The Four Basic Greenhouse Designs For the Home Gardener
Usually metal hoops of different widths. Properly engineered and constructed, these will last for years and take almost as much snow load as you're going to see in most parts of the continent.
More expensive than wood but less maintenance involved. Harder to construct yourself unless you have a pipe-bender.
Metal Framed Houses
These are the traditional conservatory houses and are wonderful units for both looks and performance.
More expensive but if you have the bucks, this is a great way to go to create that certain sense of style in your backyard.
Perfect for the home backyard greenhouse build-it-yourself enthusiast. Can be done from plans and kits or build-it-yourself. All levels of cost and sizes.
Properly designed - they can handle any snow load.
Do require ongoing maintenance to keep the wood in shape
Multiple designs ranging from triangles to full truss systems.
Plastic PVC pipe Greenhouses
Super cheap, easily constructed but have absolutely no snow-load ability. If it snows any appreciable amount, your greenhouse is going to the ground.
They do resemble a hoop house in the structure is bent pipe
Excellent for season extenders and beginning beds where you want to either warm up the soil quickly or extend a fall harvest (removing plastic before the real winter starts or be prepared to slit plastic in storms to save the structure).
We have a small upright greenhouse design that does quite nicely to protect our seedlings in the spring and add a bit of extra protection to overwintering perennial seeds. Mine cost me $20 and was a good investment.
That's a quick summary of home greenhouse design options. Each of these will be discussed in detail as these pages unfold.
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