Built from a low perimeter wall and having painted CPVC pipe as a frame, I built this 1,000 square foot greenhouse. I’ve used mostly clear polycarbonate panels, some translucent white ones on the west end (seen above). The structure supports my weight when I work on the roof (215 pounds). And CPVC pipe is very inexpensive- a ten foot length as of the writing of this post can be had for about four dollars in the 1+1/4″ diameter. CPVC is like PVC but gray instead of white; I painted it mostly green, since its a greenhouse… and it adds a layer of protection from the sun.
An upcoming project will be attempting to coat the inside surface of the polycarbonate panels with carnuba wax, dissolved in mineral spirits and sprayed onto the surfaces, and likely buffed. This because of the myriad studies coming out (yet not much publicized) which suggest adverse endocrine effects from perhaps hundreds of the compounds found in modern plastics, only one of which has been targeted for removal from some products- biospherol A, or BPA for short hand. Carnuba wax sticks to plastic, and creates a food grade barrier, and is harder than most other waxes, is 100% natural, and has a high melting point (185 degrees farenheit) which is good considering the uppermost sections of greenhouse can get over one hundred degrees in summer.
Below: I was gone last summer and fall, yet my garden survived rather well in my absence with nobody looking after it- I had set up watering timers on drip irrigation lines, and to reduce temps had installed a misting system near the rafters also on a timer for the hottest parts of day.
I had been using shade cloth in summer, and opening one end of the greenhouse leaving stock panels for walls. But the shade cloth dimmed the light more than the plants were comfortable with, so I’ve switched to camo netting which allows stippled light to cast over the plants, with an ever moving mottled effect of brightness and shadow due to the relative movement of the sun.
The greenhouse connects to my kitchen, and provides heat in winter which is stored in the thermal mass of grow beds and a 1,500 gallon fish tank.
Above: a monsoon thunderhead raining at sunset.
Below: things grow like its Ecuador during the nitrogen rich rains (nitrogen is liberated by lightning from what I understand: natural fertilizer.
Below, the neighbor’s green house. Well at least the inside paint is kinda green…