DIY Greenhouse out of Old Windows. On a Budget!

budget greenhouse made of old windows
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Welcome, fellow gardening enthusiasts! Are you ready to embark on an exciting journey of building your very own DIY greenhouse out of old windows and on a budget? Imagine having a thriving oasis right in your backyard, where you can grow an abundance of plants and vegetables throughout the year. And the best part? You can achieve this without breaking the bank, using affordable materials and a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach.

In this article, we’ll dive into the world of greenhouse gardening, exploring the wonders of constructing a greenhouse using inexpensive materials. Whether you have a green thumb or are just beginning your gardening adventure, building a DIY greenhouse out of old windows is an excellent way to extend your growing season and nurture your plants to their fullest potential in a cheap and easy way.

But why should you consider having a greenhouse in the first place? Well, let’s take a moment to appreciate the benefits it offers. A greenhouse provides a controlled environment that shields your plants from harsh weather conditions, pests, and other external factors that could hinder their growth. It allows you to create a micro climate where plants can thrive, regardless of the season or geographical location.

Furthermore, a greenhouse opens up a world of possibilities for both avid gardeners and beginners. You can experiment with a wide variety of plants, from vibrant flowers to luscious vegetables. Imagine enjoying fresh, homegrown produce even during the winter months. Plus, a greenhouse offers a peaceful sanctuary where you can unwind, reconnect with nature, and indulge in your gardening passion.

Now that we’ve set the stage, let’s start your DIY greenhouse out of old windows construction, focusing on affordable materials that will bring your green dreams to life. Get ready to roll up your sleeves, grab some tools, and let’s embark on this exciting endeavour together!

Gather Materials

When it comes to building a greenhouse on a budget yourself, choosing the right materials is key. Not only do you want them to be affordable, but also easily accessible. Let’s explore some tips for gathering the materials you’ll need to construct your greenhouse.

  • Embrace the Beauty of Repurposing One fantastic way to keep costs down is by repurposing materials. And what better way to do that than by using old windows? Discarded windows can be found at salvage yards, online marketplaces, or even through community groups. Not only are they often available at a low cost or even for free, but they also add a charming vintage touch to your greenhouse.
  • Consider Other Affordable Options While old windows are a popular choice, they aren’t the only option. You can get creative with materials such as clear corrugated plastic sheets or even PVC pipes for the frame. These materials are relatively inexpensive and readily available at hardware stores or online.
  • Prioritize Durability and Insulation When selecting materials, it’s important to prioritize durability and insulation. Look for sturdy materials that can withstand the elements and provide adequate protection for your plants. Ensure that the materials can retain heat during colder months and allow for proper ventilation during warmer months.
  • Size Matters Consider the size of your greenhouse project when gathering materials. Determine the dimensions you desire and plan accordingly. By knowing the size beforehand, you can source materials more effectively and avoid unnecessary wastage or shortage.Assess Quality While cost-effectiveness is crucial, don’t compromise on quality. Inspect the materials you’re considering to ensure they are in good condition and suitable for your greenhouse project. This will ensure longevity and better results in the long run.

Remember, gathering materials for your DIY greenhouse can be an adventure in itself. Explore local resources, connect with like-minded gardeners, and let your creativity guide you. With the right materials in hand, you’re one step closer to building your dream greenhouse.

In the next section, we’ll delve into the design and planning aspect of your DIY greenhouse out of old windows, where we’ll discuss crucial factors to consider before breaking ground.

Design and Planning a DIY greenhouse out of old windows

Before you grab your tools and start building your greenhouse, it’s essential to spend some time on careful planning. Proper planning will ensure that your greenhouse is functional, efficient, and suits your specific gardening needs. Let’s explore some key factors to consider during the design and planning phase.

1. Size Matters:

Determining the size of your greenhouse is a crucial first step. Consider the available space in your backyard or garden and how much room you can allocate to your greenhouse project. Take into account not only the footprint but also the height, as vertical space can be utilized for hanging plants or shelves.

