Category Archives: Greenhouse

Greenhouse repair, stage 2

Before leaving for my annual trip to Florida, I was able to get the greenhouse put together again.  I spent about 10 hours (total) cleaning out the broken panel and patching it with clear tape.  If I told you there were 576 holes I would probably be lying.

Patched panel

Because there were actually more.

Patched panel

Once it was finally patched I sealed the ends with tape again and put the end caps on.  I put the panel back on top, flipping it over so the patched side is now down and the suspected stronger side is now facing up.  Some caulk and screws were all that was needed to make it official.

Greenhouse roof re-installed

It doesn’t look great on the inside, but from the outside it looks okay and at least it is closed in once again.  I am hoping it will last a while before I have to actually replace any of the panels.

Greenhouse facelift

My blogging hiatus continues due to all of my free time going towards our house addition.  The addition was bricked a couple of weeks ago and it turns out that I ordered entirely too much brick.  Apparently that is difficult to do, so I have a hidden talent.  If you ever need someone to over estimate the number of bricks you need for a project, give me a call!  Anyway, I had our brick layer come back this week and use some of the extra bricks, to brick the greenhouse.  Check it out:

BEFORE (picture taken just after finishing the greenhouse, that brief moment before all the plants moved in)
BEFORE

The above picture was taken just after finishing the greenhouse, in that brief moment before all the plants went running inside.

AFTER
AFTER

Pretty nice, huh?  It’s just a little sad to see my nice cinder blocks covered up.  But now the greenhouse perfectly matches the house and looks a little more official.

And here’s a photo of our addition, all finished on the outside.  It’s getting close to being finished on the inside, as well.

Finished exterior of our house addition
Finished exterior of our house addition. Those papers on the door glass are *some* of the inspection slips.

Greenhouse update – Phase 6: Move-in Day

I actually moved the plants into the greenhouse nearly a week ago, but I am just now getting to posting pictures of the interior with the plants moved in.

I bought three wonderful shelving units from Aldi (discount grocery store) for a sale price that is less than half their normal going price.  They come with 5 shelves each and I only need 3-4 shelves for each unit, since I have to allow room for the height of the plants.  That left me with extra shelves, which I used to combine two units out of three kits!  My remaining kit is on the opposite wall.

Two units of kitchen shelves, combined to make 3.
Two units of kitchen shelves, combined to make 3.

I configured the heights of the shelves to allow for special plants that have trellises attached or are taller and need more head room.

Looking left once you enter the door.
Looking left once you enter the door.

Then I spent a good deal of time on Friday and Saturday of last week, moving all my plants from the garage or inside the house into their new home in the greenhouse.

Looking ahead and to the left once you enter the door.
Looking ahead and to the left once you enter the door.

I still have quite a bit of rearranging to do and have not made the best use of my space.  There are still some shelves that are empty, while there are a couple of plants sitting on the floor.

Looking ahead and to the right once you enter the door.
Looking ahead and to the right once you enter the door.

I’m sure I will be moving plants around quite a bit until I feel that everything is settled in place.

Looking to the right once you enter the door.
Looking to the right once you enter the door.

I also plan to hang a metal rod (which I have on hand) under the house eave, which will allow me to hang some hanging baskets in my greenhouse.  I might also put some hooks on some of the rafters, to allow me to hang more plants over time.  But we’ll just see what types of plants I end up acquiring in the future!

View of the exterior of the greenhouse this morning.
View of the exterior of the greenhouse this morning.

