Sunday, April 30, 2017

This year's garden project--a greenhouse

I decided last year that I wanted to buy a greenhouse for the garden, and that setting it up would be this year's garden project. Our community garden allows greenhouses, but no larger than 3.4 square meters (about 37 square feet). Luckily, Plantasjen sold one that was exactly this size: (http://www.plantasjen.no/drivhus-mythos-3-4m-200007739-no). It is now finished--assembled and functional. And yes, it was a project, a labor-intensive one, and one that I could not have accomplished without my husband's help, who patiently put most of it together, with my assistance. I thought there would be a lot more swearing during the whole process, but there wasn't. But would we do this again? Probably not. Some tips for those of you who might like to do the same: assembling a greenhouse requires two people; a good amount of time, say at least two to three days (unless you're pros--the manual is optimistic about the length of time it should take); it should be assembled on a sunny, non-windy, non-rainy day; it needs to be placed on level ground (a concrete foundation is recommended by many online garden sites, but we did not do this); and finally, the greenhouse has to be anchored in place so that a strong wind doesn't blow it away, as it doesn't weigh very much (at least if the windows and door panes are made of polycarbonate and not of glass, like ours). I am exploring different options for anchoring it, but at present have settled on large flat heavy stones that I have placed strategically on the stainless steel foundation framework inside the greenhouse. I also purchased and assembled two different bench/shelf systems from IKEA (the HINDÖ series: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/categories/series/33957/)--one is a potting workbench with two drawers for holding tools and other useful objects, and one is a 3-shelf bench to place plants on. Both were fairly easy to assemble, and both can be bolted to the stainless steel framework of the greenhouse (another contribution to weighting it down). They are sturdy and well-made; each of them weighs circa 13 kg (28 lbs) . I also bought weed matting from Vida XL (https://www.vidaxl.no/e/8718475854869/pp-ugressduk-5-x-1m-90gsm) to cover the soil floor in order to keep weed growth down. We'll see if it does the trick.

I will say that it is nice to step into the warm greenhouse on a chilly blustery day. It seems to me already that it will provide the perfect conditions for growing plants from seed as well as for protecting plants that are very sensitive to temperature changes. It will be interesting to see how things develop this year. In any case, here are some photos of the greenhouse and the IKEA benches.

the measured area for the greenhouse

the walls are up

three-shelve plant bench

workbench

the finished greenhouse (weed matting not put down yet)

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