Thoughts on a Backyard Greenhouse.

Have you ever had one of those moments where you feel like you need to get busy on a project? I mean, deep within your bones, you NEED to build something, or create something?

I have this feeling all the time. All.The.Time.

I think it's because I have so many ideas whirling around in my head, and the biggest, coolest ideas tend to take up most of my thoughts.

About three weeks ago, John and I attended a free class provided by our local Iowa State University Extension Office on building a backyard greenhouse. While John wasn't thrilled initially, we both left the class with a solid understanding of what it will take to build a small greenhouse for our backyard.

And that, my friends, is one of the 'big and cool' ideas that's taking up space in my brain. I want a backyard greenhouse. I've wanted one for a few years now. It would be amazing to have a little space where I can harden off my seedlings in the spring, or get an early start on those leafy greens. My heart flutters thinking about the extended growing season I can have for cold-weather veggies, thanks to a small backyard greenhouse.

My heart also flutters thinking of backyard chickens, too. {Hey! I'm speaking with our city council on Thursday. Wish me luck!} But that's another story for another day.

Anyway, the greenhouse class was very informative. We both learned a lot about building the structure and how to maintain it.

Here's one example of a greenhouse we could replicate:

Yep. Pretty simple design, simple materials, and all-around simple structure. If we built this type of greenhouse, it would have to be taken down in the winter months, as the heavy Iowa snowfalls would collapse this greenhouse with no problem.

In all honesty, I do not want to hassle with taking a greenhouse down every winter. Ideally, I would like to have benches on all sides of the greenhouse, which doesn't really look possible with the design pictured above. Perhaps this isn't the best style for me.

With that consideration, this greenhouse looks awesome, too:

Greenhouse plastic is still a main component to this structure, but the frame is built of wood - 2x4's, it appears, so it would withstand higher winds. I think I would still risk the plastic tearing after a heavy snowfall. I haven't price-checked the plastic yet, so I'm not sure how much it would cost to replace every year.

Some of the things that are a non-negotiable, no matter what style of greenhouse we built are:

It must be able to accommodate a standing, grown person.
It must have benches, which will prevent too much stooping.
It must have a door, to prevent wildlife from entering.
It must have a way to rig up old gutters to be used for seedlings in the upper areas.
It must have ventilation.
It must fit on the concrete pad that we currently have alongside our driveway.

A few days ago, I sent John a text from work, asking if he wanted to get started on this greenhouse in the next few weeks. He agreed. Without hesitation.

His response was something like, "Sure. Let me look up some plans and make a supply list."


I think he has something up his sleeve, but you're all my witnesses now - this greenhouse is going up this winter. Mark my words.

Do you have any advice for us before we start building? Tell me everything you know. 


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