Saturday, March 21, 2009

Tottering in my Greenhouse

It finally warmed up in the greenhouse enough to defrost the ground!!! I wanted to dig in the cement block a couple inches to form the edges of the raised beds. As I was digging I noticed two things. One - the blocks we set the greenhouse on were in the way of digging the edges right against the windows, we'd have to set the bed in a couple inches. Two - and this was the deal breaker, there were roots then a massive root exactly where I was digging. HUH. This meant that the blocks would have to be above ground and supported by the walls of the greenhouse and the gravel back filled along the path. Back in went the dirt into the dug trenches.

Also the size of the greenhouse and the length of the blocks meant I had to learn the new skill of cutting blocks. Hubby said it was easy you just score them with the grinder.... Whoa! Luddite wife here! Next idea ... Chisel and sledgehammer??? Ah, No. He settled on showing me how to use a chisel and a hammer, regular wife do-able hammer. And it worked just fine.

I used the broken bits of block to level the edges, it's not an exact science and I did get some weird breaks. The blocks slot together nicely as this picture shows.

Once the sides were in I put a thick layer of newspapers down to stop the grass and filled with potting soil. The nice man at the store recommended a container mix as best.

Cutting the weed barrier off that I originally had under the gravel back and pulled back then back filling the gravel left a nice neat edge to the bed. The plan is to make another bed along he rear of the greenhouse at a later date too.

As seen from the front:


risa said...

Looks good!

We don't greenhouse, but we have a greenhouse window (slanted recycled sliding doors) as the south wall of our potting shed. So, no ground inside, all brick, and we use it to harbor starts. The Nearings wrote a book in the 70s about their solar-only year-round greenhouse -- in Maine! Very inspirational.

CM said...

Thanks, Risa!

Our greenhouse is made from old windows that were headed to the dump. Dh works at a lumberyard and was offered them by the contractor. His dad came down and they built this last Easter weekend.

There needs to be some changes if I'm planning on planting in the spring. Right now all the heat leaks right out the open rafters. Not good.

Nearings are inspirational, love love love her cookbook :D I grew up with articles about them in Mother Earth News and read most of their books, not the political ones though.

Eliot Coleman's book on the four season harvest is a new book that is quite well thought of.

risa said...

>all the heat leaks

But you've made a start, this counts for a lot.

Ours leaks heat too but is surprisingly useful

Ottawa Gardener said...

Nice little greenhouse. We are going to make something more insultated this year but I haven't thought of exactly how I'm going to do this yet. For the past few years, I've been using a passively heated (and cooled) polytunnel.