Monday, November 7, 2011

Make a Greenhouse Over a Water Troth

Q: Hello Mrs. Gail, I came across your DIY greenhouse for $25 online. I figured I'd ask your advice since you seem pretty crafty in the gardening arena. I have a an 8' x 3' water trough. As my research on this goes, I have not seen any greenhouse water troughs. I've seen plenty of trough planters. Is it practical to even convert a trough into a greenhouse?

Thank You for Your Time, Jason

A: Hi Jason – You can convert your troth into a greenhouse area. If you are growing soil based plants (such as vegetables and flowers) you must have good drainage. If the troth is for a pond, then you must have a pond liner. Pond plants and soil plants can grow in a porcelain troth, but cannot grow in a metal troth because metal is toxic to plants. A greenhouse is easy to make over the troth. I would simply pound in some stakes or rebar into the ground. Bend PVC pipe over the troth and slide the ends over the stakes. Then use Visqueen plastic to cover. It can be attached by punching small holes in the plastic and using zip ties to attach the plastic to the PVC. Visqueen is better than thick plastic drop cloth because it sturdier and is clear. It is fairly affordable and can be found at If you are in an area that receives snow, then reinforcement will be needed; such as chicken wire over the PVC and under the plastic. Hanging large C7 or C9 Christmas tree lights also helps to keep it warm inside your little greenhouse. Remember that all greenhouses need some sort of air circulation, such as a fan. Because, when the air is stagnant the plants will suffer from mildew and die.



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