Monday, June 29, 2009
The Greenhouse - Finished at Last
This afternoon we were finally able to remove the leftover construction materials, ladders, and tools from the garden and greenhouse. It's all done now, except for installation of the stained glass window that I made for the door. That will be installed this weekend.
I'm delighted with my little greenhouse, which was designed and built by my husband and youngest son. I think they did a splendid job of it. Size is 8'x12'x12' with a 3' knee-wall and the rest in corrugated fiberglass. It sits in the center of my raised bed vegetable garden and is oriented to receive full sun from sunrise to about 2 hours before sunset. The photo above shows an 18" overhanging eve, which is slatted with 1x2" boards. It serves as a filtered shade structure to protect this southside of the greenhouse from the too hot afternoon sun. Without it, the temps inside quickly rose to 100+ deg. by 3:00 pm on sunny days when the ambient temp was 75. Anything over 85 deg. and the plants begin to cook. Later this summer when the heat is too high, the greenhouse will be relatively empty.
With the shaded eave, fans, and a mist system I can keep the inside temp just 10 deg. over the outside temp. You can see the mist system attached to the rafters above the shelves. It's constructed of 1/4 in. plastic tubing and mist nozzles from the Rainbird drip irrigation system. It's controlled by a battery operated timer attached to the hose (over there by my little butler with the geranium) so I can set it to mist for 1 minute every 4 hours. It works great and allows me to go away for a couple of days without worry.
While the men designed the structure, the inside layout was my purview. I decided on the vinyl coated wire shelving because it's inexpensive and reasonably durable. These shelves/benches are also easy to clean. The upper shelves are for plants. The shelves under the main bench are for tools, supplies, and plants that need dim lighting.
This bench on the north side has space for two plastic tubs to hold my own special concoction of potting soils. One tub holds my seed starting mix - the other has my all-purpose mix for established seedlings, cuttings, and potted plants. Next to these is a small bar sink that I acquired at a local thrift shop for $5. As soon as I find a suitable faucet, the sink will be plumbed using a garden hose adapter. That hose currently runs the misting system for the bench and shelves on the south wall of the greenhouse. With the simple addition of a Y-connection, I'll be able to run both the misting system and the sink. The gray water for the sink will be recycled into the vegetable beds.
Hope you enjoyed the tour of my greenhouse. I don't have much in there right now and it looks like I have tons of space. Come Fall and time to plant up rose seeds, however, I'm sure it'll be full to overflowing. I suspect greenhouses are like boats and RV's. They all suffer from "two-foot-itis" - you know..."If it was just two feet longer, it would be perfect?"