Grow Your Food – A Greenhouse for under $500

Grow Your Food – A Greenhouse for under $500

Growing your own food is rewarding and delicious. There is nothing like the taste of a homegrown tomato or picking fresh herbs for that special dinner, especially in the winter. Greenhouses are also great starters for things like peppers and other veggies that need it warm before transplanting for a good yield in the spring and summer. You can make your own green house for pretty reasonable price and have it be portable if you are renting and need to take it with you. Our recommendation comes in at 6×8 doesn’t look too shabby compared to some DIY projects we’ve seen.

The budget greenhouse

We found that gardeners really liked Grow-It 6’x8′ Organic Growers Greenhouse because of it’s easy assembly and quality construction. It features zippered vents, fasteners, and all of the hardware you will need with complete instructions. This greenhouse comes in at about $220.

Here is a quick video on how the greenhouse goes together

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A good base

It is good to have a clean flat surface to work on that still allows drainage when watering. The base should go past the units perimeter at least 6″ so we fiured a base at 7’x9′ which ends up with 63 square feet. We were able to find 12″x12″ Pavestone concrete step stones at Home Depot for $1.30 each for a total of about $82.

Shelves, Pouches, or Boxes?

You can go potted on strong plastic shelves, go with easy to fill soil pouches, or build boxes if you want to grow on the ground with your own soil mixture. If you are going with the potted on shelves method you can take a look at this Adjustable 4-Shelf Medium Duty Shelving Unit that lets you to set the shelf height, allow drainage for water spills, and hold up to 150 lbs per shelf. These are about $31 a piece and you could fit 6 in your greenhouse for a total of $186.

If you want easy planting on the ground in a breathable and degradable pouch that can hold your soil and last for 4-5 years check out the Root Pouch 15 gal. 10 pack. If you are going for portability while still planting on the ground, just remove your soil and take them to the new location. The 10 pack will run you about $50.

If you want to build slatted wood boxes like in the video below just under 2′ wide you will need about 32′ of 1″x3″ wood and 24′ of 2″x4″ wood. Depending on the wood you choose you can get the price down to about $15 per box with about $1 for screws (get galvanized or drywall screws to resist moisture), so about $16 per box. It might be recommended to add some fabric, mesh, or keep tighter slats to keep soil messes down. You could also get creative and build a long single trough box if you are feeling adventurous. At 8 boxes to fill your green house this totals out at about $128.

Here is how to build a planter box

 

Optional – If you live where it is really cold in the fall/winter you might want to get an inexpensive heater to keep your lowest temperatures at 36F (2C). Here is a heater with a thermostat and can keep the frost off.
 

Your own backyard produce section comes in at $352-$488