See other phases of the project here:


 

Greenhouse update – First heater night

We are certainly feeling Fall here in Oklahoma.  A couple of cool fronts have sweeped through over the last week, moving the overnight lows into the 40s.
After getting the greenhouse roof in place and the door hung, I moved all of my plants into the greenhouse on Saturday and they spent their first night in their new home Saturday night, with an overnight low of 40 F.  My greenhouse stayed just below 60, with the heater kicking on and off during the night.  The next day I adjusted the thermostat to keep the greenhouse a little warmer, and the following night the temperature dropped to just about 53 and the heater kept the greenhouse between 61 and 62 all night.  Over the last two nights the heater has not had to come on and the greenhouse has stayed about 3 or 4 degrees warmer than the overnight low.
Temperature over the last 72 hours in my greenhouse
Temperature over the last 72 hours in my greenhouse (click for larger image)

The plot above shows a sawtooth pattern when the heater is kicking on and off.  You can see the night when my heater came on 12 different times over a 9 hour period.  The following two nights the temperature gradually decreased, but never low enough to trigger the heater.

I should state, that I am still not finished with the greenhouse.  The soffits are still open, so I have simply stuffed a couple towels in the gaping holes to keep air from leaking out of the eaves for the time being.  I should get the soffits attached later this week.

Also, I just finished the trim around the door and put weather stripping in place on Monday, which probably helped the greenhouse stay warmer over the last two nights.

I still haven’t had a big test with a freeze outside, but I feel pretty confident now that with the soffits in place, my heater will keep the interior right around 60 degrees, which will make my plants very happy.

Stay tuned for pictures of my finishing touches and the plants in place!

See other phases of the project here:


 

Greenhouse update – Phase 5: Polycarbonate

The greenhouse is coming along.  Unfortunately the cold weather came before I finished, so Christie and I spent about an hour last Friday night, hauling all of my plants into the garage.

The final component (besides the details) to the greenhouse construction is the fastening of the walls and roof.  The material I have chosen to use is triple-wall polycarbonate panels.  These panels come in 6′ by 24′ sheets.  Yes, you read that right: twenty-four feet long.  The double-wall polycarbonate comes in much more manageable sizes because it is more commonly used.  The triple-wall is generally delivered in big trucks to the site of the greenhouse and assembled by a crew.  It’s not commonly used for hobby greenhouses the size of mine.  When we picked up the panels at the greenhouse supply store in Oklahoma City, we had to take a circular saw with us and cut the polycarbonate on site so that it would fit in our trailer.

Then I made the mistake of unloading the polycarbonate in the backyard and letting it sit in the rain for a week.  The rain doesn’t hurt the polycarbonate, but I had not capped off the ends and prepared them for hanging, so the walls filled with water.  The water is not easy to remove, let me add.

We had to use a combination of hair dryer, leaf blower, heater and dehumidifier to remove the moisture in the walls.

Open end of polycarbonate panel, taped with clear breathable medical tape to allow water to run out the bottom end.
Open end of polycarbonate panel, taped with clear breathable medical tape to allow water to run out the bottom end.

Next we had to do the normal preparation for hanging the panels.  Before a panel is hung, you must first cap off the top of the panel with aluminum tape and then a u-shaped bracket of polycarbonate.  The bottom of the panel is capped off with porous tape (to allow condensation draining) and then another u-shaped bracket.

First panel being installed
First panel being installed. The film with labels was removed after the panel was attached.
Seam of two panels meeting at a stud. You can barely notice.
Seam of two panels meeting at a stud. You can barely notice.

After a couple of hours of work on both Saturday and Sunday, we had hung all of the walls and only had the roof left.  By that time we were pretty proficient in terms of taping and capping the panels.  The only difficulty with the roof was being able to reach over to screw the panels into the rafters.

Multiple panels fitting together over the door. You can see the aluminum tape used to cap the top sides of the panels.
Multiple panels fitting together over the door. You can see the aluminum tape used to cap the top sides of the panels.
View of greenhouse with all polycarbonate panels installed.
View of greenhouse with all polycarbonate panels installed. You can't really see the greenhouse roof from this angle, but trust me - it looks just like the walls.
View inside of the greenhouse through the doorway.
View inside of the greenhouse through the doorway.

There is still plenty of work to do in order for my greenhouse to be plant ready: caulking, finish the door installation, attach the soffits (which are currently open), stain any remaining unfinished wood.

In my next greenhouse update, I’ll take you inside to see the shelves that I have purchased!

See other phases of the project here: