Hard to believe there was a time in my life I didn’t like gardening. I was 10 years old and my parents decided they were going to make this HUGE veggie garden because we were the city folks who moved to the country. As my teen years arrived I was fortunate enough to have been within walking distance of a Mom& Pop greenhouse where I was able to work part-time prepare trays for the business. Today I grow things because it makes our surroundings beautiful and to provide food to keep healthy living habits year-round.
Bren The Greenhouse Grower:
It is hard for me to put in words the excitement my family and I experienced bringing home the greenhouse we had found on ebay from an amazing couple who had only owned the structure for a few short years.
After helping out at a local greenhouse for a few years as an adult I was completely intrigued by the way greenhouses in the north work. Not only did I think it would be super cool ‘complete’ the look of my home garden by adding a greenhouse structure but just to experience the science of ‘beating nature’ and growing out of the seasons we were allowed in my gardening zone 5b.
In early November of 2009 my greenhouse project had officially begun. That summer was spent building a shed that would provide a barrier on the coldest days that hit our region. I wanted a building that could easily be walked through while providing shelter for the rabbits we raise. Opening the door to the greenhouse to a well insulated structure would make a significant difference with temperature control in this 10′ x 12′ greenhouse.
The greenhouse kit we own is a Gardener Company kit that my husband had found on in a classified ad on the web. It was gently used and the owners of this structure lived only a day trip drive from our garden. It is amazing what you can find on the web! I would suggest looking on sites like ebay, Craig’s List and local classified ads before making your purchase of a greenhouse. You maybe able to save yourself a few extra dollars that can be used toward more plants for your garden.
SUMMER ’09 PROJECT :
The big project in the summer 2009 was construction of the Bunny Barn with attached Greenhouse. We started by having our rabbit owner in the family draw up plans for a place to hang the many ribbons she has won over the years. A special place just to raise and train Netherland Dwarfs. Someday this 12′ x 16′ shed will be a full time potting shed but till then it is home for some 20 plus show bunnies. The barn construction took the longest out of the two structures to complete. We were able to use a few left over supplies from a larger barn construction project we had added to our property a few years back. The main door of this smaller barn was recycled from our home after a remodeling project as well. This new
structure is well insulated that provides a some what stable temperature year-round. There is no heat source in this structure but we did add a humidifier because rabbits are very sensitive to humidity. The 12′x16′ barn , or rabbitry took about 3 months to complete.
Once the bunnies were all moved in the construction on the Greenhouse attachment began. I think the bunnies were so excited to get out of the garage and into their new home that they sound from the tamper to flatten the ground before the foundation was built to the green house didn’t bother them. The photos to the right show the rock, block and tiling work that make up the floor for the greenhouse kit to be attached to. Their is plumbing under the structure that can be connected at a later time. For the time being I am taking advantage of the exercise I get caring water containers to the greenhouse as needed. I think once we down size the rabbitry I will add a sink to the barn and at that time the water will be connected.
The kit went together with ease. Photos below show the simple double panel frame this kit consists of. A few extras were added to enforce the structures base. The ‘difficult’ part of the job was attaching the greenhouse to the shed structure. We ended up using a thick rubber material to make a type of gasket fit between the two doorways. the greenhouse door is used as the actual door leading into the greenhouse from the barn. Having to walk through the heated barn structure into the greenhouse will help keep the conditions in the greenhouse level.
I don’t think the last panel to the house had been bolted up for more then an hour that I had the new seeds planted and some fresh Fall finds ready to be planted in containers for fall as pictured in the image below.
Around The Greenhouse
My landscaping plans around the greenhouse structure includes raised beds for square foot gardening. Adding raised bed structures in landscaping around the greenhouse would also help with keeping the panels of the house from being damaged while mowing. We were running short on time and had other projects to begin so the rest of the beds will have to go in this spring. For now I have two 4′x4′ raised beds that run along the walkway into the structures. After the bolts were sledge hammered through the landscaping timbers we filled them with moss, top soil and compost. These are going to be wonderful beds for the spring garden. It will be nice to have these gardens so close to the house so I can cover them easier when the frost arrives in the spring. I will be adding more to the landscape around my greenhouse and documenting it as I go on the Greenhouse Landscape Project Located on this site.
The First Bloom Day ( November 21,2009)
The image below was my first bloom day in the greenhouse. I get excited just looking at it and can remember it all quit well. Through the past years I’ve been sharing many veggie & blooms from my year-round growing experience. In January 2011 I launched a site dedicated to growing year-round with my good friend Glenda of Tootsie Time . Glenda was one of my biggest inspirations to get growing in my zone after following her shares from her greenhouse up in zone 3. I would like to invite you to stop by our site and see what exciting things we have growing year-round at Growing4 Seasons.com .
Follow this link to my shares daily from the greenhouse : Brens’ Greenhouse.**
Have a question about growing year-round in your own greenhouse. Do you use a greenhouse and would like to connect? I would love to hear from you so please leave a comment on this page.