An Affordable, Practical Greenhouse

Mark Hilliard of Plainview, TX has built a “do-it-yourself” greenhouse that is worth taking a look at!

greenhouse 1

The foundation rectangle is made from wollmanized 2 x 6 boards–measuring 7 feet wide on the inside and 8′ 5″ long, also on the inside–that’s so the livestock panel will arch up for clearance over your head. The panels rest on a 2 x 2 board that is screwed to the base of the 2 x 6 on the long sides. Mark used fence staples to secure it, and he wired the panels together, every other square (see photos).

greenhouse 2

The doors and window are framed in salvaged 2 x 4 lumber. The door is 36″ wide, and the window is 36″ wide and 24″ tall. On the right side of the photos below, you’ll see that Mark made a frame that can support some kind of a potting bench. He also put pipe insulation over the ends of the livestock panel so the plastic sheeting won’t tear. Finally, he installed a ridge pole, which he will use to train some indeterminate tomatoes to grow up a rope.

greenhouse 3

Mark outlines the basic costs of the materials. “The cattle panels cost $19.99—they are the 50″x16 foot models. This size will make an arch about 6′ 2″ as long as you keep the width at 7 feet. I think you could make a set of wheels and cart them around like a wheel barrow without a lot of engineering. Throw a tarp over it and presto you have a shelter. Thus far I have $40 for the panels, another $40 in the wollmanized 2×6 foundation and another $40 in screws, new 2x4s, hinges and assorted metal corner braces. All of the current stud framework is made from salvaged lumber. A 20 x 26 foot piece of 4-year clear greenhouse film costs $72 and another $19 for shipping from Iowa.”

greenhouse 4

Mark wants everyone to know that his greenhouse design is not his original creation. “I was Googling and You Tubing, looking at PVC greenhouses, when I stumbled across a few livestock panel greenhouses. I adapted several of those designs to create my version.” If you have questions, you can email him at:

greenhouse 5

Thanks to Mr. Hilliard for sharing a practical and affordable example—something anyone could use to grow more food on the Llano Estacado.

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