Easy to Build Polypipe Greenhouse

Sometimes you see something and you think “Wow! Thats a great idea.” We came across this very simple and easy to build greenhouse at Rosina Buckman’s backyard. Rosina has some terrific tips mentioned previously here and here.

Most greenhouse designs are overly complicated with lengthy instructions and steel engineering that makes them unaffordable to most people wishing to have something in their backyard to grow their seedlings or indeed even a basic shelter to cover their aquaponic systems from the rain, wind, birds and insects.

Star pickets are cheap to buy

Rosina points out where the star picket is inside the polypipe

Yet this one idea is not commonly found on the internet.
The Polypipe Greenhouse.
All you need are around 8 star pickets and a length of thick industrial strength irrigation pipe to make a Greenhouse of approximately 3 meters by 7 metres. Very easy and cheap to build too.

Star pickets are also called steel fence posts in some countries. They come in a variety of sizes from 900mm right up to 2400mm in length.

Buy the taller steel picket and hammer them into location in your desired spot in the backyard.

Polypipe comes in various sizes

Polypipe comes in a range of sizes. Do choose one that is wider enough to slip over the steel picket.
The polypipe Rosina uses fits snugly over the picket and slides down about half the length of the picket.

It is then arched and connected over the other picket. Bird-netting is connected to the pipe with large size zip ties.

Surprisingly there is enough tension to support most bird netting or greenhouse shade cloth. Rosina Buckman’s Greenhouse has been moved around the garden four times and has stood the test of time.

Steel picket and polypipe greenhouse

The beauty of building your greenhouse this way is that you can change the shape and length to fit any shape in the garden.
It doesn’t necessarily need to fit a standard hoop greenhouse either.
Rosina has some very creative uses for the polypipe and some people use them as a trellis for all kinds of climbing plants.

Polypipes have been around for a while and were commonly in irrigation. But here they have found a different use altogether. Many permaculture people use polypipe to build dome shaped Permaculture Chicken tractors.
These dome shaped constructions certainly required a little bit more work but as mobile chicken coops they are light enough for one or two people to move and drag around the garden with chickens intact. They don’t rot and if you decide you don’t need the structure anymore – you can cannibalize the parts for other purposes.

Using mobile chicken tractors are discussed in Geoff Lawton’s “Establishing a Food Forest” DVD where the chicken tractors were used to manure a field and moved incrementally and a food forest was sown behind it. A wonderful idea with minimal effort.

This polypipe and star picket structure supports a climbing vine.