How to attach plastic sheeting

Mebane, NC(Zone 7b)

Okay, I see a lot of people building greenhouses with PVC and cattle fencing and using plastic sheeting to cover them in. The big question for me is how? I am wanting to turn between the side of my house and my 7 ft fence into a small greenhouse for overwintering. It will be on the south side of the house. I have tried framing the plastic in duct tape and then stapling it to a make shift wooden frame, but the winds come from the south almost always, and started ripping the plastic off. I really want to get this done before winter so I can use it this year. Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thank you! ^_^

Cadiz, KY

This is what I used for stapling to wooden frame.

Mebane, NC(Zone 7b)

Thank you. The site gave me some ideas.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I had built a plant shelter from cattle panels and covered them with plastic.

I attached the plastic with hog rings.

The first time, I used a 6 mil plastic but not UV rated. In this climate, it became tattered from the sun and wind.
After a couple of tries recovering it, I bought 6 mil UV plastic and it lasted till I got a greenhouse.

I tried both ways, wrapping the cattle panels with plastic and wrapping the whole shelter.
Although I couldn't tell a difference, the last way was faster and easier.

During the years, any tears that happened were repaired with a clear 3M duct tape.
I also used it to seal any loose seams and it held remarkably well, far better than regular duct tape.

To keep the rough ends on the cattle panel from damaging the plastic, I used pipe insulation as a padding.

To prevent the wind from shredding your plastic, I would look for a heavier mil plastic.
I would also make sure the structure had no flex or give. The plastic should be taut.
In my experience if it is loose, it will be more prone to tearing.

Wishing you luck in your project and hoping you continue to post your successes or failures. Kristi

Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

I cover my Florida room every fall with 6 mil. plastic. I installed the wooden 1x2 boards with liquid nails and painted them silver, to match the aluminum of the Florida room. I attach the plastic with black Duct tape and secure it with staples through the plastic and tape. It holds great until I'm ready to take it down. Kristi is right - make sure the plastic is tight - that's where the Duct tape comes in handy. Also, the tape won't tear when you staple through it.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

KayJones ~ is your Florida room screened in for summer use? I know you enjoy it in winter when enclosed.

One more thing I wanted to mention for prosdokaobasile. Not knowing what you want to overwinter in your plant shelter but you might also consider using a bubblewrap for insulation under the plastic. In your zone, that may help retain the temperature better.

Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

Yes, it's screened in. I used a heater in it a couple of winters ago, but for the most part, I don't.

Williamsburg, OH(Zone 6a)

We have both a PVC hoophouse & cattle panel and use wiggle wire to attach the plastic. Very easy to use.

Mebane, NC(Zone 7b)

That is actually what I have been looking at. We use it at the Greenhouses that I work at on the weekends, I just figured it was expensive until I looked at it. My boss has some short greenhouse panels that I am going to see if he will let me have. If not, then I think I will go with the wiggle wire and plastic. The space that I am trying to convert is about 24' x 5'2" so I don't think bubble wrap will be cost effective. I think I will line the fence with 2 sheets of plastic. Along with one wall being the brick on the house, I will also be using a heater to keep it hopefully around 50 degrees F. Thank you for all your help!

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

You might be interested in this link. This guy had a similar idea although probably different application.

Mebane, NC(Zone 7b)

That is actually where I got the idea from, but he never said how to attach the plastic, hence this forum. ^_^

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Oops ~ sorry. Perhaps you might ask him for more details.

Mebane, NC(Zone 7b)

I had thought about that but then I thought "surely I am not the only one over-thinking this issue" :) so i started this thread.

Hutto, TX(Zone 8b)

Pros- this is an older message, but I thought you might still be interested. For my cattle panel house I stapled the bottom edges into the boards around the bottom edge. Then I screwed a strip of 1x2 over the plastic, folded the edge up and stapled the plastic to the 1x2. Then I put nylon/parachute cord over the top, tightening with a bungee cord, about every 2 feet to secure the plastic against the rest of the panel. I used split garden hose over the ends of the panels to protect the panels.

