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Building A Greenhouse To Grow Herbs & Greens All Winter

I am building a greenhouse over our raised herb garden to extend the growing season and grow some greens all through the winter. Melanie has been preparing meals all summer using our own herbs. We are also trying to save some of our garden vegetables through the colder nights.


When we purchased this land in April the property came with two houses, a garage and 18 acres of land. Behind the house there was a wood deck which the previous owners used as a tent platform. We removed the deck and found that the entire platform was framed underneath with treated 2x4 lumber. This formed a perfect frame for a raised bed garden.


I hauled in some composted leaf and soil mixture to fill up the raised bed garden. Then Melanie and I planted a mess of herbs and some vegetables in our new herb garden.


Raised bed herb garden

Raised bed herb garden




I had to sort out all my wood behind the wood shop before I could even begin to work on the greenhouse. The wood has been all stacked up together for a while now to dry out.


As I pulled the lumber off the racks I sorted it based on the project it is meant to be used for. There is wood for the chicken coop. Wood for making bird houses and wood projects. Then there is wood for the greenhouse. And some of the wood is too badly rotten for anything but the fire pit. Everything get used in some way though, if only to cook hot dogs over.


After sorting through most of the lumber I started to build the walls 5 feet high based on the average length of the wood. I am spacing the upright boards 3 feet apart. Later I will put on cross bracing horizontally to support the plastic sheets during the winter months.


Due to sorting all the wood as I worked and looking for stronger boards, the project took a bit longer than I had planned. But I managed to get all the walls up. I used the plywood that was originally on the deck which is now our herb bed. The plywood went on the north wall to reduce heat loss a bit back there. I will also probably use some scrap foam insulation I pulled out of the garage to further reduce heat loss in winter.


Building our herb garden greenhouse

Building our herb garden greenhouse


Some of the lumber I am using is true 2x4 lumber. This is rough cut wood and my Ryobi circular saw will not cut deep enough to go through it. So I make the first cut with the circular saw and then follow up with the reciprocating saw. This gives me a clean, straight cut.



To support the roof during winter I came up with the idea of using a thick 12 foot long board reaching from one end to the other. Then I used heavy boards under that on each end to transfer the weight of the roof straight down to the ground. I put a heavy duty post in the center as well from the beam to the ground. This will transfer the winter snow load to the ground, reducing stress on the walls of the greenhouse.


I scraped up some 1x6 boards to use as rafters for the greenhouse roof. I cut some angles but got it wrong. I will have to cut them again. But I was getting tired out from the 87 degree temperature today and all the work sorting the wood pile.


Framing in our greenhouse for winter herbs and greens

Framing in our greenhouse for winter herbs and greens


I will put the rafters on the roof and frame in the door tomorrow.


Our new greenhouse is starting to come together nicely now. I hope to at least get the greenhouse roof framed in before the next freezing night so I can toss a tarp over it. We have had a lot of freezing nights already this summer and it is exhausting to be laying out stakes and tarps each night and removing them each morning.


You can watch today's video here: Building A Greenhouse To Extend Our Homestead Growing Season


While you are over there please subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow our daily videos as we strive to become self sufficient and off the grid on a budget.

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Troy Reid


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