Little Creek Maple Farm

Our adventures around the homestead.

Greenhouse

Things have been busy and the weather has been odd lately, so I was way behind on my gardening and even further behind on my blogging.  So after a month long hiatus, I am ready to catch up with this years gardening attempt, which happens to be our 3rd attempt.  This year, is the year of the raised bed greenhouse.

The plan was simple – create some type of wood frame, attach some box store poly to the frame, and increase my growing season later in the year for one of my raised beds.  I have a couple raised beds that are 48” square in size.

I took six 2×4’s 8’ long and cut them in half and then ripped them to 1-1/2” in width.  This made a bunch of sticks 1-1/2” square 48” long, with an extra rip a little more that 1/4” in thickness.  This off-cut or waste board I anticipated using a a batten to help attach the poly to the frame.  I like to minimize waste…

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From here I used coated deck screws, my fastener of choice lately, the type that use the torx head bits to drive them.  I made a basic square frame using two 48” tall vertical supports and two 42” horizontal pieces at the top & bottom.  A simple square shape that was surprisingly rigid with just screws and no cross bracing.

Next I screwed an 18” piece to the top of the frame in the center of the top horizontal member of my frame to act as a ridge pole if you will.  From there my inner architect decided to do two different angles for side of the roof.  While I thought this looked wicked cool and at the time seemed practical for doing a future vent at the top of the roof this design detail proved to be a huge pain the the butt when dealing with the poly!  This detail has been V.E.’ed out fo the next design.  The next design will have the same roof angles.

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I screwed each square frame with roof assembly to the raised be frame with some 3-1/2” deck screws and attached ended up attaching four total cross member that spanned the two frames, two of them are shown above.  This made the entire frame surprisingly sturdy.  In addition to what is shown in the photo above I added some 6” long 45 degree braces at the bottom corners to help stiffen the base of the frame where it attaches to the raised bed.

Now for the poly – one suggestion, try to pick a non-windy day to attach poly to your greenhouse.  A calm day is a sane day.  I picked up some 6mil poly that Lowe’s calls clear, and draped it over the greenhouse and cut it to length before unfolding it.  The “clear” poly was far from clear… Once I had it cut to length allowing for a little extra I unfolded it and set about attaching it to the frame.  I started at the bottom and took one of my off rips which were already cut to 48” long and and screwed in on top of the poly to the raised bed. I then stretched the poly and attached the off-cuts or strapping as I went up and over the roof and back down to the raised bed I then cut and stapled the poly inside the frame.  This left the front and back of the bed which are oriented East and West for the doors.

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For now I took some more poly attached it to a couple extra 2×4’s, 48” long and attached one to the top of the frame and one attached to the poly itself acting as a weight until I could come up with a better door system.

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So the top 2×4 is fixed to the greenhouse frame, and the bottom is attached only to the poly allowing you to lift the poly up and out of the way while planting.  I secure the bottom 2×4 with a simple wood lock.  Coming up with this simple yet inefficient entry system gave me a good idea for the second generation sliding greenhouse door.  When I find time of course.

Since this post we have most of our garden planted with the exception of the cukes. I always seem to be late on these.  Any how the greenhouse is fully planted with some hot peppers and bell peppers from seed.  My seedlings did not survive this year so I am hoping the greenhouse will extend my season enough at the end of the year that we will be able to harvest some peppers.  We will see….

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May 9, 2012 - Posted by | Gardening, Woodworking | , , , ,

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