Rosewold Mini Greenhouse Project


Greenhouses, aka Spiders: Lois and I were worried about early and late frosts where we live (in Eugene, Oregon), so we cooked up a scheme to put clear trash bags, the 61 inch by 68 inch kind that will fit in a whole rolling dumpster, on frameworks of 1/2 inch PVC pipe, thus creating a mini-greenhouse with a 30x30 inch footprint. We are very pleased with the results.

  1. Tools:
    1. PVC cutter (you can use a saw but a cutter is cleaner)
    2. PVC cement (a small can will do)
    3. Sharpie and Pencil (for alignment markings)
    4. Bubble level (so leg tops are about even) Tools
  2. Ingredients: for six mini-greenhouses.
    1. 1/2 inch PVC pipe, 10-foot length, qty 16, cost us 1.76 each.
    2. 1/2 inch PVC elbow, qty 24, cost us 2.97 per bag of 10.
    3. 1/2 inch PVC cross, qty 6, cost us 1.44 each.
    4. ToughBag 95 Gallon Trash Bags, 61" W x 68" H, 1.5 mil, clear. cost us $23.98 for 25 on Amazon. Other brands are available. Parts
  3. Legs: make four legs per mini-greenhouse.
    1. Cut each 10-foot length in half, yielding 32 5-foot lengths.
    2. Set aside 6 x 4 = 24 of the 5-foot lengths for legs, four per greenhouse. Legs
  4. Shoulders: make four shoulders per mini-greenhouse.
    1. Cut the remaining eight 5-foot pieces into 19.5 inch pieces.
      If you decide to use 3/4 inch PVC you may need to shorten the length.
    2. Yield: 24 SHOULDERS plus a small extra chunk you throw away.
    3. Use PVC cement to glue an elbow on one end of each shoulder.
    4. Let the PVC cement cure for at least two hours to bond well. Shoulders
  5. Tops: this is the hardest part; work carefully.
    1. Set out a cross, flattest side down.
    2. Mark (with sharpie) each end with a dot for alignment later. Alignment
    3. Do a dry insertion of a shoulder into any side of the cross.
    4. Use another piece of 1/2 inch PVC to get a good angle. Try to point the elbow straight up (close is good enough).
    5. Mark the shoulder with a pencil line (3/4 inch or so) matching your dot. Remove shoulder and set aside.
    6. Dope one side of the cross with PVC cement.
    7. Insert shoulder as far as it will go (about 1/2 inch).
    8. Twist shoulder until the pencil mark lines up with the dot.
    9. Repeat for the other three shoulders.
    10. Yield: one TOP.
    11. Repeat for each of the other crosses.
    12. Let the PVC cement cure for at least two hours to bond well. Top
  6. Spiders:
    1. Insert four legs into your garden soil in a 30x30 footprint.
    2. Make it so the tops of the legs are level with each other.
      Hint: use a 4-foot level, or a shorter level on a board.
    3. Place a top on the four legs previously placed in your garden.
    4. Push down gently. Someday you may want to remove the top and store the top and legs separately. Spider Top
  7. Greenhouses:
    1. In case of cold weather, slide a sleeve (clear plastic bag) down over the spider.
    2. Warning: it can get pretty hot inside if you do this in warm weather. SpidersGreenhouse

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