Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Greenhouse.

Well, friends, we have a greenhouse!

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It started out as a chicken tractor, but it was too heavy for me to move easily. So...we used the truck to drag it into a protected corner of the garden. At the suggestion of a very, very smart friend, I checked with a local insulation company and got 6 mil. plastic sheeting for an incredible price...and we covered the cattle fence/chicken wire arches, attached plastic at both ends, and...voila!

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On the curved sides, cinderblocks hold the plastic in place. We had the cinderblocks on hand - left here by the previous owner of this place.

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The two ends were a bit of a puzzle. Almost no wood (only a door frame) to attach the plastic, but we figured something out. We sandwiched the plastic between 2 pieces of wood, rolled the hold thing (kind of like rolling hair in perm rollers!) and then secured it to the cattle fencing panels. If we had started out building a greenhouse, we would have planned better for ways to attach the plastic, but so far, everything is holding fine, even in the high winds we've had the past couple days.

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We put additional wood strips on the outside, and wired them through to the cattle panels to help keep the plastic in place. A similar application to using furring strips.

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Here is the inside. Squee! We don't know if we will, but we think we could put in some hanging baskets if we wanted to. At the end of my little walkway, we put a thermometer that monitors temperature and humidity. Both are increased compared to standard outdoor temps, so we are very happy! Humidity has been running about 40% so far, and temperatures are 20-25 higher during the day. When I've gone out in the mornings, the temperature is a little warmer than outside.

It's been a couple of days since we put this all together, so the soil is getting warmer. We've been sprinkling the soil daily, and it's nicely moist now. I will likely plant some lettuces tomorrow!

A few 'stats' for you, if you are interested: I used 3 cattle panels from the ranch store - they cost about $20 each (on sale). The rest of the cattle fencing was scrounged from stuff on hand. I got the chicken wire from Amazon. It is, by far, the cheapest chicken wire I've ever seen in my life. For this application, it's fine, but mercy! I think it was $30, and we used less than 1/3 of it. The plastic was $25 for a roll that's 8 feet wide and 100 feet long. We used about half. The door is salvaged, as is all the wood. Screws and wire were leftover from other projects. So the total cost for a 10 x 12 greenhouse was approximately $83.

Every time I look at it, I think of Red Green, saying, 'If you can't be handsome, you should at least be handy!' Here's hopin'.

-Laura at TenThingsFarm

10 comments:

Lamb said...

Nicely done! If you were close to me, I could have given you all the lumber you wanted,lol!
But chicken wire...from Amazon? Really? How bad were the shipping costs on it?

Prairie Farmstead Ponderings said...

Congratulations on your greenhouse, Dearie! I am so excited for you...and for me. Why?

Because, we never got to build our greenhouse here ~ now I know why...God has a different plan for us. So, we will be taking our greenhouse material with us to another location. That means by the time I am ready to start utilizing our greenhouse, you will already be a pro at the do's and don'ts and I can glean all sorts of information from you! Squeeeee!

Hugs, love and prayers for much, much success!

Ten Things Farm said...

Lamb, I swear, it's the worst chicken wire ever! Very thin, very cheap. And you know how normal chicken wire is usually rolled around some sort of tube or something, then the tube removed, and there is a hollow 'tube' space in the center? This was completely rolled in on itself...so when we get to the end, it's going to be really folded and tight. But there was no way to know all that from the photos, so we gave it a go. It was free shipping because it was over $25. I used gift cards I got with Swagbucks to pay for it.

J, I can't wait to learn all about greenhouses! I'm still terribly, terribly excited!

Anonymous said...

Oh Cat,
I have been hearing so much about your greenhouse and I have been dying to see it!
Thanks for the pics.
I have no room or energy for this but love it so thanks for letting me live vicariously throuh you!!!!
Love and God bless,
helen(grammea)

Verde Farm said...

That is wonderful! I want a greenhouse so badly. This looks terrific! Congratulations :)

Larkrise garden girl said...

What a good idea!

Ten Things Farm said...

Thank you all for your kind words! It's a big experiment this year, but we are very excited. :)

Teresa said...

I love your greenhouse! I so wish I had something better than my drafty front porch.

Clint Baker said...

This is a great Idea, I am gonna keep this in mind when I build my little one, if that okay?

Ten Things Farm said...

Absolutely! I kinda 'took the summer off' from blogging, partly because I was so busy canning tomatoes (and sauce, and juice, and ketchup) and eating cantaloupe and ground cherries from that little greenhouse. It did an amazing job!

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