Friday, February 11, 2011

Rebuilding the Greenhouse

So we were inspired to get the greenhouse going with the acquisition of seed contracts. The greenhouses were put up 20 years ago and had fallen into disrepair over the last 7 years. When they were originally purchased they were used, so the poles were a little funky.
We began this project in the summer by using the tractor bucket to attempt to level the surrounding ground and take out some brambles. You can see from the picture how scary the area was. In January we really dug in (literally) and began prepping the site.
We needed to remove the excess chicken manure piles to another area because they were directly next to the greenhouse. We took off the ends of the greenhouse and drove the tractor in to scrape the ground. In January we were lucky enough (as we usually are here in Eugene) to get about 10 days of sunshine. This let the ground dry out and kept the tractor from getting stuck. J
We then went about resituating some of the pipes. They werenot exactly in line and some were lower than others.

It took considerable effort with the tractor to move them into better positions. Because the metal pipes had sat in their spots so long, there was little we could do to change their catawampus shapes, but we did succeed on squaring it up a bit.

Thanks to those of you who put your heads together to give us great ideas on accomplishing this! I spent one day putting together the frame around the base, using metal plates on both sides for stability. I then put down commercial grade landscape fabric that I stretched UNDER the outside boards and up the sides, securing it with a staple gun. We put the doors on the ends. A note here: We used the door from the last greenhouse as a pattern, HOWEVER, the door was not built square (as we discovered afterwards) and so the new door isn’t either. We won’t do that next time!
We used the tractor to dump round rock into the greenhouse from the sides. We chose round rock because it would be comfy on our feet and I like to be barefoot. It took only a few hours with the tractor and three of us raking. Isn’t it lovely?

We then laid the plastic out next to the greenhouse and doubled it over since this is a double poly greenhouse and cut it at the end once we were sure we had it halve dcorrectly. Note: avoid stepping on the plastic so as not to puncture or compromise it. It's harder than you think because there is soooo much of it! Getting it stretched over was easier than I had anticipated. J is 6 feet tall. He pulled the corner over the end as I pushed the sides up. He then made his way to the center and helped it over the top. After that it was downhill. We repeated this step with the second piece. After we made sure it was centered and even on both sides we cut the excess leaving a little over a foot of overhang on the sides and a lot of overhang on the ends.

I had used a table saw to cut treated 2x4s into ½ strips(creating batten). This was a considerable amount of savings as we got eight 2”x8’x1/2” strips for $2 instead of $20. We rolled up the edges and stapled them to the base. It is good to leave 12” of space between each board as you go.
The space will actually shorten as you work your way to the next board, but will leave enough room for you to work the plastic around each consecutive piece.

The feeling of the greenhouse with its fresh floor and soft round rock surrounded by freshly stretched poly is amazing! It feels like the world is my oyster—well at least the seed world!!!

1 comment:

  1. wow! looks great... there is an old garden center on our way to church and the green houses are going to ruin mostly just the frames are ther the plastic is totally distroyed... I keep wondering if they'd like to sell some of the frames... I am too whimpy to go ask...Pam- momofdrew