The weather is very unpredictable. To be confident in the result of your work, you need to have a greenhouse in the garden. You can buy it ready-made, and of the right size, it will be brought and assembled right on the site. But in order to save money, you can build it yourself, you just need to decide on the design and material.
Types of structures
A greenhouse can be made with your own hands from polypropylene pipes, capital or collapsible.
Homemade greenhouses made of polypropylene pipes can be divided by type into the following:
- arched frame;
- rectangular frame with a pitched or gable roof;
- greenhouse from several sections - combined;
- rectangular frame with an arched top.
When choosing the design and size of the greenhouse, you need to decide on its purpose. If you plan to grow products only for personal consumption, you can create a greenhouse with a width of about 3 m, a height of 2–2.5 m, a length of 4 to 12 m. A greenhouse with an arch-shaped frame is much easier to make on your own than a rectangular one. To make a greenhouse with a rectangular frame or an even more complex shape, you need to make accurate calculations, draw a diagram, providing additional elements for greater rigidity of the structure. A large number of fittings reduces the stability of the frame and makes it more expensive. The simplest version of a greenhouse is to install arcs over the garden bed and cover with any covering material.
Choice of materials
Having decided on the design of the greenhouse, you should choose the material for its manufacture. You can make a frame of plastic pipes of various diameters from 16 to 110 mm and a length of 2 m. Pipes are suitable for water pipes made of PVC, propylene (PP), polypropylene (PPR) or pipes that are made of high density low pressure polyethylene (HDPE). You can also use polypropylene pipes with an aluminum or fiberglass interlayer, they are stronger, but also much more expensive.
When choosing a material for the frame, it is necessary to take into account the presence of a welding machine that is designed for welding plastic pipes, as well as or have the skills to use it. Although it is quite simple to use, you only need to know the technical features of plastic pipes. PPR pipes are welded by a diffusion method: the edges, melted with a welding machine, are inserted into each other.
It should also be noted that pipes and fittings from the same material are used for welding.
The welding process itself is as follows:
- it is necessary to cut pipes at right angles;
- rations should be cut 260 degrees;
- the place of welding must be cleaned and degreased;
- the ends of the pipes are put on the welding machine (heating time, welding time and cooling time depend on the pipe diameter);
- the edges of the pipes are connected to each other for 4–8 minutes.
In rectangular frames and structural parts that are a support, it is better to use pipes with a diameter of at least 50 mm. For arched frames, you can use pipes of a smaller diameter - 25 or 32 mm. It should only be taken into account that polypropylene pipes practically do not bend. To create bends and turns, you will have to use elbows, transition couplings and other fittings, which will significantly increase the cost of the product. Shelves, vents and doors can be made from plastic pipes in a greenhouse.
Plastic pipes have the following advantages over other materials:
- ease of use due to flexibility, you can create an arch only by bending the pipe;
- high resistance to the external environment for 10 years or more;
- do not corrode, rot, decompose;
- do not require additional processing (painting);
- environmentally friendly, do not emit harmful chemicals even when heated;
- not subject to deformation from external factors. They do not break even under strong wind loads;
- withstand both chemical and biological treatment.
But they also have one drawback. The constructed structure will be very light. To prevent it from being blown away by the wind, the base will have to be fixed in the ground.
The above qualities of pipes make it possible to use them to create a greenhouse with your own hands, without having special skills. If you correctly make measurements and calculations and purchase materials according to them, then you can build a solid greenhouse, avoiding unnecessary costs.
The choice of covering material is wide enough and will largely depend on the function assigned to the greenhouse. Glass as a covering material for a greenhouse made of plastic pipes will not work. It can be easily replaced with polycarbonate, because it does not break, it is easy to cut, it is easier to attach, it tolerates slight deformation, and has less heat transfer.
Buying polycarbonate is not a problem. Cellular polycarbonate with a thickness of 4 to 6 mm will be excellent for a greenhouse, only the pipes must be polypropylene with a diameter of 32 mm or more.
Advice! Having decided to use polycarbonate as a covering material, you should calculate the size of the sheets and their joining together, depending on the coverage area. Cellular polycarbonate less than 4 mm thick will not withstand climatic loads. For fixing polycarbonate, self-tapping screws with washers are required.
Cheaper options can be used as a covering material:
- plastic wrap is the cheapest material;
- reinforced film, preferably 11 mm thick, it is stronger than polyethylene and will last longer;
- bubble wrap, which is an excellent heat insulator;
- nonwovens: agrospan, agrotex, lutrasil, spunbond, agril. They are stronger than plastic wrap, retain heat better, let rain through, but are opaque, although this will save plants and fruits from sunburn.
