This step-by-step instruction provides detailed information and pictures for the construction on the GnomeTainer. The instructions will include the dimensions used by the GCC to build the GnomeTainer shown. It is important to know that PVC frame dimensions are going to vary based on container size and desired roof height. These variations will not be included in these step-by-step instructions. Some pictures and steps have already been described in Specifications. Pictures and steps are compiled to make the construction as easy as possible for families and anybody interested in building the GnomeTainer. (All photos were taken by The GGC and will not include captions.
All instructions are for building the GnomeTainer to this scale.
Using a power drill with an adequately sized drill bit drill 12-20 holes spread about the bottom of each container. Drill 12-20 more hole’s along the sides near the base of each container.
Step 2 Secure Containers Together:
Drill holes through rims of the containers where zip-ties can be seen. Use 8 zipties to secure the container base together.
PVC Frame Dimensions
Each storage container used by the GGC is 18” wide and 16.5” tall. Listed are the dimensions for each PVC section cut that are measured to work with the stated container size. A local Ace Hardware is able to cut each piece to the specified dimension for no charge. A PVC pipe cutting tool was used by the GCC. All black piping pictured with corresponding joints is 1.5” wide. (Disregard white PVC pipe and water catchment)
Step 3 Frame Legs:
Take six 37” PVC Pipes and put a 45* PVC Joint on each leg.
Step 4 Frame Roof:
Attach a 45* PVC joint to each 5” PVC pipe. Use two T-Joints and one four-way joint with two 22” PVC pipes to create the structure pictured to the left.
Step 5 Attach Legs and Roof:
With the help of a friend or family member connect the PVC roof to each leg using six 14.5” PVC pipes.
Step 6 Secure Frame to Container Base:
The PVC frame is measured so that all three legs fit snugly around the container base. The legs need to be secured to the base at the ends and center using metal U-hinges. Drill holes two inches apart on each side of all 6 legs surrounding the container base. Drill these holes near the top of the containers as shown.
Step 7 Soil and Plant Additions (optional):
Now is a good time to add soil to the containers and plant vegetables, herbs, etc while there is plenty of access to the garden plot before adding the greenhouse sheeting.
Step 8 Greenhouse Sheeting Installation:
The GnomeTainer our teams build is 52.5” wide (almost 4.5’).
Cut a section of greenhouse sheeting 5’ wide x 7’ long. The cut should have about 3 inches of slack on each side (width) of the PVC frame. The cut should have about 7 inches of slack (length) on each side (as shown) to allow room for attachment. Drape the cut sheeting over the GnomeTainer PVC frame.
The sheeting must be pulled adequately around the frame. Marks and cuts must be made where the steel U-hinges will penetrate the sheeting (as shown). Additional duct tape, staples, or zip ties may be used to further tie down the material.
Step 9 Seal Rainwater Catchment:
In order to create a water tight seal silicone is used around all connection for the water catchment system. A rubber (cork-like) stopper must first be drilled and bored out to allow space for one half of the valve to fit into as pictured. Before inserting the valve silicone liberally around the rubber stopper and insert it tightly into the head of the water jug. Invert the water jug and apply silicone to fill the gap around the inside of the rubber stopper (do not plug the drilled hole with silicone, water must flow through this)
Next apply silicone liberally around the valve head and insert the valve tightly into the hole in the rubber stopper. Seal around every seam to ensure no leaks.
Apply silicone around the ½” rubber hose and insert into the bottom end of the valve as shown. Seal seams with extra silicone. Allow silicone to dry for 24 hours.
Step 10 Cut Bottom Off of Water Jug Secure Catchment:
Careful* Using a saw cut off the base of the water catchment jugs off to allow rain water to flow into the opening.
Using a 4” steel tie secure the water jug handle to the PVC frame. The top of the water jug should be just under the 45* joint.
Step 11 Gutter System:
Cut a 5’ by 5’ square of greenhouse sheeting. With two 5” ¾” PVC pipes tightly roll the sheeting around each PVC pipe. Each pipe should be initially rolled at a small angle facing in opposite directions. This step can be completed one side at a time. Simply roll the sheeting around the pipe until it sits halfway on the arched PVC roof area shown.
Attach the gutter with zip ties by cutting small holes through both layers of material shown above. Test the gutter with water to ensure a proper gutter angle and good drainage into the storage jugs. The zip tie closest to the water jug should not be too tight as to restrict water flow.
Enjoy your complete GnomeTainer gardening experience. The GnomeTainer should be placed outdoors, in a sunny, non-covered spot.