Friday, November 16, 2012

DIY Greenhouse

Flower bed with spinach
Building a greenhouse for the winter season.

Winter is here. Well, maybe it's officially fall, but today felt like a regular Bakersfield winter day. Today's goal was to get the old plants out of the garden. Why you might ask? Tuesday morning we had frost. That's right. That detrimental layer of thin ice all over the world. Or just our area.

Luckily, last weekend, I recruited hubby to help me build a small greenhouse for my spinach. The broccoli is planted somewhere else, so I decided to just leave them where they were and cover them. More on that later.

Scrap lumber
For my super awesome greenhouse, it took a few scraps of lumber that we had laying around, a plastic sheet/cover, and staples. I guess I should add a table saw and nail gun attached to the air compressor.

Table Saw

Using the table saw was actually pretty easy. Just lay the board down and slide. All I really had to do was watch to make sure my fingers stayed attached. Extremely easy to use. Any man or woman can use one. No excuses for me to build furniture now!
The kids with our new mini greenhouse
It was nothing fancy, just time consuming. This is the frame of the greenhouse. Basically, just a box with an angled roof. If I went to Lowe's, I could have made a door on the roof, but I didn't want to make a special trip.

How did I get everything to hold together? That's when the nail gun came in handy. This is another tool that I was afraid to use, but it was also easy. Quite fun too. When the kids aren't afraid of the air compressor noise, then they will get to use it. This is how I got the boards to hold together. Hubby stapled every possible angle and the ends of each board.

He also said this lumber isn't pretreated so this greenhouse will probably only last this winter. Next year I will buy either some steel or pretreated lumber.

Make sure you get enough staples to hold it and not near the edge. The wood will splinter near the edge. Also, don't staple wood knots. Below are a couple pictures of what happens... Oops.


 And our final greenhouse for the greenhouse. It will house two spinach plants and my potted strawberries. It's not much, but I'm starting small so I can learn.

I used a hand staple gun to adhere the plastic sheet. It might take two people to make sure it's tight. If you can wrap an odd Christmas present, then you'll have no problem wrapping a greenhouse.

Broccoli and Spices before cover
As for the broccoli... They are set in the ground in rows. They aren't real big and after seeing something chewing on their leaves, I had to put some sort of fencing around them. I don't need the tomato cages, but it does remind me to not mow my plants!

I had to buy more plastic sheeting, but for just a quick "greenhouse" cover, I threw plastic sheeting over the tomato cages and held it down with leftover lumber. Luckily, we still had some. The plants are doing much better and with keeping the tomato cages on the broccoli, it gives the plants much more breathing room inside.
Broccoli and Spices with cover