For the correct location of the greenhouse on the site and to avoid unnecessary costs, it is necessary to make a drawing, diagram, or at least a sketch. The location of the greenhouse on the site should be chosen depending on the illumination of the area and the wind rose.
Below is an example of a greenhouse scheme with an arched frame, made of plastic pipes, reinforced with wooden slats, mounted on rods fixed in the ground.
You can use the above drawing or find a greenhouse diagram on the Internet. It will not be difficult to draw a diagram or drawing yourself. In your drawing, you can take into account all the nuances of the site and the required dimensions of the greenhouse. Having thought over the shape of the frame, having decided on the material and drawing a drawing of the greenhouse, you should draw up a plate to calculate the materials and their cost. It is also necessary to make calculations of the covering material and foundation. The choice of materials for the manufacture of the foundation will depend on the chosen design.
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After preparing the drawing, choosing the design and materials, purchasing all the necessary components, you can start assembling the greenhouse. If the base of the greenhouse is wooden, and it is small, then you should start by assembling the foundation - a rectangular box. Since plastic pipes are lightweight, the foundation must be quite strong and even, therefore boards with a thickness of at least 25 mm are used. The box can be made of flat slate, fasten the structure with screws. Boards should be treated with an antiseptic.
If the greenhouse is small and low, then it is convenient to make it openable. A frame with a frame covered with a covering material should be fixed to the box, on the one hand, with loops, and on the other, connected with a chain or rope. To protect plants from moles and other pests, you can fix a metal mesh on the base of the box.
To assemble the greenhouse frame, you need to cut the pipes of the required size, as in the drawing. To do this, you can use special scissors, a hacksaw for metal or a grinder. The assembly must be started from the ends, it is easier to do it on the ground, and then set and fasten to the frame or foundation. Plastic pipes can be connected with self-tapping fittings, welded using a welding machine, or glued.
First, markings should be made on the frame at an equal distance from each other. On one side, attach the pipe to the wooden frame with special fasteners. You can bend it yourself into an arch of the desired height and fix the opposite end of the pipe with the same fastening to the other side of the frame. Thus, the required number of pipes should be fastened together. For strength, the structure must be covered with a metal or plastic mesh and attached to the frame.
If the greenhouse is large enough, then it is better to assemble it at the installation site. But some details can be prepared in advance. It will be inconvenient in a large greenhouse without doors and vents. To assemble the doors, you will need two pipes for a rack with a height of about two meters, three - for crossbars from 50 to 70 cm and fittings: four corners and two tees for connecting pipes.
Tees and corners should be attached to the rack, transverse parts should be inserted into them. Attach the hinges to one of the racks. The door should be covered with covering material or polycarbonate, depending on the design. Tees can be used to improve structural strength. With their help, you can horizontally install additional pipes on the arch, which will make the frame stronger.
Before installing the greenhouse, you should prepare the site. Even if the plans are to make the simplest model, covering the garden with arcs, and the foundation is not required, you still have to start by creating the garden itself.
The simplest method for making an arched greenhouse from plastic pipes over a garden bed includes the following steps.
- arches are installed over the beds at an equal distance, as a rule - 50 cm from each other, so that the covering material does not sag;
- it is necessary to cut pipes. If the bed is not wide, then 1.5 m is enough. The number of pipes will depend on the length of the bed;
- you need to bend the pipes in the shape of an arch, dig them into the ground to an equal depth. Arches should be of the same height and well buried;
- cover the bed with a film or non-woven material. It is necessary to cover with a margin to prevent cold air from entering under the greenhouse, and the edges of the covering material (about 20 cm) could be covered with earth or fixed with bricks.
If the plans include the construction of the capital structure of the greenhouse, you must start with the foundation. It can be crafted from materials such as concrete, bricks, blocks, stones, sleepers, beams, or planks. It is better to use a beam with a size of 50x50 mm or 100x100 mm, boards - 50x100 mm or 50x150 mm.
