In our previous article, we discussed how piping could be used in your vegetable garden. This article will discuss how piping can be recycled to create your own greenhouse. This is an easy and inexpensive way to protect those precious tomatoes from the rainy weather. With this “tomato fort”, you can avoid overhead watering at all costs.
- 6- PVC pipes, 1/2″, 10′ long
- 2- 2″ x 6″ x 8′ wood boards
- 1-2″ x 6″ x 6′ wood board
- 1-2″ x 2″ wood strip
- 4- metal corner braces
- 3 ml clear plastic roll
- Pipe clamps with matching screws
- 1 1/2″ galvanized nails
- Staple gun
Once you have chosen the best location for your greenhouse which receives the most sun, the first step is to cut the 6′ board in half to create 2 boards 3′ long (these are the end pieces). Then nail the 8′ boards together in a long rectangle using the corner braces. Place this on top of heavy duty black plastic.
The pipes have a lot of flex in them, but try to bend them carefully as you place them inside the frame. (You don’t want to take out an eye if one of these ends pops out!) Use your clamps to hold it securely in place.
Measure out evenly across your base to place 5 pipes in. Putting in 5 pipes, rather than 4, will make the structure a little more stable.
If you only bought 5 pipes and not 6, you can tie a couple of 3′ dowels across the top to support the frame. Otherwise, the 6th pipe will be used for this.
Put your plastic over the frame and staple the back to the bottom boards leaving the front unattached. Depending on what length of plastic you get, you may be long enough to hang over each end and just clamp them shut. If you have an 8′ roll you can cover each end with a separate piece that can be removed on the hottest days.
With the 6th 10′ pipe for the top support, you will have approximately 2 feet left over that you can cut into 2″ pieces and then slice down the middle with the a hose to use as clamps for your plastic.
The 2″x 2″ wood strip is used on the opening side of the tunnel. Simply staple the plastic to it and you can roll it up to get to the plants and for venting on hot days.
You can grow anything in this greenhouse as long as it’s big enough. No less than a 5 gallon bucket, pot or grow bag is recommended.
The rims are rolled down making it easy to roll them up and add more soil as the plants grow. Cloth grocery bags can be used to keep costs down.
Lastly, it is best to stake the supports right away when you plant your tomatoes. It doesn’t take long for them to put on size, and it’s difficult to add support without some damage later on when there is a lot of branches to work with.
Click here for the full tutorial with pictures.