greenhouse in your yard today.

Extends the growing season

In some northern locations, there are only a few months out of the year that plants aren’t at risk of dying from a frost. This severely limits the crops you can grow and can make it hard to grow food for your family. A greenhouse traps the heat from the sun and extends the growing season for those in cold locations and even allows people in warmer spots to grow plants all year-round. 

Protects from pests

Deer, rabbits, and other garden critters can really make a gardener’s life difficult. Rather than having to install a six-foot fence with buried wire around your entire garden, simply use a greenhouse that can keep out all manner of hungry animals. It may also limit the number of bugs and diseases that your plants are exposed to. 

Lets you grow a wide variety of plants

Certain tropical or warm-weather plants that wouldn’t be able to survive in your climate will thrive in a greenhouse, allowing you to really broaden your gardening horizons and grow unique flowers, fruits, and vegetables that you wouldn’t be able to grow otherwise. 

Small greenhouse projects

If you don’t want to take on a full-blown construction project but love the thought and practicality of a greenhouse, these small, easy, DIY ideas are perfect for you to take on while you have some extra time at home. 

Cold frame greenhouse

A few pieces of wood, piece of thick glass or plastic, some screws and hinges, and you can create your very own cold frame greenhouse. You don’t have to have walls, a floor, or much building knowledge, and you can make your own cold frame in just a few hours. It is much more portable than other greenhouses and is a great place to grow cool-season crops like spinach, kale, or lettuce. 

Pop-up greenhouse

Though it isn’t necessarily a project, you will still have to set up a pop-up greenhouse and get it situated in your yard. You can purchase a fairly large greenhouse for just a few hundred dollars from Lowes or Home Depot or order it online. These greenhouses are usually made up of rods and durable plastic that can be unrolled when the weather warms up. 

Recycled greenhouse

Give yourself a challenge and try to recycle the materials you use for your greenhouse. Find old windows, pallets, and wood and create your very own recycled greenhouse. This one will take a little more time since you’ll have to peruse yard sales and thrift stores for a lot of the materials, but the money you save and the totally unique, eclectic greenhouse you create will be well worth it. 

If you already have a greenhouse…

If you already have a large, walk-in greenhouse on your property, you might be looking for practical ways to maximize your space and elevate your garden. Here are a few small projects to take your disorganized greenhouse to a whole new level and ensure that you use your space wisely. 

Utilize vertical space

Install shelves on the wall if you have a sturdy surface to attach them to or use tall utility shelves to take advantage of your vertical space. This is a perfect spot for seedling trays or shorter plants such as lettuce. Remember, always use slatted shelving to encourage drainage. Don’t forget about hanging things from the ceiling, either. Attach hooks to the rafters and hang plants or baskets for seed storage. 

Don’t use it as storage 

Set aside a little time to clear out all of the unnecessary garden tools from your greenhouse to make room for more plants. Keep tools and supplies in a garage or shed and reserve your greenhouse real estate for plants. 

Fix the flooring

Tackling the flooring in your greenhouse may seem like a big undertaking, but it will really just take a dedicated afternoon and a little planning. Add gravel if you just have a dirt floor so that the water doesn’t pool up. If you don’t want to walk on gravel, you can also use greenhouse mats that will serve the same purpose. 

-Susan Patterson 

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