My second garden project this year was a small greenhouse frame to cover a portion of the back garden. Wanting to get a jump-start in the garden, my goal is to get a good sampling of the root vegetables planted before April 1st. I doubt this is going to happen, but with this second area complete, I’m one step closer.
Being that I have never planted this early, and not knowing how well these greenhouses are going to keep my plants protected from the still potentially cold Michigan weather, I’m planting a sampling of the crops I wanted for early spring rather than everything all at once. Don’t want to get caught with all my eggs in one basket. One row of carrots, two rows of various types of lettuces, and a row of beets was the plan for this new greenhouse. If these structures maintain the temperatures enough for root vegetables to start in Michigan one month before the typical planting, it could mean more than two crops of carrots, radishes, turnips, and especially lettuce.
This new greenhouse structure started out with a 7′ x 5′ frame using 1″ x 2″ boards. I then secured a 1 ½’ piece of 1 x 2 to the center of the 5′ section, forming an upside down “T” on either end. Then I attached a 7′ – 1 x 2 across the 1 ½’ sections. This completed the frame.
Next I unrolled my plastic and draped it over the frame, securing it on all sides with staples. Once the plastic was in place, I attached an electrical pipe clamp to each of the four corners. This is so I could pound a 5′ section of electrical pipe through the clamp to secure the frame to the ground. Michigan winds can be vicious and I certainly don’t want my frame to end up flying through the air like a kite into any of my neighbors yards.
In all, the project took less than an hour. Pretty quick, I’d have to say. It took longer to prepare the ground for planting and get the seeds/seed tape down. All in all, this project, including building the greenhouse frame, preparing the ground, planting the seeds, and securing the frame to the ground, took about 2 ½ hours. Now it’s just a waiting game.
When I checked the frame this morning, there were drops of water all on the inside of the plastic. Yea! Humidity! Just what I wanted. The temperature is hovering around 45 – 50 degrees this week, with temps falling into the 30’s at night. Hopefully this frame will keep the ground nice a warm for the seeds to sprout – I should know in a week or so if this experiment is successful.
Hubby’s already looking into bigger hoop houses to build that could possibly cover half of our main garden. This one would be 16′ x 16′. I’m thinking more along the lines of something around 8′ x 16′ because it would be easier to manipulate. Either way, I’m glad Hubby and I are on the same page about building these structures, and for this I am – Simply Grateful.