Greenhouse Page

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Heather and I do really enjoy gardening! A couple of years ago we put in two fenced areas: one with raised beds so we could grow some produce at home and the other to protect our flowers from the hungry deer hordes. This year (2011) we had a good harvest of onions, kale, rhubarb and dicon radishes but the rest of what we planted was clobbered twice by hail and as a result didn't produce as much as we would have liked. So we decided to put in a greenhouse so we can get a jump on the growing season (which is really short in the Black Forest), protect our plants from hail and to create an environment in which we could grow things like chili's, tomatoes and squash. Our neighbors put in a greenhouse last year and they had so much produce they had a hard time giving it away and we are hoping for the same result.

We decided on an STC EasyGrow 8 ft. x 12 ft. greenhouse which we purchased from Home Depot. However before we could put the greenhouse up we had some terra forming to do. We needed a flat platform on which to erect it. All in all it took about a week to build the platform and the greenhouse. We completed it on October 11th, 2011.

The photos below show the construction process.

UPS delivered the greenhouse kit before we had the platform completed so we stored it on the front porch. The kit came in three boxes each weighing about 90 pounds. Good thing the shipping was free.

Here is the finished platform for the greenhouse. It was made with pressure treated ties and is filled with dirt and road base. It could also function as a parking spot if we ever move the greenhouse.

Here is a side view of the platform. We will plant some plants to keep the soil around the platform in place.

The first step was unpacking the boxes and laying out the parts to see what we had. The kit contained boxes within boxes of parts. Here  we have most of the parts laid out. The rest are still on the porch.

Ah the instruction book.

 The first step was an inventory to see if we had all of the parts. We quickly gave that up and just started building. We would see what, if anything, was missing when we came upon it. I have to admit this kit was well engineered and well packaged. Unfortunately almost every part was wrapped in some kind of plastic for protection during shipping which made for a lot of waste plastic sheeting and plastic bags. Good thing we can recycle all of this stuff.

We assembled a lot of the greenhouse outside our garage as we had to move things inside when the weather got bad. We got a foot of snow in the middle of the assembly process.

Here is the front of the greenhouse. The polycarbonate panels have an inside and outside so we left the plastic sheeting on so we knew we got things assembled correctly. The round hole in the lower left is for a vent we will install later.

Here is one of the side wall structures. One thing we liked about this greenhouse kit is it had built in shelving which you can see here.

Once we had both wall structures built we carried them and the rear wall from the garage to the platform. Once there, they snapped together quickly. Our greenhouse was now self supporting.

Next we snapped the front to the sides. Hey this is starting to look like the real thing.

Heather was getting artsy with this shot.

Here you can see we have the roof trusses in place and that I'm again reading the instructions trying to determine the next step.

Many times we had to take stuff back apart because I got cocky and thought I knew how the thing went together. Guess what? I was wrong quite a few times.

Side view after we got the two roof vents installed. One of the vents is manual but the other automatically opens and closes with changing temperature.

With the frame fully assembled we installed all of the polycarbonate panels. You can see cables criss-crossing the side wall. This is how thing were brought into square by adjusting the tension on the cables. The system worked pretty well. These cables also help make the greenhouse a little more sturdy.

Here is the view into the greenhouse from the front before the double doors were installed. You can see the bench supports in place.

The greenhouse is complete after installing the front vent and the doors. Heather didn't waste any time putting plants into the greenhouse. It will be interesting to see what will survive in there in winter. We will keep you posted.

Here is a picture of the greenhouse (on the left of our driveway) and the front of our house with snow still on the roof. I'm sitting on a rock admiring our work. All in all this was a fun project and a great birthday present for Heather!

Heather and I were quite pleased with this greenhouse kit. Like I said it was well engineered and all of the parts (and then some) were included and were each well labeled. The instructions were well done (not badly translated from Chinese) with an amazing number of 3D drawings showing how things go together. This kit required two people, it would have been very hard just for one person to assemble it.

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