2. Location, Location, Location:

Choose a suitable location for your greenhouse. Look for an area that receives ample sunlight throughout the day, preferably facing south or southeast to maximize exposure. Avoid placing the greenhouse near tall structures or trees that might cast shadows and obstruct sunlight.

3. Sunlight Exposure:

Assess the amount of sunlight your chosen location receives throughout the year. Different plants have varying light requirements, so understanding the sunlight patterns in your chosen spot will help you determine which plants will thrive in your greenhouse. Consider using tools like sun charts or smartphone apps to track the sun’s path and shade patterns.

4. Ventilation and Temperature Control:

A well-ventilated greenhouse is vital for plant health and preventing excessive heat buildup. Plan for windows, vents, or fans to allow for adequate airflow. Consider incorporating a thermostat-controlled system to regulate temperature and ensure optimal growing conditions.

5. Efficient Layout:

Designing an efficient layout will maximize the space inside your greenhouse. Consider factors such as shelving, pathways, and work areas. Ensure easy access to plants and enough room for you to move around comfortably. Organize your greenhouse in a way that allows for proper plant spacing and easy maintenance.

6. Water and Electrical Needs:

Think about the availability of water and electricity in your chosen location. Consider installing a water source or incorporating a rainwater collection system for irrigation. Plan for electrical outlets if you’ll need them for lighting, heating, or other equipment.

By carefully considering these factors during the design and planning phase, you’ll create a greenhouse out of old windows that maximizes plant growth and provides an enjoyable gardening experience.

Building Your Greenhouse out of Old Windows

Are you ready to roll up your sleeves and start building your greenhouse out of old windows? In this section, we’ll provide step-by-step instructions to guide you through the construction process using old windows. We’ll also cover important safety precautions, necessary tools, and share some helpful tips and tricks for a successful build.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials and Tools:

Before you begin, make sure you have all the necessary materials and tools on hand. These may include:

  • Old windows (in various sizes and styles)
  • Lumber or PVC pipes for the frame
  • Screws, nails, or brackets for securing the windows and frame
  • Measuring tape, level, and a carpenter’s square
  • Drill or screwdriver
  • Saw (if needed for cutting the lumber)
  • Safety goggles, gloves, and a mask for protection

Step 2: Design and Plan Your Greenhouse:

Using your chosen location and available materials, design and plan the layout of your greenhouse. Determine the size and shape, considering factors such as space availability and your gardening needs.

Step 3: Build the Frame:

Start by constructing the frame of your greenhouse. If using lumber, cut the pieces according to your desired dimensions and assemble them using screws or nails. Alternatively, if using PVC pipes, connect the pipes together using appropriate fittings to create the frame structure.

Step 4: Prepare the Base:

Clear the ground in the chosen location and level the area where the greenhouse will sit. If desired, consider adding a gravel or concrete base to provide stability and proper drainage.

Step 5: Install the Windows:

Carefully position the old windows onto the frame, ensuring they are securely attached. Use screws, nails, or brackets to fasten the windows to the frame, taking care not to damage the glass. Make sure the windows are aligned properly for a tight fit.

Step 6: Secure the Structure:

Double-check that all windows are securely fastened and reinforce any weak points if needed. Ensure the frame is stable and level by adjusting the supports and adding additional braces if necessary.

Step 7: Safety Precautions:

Throughout the construction process, prioritize safety. Wear protective gear, such as goggles, gloves, and a mask, to safeguard against any potential hazards. Use caution when handling tools and working with glass to prevent accidents.

Helpful Tips and Tricks:

  • Clean the old windows before installation to maximize light transmission.
  • Add weatherstripping or caulk to seal any gaps between the windows and the frame, ensuring better insulation.
  • Consider incorporating additional features like shelves or hooks for hanging plants to maximize space utilization.
  • Install automatic vents or windows that can be opened and closed based on temperature and humidity levels to maintain proper airflow.