David R

Monte Vista, CO(Zone 4a)

I used to live in Midland, so I know about the wind. We get lots of high winds here, off the mountains, and staples alone won't hold plastic. I put a strip of felt down on top of the plastic and stapled through it to the boards. 50 mph wind so far and it's held without the staples tearing out. It's 12 degrees outside this morning. Went to check on the cattle panel/4 mil plastic greenhouse just now... the condensation on the inside is frozen, but the plants seem to be okay. The sun and the 55-gallon drums will do their thing and warm it up to around 72 or 80 degrees in there today. I have straw bales around the perimeter, weighing down the plastic on the side walls of the 8' tall 13x16 or so hoop structure. More on that in the 'Solar heating with 55 gallon drums' thread. Dreaves, and others, lots of great ideas here!

Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

I use vinyl strapping to staple my plastic to my boards - holds all season.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Quote from Solace :
I have straw bales around the perimeter, weighing down the plastic on the side walls...

You probably know it but that was one of the best things you could do. Not just to hold the plastic in place.

I had read and was reminded later that most of the cold air enters at ground level around a plant shelter. Insulation around the perimeter will help provide less temperature fluctuations. The stats I read were amazing.

Good to hear that your greenhouse is doing good with temps that low and winds that high.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

How are you trying to retain heat?
I've incorporated a modifications in an attempt to retain heat. First off I'm using a 20k BTU Heatstar LPG heater as my primary. I have covered the northernmost side and roof with used 6 mil uv resistant heat retaining poly. I got the poly from a friend who's recovering his hoop house. I covered the interior of those walls with 3/4" foil backed foam panels, and insulated the base and lower wall with covered straw. The factory supplied polycarbonate is a double wall 6mm and rather inefficient. Any future replacement will be with heavier triple wall to defray the increased material cost. Ric

I forgot to mention I have old cast iron radiators painted black under the sunward bench to collect solar. I plan to fill these with antifreeze and possibly attach a collector. I attached my PVC with cedar strips and self drilling screws. This post is from:

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Madras, OR has amazing videos showing construction ideas on attaching skin to hoop houses.

I tried to link it here and can't. But search Farm Tek You Tube then installing end panels or doors on hoop houses. They have over 100 how-to videos. I am working on my own hoop house now, and used their site to figure out how to put the skin over the whole thing as well as the end panels.

I am just getting my materials list together and will be ordering next month. but watching the videos has been helpful

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Mebane, NC(Zone 7b)

Ok, sorry it has been so long that I have written in this post. Waaaayyyyy to busy and I need to slow down! :) When I went to get a storm door from this gentleman I saw that he had some skylights in his pile of junk. He sold me 6 of them for $5 each and the door for $20! I attached each one to a 4x4 frame make out of cedar fence pickets and then attached them to the house with hinges and voila! instant ventilation when I need it. Since two of the walls of the green house and one is the house itself, I just covered the fence in 4 or 6 mil plastic (can't remember which one). Since that side of the house faces south, it gets plenty of light. :) We have had 3 freezes now and so far so good! I will upload the images in a minute. Right now it is only letting me choose one.

Mebane, NC(Zone 7b)

Internet explorer was only letting me choose one pic so I switched over to Firefox

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Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

WOW! You are some kind of builder - looks like a great little greenhouse!!!

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Your greenhouse turned out neat. I suspect you receive some radiant heat from the brick wall of the house to make it through those frosty nights. It should act as heat storage to store the suns' heat. But where does the runoff rainwater go?

Dahlonega, GA

Great ideas

Mebane, NC(Zone 7b)

What is rainwater? We don't get that here! :) Guess I will find out if we ever get some.

This message was edited Dec 21, 2012 8:50 PM

Fabens, TX(Zone 8a)

Very nice! Wish I could find some of those sky lights for that price. I hear you about the " What is rainwater" I haven't seen a drop in mounths. At my place I'v recorded 2.75 in. all year. Good luck with your Greenhouse.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Oops ~ just noticed your location.

Sorry on the lack of rainfall.

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