Building a Winter Greenhouse

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Building a Winter Greenhouse

I'm thinking of creating a greenhouse for winter growing. Where do I start, and is it necessary to buy a pre-made kit? Where do I place it in my yard?

This Book Is a Gold Mine of Useful Information

I highly recommend reading Eliot Coleman's book, Four-Season Harvest. In a very enjoyable and readable manner, he covers the use of greenhouses for the "average" person, but he also covers hoop houses and cold frames. You likely can harvest fresh food throughout most of the fall, winter and spring, using one of those easier to build and use alternatives. Growing food year-round is much more dependent upon how much sunlight your area gets rather than temperatures. Success also depends on which varieties of vegetables you plant. He has all the information you need for each of these topics. It's a gold mine of useful information.
Babette in Colorado

Make a Hoop House

A great way to start growing in different weather is with a hoop house. They are inexpensive to make and will extend your growing season by months. You can then later decide if growing this way is for you. If so, then check into greenhouses later. Here are pictures and plans of a simple hoop house I made this spring. The cost was very minimal and I was able to plant outside three months earlier than before.

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It's About Location!

First, the most important thing about a greenhouse is location. Find the spot in your yard with the most southern exposure. This is critical for winter growing, as the more sunlight you can get on the greenhouse, the better. It isn't necessary to go buy a kit for this. You can build a frame with thin boards or you can use tent poles in a pinch, as long as it's stable. For the covering, I suggest some of that heavy plastic that is commonly used for painting drop cloths. You may need a double, or even a triple layer, depending on your climate.

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