Give your seedlings a good start by building a cheap and easy greenhouse. You can make a greenhouse for one plant or one for many. This is a great way to add something practical or decorative to your home's greenery.
Method 1 of 3: Making a Mini Greenhouse with Bottles and Pots
Step 1. Use a 1 liter soda bottle
You can use a simple 1 liter plastic bottle to make a variety of greenhouses ideal for growing a single short plant with shallow roots. Examples would include an orchid, a small fern or a cactus. Look for bottles in different shapes, so you'll have more customization options.
- To make a complex soda bottle greenhouse, start with two bottles, if possible one a little wider than the other. Carefully cut off the top of the thinnest bottle, just past the point where it curves to form the neck. Make a straight, clean cut.
- Use hot glue to attach the opening of the part you cut to the bottom of the rest of the bottle. You will make a vase-shaped base for your mini-greenhouse. Straighten the edges so that it sits firmly on a table.
- Then make the lid for the greenhouse by cutting off the top of the larger bottle, maybe an inch below where the top curves to make the neck. The top of this bottle will become a cap for the thinner bottle you glued the base to.
- When making this type of mini-greenhouse, don't forget to put the proper materials for cultivation at the bottom. It will have no drainage and will need to be treated more like a terrarium.
- A simpler method would be to cut the bottom of a 1 liter bottle and just push the top into the earth or over a small vase, but the look won't look as pretty as the method described above.
Step 2. Use a 4 L bottle
You can use a bottle of this size in the same way as a 1 liter bottle, but it will need to be reasonably tubular in shape if you are going to place it over a vase or make a structure similar to one. This bottle can accommodate up to three small plants of the same variety used with the 1 L bottle.
You can also use it to create a base that drains by piercing the bottom and cutting vertical 2.5 cm lines along the bottom edge of the lid. Leave at least 2.5 cm of pot above the desired line for the earth when cutting to make the lid, in order to prevent the earth from falling out when the bottle is opened
Step 3. Use a glass pot
If you want to grow very small plants, you can use such a pot with a lid to create a small terrarium. They have a wide range of sizes and should be chosen depending on the size of the plants you intend to grow. Just fill them with the proper growing materials for a terrarium and you have a beautiful mini-greenhouse.
Step 4. Use an aquarium
You can use an aquarium to make a mini-greenhouse or a terrarium. Both square and rectangular tanks can be used, or you can use a round aquarium. It will depend on the size and number of plants you intend to grow.
- A small plant in a planter can be covered by a round aquarium with a wide opening turned upside down.
- An upturned aquarium can be used as a terrarium, covered with plastic, or left open.
- A large tank can be treated as an undrained terrarium, holes can be drilled in the bottom for drainage or, if it has a glass bottom, it can be turned upside down to form a greenhouse. If facing up, you will need to make a cover using plastic wrap or the wood frame method described below.
Method 2 of 3: Making a Mini Greenhouse with Picture Frames
Step 1. Get photo frames
You'll need eight glass frames or something like that. The sizes and quantities required will be: four 13 x 18 cm, two 20 x 25 cm and two 28 x 35.5 cm. Sand the frames to remove unwanted texture and paint.
Frames like these can be purchased at a grocery store, art supply store, camera store, or online from a variety of sources. Sometimes, you can also find cheap used at thrift stores
Step 2. Form the main structure
Assemble the main body of the greenhouse by aligning the 28 x 35 cm frame with the 20 x 25 cm frame so that the 28 and 25 cm sides touch. The back side of the 25 cm frame should be against the outside edge of the 28 cm side.
- Secure the frames by making a small hole running from the inside edge of the larger frame to half of the smaller frame. Then use a screw of the same size as the hole you made to securely join the frames.
- Continue joining the frames until you have a rectangle formed by the four largest (the two 28 x 35, 5 cm and the other 20 x 25 cm).
Step 3. Form the roof
To do this, join the four smaller 13 x 18 cm frames. They will be joined in pairs and then joined together to form a triangular roof, and a hinge will be placed so that you can open the greenhouse and water the plants inside.
- Place two of the 13 x 18 cm frames side by side so that the short sides make contact. Then join them together by screwing a 2-inch furniture joint into each end of the joined edge. It will be easier if you drill pilot holes first. Repeat the process with the other two frames of the same size.
