old-greenhouse   moving-greenhouse

We do live in a manufactured home and moving it was an ordeal. We moved the house, a covered front porch, a large back deck, a pergola with a hot tub, a 16×24 shop . . . and a 6×10 aquaponic greenhouse. I had built the grow beds in the greenhouse where they were actually attached to the structure so separating it and moving it was quite a chore.

A 300 gallon water tank was half-buried beneath it but where it would sit at the new location would actually be on an existing concrete slab exactly the right size to fit it. That meant the tank could not be buried. We made the move and solved the water tank problem by going from the single tank to two 100 gallon tanks under each grow bed. We went away from the fish at this point which means it converts from Aquaponic to Hydroponic. Aquaponic uses the fish to fertilize and Hydroponics relies on supplements being added to the water to feed what is planted. We have considered going with some small goldfish in both tanks and going Aquaponic again but have not done so at this point.

As a byproduct of the move we also put new energy efficient windows in the house. We took the windows coming out and used them to make a larger greenhouse. They were storm windows so in essence, each window gave us two single windows. We built it around the little greenhouse we had moved so it ended up in the corner of a 20×24 foot greenhouse. That gave us windows all the way around and the roof was translucent fiberglass panels which allowed light into the plants. We also changed out our storm door and put the old one on the greenhouse.

building-the-greenhouse   new-greenhouse

We built waist high benches around the walls and put grow-tubs on them to plant vegetables and herbs. When the weather started getting cold we had shelves above the grow beds where we brought in the potted plants from the yard for the winter. Wires were run above the benches to tie plants to when needed. We insulated the bottom beneath the benches with fiberglass insulation and the windows with bubble wrap. Everything weathered the winter fine and we ate out of the greenhouse all winter. The potted plants prospered and even bloomed. We have water run into the greenhouse with a hose set up to reach everything for easy watering.

In the spring the potted plants went back into the yard. Then came the 100 degree temps and we lost much of what was in the greenhouse. On the advice of a friend at a professional greenhouse we put in a evaporative air conditioner and shade cloth on the top under the roof. It mitigated the temperatures and we were able replant prior to the next winter coming up. Everything is growing very well.

The shade cloth is removed for the winter but instead of taking it down we ran wires to scoot it to the side like a curtain. Next year instead of tacking it back in place again we will be able to just spread it back out on the wires. We got an added bonus with the wires as well. When temps drop too low in the garden for the tomatoes we are cutting the vines and hanging the green tomatoes that are left upside down in the greenhouse (like tobacco plants) and they continue to ripen nicely.

The greenhouse is heated by two electric garage heaters hanging by the roof in opposite corners. They are set to keep the temperature between 60-70 degrees and do so all last winter. Both of these greenhouses are very useful in starting plants from seed to set out in the outside garden as well. We love it.

It’s a little late, but I have some Texas 1015 Onions to go in. (The name comes from when they should be planted) I have a bunch of sets on the way and need to get the planting area prepared in the greenhouse.  It is important to start getting trace minerals into what we are putting into the greenhouse.

GREENHOUSE GROWING LINKS

http://www.themodernhomestead.us/article/Greenhouse+Growing.html

http://www.mprnews.org/story/2014/02/03/regional/deep-winter-green-house

http://www.gardenguides.com/83163-grow-vegetables-greenhouse-winter.html

WINTER GROWING IN A GREENHOUSE

Greenhouse Gardening

http://www.greenhousegarden.com/

http://www.123-greenhouse-gardening.com/greenhouse-gardening-tips.html

http://survivalathome.com/how-to-grow-vegetables-in-a-greenhouse/

http://www.hortmag.com/blogs/transitioning-to-the-fall-and-winter-greenhouse

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/can-grow-vegetables-greenhouse-yearround-60930.html

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/guide-planting-herbs-vegetables-greenhouse-59300.html

Basic Greenhouse cultivation

Greenhouse basics

seed starting secrets of a greenhouse professional