By following these step-by-step instructions, adhering to safety precautions, and implementing helpful tips, you’ll be well on your way to constructing a beautiful and functional DIY greenhouse using old windows.

Enhancing Plant Growth

To ensure optimal plant growth and productivity in your greenhouse, it’s important to provide the right conditions and necessary equipment. In this section, we’ll discuss the role of UV protection, the benefits of UV light, and other essential equipment that will enhance plant growth and help you create a thriving greenhouse environment.

Understanding UV Protection:

UV (Ultraviolet) light plays a vital role in plant development. While excessive UV exposure can be harmful, providing appropriate levels of UV light inside the greenhouse offers numerous benefits. UV light helps stimulate plant growth, enhances flower production, increases fruit ripening, and can improve overall plant health.

Benefits of UV Light:

UV light triggers natural defense mechanisms in plants, leading to stronger, more resilient growth. It can also enhance the flavors, colors, and nutritional value of fruits and vegetables. Moreover, UV light can help control certain pests and diseases, reducing the need for chemical interventions.

Ways to Provide UV Light:

To provide UV light to your plants, you have a few options:

  • Shelving and Benches: Installing shelves or benches will maximize your greenhouse’s vertical space, allowing for better organization and easy access to plants.
  • Watering Systems: Consider incorporating an automated watering system, such as drip irrigation or misting, to ensure plants receive adequate moisture without the need for constant manual watering, nothing fancy as we are building a DIY greenhouse out of old windows after all.
  • Ventilation and Fans: Proper ventilation is crucial for maintaining airflow and controlling temperature within the greenhouse. Install fans or vents to regulate humidity levels and prevent heat buildup.
  • Monitoring and Control Systems: Utilize temperature and humidity sensors, as well as timers and thermostats, to monitor and control the greenhouse environment more effectively.

Remember, each greenhouse setup is unique, and the specific equipment needs may vary based on the size and design of your greenhouse, as well as the types of plants you’re cultivating.

By providing the right UV light exposure and utilizing essential equipment, you’ll create an environment that promotes healthy plant growth, increases productivity, and fosters a thriving greenhouse ecosystem.

Choosing the Right Plants

Now that you have your greenhouse ready to go, it’s time to fill it with an array of plants that will thrive in this controlled environment. Choosing the right plants for your greenhouse is crucial for successful cultivation. Let’s explore some guidance and factors to consider when selecting plants for your greenhouse, along with a list of beginner-friendly options.

Evaluate Temperature Requirements:

Different plants have varying temperature preferences. Consider the temperature range that your greenhouse can maintain and choose plants accordingly. Some plants prefer cooler temperatures, while others thrive in warmer conditions. Aim for a balance that suits most of the plants you wish to grow.

Assess Humidity Needs:

Greenhouses naturally have higher humidity levels, but certain plants may require additional humidity. If you plan to grow plants with higher humidity requirements, such as tropical species, consider incorporating misting systems or humidity trays to create a more suitable environment.

Light Requirements:

Evaluate the natural light available in your greenhouse and match it with plants that have similar light requirements. Some plants thrive in full sun, while others prefer partial shade. Consider the placement of your greenhouse, any shading structures, and the need for supplemental lighting if necessary.

Beginner-Friendly Plant Options:

If you’re new to greenhouse gardening, it’s best to start with plants that are relatively easy to grow and maintain. Here are some beginner-friendly plant options:

  • Leafy Greens: Lettuce, spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are excellent choices. They have relatively low temperature requirements and can be harvested multiple times.
  • Herbs: Basil, parsley, mint, and chives are forgiving and versatile herbs that are ideal for greenhouse cultivation. They thrive in a range of temperatures and provide fresh flavors for your culinary creations.
  • Tomatoes: Cherry tomatoes or smaller varieties are well-suited for greenhouse growing. They adapt well to the controlled environment and can be highly productive.
  • Peppers: Both sweet bell peppers and hot peppers can flourish in a greenhouse. They appreciate the consistent warmth and protection from temperature fluctuations.
  • Cucumbers: Greenhouse-grown cucumbers tend to yield abundant crops due to the controlled environment. Opt for compact or bush varieties for easier management.