- Join the smaller structures together by placing them 90° from the long edge and screwing an angle bracket to secure them.
Step 4. Inflate and secure the roof
It should be attached to the rest of the greenhouse so that you can easily access it. You can just put it on top, but adding it to the rest of the frame will make it more secure. Don't forget to eliminate large gaps by finding a filler for the ends.
- Join the roof to the frame by attaching two 2.5 cm hinges spaced evenly along the edges to be joined.
- Fill the triangular space with material cut from the larger frame holder, plywood, foam, or other material as you see fit. The plywood or foam will need to be thick to make it easier to secure them to the frame. Whichever material you choose, just trace the inside of the triangular end (if you're using plywood or foam) or the outside (if you're using the back of the frame) and glue it in place. Plywood can be nailed if desired.
Step 5. Finish
Finish the frame using whatever paint and decoration you like, then replace the glass in the frame. Finally, feel free to fill your greenhouse with the right plants.
- Use paint for wood and be sure to do all the painting before replacing the glass.
- Replace the glass inside the greenhouse and secure it by gluing the corners with hot glue. Then seal the edges with more hot glue. You can use plastic instead of glass.
Method 3 of 3: Making a Mini Greenhouse with PVC Pipes
Step 1. Get the PVC pipes and gaskets
As this greenhouse is modular and the size is up to you, the number and lengths of pipes needed will vary to some extent. You will need to measure the dimensions you want and determine how many pipes you need.
- Try to divide the larger structure into 60 cm sections to give your greenhouse more stability and strength.
- Use a relatively thin PVC pipe, no more than 1.5" wide. A good size to use would be something close to ¾".
- The joints and the barrel need to fit together. The size information should be labeled, but you can test it at the store to be sure or ask an employee for help.
Step 2. Connect the wall pipes
You will form the base and walls together using connected pipes. Start by joining vertical pipes at two feet intervals to horizontal pipes using T-joints. Mount corners on the lower horizontal section by attaching a T-joint to an elbow with a very small pipe.
When you're done, you'll have a horizontal rectangular or square base with posts rising from the T-joints at regular intervals. Corner posts should come from the last T-joint on the long sides, with the elbows and the short side of the base protruding from the "wall"
Step 3. Connect the roof pipes
Next, you'll need to join the wall pipes to the roof pipes. It is important that this is not flat, or the amount of light that can enter will decrease. Also, on a flat roof, rain collects on the structure.
- Assemble the central roof structure creating a pipe line equal to one long side of the base. The pieces should be connected with a cross joint at the same intervals as the wall pipes, except for the corners, which will be closed by T-joints. Place short pieces of pipe in the T- and cross-joints and close them at 45-m joints. °.
- Then place the 45° joints on top of each wall column. Next, you will need to know how much pipe will be needed to join the 45° joints in the walls to the 45° joints in the central roof structure. Cut this pipe after measuring it and fit it between each of the 45° joints.
Step 4. Place in bib
Put the greenhouse in the planter or in the part of the garden you want to cover. You can fasten it to the ground with stakes and strings or to a bib with cable ties, but fasten only one long side. Thus, you will be able to raise the structure to water and care for your plants.
Step 5. Cover
The last step will be to cover the structure with plastic or cloth. If choosing plastic, use a thin, transparent sheet and cover the entire structure with a large sheet if possible. Whatever the material, wrap the frame and then secure with tape (silver tape or packing tape). It's done!
- Remember that you can paint the photo frame in any color you like, which makes it very customizable. Just don't forget to do it before placing the glass!
- For the PVC pipe greenhouse, materials other than plastic can also be used to cover the plants. During a hot summer, cover them with shading screen or something similar to prevent them from burning.
- Create a graph to help explain the differences between the temperature inside and outside a greenhouse. It must include two lines, labeled "inside" and "outside". Columns should be labeled "At Start" and then at 15-minute intervals for at least an hour, or as often as you want to check the temperature. Remember that depending on the time and temperature of the day, the temperature inside the greenhouse may continue to rise or stabilize.
- When moving your greenhouse, make sure it is well supported.
- The tools used in creating these greenhouses are very sharp, and you could get hurt. Be careful.
- If children are going to participate in the manufacture of the greenhouse, just give them safe tasks and supervise their work at all times.