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We have become adept at making lemonade out of lemons around here.
Two weeks ago, I posted April Midwest Gardening-not so pretty! and showed you all the damage and how far behind Chicagoland is from Spring. Since then we have had two 5-6" snowfalls, an icestorm and over 5" of rain in the last week.
Our NEW 8'x10' Greenhouse was wrecked over the winter--so hubby decided to work off the heavy tubular frame and use it for a new greenhouse--more stable then the 1 year old UV destroyed fabric used in the zippered greenhouses. (that company is out of business)
He's been dodging rain deluges, snow and wind and managed to get this far. He built an exo-skeleton of treated wood over the existing tubular frame. This REDO was done by meticulously drilling through the pipes and bolting the boards on. Technically this green house is portable, as the only thing attached to the ground is the metal frame which can be unbolted.
Maybe six guys will be able to move it, lol.
With our huge snow accumulations and drifting here in windy Chicago-land, he chose corrugated aluminum for about a third of the way up, all the way around. We chose basement windows which open from the outside. We've been rolling up plastic canvas windows for over 10 years---so this is just as easy.
The greenhouse is straight-but the ground slopes. Hubby put in four basement windows and in the back, one sash window. All this was designed around our shelving and work areas. A storm/screen door will be used on the front. The ground beams were put in a year ago as was the gravel, sand, pea gravel floor. This is designed to drain water into the ground at GREEN thing to do.
Our excessive rainfall, has been so huge they have asked people to forego washing machines and unnecessary showering to help the already taxed drainage systems. I don't ever remember that happening before.
Do you ever roam the big box hardware stores looking for something that doesn't exist?
Hubby used some left-over brown roofing flashing---he trimmed and added a bend to create a waterproof surface for the corrugated plastic panels to sit on. Water from the inside or outside will just roll out. All the trim will be painted brown outside, to match the house. Brown windows would have been a custom order and would have cost over double.
From inside you can see the framing around the windows. This side is all ready for the clear panels which are easy to install.
This looks metal looks critter proof, but of course they can simply dig underneath and have a nice home for the winter. I'm hoping to try and grow late fall crops in here---fresh lettuce and maybe a few tomatoes and peppers too.
Hubby took these photos today, May 9th and you can see the neighbors perrenicals are barely out of the ground.
Hubby is improvising as he goes along, tweaking and making changes. I'm hoping I can she-shed it a bit---we will see, if nothing else it is very 'Farm' looking. But the point is to be able to grow our own plants from seed.
The flashing is brilliant----making do with what you have---we had some left over from the roof repair, last year.
We know there may be some gaps when all the panels are on---but we will work with that when we get there! Our extra length of patio lights is right above and in front of the greenhouse. Electricity is
just a post away--so we can use a heater if necessary.
Now if the weather will only cooperate, hubby could get this done. Hopefully on Mother's day the boys can help with the roof panels! He's doing a great job and soon we will be able to move our plants from our improvised plastic hut off the front porch.
Is this going to be winter-proof? I'm sure some caulk and maybe some expanding insulation foam will be utilized. After all-WE-are the 'McGyvers' as my husband calls it.
HOW's YOUR SPRING LIST COMING???
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