Cedar Greenhouse with Potting Bench

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Project by jhtuckwell posted 02-06-2010 09:26 PM 11021 views 43 times favorited 33 comments Add to Favorites Watch

We live in the foothills of Colorado at 7100’ and growing anything outside usually turns into fodder for deer, bear, foxes, coons, squirrels, bobcats, moles, etc… So I promised my wife I’d build her a greenhouse so she can grow vegetables and herbs without competing with the local wildlife. It also extends our growing season as we can experience frost up here as late as Memorial Day and as early as late Sept. After looking at various kits for sale we decided to build our own. It’s an all cedar construction with a 6”X6” treated timber base, stainless steel support brackets, screws and nails, 8mm polycarbonate, twin wall panel sides and roof, 16” thermostatically controlled fan to maintain the temp. at 85°F, planter boxes 30” high with a center aisle, 84” X 24” potting bench with a faucet, sink, upper and lower shelves and potting area with a dirt collection box and a timer controlled drip system. I laid a ¼” steel mesh under the floor so the moles and squirrels cannot dig under and up through it and built a cedar screen door with a removable polycarbonate panel so we can close it up during the cooler nights and leave it open all summer long for ventilation. We do not plan to grow in the Winter but we could with a space heater. The walls and roof supports are cedar 2X4 and 4X4 beams on 24” centers with a 4X12” laminated center beam, 16’ long to handle the snow load. We stained it with 3 coats of Sikkens to match our log home. For those of you who would like an outdoor project this summer and have the space, the joy of eating fresh vegetables all summer long is well worth the effort and it keeps my wife very busy so I can spend more time in the wood shop.

-- Jamie, Sedalia, Colorado

33 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


113833 posts in 2668 days

#1 posted 02-06-2010 09:28 PM

Wow thats a great greenhouse in a beautiful setting.

-- Custom furniture

View LeChuck's profile


419 posts in 2153 days

#2 posted 02-06-2010 09:37 PM

Wonderful, what a great gift.

-- David - Tucson, AZ

View Paul's profile


416 posts in 2680 days

#3 posted 02-06-2010 09:46 PM

Nicest one I’ve seen, Did you work from an available plan or design it yourself?

-- If you say 'It's good enough', it probably isn't.

View webwood's profile


623 posts in 2341 days

#4 posted 02-06-2010 09:58 PM


-- -erik & christy-

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2165 days

#5 posted 02-06-2010 10:07 PM

Beautiful -

Sure hope my wife does not see this.

Seriously, this would be a great idea for us since we have given up on gardening due to deer and rabbits and bugs.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View jhtuckwell's profile


16 posts in 2122 days

#6 posted 02-06-2010 10:27 PM

Paul: We actually designed most of it ourselves but I used the basic look of it from a greenhouse builder in British Columbia. The hardest part of designing this was attaching the vertical posts to the roof supports and then attaching them to the center lam. beam. We used a Z style design which I cut on the bandsaw and stainless lag screws to hold them all together. Unlike normal stick frame construction we had to put the ridge cap on before the polycarbonate roof panels as there was no way to get at the top of the roof (other than the ends or a lift bucket) so we dadoed out a cedar 1×4 about 2” down, installed it with an aluminum cap and then slid the poly panels underneath it and added silicone caulking at the seam. The poly panels do expand and contract so you have to compensate for that also. It was a lot more of a “project” than I anticipated but I find that’s usually the case with most of the work I tackle (foolishly at times!).

-- Jamie, Sedalia, Colorado

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 2206 days

#7 posted 02-06-2010 10:39 PM

what a great little greenhouse it look dam cool
I like the inside solutions too if you don´t want
to grow tomatoes and cucumbers
I like it becourse you don´t have to crowl on all fuor
you shuold put it on the sistersite gardentenders too


View scott shangraw's profile

scott shangraw

513 posts in 3160 days

#8 posted 02-06-2010 11:32 PM

Great my wife saw this.Now she wants one.Thanks alot!!!!!Anyway very nice work.

-- Scott NM,

View stefang's profile


14967 posts in 2425 days

#9 posted 02-06-2010 11:45 PM

Great greenhouse and very nicely constructed inside and out. I showed my wife and now she is worried about the bears! I like the part about keeping the wife busy so you can get more time in the shop. Thanks for the tip.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View John Stegall's profile

John Stegall

456 posts in 2607 days

#10 posted 02-07-2010 12:04 AM

This thing looks terrific…one thought though, don’t put an ice cream machine in there. I saw the remnants of a building that was used to sell ice cream in Co after a black bear had dismantled it. He even made it through the the machine door. I hope he enjoyed the ice cream that we did not get to buy.

-- jstegall

View NH_Hermit's profile


394 posts in 2187 days

#11 posted 02-07-2010 12:14 AM

I showed my wife too, and now she wants one too (should have read Scott’s post before showing her). I did build her a green house last summer of PVC and 6 mil plastic. I will NOT post a photo of it as it’s pretty sad in comparison to yours. It has withstood 50 mph winds and several feet of snow, which is more than some greenhouses around here withstood.

The wire mesh under the floor was a good idea.

Can I ask the overall length and width? I made my 10’ x 14’, and of course it’s too small now. My wife calls this my practice greenhouse.

Congratulations on a great job!

-- John from Hampstead

View b2rtch's profile


4677 posts in 2139 days

#12 posted 02-07-2010 12:27 AM

I want the same!( I know I would have to make it. It would fun to do)

-- Bert

View jhtuckwell's profile


16 posts in 2122 days

#13 posted 02-07-2010 01:11 AM

John: I made it 10’x16’. The 16’ length was to take advantage of standard 8’ sized lumber and I was planning to make it 12’ in width for the same reason. But I realized that anything wider than a 36’’ bed would be impossible to reach the far side and with the 2×4 outside walls and 2×4 knee high interior bed walls that left approx. 30” for an aisleway which was plenty. Even with that my wife uses a step stool to reach the far corners of the beds. We lost 7’ on the east side for the potting bench and sink but I did put in some bedding areas on the outside of the structure for plants and vegetables, like potatoes, that most animals won’t eat. (we hope!) I also put shelves on the potting bench to grow potted flowers on. To enlarge this I would suggest you either go longer, say to 24’ in length but if that’s not practical and you need to widen it, then I would suggest two aisles with a center aisle bedding area. I do highly recommend the raised beds along with a sturdy 2×6 ledge that one can sit or lean as it’s a pleasure to work in the garden standing up!!!

-- Jamie, Sedalia, Colorado

View NoSlivers's profile


210 posts in 2181 days

#14 posted 02-07-2010 01:31 AM

Very impressive!! I’d like to do something just like this for my wife, She’d love it!! Now it’s just a question of whether the neighbors will let me annex a portion of their real estate….

-- If you don't have time to do it right, do you have time to do it twice?

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8827 posts in 3190 days

#15 posted 02-07-2010 01:36 AM

That is a nice looking green house. I better not let my wife see this one.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

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