I’ve been busy the last couple of weeks, getting ready for the new greenhouse project. The old one has some issues, and I’ve been anxious to get the new one up before cold weather gets here. We started work this week, and it has gone well all things considered. I enlisted the aid of our favorite handyman and his brother to do most of the heavy work, and also to haul off the old greenhouse. The first step was to prepare the site, and I did the initial work last week.
Next up was making a level footer for the base of the greenhouse. Our land slopes down away from the house, and the drop where the greenhouse sits was at least a couple of inches. First we dug a little trench down a few inches deep. Then we used a fine rock that tamps down well to fill the trench and leveled it off. The rock should provide good drainage for the base, which is a composite material made of recycled plastic and wood and is rot resistant and sturdy.
Once the base was level and in place, it was time to start putting the greenhouse itself together. It came in eight large boxes weighing over 700 pounds total, and had been waiting in the garage for several weeks. Much labor was involved just getting the parts where they were needed as well as to get everything assembled. We were hoping for cool weather, since it’s the beginning of October, but instead we got record setting heat that has been over 90°F every day. I’ve been doing most of my part early in the day to beat the heat as best I can.
The new greenhouse was not fabricated nearly as well as the old one, despite coming from the same manufacturer. It required a lot of finessing to get it together, and a lot of tweaking to get some things to fit. There were also large air gaps between the roof and the ends that required adding pieces of red cedar to make it more weather tight. Thankfully our handyman is a skilled carpenter, which is one of the many reasons we had him to do the job and not just me doing it alone.
I spent most of my time this week cleaning out the old greenhouse and getting it ready for removal. Since it gets hot in there pretty quickly once the sun hits it, one of the first things I did was remove the back wall to let more air come through. That helped, but it still got hot in there. With temps outside over 90°F, the temperature inside the greenhouse can get over 110°F sometimes, so any help is a good thing! I also worked to remove paving stones I used on the floor so they could be reused in the new greenhouse, and cleared the bench and table so they could be easily moved as needed. I also removed all the shelving, which I decided to replace since it had a lot of rusted spots. I couldn’t bring myself to put the rusty shelving in the new greenhouse, and it gave me a chance to get longer ones that will give me more room for flats of seedlings.
We finished getting the new greenhouse together yesterday, and the old one has been hauled off to the dump. Next I will work on finishing the inside. I need to install the new shelving, put down the pavers, move the bench and table back in, and make the planting beds inside. I have no idea exactly how long that will take, and thankfully cooler weather is forecast here starting tomorrow which will help. And after I finish inside, I need to work on landscaping the outside. I plan to put down weed control fabric and cover it with mulch, plus I need to do something to make a nice entrance walkway. At some point, I actually have transplants ready to go in the new beds, so I will be busy to say the least. I’ll be back with another update soon on this project and other happenings here at Happy Acres!