Choosing the location:
Our lot sits east-west with most of the back on solid bedrock. We choose this location as it would maximize sun exposure, not be in the center of our visual space from our patio but still able to enjoy looking at it as part of the landscaping.
|We had a large forsythia that needed to be removed to open up the area
|Once we cleared away the debris we exposed the ground that needed to be moved to lower the elevation. The greenhouse would be sitting too high if we left it at this elevation.
|We screened the soil and moved it to new beds that would be made along the path to the greenhouse
|Very quickly we discovered the soil was not very deep and hit bedrock. 4 hours of jackhammer to breakdown the rock into manageable pieces. We used the large rock for building walls and the smaller pieces to help fill the foundation before the crush
|Building the foundation design. We made a template out of a old tarp and added and extra 18 inches around the perimeter for foundation strength
|We continued to raise the height of the foundation to the desired height using rock that we hammered out
|Before dumping the crush we laid hose and pipe for future water and electricity lines. The water line was installed and connected as soon as the seedlings were planted. Electricity is a project for this fall
|Our location can experience strong easterly winds in the winter so we laid anchors into the foundation to connect anchor straps to secure the greenhouse. The anchors were marked in the crush by tying orange flagging tape to them
|We wanted access to all sides of the greenhouse and a path to continue alongside it against our original rock wall. The crush paths will be covered with a speciality coloured small river rock this fall.
|My husband assembled the greenhouse in one day. It is a one person job to assemble frame but takes 2 people to slide the roof panels into slot and attach to walls. It’s really easy once you have figured out how to do the first one.
|Assembly continues. Instructions are good but important to make sure foundation is absolutely level
|The hinge doors easily assemble and take a few minutes to adjust. I would love to have some sort of anchor to hold the doors firmly open during breezy days. Currently they will rattle in the wind and I have to close them in strong winds. Our difficulty is we raised the foundation on a 18’ crush rock base. Will have to experiment to find a solution.
Greenhouse is assembled and what an amazing design. The inside assembly for the shelves is designed to fit right into the frame. The shade kit and the trellis kit also just slide right into the frame.
The solar powered window louver was a bit of challenge to install but once the adapter kit was in place it works well. We have it set to open and close at 12 degrees. As the evening cools the window slowly starts to close. In the morning if I am in the greenhouse as the sun hits it I can see the arm move the window open.
|Its still early spring and the plants have not filled out yet. Also, after removing the large forsythia to make room for the greenhouse left the back needing me to buy some new plants. My favourite thing to do!
|Different views of the assembled greenhouse
|Different views of the assembled greenhouse
|Seedlings planted and starter kit growing. Because I bought 3 heavy duty shelves I planted pots that would also sit on shelves as well as on the ground. Spring plants thrived. The daytime heat in greenhouse in early April was already hitting 26-30 degrees so I started all the summer loving plants early and made sure the greenhouse was closed up at night when the temperatures dropped. As soon as the nighttime temps stayed above 12 degree’s we took the doors off of the greenhouse.
|Different aspects of the greenhouse from different vantage points in the back yard
|Seedlings in the planter box
|By mid April it got so hot in the greenhouse during the day that we had to hang shade cloth on the walls and ceilings. I didn’t buy enough to do the west/north side of the house but will have to hang on those walls too next year.
|I planted 5 varieties of strawberries in a hanging basket and placed on one of the upper heavy duty shelves. Not all of the variety are tasty so I will retry next year with just our 2 favorite varieties.
|Peppers, tomatoes, egg plants and all my citrus tress love the heat
|Location of plants. I learned what works well near the door and what works well at the back of greenhouse. I will try a different arrangement next year when I put the summer plants in
|3 year old Cara Cara orange tree that I planted in a large pot 3 years ago and will dwarf to stay at 4 feet. The first year I picked all the fruit off, second year I let 2 oranges grow and this year it is loaded with fruit and flowers. Like my meyer lemon trees they will produce fruit and flowers all year round. Before I had a greenhouse I used to put the citrus tree pots on a south facing wall of our house and put a cold frame over them for winter. This winter I am going to put them all in the greenhouse. The caracara orange can’t take freezing temps so like in the cold frame I will set up a thermostat controlled heater that will come on when the temp drops to +3. Meyer lemon don’t need the heat unless it drops below freezing
|Cara Cara orange
|4 inches in diameter, sweet and juicy
|Hanging tomatoes got too warm near the door – will move to north side of greenhouse next year. Tomatoes in pots did really well
|Peppers – California variety – really sweet. Also, mini baby eggplant – sweet, thin skin and no seeds!
Cantaloupe grew on trellis kit along south – east wall. Also, sweet and juicy.
I tried ‘sugar baby’ water melon but the aphids were such a problem on the plant I moved it out of the greenhouse
|Purple eggplant and white pencil eggplant.
|Cucumber grew on trellis kit up north wall
|One pumpkin seed had to be moved outside as it grew sooooo fast