Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Our Little Greenhouse

I've found that there is something that money can't buy and that's creativity. I've also found that the lack of money yields more creativity! I believe that DIY for me started out as necessity but has turned into a love of re-purposing and recycling old items. Thankfully I met a man who shares this same passion.

Our little greenhouse is the perfect example of this passion. Geoff had found a bunch of old windows from our house in the garage. We had been talking about making a small vegetable garden in the backyard and so the old window discovery set his mind in motion. It was only a day or two later that I looked out into our backyard to see this:

Yay! I was getting a surprise greenhouse! Who doesn't love a man that gets right to work? Because he got right to work, I don't have a detailed tutorial (smaller greenhouse tutorial found here), but here is a general breakdown of what we did:

1. We measured the length of our windows to build our base. Geoff dug and set the posts. Then he built the box frame around the the posts. We used pressure treated pine for outdoor longevity (the same wood used for decks).

2. He nailed the windows to the base and to each other on three sides. Tip: we used a nail gun to make this process quicker.

3. Geoff made the fourth window wall removable by adding a track to the side walls. A handle gives us easy access to the garden.

4. He then created two posts for the roof. He fixed one window to the sides and posts and hinged another giving us even more access.

5. Finally, he added trim with leftover wood to the outside. Now it's ready for a garden sign!

Unfortunately we don't really get "full sun" anywhere in our yard. We learned after last year's "harvest" that not all veggies do well, but the peppers from the greenhouse did amazing! This was especially true for the jalapeno and Hungarian peppers.

Since we were both gardening rookies, we enlisted my cousin Suzy's green thumb and also found Organic Gardening's Spring Planner (here) helpful. We've learned that a mix of top soil, potting soil and compost really promote plant growth in our greenhouse (and daily watering of course).

Here's a before and after shot of 2014's garden:


I'm hoping we have another good crop this year! The peppers were so flavorful last summer. My next step will be to make some fun garden markers!

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