New Greenhouse from Old Window Frames – Diary of a Rocket Gardener

The new greenhouse is very nearly complete! It has been incredibly windy over the past few days, which made it quite challenging, but I really want to get it finished before May so that I can plant my tomatoes and chillies in there.

It’s small (it measures 180cm by 165cm) so it doesn’t offer a huge amount of growing space, but I think I’ll be able to grow 3 tomato plants, 3 chillies, and possibly a couple of aubergines, too, so it’s big enough for me. More importantly, it has been INCREDIBLY low cost! At my last count, I had spent approximately £75-£80, and I don’t think I need to spend any more. That’s quite a big saving when you consider a 6 foot by 4 foot freestanding greenhouse is in the region of £250.

These are the costs:

  • Old window frames & doors – free (rescued from the side of a road!)
  • Timber – free (reclaimed from an old shed that was being dismantled)
  • Corrugated roofing sheets – £20
  • Post savers – £25
  • A Post Digger – £14
  • Screws, brackets and stuff like that – £15 ish

Everything else has been begged and borrowed (mainly tools and manpower!)

So it’s nearly there. I am really pleased with it and I am now in a position to give three very (in my opinion) useful pieces of advice to anyone embarking on building their own greenhouse:

  1. Get your hands on a post digger – it looks like a giant corkscrew and is SO much more effective than trying to dig a deep hole with a spade. We were able to make holes for the posts that were 80cm deep, and the whole frame is incredibly sturdy compared to my last greenhouse which was more like 30cm deep.
  2. Use post savers – I can’t tell yet how effective they are in preventing wood rot, but in theory they will do the job and it has been very cost effective to use them. It’s also made me very happy to not need to lay down a concrete base or anything like that.
  3. If you are using old window frames, the stays (apparently this is the technical term for the bits that hold the window open) make very useful brackets. We took them off and have used them to secure the upper windows – it looks really cool and rustic too. I love it!

I’m really hoping that someone will be inspired to build their own greenhouse out of windows – if you do, please please send a picture to Rocket Gardens so that they can share it with me!!

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