Remember to consider your personal preferences, culinary needs, and gardening goals when choosing plants for your greenhouse. Experiment with a variety of species and gradually expand your collection as you gain more experience.

By selecting plants that align with your greenhouse’s conditions, you’ll create an environment where they can thrive, ensuring a bountiful and rewarding gardening experience.

Maintenance and Care

Congratulations on completing the construction of your DIY greenhouse out of old windows! Now it’s time to ensure its ongoing maintenance and care for optimal plant growth. In this section, we’ll provide you with essential tips to keep your greenhouse in top shape, covering areas such as watering, ventilation, pest control, and monitoring plant health.

1. Watering:

Maintaining proper moisture levels is crucial for plant health. Here are some watering tips:

  • Monitor the moisture levels in the soil regularly and adjust watering accordingly.
  • Water plants thoroughly, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between watering sessions.
  • Consider using a drip irrigation system or self-watering containers to provide consistent moisture.

2. Ventilation:

Proper ventilation is essential to regulate temperature and humidity within the greenhouse. Follow these guidelines:

  • Ensure proper airflow by opening windows, vents or using fans to circulate air.
  • Use automatic vent openers or manually adjust windows to prevent overheating during hot periods.
  • Monitor humidity levels and use dehumidifiers or fans to control excess moisture.

3. Pest Control:

Preventing and managing pests is crucial for plant health. Here’s how to keep unwanted visitors at bay:

  • Inspect plants regularly for signs of pests, such as aphids, mites, or fungal diseases.
  • Use organic pest control methods, such as insecticidal soaps or Neem oil, to treat infestations.
  • Practice good hygiene by removing dead leaves, fallen debris, and regularly sanitizing tools and surfaces.

4. Monitoring Plant Health:

Regular monitoring allows you to catch any issues early on and take appropriate action. Follow these guidelines:

  • Observe plant growth, checking for any signs of stress, nutrient deficiencies, or diseases.
  • Monitor temperature and humidity levels to ensure they are within the optimal range for your plants.
  • Keep a gardening journal to track progress, note any changes, and adjust care practices accordingly.

5. Ongoing Care:

Consistent care and maintenance are vital for the long-term success of your greenhouse. Remember these key points:

  • Prune and trim plants regularly to promote healthy growth and prevent overcrowding.
  • Fertilize plants as needed to replenish nutrients and promote strong development.
  • Keep an eye on weeds and remove them promptly to prevent competition for resources.
  • Clean the old windows as often as need it.

By following these maintenance and care tips, you’ll create an environment that supports optimal plant growth, reduces the risk of diseases, and provides a thriving space for your greenhouse gardening endeavors.


Building a DIY greenhouse out of old windows is an exciting venture that allows you to cultivate a variety of plants throughout the year. By investing time and effort into maintenance and care, you’ll reap the rewards of a flourishing greenhouse and enjoy the bountiful harvests and vibrant plant life it brings.

So, gather your tools, source your materials, and let your creativity bloom. Whether you’re a gardening enthusiast or just starting out, your greenhouse is waiting to be built. Get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and cultivate a thriving haven of greenery.

Now, it’s your turn! We encourage you to take the knowledge and inspiration gained from this article and embark on your own DIY greenhouse journey. With each passing day, your greenhouse will become a testament to your passion and dedication.

Remember, gardening is a continuous learning experience. Don’t be afraid to experiment, make mistakes, and adapt your practices along the way. Cherish the joy of witnessing your plants flourish and the satisfaction of reaping the rewards of your hard work.

Happy gardening!

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