5 Ways to Make a Mini-Greenhouse for Your Yard

Transparent mini-greenhouse growing lettuce
Sponsor/Writer - LouAnn Moss

There are a lot of things homeowners can do to spruce up their outdoor areas. With the landscaping services industry bringing in $84 billion USD in 2017, it’s a well-known fact that people want their lawns to look their best. But something you can do on your own, to add both aesthetics and function to your yard, is put in a greenhouse.

Unfortunately, not everyone has a nice big yard with plenty of space for a full greenhouse. So let’s explore a few small greenhouses that you can make yourself without taking up too much space in your backyard.

Plastic Bottle Greenhouse

You can make a greenhouse out of almost anything, including a plastic bottle. So if you have a large plastic bottle, like one that held cooking oil or juice, you can turn it into a greenhouse. The bottle cap should be left off to allow for air flow—but bottles are great because they can keep the inside of the greenhouse nice and humid! 

While humans tend to be comfortable in light clothing at a relative humidity level between 35 and 60 percent, greenhouses should be more humid so they can trap moisture and help the plants inside grow.

Cold Frame Greenhouse

A cold frame is kind of a pre-greenhouse. It consists of a box without a bottom that’s put on the ground and covered with greenhouse plastic. With the bottom missing and the top covered, the box frame can actually warm the ground and allow plants to start growing earlier than they would otherwise. The frame can be removed once it’s warm enough outside, but it can also be beneficial when it comes to helping plants that were grown inside adjust to the colder weather outside.

Umbrella Greenhouse

Using an umbrella may seem weird, but one of these can actually make an excellent makeshift greenhouse. If you already have plants in the ground or in pots, you can use a plastic umbrella as a mini-greenhouse to protect them.

By placing the umbrella directly over the plants, you’ll be able to protect them from weather and pests, and help them flourish by keeping the area around them humid and warm. This is a super-simple way to create a greenhouse without actually having to build anything! 

Plastic Container Greenhouse

Similar to a plastic bottle greenhouse, you can use plastic containers, like muffin or cookie containers, to grow your little baby plants. When seedlings are just starting out, they need lots of light, humidity and warmth. This is why it can be incredibly helpful to plant them in a little plastic container and poke some air holes in it for them. By doing this, you’ll be able to successfully grow your little plants and keep them safe until they’re ready to be planted outside.

DIY Mini-Greenhouse

Of course, you can always build your own greenhouse from scratch. You’ll need something like wood or steel for the frame and either glass or polycarbonate plastic for the panels.

With the knowledge that about 30 percent of a home’s heating energy is lost through its windows, it’s important to properly seal your panels to the frame to prevent air leakage. You’ll need ventilation, but you don’t want the heated air to escape too quickly.

By using just a few basic materials, you can make a greenhouse as small or big as you’d like.

It’s Not the Size, But What You Do With It

You don’t need a huge area in order to have your own greenhouse. If you’ve got a small outdoor space, but are still interested in gardening, consider a few of these fun mini-greenhouse ideas that’ll help your plants grow in the best environment possible! 

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