Friday, May 17, 2019

Green House: Lemons to Lemonade

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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 it Started! NEW Greenhouse is Done!

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~Spring is elusive in the Midwest~

This is a repost from 2019 
on how we made our greenhouse!

Hubby finished the greenhouse with a little help from a friend and took some photos for me to share. I still can't get out and about---and probably won't for a month. He moved our plants out there yesterday before the bad storms hit the Chicago area, again.

My last few posts have been on the disaster our ruined purchased greenhouse suffered, but we are resourceful and decided to take the metal frame and build around it with wood and corrugated clear panels. 

Hubby found out that cutting the poly panels with a shears was easier than with saws. The hardest construction issue was drilling holes in the metal frame to bolt the wood too. Technically this entire structure is removable, piece by piece. 


Today is in the low fifties, so the plants are quite happy inside their new home. I can't wait to use this in the Fall to prolong our growing season.


The windows open from the outside, except for the door and the sash frame in the back.


The metal on the bottom is to fight the snow we have in the winter...hubby designed his own flashing from some leftover roof flashing that he bent to fit the ledge over the ledge above the corrugated metal. 


He used a screen storm door for the entrance. The long flip out windows are basement storm windows with screens on the inside.


once all the trim is painted brown..I hope to do some cute stuff on the outside and inside. I have lots of vintage goodies that will work.


Here you can see the backside. The space behind is actually a utility easement of 6 feet, Nothing permanent can be placed there.


The wood shelves are from our old greenhouse. 
This building is 8x10 now and very high, more than enough room for us to plant.
We have a sink in here that will be hooked up by hose--and drain into the garden. We will put a moveable drain hose to direct the outflow where we want it to go.


Finally the garden is coming to life. These photos were taken on May 15--and we are so far behind again this year.


We had a couple of inches of rain yesterday---so the garden won't get tilled until it dries out-again. 
I hope Hubby got all the equipment put away.  

I will post a list of materials and midwest prices, once Hubby gets it done! PS the frame from the defunct company I can't put a price on, original greenhouse was over $450.00. I'm sure this will last a lot longer than a year now
Maybe something with a lemons theme for here...
SMILES...In our Lemonade Greenhouse.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

When Life gives you Lemons....

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...Or the best laid plans of mice and a woman...?
 It's been nine days since I wrecked my knee, to be exact--tore my medial collateral ligament on my 'good' knee. We are hopeful it will heal, in a month or so. The other knee has already had two knee replacements.

Hence, I have all the gear for being laid up.  See the huge lump on the knee, there, --yep that's still swelling after 8 days. 

Some things have changed since my 2010 knee replacements---like available drugs. And, let me mention that TYLENOL does squat, for an inflamed knee, swelling, and sharp(shudder) pain. Since I'm a senior citizen...other medications are no longer acceptable. I have to love my Doc, though, and he has prescribed a muscle relaxer which helps with all the cramping and I have had two decent nights of sleep, finally.

This is my window view---out there is all the Spring yard work, and planting that needs to be done. Poor hubby will really have a work out. I had managed to clean out the front flower bed, plant some perrenials that needed to be split. But, golly---4-6 weeks is a long time in the Spring of the year, to be laid up.

This what my bedroom view looks like---I can't really even get over there...the walker won't fit. Who knew how precious where your underwear drawer should be? The computer is set for an automatic duty---so I just cross my fingers it's working. 
The pic on the tv...cracks me up--looks like a mashed up knee. 

I've been putting my blogging laptop here, so I can get to it, and then slide it back down safely without having to strain.

Sigh---oh, yea---my blogging. For those viewing my doll blog---barbieoldnewgreenredo, it will be down for at least a few weeks, unless I recycle photos, etc. All my doll and craft supplies/equipment are down in the basement craft room.

My blog-oldnewgreenredo---I might be able to recycle a few photos and post, but, I won't be taking any new photos. (Hubby will do some--he just finished the greenhouse), but none of my Spring projects will be completed. After our awful long winter, we finally have a chance for some nice weather and hopefully I will make it to the porch when it's nice.

I've put my Etsy shop, BarberryLane on Vacation---until I'm able to go to the basement and do the shipping again. 

Well, making tons of lemonade here---and I'll post when I have something useful to share! I am enjoying viewing all the wonderful posts of my fellow bloggers.