Greenhouse Project (Part 2 of 2)

A few days after I finished assembly of the greenhouse, we got our first snow of the year. I had gotten it done just in time!

January 2008 – snowy beginning

Inside the house, about half the floor space is occupied by benches, and the other half is planting beds. I attached metal shelves below the roof to hold flats of plants. I can squeeze in about 30 flats of plants on the shelves and benches.

Outside the greenhouse, I made raised beds along one side and the back. Measuring 4 feet wide by 28 feet long, they add 112 feet of growing space to the area. The other side of the greenhouse has 2 large trash containers that are filled with potting mixes, plus some plant stands. The photo below also shows the two large roof vents that open automatically when the greenhouse gets warm.

raised bed construction

A year after installation, the redwood is aging nicely, and the greenhouse is lively and full of plants in spring.

Spring 2009 – front view of greenhouse, with beds at left

Inside the greenhouse, one 3×5 ft bed and another 3×7 ft bed provide 36 square feet of intensely planted, year-round growing space. In cooler weather they’re home to a variety of greens, and in summer I plant part of the space in trellised cucumbers.

beds inside the greenhouse

I sent the following photo to my former IT teammates who are still working at the salt mine, so to speak. I told them this is how I had always imagined retirement – drinking my morning coffee and reading the paper in a nice warm greenhouse!

Ahh, I love retirement!

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6 Responses to Greenhouse Project (Part 2 of 2)

  1. I love the last photo! What a blessing to be enjoying your retirement doing what you love. The greenhouse is fantastic and seeing it put to good use just warms my heart.

  2. Oh, I am soooo jealous! I would so love a greenhouse, but I just don’t have any room with a southern exposure. If I eliminated my squash patch, I could squeeze one in….it’s a thought!

  3. Nell Jean says:

    My favorite posts are glimpses into the greenhouses of others. I am always finding new ideas.

    I’ve noticed a tiny spot in mine that grew healthy weeds that would be perfect for lettuces, next winter.

  4. Holly says:

    What a great way to get your green on in winter! I wish I had space for a greenhouse. But I am hunting for hints on the best way to build a raised bed – how did you do yours?

    Thanks for the Blotanical fave, btw! 🙂

    • Villager says:

      Holly, I made my beds several different ways. Around the greenhouse, I have some that are just unsupported raised soil with amendments. Inside the greenhouse I used untreated 2×6’s with anchored corners I bought. And then I also have some beds using composite timbers made from recycled plastic. They are pricey, but last a long time. I got mine from Burpee.

      Since we have a fine silty loam soil, I added a lot of peat moss to my beds and other gardening areas to improve moisture retention. I also add all the compost I can make.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      • Holly says:

        Thanks for the tips, I think I’ll start this first year with untreated board with anchored corners. Maybe down the line I’ll invest in the composite timbers, once I am sure that I have the right size and site for my plot. Everything’s hypothetical in the first year, after all!

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