8 DIY Pallet Greenhouse Plans You Can Build Today (With Pictures)
Greenhouses offer a chance to keep gardening even in inclement weather, extending your growing season and protecting sensitive plants. These structures can be small, mid-sized, or large, depending on your gardening requirements, and you can build them anywhere in your yard.
Building a greenhouse can be challenging, especially if it’s your first, and the wide range of materials needed often costs a significant amount of money. But you can cut down the construction cost if you have pallets at your disposal with relatively easy-to-follow instructions.
Thanks to this affordability, you’ll have an excellent setup for a greenhouse with a few tools, scrap pallets, and some joining lumber. In this article, let’s examine the eight DIY pallet greenhouses you can build today and their plans.
The 8 DIY Pallet Greenhouse Plans
1. Rustic DIY Pallet Greenhouse
|15 pallets, PVC pipes and couplers, 2x4s, 2x4x8s, plastic sheeting, deck screws, nails, brackets
|Hammer or nailer, screwdriver, circular saw, zip tie, drill, and bits
You’ll start by selecting the space to build your rustic DIY pallet greenhouse depending on which areas best suit your purpose and the prevailing weather conditions. Then, fasten the pallets vertically and settle them down properly, so they stay upright, using the 2x4x8 beams as pillars for support.
Next, connect at least 15 pallets to make walls and then drill holes for the PVC before using nails or screws to join them. Leave a space for the door and repeat the arrangement until you’ve attained your desired wall height, adding extra pallets as needed.
Secure the points for junctions where the nuts or bolts will go, or you can use metal brackets to complete the pallet frame of your greenhouse. Use the healthier, longer pallets until you’ve constructed a wooden skeleton for your structure before commencing with the waterproof covering.
Once you’ve attached your PVC piping, use extra wooden slats to add support, and then wrap the pallets with plastic sheeting. Next, cover the roof similarly to moderate the greenhouse’s inner climatic conditions, and connect the pipes to your rainwater collection unit.
2. DIY Solar Off-Grid Greenhouse
|5 pallets, plastic sheeting, horse trough, 2x4x8s, trash can pond filter, rocks for thermal mass, shelving lumber
|Sander, hammer, nails, screws, drill, nuts, bolts, washers
If you live in a cold climate, your early plants will be decimated by snowfall unless you’ve constructed this DIY solar off-grid greenhouse. That’s because the early frost will ruin your crop even before you can harvest it, making it challenging to grow crops or propagate flowers.
The DIY solar off-grid greenhouse will keep seedlings and sprouts warm until you can move them outdoors, and you don’t have to run it on power from your house. Once you’ve decided on the size, find a sunny place to situate the structure, especially in a space where the snow melts earliest.
Each pallet is approximately two feet wide, used enough to cover a basic rectangular structure with space for an entrance. Use the 2x4x8s for framing support and utilize black plastic sheeting for the top half and the roof, so it absorbs sufficient warmth from the sun.
Insulate the top and bottom from snow and wind, and use the thermal mass rocks for the floor, after which you’ll incorporate the water feature to retain heat at night. A solar pump is necessary for the filter, which you can set up from a trash can, a battery, and a simple solar panel.
3. DIY Cattle Panel Pallet Greenhouse
|12 pallets, rebar braces, 3-inch steel spikes, 2×2 board, fence staples, baling wire, plastic sheeting, 1×2 wood strips
|Drill, sander, nails, hammer, hanging wire, screws, nails, peg holders
The size of your DIY cattle panel pallet greenhouse is largely determined by the materials you have for construction when your panels are 60 feet long and 50 inches tall. One rule is always to go bigger than what you plan so that your space can take full capacity, so three pallets should suffice for a 12.5-foot length.
Your greenhouse’s width is determined by the base of your arches, which should give at least 6.5-foot headroom. Keep in mind that if your base is too wide, it’ll not provide sufficient support for arch tension, requiring a ridge beam for rigid placement.
Orientate your greenhouse where the sun is at its fullest and with minimal tree shade before anchoring the pallet foundation. If you know how high winds get in your area, securing the plastic sheeting may require tightening with 1×2 wood strips. Use protective end caps to protect the sheet from punctures when attaching it to the cattle panels.
4. DIY Cold Frame Pallet Greenhouse
|Pallets, hinges, plastic sheeting, old window, patio or shower door
|Drill, saw, screws, hammer, or nailer
A DIY cold frame pallet greenhouse is a glass-covered box that allows sunlight to get through and retains heat to protect your late-season plants. You can build this structure for as low a cost if armed with recycled pallets, clear plastic, or a pane of glass from an old window, shower, or patio door.
The rudimentary construction of a DIY cold frame pallet greenhouse is straightforward, and the structure occupies minimal space in your garden. While you can use this greenhouse for wintering your flowers and other crops, it’s specifically meant for shorter plants that aren’t restricted by the confines of the lid’s low height.
A cold frame is a miniature greenhouse; you can insulate the insides with hay or other biodegradable materials for better thermal retention. Alternatively, ensure the lid can open by attaching hinges between the window or glass shower door and pallets for the hotter days.
You can add a shelf mid-length on the trellises for this mini-greenhouse to hold less-sensitive plants or gardening equipment.
5. DIY Low-Cost Pallet Wood Greenhouse
|6 pallets, chicken wire, plastic sheeting, reclaimed glass windows or doors. 2×4 wood beams
|Hammer, nails, screws, drill, nuts, bolts, washers
Locate your DIY low-cost pallet wood greenhouse in an area with sufficient sunshine and have its width face into the wind. Glass makes for a better roofing material. Still, you can use high-micron polyurethane sheets to act as a side or top insulator if you live in extreme weather.
You can build a low-cost pallet greenhouse by starting small and working up with reclaimed materials such as windows, showers, or patio doors. A set of pallets and recuperated chicken wire holds the structure’s walls together while a trussing of wooden beams sets the roof.
You can make the skeleton of your DIY low-cost pallet wood greenhouse with planks from pallets for rigidity and to provide a smoother surface for the plastic sheeting or roofing material. Set four pallet-wood frames against each other, leave space for an entrance, or create vent windows on the side of the trussing.
For your low-cost pallet greenhouse, use normal polyurethane plastic sheeting to frame the roof sides, doors, and vents. While this doesn’t last as long as the high-micron UV-rated PVC sheet, it’ll do for a couple of seasons to ensure your overall costs remain low.
6. DIY Pallet Urban Greenhouse
|Old pallets are broken down, 8-foot Tuftex PolyCarb panel, 4-foot wooden closure strips, 2-inch neoprene washer screws, and 8-foot strip 2-inch flashing
|Drill, tin snips, nail gun (with compressor), 1/2-2-inch brad nails, drill bit, mending plates, jig and circular saw, hinges, self-drilling screws
Cut the Tuftex panel using a utility knife, circular saw, or tin snips according to the dimensions of your DIY pallet urban greenhouse. Next, use scrap pallet wood to create the lid frame, and build the corner supports with mending plates, brad nails, or a Kreg jig if you have one.
Make closure strips at the top and bottom of your pallet urban greenhouse, then cut flushing to match its width. Secure these with washer screws before building a base from your old pallets, on which you’ll attach the sides up to your desired height.
Set the lid on top and make adjustments before you attach the back hinges, ensuring sufficient opening allowance. Use self-drilling screws for connecting flashing on the ridges to prevent rainwater from interfering with your plants.
7. DIY Pallet Greenhouse with Rain Gutter Grow-System
|15 pallets, PVC piping, and couplers, 2x4s, 2x4x8s, 10’ x 20’ 4-mil plastic, plastic 25’ x 100’ 4mil, 2½” Star-Drive Deck screws, several PVC water storage tanks
|Drill, bits, saw, screwdriver, hammer or nailer
You can make your garden multipurpose with a DIY pallet greenhouse with rain gutters grow-system that sustains your crops through all seasons without external watering. With this structure, you will extend your planting season and use sustainable rainwater to make your vegetables fully organic.
Use standard pallets, attaching them with couplers and nails, and you can wrap them in plastic sheeting for additional insulation. Once all the sides have a balanced appearance and standard dimensions, install the door and vent frames before setting up the trussing using 2x4x8s.
Make gutters using PVC pipes and attach them after you’ve covered the roof and sides of your pallet greenhouse rain gutters grow-system. Next, connect pipes that direct the flow of rainwater to the tanks, which provide your plant’s irrigation system using gravity.
8. DIY Multipurpose Pallet Greenhouse
|Pallets, PVC arches, 5/4×6 deck boards, PVC electrical conduit, and clips made from 3/4 inch thin-wall PVC pipe, 2x4s ripped to 2×2, window
|Drill, nails, hammer, hanging wire, screws, nails, peg holders, sander
A DIY multipurpose pallet greenhouse offers sufficient space to start seedlings and pot plants or store sprouts through the winter and hot summer months. Using pallets wrapped in plastic sheeting, you’ll protect your crops from pests, critters, high winds, snow, and frost. It can also hold domestic animals like poultry when you’ve harvested your crops.
You’ll create stands, shelves, or drying tables within your multipurpose pallet greenhouse for crops like onions, potatoes, and garlic. Combine several pallet planks to create racks and build a door from ripped 2x4s covered in plastic or screen, depending on the weather and your crop.
While the DIY multipurpose pallet greenhouse is a cheap build, it may take longer than others due to the intricacies involved in its construction. For example, add a single window pane or install a wind-driven fan on the trussing to regulate temperatures.
Adding a few pieces of lumber, like 2x4s for framing and 5/4-inch beams in decking, is also necessary to offer more gardening space.
Is It Cheaper to Build a Greenhouse or Buy a Kit?
Greenhouses are versatile in their inclusion of all shapes and sizes, ranging from shed-like to industrial-sized structures. Numerous retailers sell greenhouse building kits, allowing you to set up a standard one easily, but construction is often resource and time-intensive.
As the square footage of a greenhouse increases, so does the cost, but the price per foot decreases as the overall structure becomes larger. While the cost increase isn’t exponential, professionally built standard greenhouse sizes may cost you $23 per square foot.
With pallet racking, the cost of building a greenhouse comes down, plus there are features like doors and windows that you might also reuse. Plastic sheeting, pipes, and wire mesh are other costly attributes of constructing greenhouses. But many of these items are long-lasting, meaning you can source them second-hand or taken from earlier projects.
You’ll over-winter your plants and grow crops all year round, whether vegetables or flowers, in these eight DIY pallet greenhouses. Extend your growing season and have a place to transition your seedlings with some craftsmanship, tools, and materials, including old pallets.
A DIY pallet greenhouse will allow you to plant exotic flora, even if you live far away from the tropics, or citrus that supplements your diet. It’s a challenging project that’s fun to do with a spouse or family, saving you money and letting you recycle for a cleaner environment.
Featured Image Credit: Gorloff-KV, Shutterstock