To build a durable foundation on a prepared, leveled, more illuminated and wind-protected place, you must:
- make markup according to the drawing;
- pegs are driven in along the perimeter in the corners, a regular rope is attached to them;
- if the ground under the greenhouse is not very good, you can remove the top layer by 1-2 shovel bayonets;
- according to the marking, a trench is dug approximately in width and depth of 30 cm;
- a trench is rammed, crushed stone is poured to a third of the depth, sand is poured to the same depth from above. If the foundation is concrete, then first you should hammer in the reinforcement where the pipes will stand. Then make the formwork, fill in sand, crushed stone and fill it with mortar or ready-made concrete right away. Do not forget to tamp everything consistently;
- from above in the trench you need to put roofing material in two layers, the wooden foundation is closed from the sides;
- boards or timber for the foundation should be treated twice with an antiseptic or liquid bitumen. When they are dry, you should lay them in a trench and attach them to each other with long screws, bolts or galvanized corners;
- using a level, the foundation is checked.
The foundation can be made in another way.
To do this, follow these steps:
- mark the site, but not dig a trench, but make grooves where the pipes will stand;
- concrete rods or reinforcement with a diameter less than the inner diameter of the pipe into these grooves;
- drive the rods in both cases to a depth of at least 30 cm, depending on the soil and wind strength in the region;
- on the surface, the reinforcement should be left at least half a meter high, preferably longer, which will be more expensive;
- the distance between the rods must be at least a meter. If the greenhouse will be covered with a film or non-woven material, it is necessary to install the rods more often or to pre-stretch the metal or plastic mesh. Cover the edges of the metal mesh so that the wind does not tear the film.
Now you need to cut the pipes to the desired size. First put one end of the pipe on the rod, the other end on the rod from the opposite edge of the foundation. This procedure should be repeated until all pipes are in place. To keep the pipes tighter on the reinforcing rods, they can be secured with polymer clamps or galvanized brackets. The greenhouse gables should be attached to the frame with the same fixtures.
Now you need to strengthen the frame. For rigidity, it is necessary to attach transverse pipes at the very top in the center and from each side at least one pipe, depending on the width of the greenhouse. The ribs should run along the entire length of the greenhouse; it is necessary to attach the transverse and longitudinal pipes to each other using clamps, preferably plastic. It is necessary to install doors and vents, if they are provided by the drawing. You can cut an entrance hole instead of a door. To do this, from the end of the greenhouse, cut the covering material of the required size from below, left and right, and not cut from above.
A gable greenhouse can be assembled using polypropylene pipes with an inner layer of aluminum or fiberglass, fastened together with tees. The foundation for such a greenhouse can be made, as for an arched one. You can do without a foundation, but only pipes or fittings will have to be dug deeper into the ground so that the greenhouse does not blow off.
Whatever the design of the greenhouse, it must be covered. For this, a film or non-woven material is used, which is fixed with a net, thrown over the top, ropes, double-sided tape or self-tapping screws. When using self-tapping screws, so as not to tear the film, pieces from plastic bottles, rubber or linoleum are placed under them as a washer. It is better, of course, to buy special clamps, which will facilitate the work and the fastening will be more reliable. You can make the clamps yourself from pieces of hose or pipe cut lengthwise.
For a temporary greenhouse intended for the season or only for the spring period, as protection against return frost, both film and covering material are ideal. But for a major greenhouse, such coverage will be enough for no more than two seasons. And you have to start all over again. Polycarbonate is the best option for a capital greenhouse.
To cover a greenhouse made of plastic pipes with polycarbonate, the following steps should be taken:
- attach polycarbonate to the frame pipes using self-tapping screws 3.2x25 mm in size with plastic washers;
- if the sheet is longer, it is worth cutting the pipes along the edge with a sharp knife;
- if one sheet was not enough, then the sheets should be attached to each other with an overlap of 10 cm;
- to strengthen the structure, a split profile is used for connecting polycarbonate sheets, it should be fixed in the same way;
- the edges should be closed with plugs.
Small, portable greenhouse made without hassle with minimal cash costs.
Such a greenhouse design will require complex calculations, but it will surprise everyone.
A high arched greenhouse, covered with plastic wrap, is spacious and comfortable.
Arched greenhouses with wooden bases covered with a net look beautiful and stylish.
A bed covered with plastic bows and non-woven fabric is a practical solution.
Arched greenhouses of different sizes, covered with foil in one area, will help to conveniently arrange various plants.
A gable greenhouse made of polypropylene pipes without a foundation is simple and easy.
An arched greenhouse covered with plastic wrap with a door is a reliable solution.
An arched greenhouse made of metal-plastic pipes with a door, covered with polycarbonate, is durable and practical.
For information on how to make a greenhouse from polypropylene pipes, see the next video.