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Gardening can get expensive fast, so gardeners are great at coming up with tricks to spend less while maintaining a lush and productive backyard oasis. This trick for creating a DIY mini greenhouse with clear umbrellas certainly falls under that category.
Using a clear umbrella as a DIY mini greenhouse couldn’t be simpler. You’ll want to snap off the handle, especially if it’s hook-shaped, so you can stake it into the ground. Depending on the size of the umbrella, you’ll be able to cover up tender young plants coming up in a giant pot or sections of rows in a raised bed or the ground. My geraniums in big pots usually keep blooming well into the fall, so I think I’ll track down some dome-shaped clear umbrellas to protect them on chilly nights or when there’s a dusting of early snow.
Really, these DIY mini greenhouses are so darned clever you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it yourself. And they’re kind of cute to boot — especially compared to a mini pop-up greenhouse made for that purpose.
There are plenty of examples of people using clear umbrellas for a DIY mini greenhouse on social media, and what’s so great about it is that it’s potentially saving and extending the season for some of your favorite plants in spring and fall. Even if that’s not a concern in your garden, if you live in a place where summer storms can wipe out your herb garden or beat up the succulents you moved outside for the summer, you’re might want to try using clear umbrellas to protect them.
If you have twine on hand, you can try guying it out like a tent to hold the umbrella in place. (Can I pop an umbrella over a caged tomato if hail’s in the forecast? Hmm, experimentation definitely required there, but maybe.)
You can definitely be inventive with this, but it’s really pretty simple. Take a look.
Project Allotment posted their pink-accented umbrellas serving as DIY mini greenhouses on Twitter, which they say they got on eBay:
We got these clear umbrellas off ebay to use as mini greenhouses. #projectallotment #umbrella #garden #greenhouse pic.twitter.com/ymvR6iAtn3
— Project Allotment (@allotment_new) May 15, 2016
Eden Gardens Allot posted their DIY mini greenhouse over a whiskey barrel:
Clear umbrella …. Mini greenhouse pic.twitter.com/8qTsmFjHZj
— Eden Gardens Allot (@gardens_eden) June 2, 2013
Where I live, late spring snowstorms can swoop in to take out people’s carefully planned gardens, so I’m loving that this tweet from MainelyHRT recognizes the need to save your seedlings:
Save your clear #umbrella to protect your early #spring #plants. A mini #greenhouse! #garden #seedlings #gardenlovers pic.twitter.com/rd9tjYe5Gd
— MainelyHRT (@MainelyHRT) January 25, 2015
If you’re a consignment shopper, you can keep an eye out for clear umbrellas for this DIY project as you go. Some gardeners have written about picking up clear umbrellas on a budget at dollar stores, which would certainly bring the cost down. But if you’re having a hard time coming up with a true steal on a clear umbrella for your mini greenhouse needs, you can also just buy one on Amazon.
And if you need a bunch of them, this is the way to go — Amazon sells packs of them! (Handy if the forecast has turned wet for your outdoor wedding, eh?) This 12-pack of transparent umbrellas goes for $79.99 on Amazon. It might be too many for one gardener, but perhaps you can split the pack with friends and family.
What do you think of this DIY mini greenhouse solution?
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