DIY hydroponic greenhouse overview
Growing your own vegetables year round in a hydroponic greenhouse can be surprisingly cheap and easy. As a general rule of thumb, the more you build yourself, the lower your cost will be.
Even if you buy a pre-fabricated greenhouse kit and several hydroponic systems, your end costs could easily be below $4,000 for a year-round walk-in greenhouse.If you go the fully DIY route for greenhouse contruction, your frame should be made of a sturdy material such as electrical conduit – 3/4″ electrical conduit is very likely the most popular material for DIY greenhouse construction.
Warning: Do not use PVC pipes! When building their first hydroponic greenhouse, many people choose to use PVC for construction. Not only does PVC degrade the plastic covering the greenhouse, PVC is not sturdy enough to construct a walk-in greenhouse, they commonly collapse during even mildly bad weather.
A greenhouse collapse can kill your plants and damage your hydroponic equipment, so I repeat, Do not use PVC pipes to construct your greenhouse!If you are just looking for a small tunnel greenhouse, all you need is a conduit bender, 3/4″ electrical conduit, and poly sheeting. You can construct a tunnel greenhouse for less than $100 and grow small plants year round.
If you are looking to build a walk-in hydroponic greenhouse, you can either make a large tunnel greenhouse by bending larger lengths of electrical conduit, or you can get a little creative and build an “A frame” style hydroponic greenhouse.Before you choose which hydroponic systems to put in your greenhouse, ask yourself a few questions.
What plants do you intend to grow?
How stable is the temperature in your area?
How often can you check on your greenhouse?
If you intend to grow large plants, you will want systems with large reservoirs, such a deep water culture, to keep the PH and nutrient levels stable. If temperatures in your are fluctuate frequently, you will also want systems with large reservoirs to keep temperatures steady.
If you can check your reservoir’s PH levels at least once per day, you can use aeroponics systems for strawberries, lettuce, and basil year round.Building a hydroponic greenhouse is an incredibly rewarding project and will provide your family with fresh produce year round in nearly any climate.