Before building our prop-house we located several greenhouse resources to help create the plans for a structure that fit our needs and budget. Here are a couple of online PDFs that we found helpful:
1) Plan your structure — Considerations:
- size — how many and what types of plants will you need to fit in your greenhouse during the peak of your season?
- usage — will your plants be grown in containers or in the ground?
- weather — do you have high winds or heavy snows?
- budget — if you have a larger budget, buy and build a steel greenhouse kit from a reputable source. We recommend OVG. If you don't have that type of funding available, a PVC-hoop greenhouse is probably the way to go.
2) Build a foundation — We chose to use pressure treated 2' x 6' lumber as our foundation. Typically, we try to avoid pressure treated wood, but rot-resistant natural lumber (e.g., cedar, redwood, juniper) was out of our price range and we needed something that could withstand years of damp conditions.
We suggest leveling the high side of the foundation first, then using stakes to bring the lower side up to the same level.
Important note: we cracked several bows by drilling through them when they were under pressure. Use a graduated drill bit to open holes for the carriage bolts without damaging set bows.
Side note: You can also see in the above picture that we added weed fabric at this point.
Important side note: notice the wooden bracing behind Katie which connects the foundation to the end wall. This diagonal brace—when put on each side of both end walls—added significant strength to our prop-house and is highly recommended.
We also added black webbing (batten strapping) that covers the plastic at each bow and helps hold it in place during strong gusts. It also helps hold the PVC roll up bars in place when they are down.
Eventually, it is our hope to cover the ground with a couple inches of gravel. We also intend to put in a mist system to reduce watering time. We'll be sure to share pictures of these features when they are added.