We built this 10-by-10-foot homemade greenhouse using rough-cut lumber from the local sawmill and recycled windows donated by folks in town. People who have more building know-how than I came out to help create a basic plan that would make the mismatched windows appear symmetrical in their layout. We needed a structure that was sturdy enough to withstand northern New York’s harsh climate of bitterly cold winters and windstorms that often gust up to 60 mph.
The greenhouse door is from a local hotel that was renovated. The plastic that makes up the roof was a remnant from a local greenhouse that was re-outfitting its hoop houses. (After three years, we haven’t had so much as a tear in the plastic.) The screened top windows all open on hinges, and have hook-and-eye hardware to hold them open on hot days.
We also installed a “sleeping loft,” which doubles as a great, sunny spot for seedlings. A small sleeping cabin next to the homemade greenhouse (built the following year and appropriately coined “the birdhouse”) is retrofitted with two rainwater catchment systems that allow us to water all the plants in the greenhouse.
All main greenhouse construction was completed in two full days of work. It took an additional day to stain the walls and paint the window trim, and another day to put on the door and roof plastic, and install the sleeping loft. Now we no longer have to do battle with our rocky soil when starting seedlings.
Redwood, New York
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