Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Building a Hot (Pepper) House

The south side of our house is the perfect spot to grow our tomatoes and hot peppers with sunshine from sun-up to sundown.  This year we decided to try enclosing our hot peppers to maximize the heat, and hopefully boost our yield.  I was able to utilize the small hothouse enclosures that formerly housed my seedlings, but unfortunately they were not designed to hold larger pots and so could only hold half of my plants!  I searched for larger enclosures but either the dimensions were wrong, or the price was more than I'd be willing to pay.  So I built my own!

Paul and I love to save odds and ends knowing that someday they might prove useful.  Some people would call us pack rats.  I prefer to think of it as being prepared.  Either way our basement is full of boxes filled with odd pieces of wood, metal pipe, insulation foam board, plastic, etc., and so I grabbed the box with PVC pipe odds and ends, and (after taking a few measurements) started connecting

In no time at all I had the frame done, and went on to work on the enclosure.

We already had a clear shower curtain liner but I knew that wouldn't be enough so off I went to the local discount store and purchased two more liners, and some plastic shower rings.

I cut the liners to the correct length (43" in this case), and hung them on the shower rings, overlapping each section by approximately 10".  I made sure the liners overlapped in the center front so I could have easy access for watering the plants.

Paul found a roll of some leftover wire mesh, and I "sewed" it to the top with florist wire to give the cover some support.  The cut-off bottom of one liner was the perfect size to wrap over the top.  The frame is very lightweight so Paul connected a strap to the top PVC pipe to help keep it from blowing over.

While my hothouse is not air-tight, and won't get as hot as the two store bought ones, it still does a great job of keeping in additional heat, as well as protecting the plants from the wind and the rain.

My final cost for this project was about $12.50 plus tax.  


  1. How long do you plan to keep the plants in them? All summer or just until it gets hot?

    1. I plan on keeping the plants in at least through June, perhaps July. I think it'll be too hot in August to keep them in the enclosures.