Keep Your Greenhouse Plastic From Blowing Away With This Simple Trick

It also works to hold down tarps.

You don’t need expensive systems on a basic home greenhouse

Holding down greenhouse plastic in backyard greenhouses is a relatively simple thing without resorting to expensive commercial hold-down systems. Commercial systems can easily cost several dollars a running foot (one foot long) and if your greenhouse is twenty feet long (and you have four sides) then you’re looking at several hundred dollars just to hold down the plastic.

Using this system, you need enough 2×4’s to go around the perimeter once and 1×2’s to go around twice. Much cheaper!

Step One

Attach a 2×4 board securely to the base of your greenhouse structure — at ground level. It is critically important that this structure is very firmly attached to the supports and that it will not move.

Step Two

At the top of the 2×4, attach a length of 1×2 board securely. Run this the entire length of the greenhouse as well and screw it to the 2×4 rather than a nail for added strength.

Step Three

A second run of 1×2 will be attached to the bottom of the 2×4 to hold down the plastic as in the diagram below. The plastic is over the top of the upper 1×2 and below the bottom 1×2.

This means the pressure of the wind and plastic shifting is taken up by the edge of the 1×2 rather than by individual fasteners. Individual fasteners such as staples rip the plastic; this system does not.

A side view of the boards and how the plastic (dark line) is attached.

Get free updates when I post a new how-to article here.

I’ve used this simple system for years. The bottom 1×2 is replaced every few years when you change the plastic as it will rot out. The 2×4 and top 1×2 are not in contact with water and they will outlast the bottom piece.

I’ve used this to cover greenhouses as well as set up tarps to cover woodpiles and other areas where I didn’t want the covering to rip or tear. It works like a charm to hold down greenhouse plastic or any other covering.

And if you want to really know how to run a greenhouse, check this out


Twelve Greenhouse Energy Saving Tips

When it comes to greenhouse energy saving, there are some really good ways to save energy in the home greenhouse. Here are a few of the easier ones.

Reduce Air Leaks

Seriously, if air can blow in, then it’s blowing out somewhere. So figure this out and plug up the leaking areas. Tossing some very fine dust into the air next to walls will quickly show you the direction of wind currents within the greenhouse. 🙂

Keep your doors closed

Open and close them quickly and use those cottage screen door spring kits to force them closed quickly if you
walk through carrying stuff).


Do this to all doors, vents and particularly the fan openings. Those fans are heat leaks of a huge magnitude. I’d plastic over the entire fan housing to stop any leaks and installed a very small fan for winter ventilation.

Lubricate and adjust the louvers so they close tightly.

Pro growers know how much air one of these things lets in/out so they watch them carefully. This is true on both the inlet and outlet louvers (the ones protecting the exhaust fans)

Shut the power off to your home hobby greenhouse fan

Seriously, many folks leave it on for the winter. Don’t.
Also cover the opening with insulation and/or plastic to eliminate air infiltration.

Repair broken fibreglass or holes

Use proper covering repair material to fix any small rips or tears in the plastic covering.

Line all upright sidewalls and endwalls with bubble wrap

This saves a surprising amount of heat. If the sunlight can’t get in on top of the crop, cover anything below the benches for a goodly amount of greenhouse energy saving.

Infrared Inhibitor Poly

If you have a large enough greenhouse to buy commercial rolls of plastic, even if you use it all up over several years, try using the special poly with the infrared inhibitor  instead of normal poly. It will save the extra cost in a few short months of winter heating.

If you have an older greenhouse with fibreglass

Add a single layer of plastic to reduce infiltration and heat loss by 50%.

Thermal Blankets

Save 20%-50% by installing a thermal blanket – particularly over the crop at night for added protection. If you already have one, make sure the closures between the sidewalls, framing etc is tight and as leak-proof as possible.

Insulate Water Lines

If you have water lines in the greenhouse, insulate them. This may stop them from freezing and help keep the water warm for the plants.

Insulate Inner and Outer Foundations

Insulate the inner and/or outer greenhouse foundation with 1-2″ thick polyurethane or polystyrene board. Bury it 18-inches below ground level. You might see an increase in the soil temperature near the sidewall by 10  degrees F and this is going to save you money for sure.

Insulate the inner kneewall or sidewall

Do this to the bottom of your benches with a 2-inch foam board. Insulate from the ground to bench height.
Those greenhouse energy saving suggestions are going to reduce your energy consumption considerably in your backyard or home greenhouse.

Need more information? Here’s my Greenhouse Gardening Ebook

error: Content is protected !!