Attaching plastic grow film to a greenhouse may seem daunting at first, but fortunately, there are simple steps to follow that will make the process much easier. Be sure to read our article on How To Measure Your Greenhouse Grow Film before this. That way, you know you have enough plastic film to install with your greenhouse. Installing the greenhouse plastic is one of the most rewarding parts of making a greenhouse since this gives it the final shape, and you can begin working on the inside of the greenhouse. Several methods exist to install the plastic film depending on how many people are available to help, wind conditions, and available tools. We will cover the most common method.
Before Installing The Greenhouse Plastic Grow Film
There are several things to consider before installing plastic film on the greenhouse. Make sure to choose a day with very little wind. This will make everything a lot easier to work with. Damage to the film could occur if trying to install it on a windy day. Getting the right tightness will also be a struggle if there is a lot of wind. Try to plan for a day when there is little to no wind, if possible. Another thing to consider is how many hands will be helping. Installing the greenhouse plastic will be nearly impossible if trying to do it alone. A minimum of two people will be needed, but it's more like four people minimum. The more help, the better. It was already mentioned in the above paragraph, but ensure enough greenhouse film to cover the sides completely. Be sure to have at least two feet extra on each side. Double check the U-Channel to make sure that it is secured on the greenhouse framing. Check to see that each section is properly lined up with one another as well.
One major thing that needs to be done right before getting the plastic put over the greenhouse; smoothing the greenhouse's frame from any rough spots or abrasions. This is needed whether the greenhouse is made from wood, plastic, or metal. Smoothing the surface of the greenhouse can be done by either sanding the rough spots down or using tape to cover the abrasive spots. A smooth frame will prevent excessive wear and tear to the plastic not only while it's being installed but afterward, too.
- Ladders (Two Minimum)
- Spring Lock Wire (Jiggly Wire)
- Wire Cutters
- Scissors or Knife
- Four Strands Of Rope (Each long enough to go over the greenhouse framing)
- Small Rocks or Golf Balls
- Greenhouse Plastic Grow Film (at least 6 mil)
- Plenty Of Helping Hands
Installing The Plastic Grow Film
Step One: Get Plastic Ready
Set out the plastic on the side of the greenhouse. Most people prefer to separate the roof and the end walls since it helps make the plastic more taut and square. Since the plastic film comes on rolls, it may be necessary to cut the end dimensions and set them aside for now. Be careful when handling the grow film.
Step Two: Prepare Plastic To Be Pulled Over Roof
This is where the rope and golf balls will be needed. Take the four strands (more may be needed depending on the length of the greenhouse) and run them across the greenhouse. These will be attached to the plastic and be pulled to carry the plastic over the roof frame. Ensure the rope is across the roof and that both ends touch the ground on both sides of the structure. Take the rock or golf ball and wrap it at the plastic film's end. Take the rope and tie a knot around the rock or golf ball. This will allow the plastic to be attached to the rope without having to poke a hole or risk tearing the film. Now go ahead and repeat this for the remaining ropes. Make sure the knots are tight and secure.
Step Three: Pull The Plastic Grow Film Across
Go to the other side of the greenhouse and begin pulling on the ropes to bring the plastic sheeting across. This is where having extra helping hands will be beneficial. Be sure to pull in unison. If the plastic begins to bunch up, have someone get on a ladder inside the structure and push up the plastic. Use a broom handle or baseball bat if need be. This will also help against any drag that could potentially damage the grow film.
Step Four: Begin Attaching The Wire
Once the sheet has been pulled across the side of the greenhouse, begin installing the spring lock wire. Make sure the plastic covers the ends of the greenhouse by at least two feet. This is where the installation of the wire will begin. Take a ladder on each end of the greenhouse and begin installing the spring lock wire in the channel with the plastic. Start in the center and work your way out. Starting on the ends before the sides prevents any wind from blowing the film away. The wire is installed by wiggling back and forth, allowing the bend in the wire to be tucked into the channel. Repeat this process and cut off any excess wire on the ends if need be. Once the ends are done, start attaching the wire on the sides. If installing roll-up sides, start with the hip board/rail.
Step Five: Attach Wire On Other Side
Once the ends and one side are secured with the spring lock wire, go over to the other side and start installing the wire. When doing this, pull the plastic as you go and take out any slack. Having someone else do this for you may help. Make sure the plastic is taut but not overly stressed.
Step Six: Attach Plastic Grow Film On Ends
Take the remaining grow film set aside and attach it to the ends. This will vary depending on if there will be a door on either side or any windows. Like before, start with the center and install the wire in the channel until the plastic is secure and taut.
Step Seven: Install Roll-Up Side Conduit (Optional)
If choosing to have roll-up sides, this is the time to attach the plastic film to the conduit. Make sure the conduit is secured together using couplers. Take the conduit and attach it to the ends of the plastic using snap on clamps. This will allow the plastic to roll with the conduit as it is cranked up or down.
Step Eight: Trim Off Any Excess Plastic Film
Once all the plastic film is secured, take a pair of scissors or a knife and trim all the edges. Leave at least an inch on the edges.
Repeat this entire process if the second layer of greenhouse grow film is used. The steps will be the same except for the air pump installation. Up to two spring wires can be used on the same channel.
Installing greenhouse grow film is one of the last things needed when building a greenhouse. It's the last thing needed for the outside before having the joy of planting and working on the inside. Figuring out the correct dimensions and installing the greenhouse plastic may seem daunting, but Jiggly Greenhouse is here to help. Contact one of our friendly representatives for any assistance needed. We are happy to help in any way we can!