Designing a Greenhouse (and an updated on the AeroGarden)

(Re-posted from my original blog on Blogger). Now that we’ve taken apart the pool and I am starting new seedlings in the Aerogarden, it’s time to design and build the greenhouse! We kept the poles used to frame the pool, but just removed the fabric. This is going to be the base of the greenhouse and we will add a canopy on top to complete the building. It is 16 feet in diameter and since the greenhouse will be round it takes a little bit of thinking to plan out the design of the inside.

View of pool frame from deck

Location of the greenhouse is important. We don’t really have a choice in the location of our greenhouse since it is where the pool used to be. But, it will get a lot of light from the East, which is ideal. This will get the most light from November until February making the plants happy! We do have a magnolia tree that is evergreen so it keeps its leaves during the winter months. I didn’t know that magnolias can be either deciduous or evergreen! There are plenty of websites that detail this (see below). While this isn’t great for the greenhouse, I think it will still get plenty of early morning light.

Frame with “doorway”

Because we are having a freestanding greenhouse structure, we will need to worry about getting electricity out there for heat during the winter. In addition, water must be available. We already have electricity connected to our shed with a GFI outlet on the side closest to the greenhouse. We plan to have a small pond in the middle to help control humidity. It may be possible to get water down to the greenhouse, but most likely we will have to set up a hose system with drip irrigation.

For the top part of the greenhouse we are going to purchase a kit (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMsRCiYZl0A&sns=em). Ideally, we would like to make it ourselves, but cutting the piping and making sure that the angles are correct is likely to be a very complex job. This kit comes with the piping to make a dome on top of our current structure and also two liners for the dome. The floor is going to be gravel that we have laid out for a pathway in our backyard. Since we don’t really use the path that much, it makes sense to re-purpose it for a greenhouse floor!

Since it’s still nice and warm outside, we don’t have to worry about getting the dome topper put together quite yet. I think as long as we can get everything together before the weather gets too cold at night (October-ish?) we will be in good shape. But, we can start building the foundation and creating some raised gardens for inside!


I already have some seedlings growing in the AeroGarden – and they really took off. It’s only been a couple of weeks and I’ve already had to transport the corn into their own containers! I’ll keep them inside next to the AeroGarden for now until they get taller and I’ll be able to transplant them outside into our newly built raised gardens. The AeroGarden makes starting plants from seeds a breeze. So, once these seeds have sprouted into seedlings that can be transplanted I will get another starter set and plant an additional round of seeds!

This morning I went ahead and transplanted two of the corn seedlings into new containers (just slightly bigger) until they are well established and can be put into one of the raised gardens in the greenhouse. I used a little bit of black kow, garden soil, and peat moss and mixed well before planting the two corn seedlings. You can see from the photograph to the left that the corn has a huge root! This is great news because it means that they have been growing well in the AeroGarden. I had to carefully remove the pod from the AeroGarden styrofoam holder to transplant them into the new pots. The pots were placed next to the AeroGarden so that they will still get a fair amount of light.

For the raised garden, Nate has become quite the handyman! We bought three 2in x 8in x 10ft boards from Lowe’s. They have a wood cutting area in the back so we had the guy there cut the boards into four 4 foot length sections with the remaining all 2 foot sections. We’ll end up with two 4ft x 2ft raised gardens that are about 8in in height. Ideally, I think we would want a little bit deeper, but 8in is probably enough for the first two sets. The corners are set with 4inx4in posts.

Goodies from Lowe’s
Nate the HandyMan

Above you can see our wood purchase from Lowe’s placed in the car. To the right is Nate with his protective gear (safety glasses and ear protection) and a new circular saw. We figured it was a good purchase because we’ll be building a lot of raised gardens and who knows what else!

 

 

 

Raised garden in the greenhouse

Here are the pieces of wood ready for the raised garden assembly. Nate is holding the 2ft board against the 4ft board with a 4×4 post in the corner. He assembled the garden using wood screws and the finished product can be seen above! We bought enough wood to make two raised gardens, but just finished one today to see how it looked in the greenhouse.

The photograph above shows how the raised garden will look inside the greenhouse. We figure that we will need to make 7 total to fit all around the outside of the frame. The corners will touch so that there is a triangular space between each garden. I figure in these spaces I can have some hanging plants and flowers to fill in. There is plenty of space in the middle for a small circular pond (maybe with a fountain?). We’ll fill in the bottom with gravel from the pathway and once that has been evened out, we can finish making the raised gardens and get the seedlings transplanted to their new home!

Online Resources:
http://www.wvu.edu/~agexten/hortcult/greenhou/building.htm
http://homeguides.sfgate.com/deciduous-vs-evergreen-magnolias-27694.html

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