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Saturday, April 5, 2014


my little greenhouse

Today, I put together my cheap, little greenhouse. When I assemble anything, I read all the directions, lay out the pieces and count to make sure I have what the packaging says is included. Today, I read and counted. I looked at the exploded diagram. I was all set.

See the squarish thing above on the table to the left of the umbrella? Well, I put together several of those shelves and stopped dead in my tracks. That is not a shelf for this greenhouse. The tubes are the vertical supports between shelves, NOT the horizontal pieces to hold the grid shelves! Ack!

Putting the tubes into the plastic was difficult at times; taking them out was doubly much for carefully reading directions. I finally got all the tubes out and things proceeded smoothly. However, the project became larger and less easily handled from a sitting position.

When I called exbf today, he had hit a snag with his taxes. He printed the wrong form and the library was closed when he returned for the correct form. So, I suppose my snag was less of a deal than his.

The frame went together smoothly after I disassembled it. Then, I had to dress it with the cover and zip it. However, I became overwhelmed with insecurity.

Now, what to do with it?

I know it is not warm enough for germinating seeds. But, if it were indoors in the winter it would be warm enough to germinate seeds. Now, I have to get seedlings to put in here. Will it be warm enough for seedlings? We are having 80s in the day and low 40s at night. With the bottom open, I think it will get too cold. I am going to put heavy plastic on the bottom shelf. I know this is for little plants, not seeds.

I am off the TSC to look at chicks and will put seeds in soil to germinate tonight INSIDE.

Your turn
How do you use your greenhouse? How small can the seedlings be before their covered trays can go outdoors? I have never had this in between stage of a greenhouse before.


  1. I have never had a greenhouse so I am not a lot of help. However, I have starting seeds inside - and it does get cold in our house.
    I tend to put plants outside when the danger of frost has gone. Until then, I put them outside in the day and bring them in at night. And sometimes have been caught with a late frost.

  2. EC,
    That is my problem--never had a greenhouse. But, any plants I buy can go in there until I plant them. Plus, things I will grow from cuttings can go there. Germination will definitely have to occur inside. If these go on sale at the end of the year, hopefully cheaper than this. I am going to get another to go inside the huge picture window that gets sun all winter. If this one is still clean, I might move it inside, too. Who needs a long table full of pictures and a tv?

  3. Doesn't he know he can print tax forms at home?

    I don't have a greenhouse. I have a lot of potted plants (about 18), and quite a few outside shrubs, but I'm not much into annuals, and that's mostly what one does with a greenhouse, I guess. I do love conservatories though.

  4. Snowbrush,
    Even though he lives in a huge city that is right up next to Birmingham, he can only get dialup or something slow, no DSL. So, for whatever reason, he went to the library to print. He said it takes about 8 hours for a picture to display on his computer. Maybe his printer is broken, so I am not sure.

    I only buy one annual, pink wave petunias. But, it won't need a greenhouse. I like to use cuttings to make more plants, so I can do that in the greenhouse. Plus tomatoes will grow nicely before I plant them. The tulips would have benefitted from the greenhouse. I could have used a larger greenhouse for the tropical trees I bought for $1 last fall.

    We can get tax forms at the library and at the PO, but both had closed by the time he figured he had the wrong one.

  5. It's a lovely little greenhouse! It's much like the ones I use as plant stands in the sun room. I have used them outside inside the greenhouse, and one outside the greenhouse as well. The plastic didn't stand up well to our weather conditions. Yours looks different with some kind of netting in it.

    I start my tomatoes and peppers inside those trays with plastic lids, inside the greenhouse plant stands, inside the sunroom. Daytime temps can run in the 80-90's in that room, dropping below zero (see your breath, frozen windows, heavy frost up the door) by morning. My guess is your temps will be just fine to start seeds right in your greenhouse outside. Zip it up late in the afternoon to trap the heat inside. Unzip in the morning once the sun starts to feel hot through the windows.

    I start the rest of my seedlings the same way, but later in the year when the temperatures are more stable.

    You'll need to keep an eye on the heat. Plants will bake faster than they'll freeze in a greenhouse. Wind can be a problem as well. I've found the entire plant stand knocked over on more than one occasion. I would strongly recommend tying the whole stand to a banister or post or something.

    Good luck!

  6. Wendy,
    Thanks for the information. I was worried about the heat, too. And, I planned to lash it to something tonight even though it is empty. When short, heavy chairs get blown over, I know this does not have a chance! I think I have seen these in your sunroom. I needed someone who had used these to guide me. Do you think plastic underneath or on the last shelf would help the greenhouse not to be too cold this spring for germinating? It is just sitting on grass. My backyard gets so hot in the spring and summer with the rock basement wall on the south side.

    The plastic film seems to have heavy mesh imbedded. I think I could make a new cover if it does not hold up well. There would be no zipper, just a three inch lap with some Velcro. Maybe it will last more than one season. Thanks.

  7. I like the little green house. Did they have any red ones or blue ones? But it does seem quite compact. I guess you are a short lady.

  8. Coffeypot,
    They only have green greenhouses. No, I am not short at all. I am 5' 7". This is not the kind you walk into. The shelves are only a little over a foot deep. You just stand in front of this one.I would love to have a walk-in greenhouse!

  9. We have that very same greenhouse, bought it last year. It's hard to grow tomatoes in Alaska without some kind of help, either greenhouse or floating row covers.
    Note: If you don't allow for air circulation you'll likely end up with fungus. Our cukes died a horrible, fuzzy death.

    1. Donna,
      I cannot imagine what it takes to grown tomatoes or anything in Alaska.

      Thanks for the hint on air circulation. I would just die if I killed something. So, leave the bottom open? And, keep the door unzipped and rolled up on warm days? Any hints will be appreciated.

  10. Looks good. Every year I say I need to get another one to get the seeds growing earlier but I haven't yet. My first one got mangled with some strong winds and the next strong winds killed it. It's been a few years since so I really should get one so I have it here ready for end of Winter.


    1. Barb,
      I am considering taking the cover off and using zip ties on all joints. Plus, I may take measurements to scrounge wood to make the next. Or, I may Right now, I have the greenhouse leaning on the wagon, almost lying down, hoping no wind will catch it.

  11. You are inspiring me to get GARDENING! There is just the smallest bit of snow so I guess that means eventually winter will end.

    1. Sonya Ann,
      Can you germinate seeds indoors? I should have been doing just that six weeks ago. It will be good when we all have spring all around.


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