Mr. Gordon and I were sitting on the screened in old back porch a few weeks ago. We were lamenting our garden experience this past year and how it just had not produced like in 2018 and 2019. We listed some of the reasons: cold spring, seedlings that did not do well before or after planting, late growth on the plants that did flower / produce some fruit, the deer, etc.
But we kept coming back to: We just couldn’t get an early enough start with hardy seedlings.
The dream? A sturdy, big, permanent greenhouse in the side yard.
The reality? We can’t afford that!
Okay, so options? Here’s the deal: Harbor Freight (known for cheap tools) had an 8.5′ L X 6.3′ W X 6.5′ H greenhouse that with a coupon, was $300. Shipping was too expensive for us, over $100 I believe. But, there was a new Harbor Freight store about 30 minutes from where we live. We called: they had one. This is a link to that greenhouse. Note, that link is NOT an affiliate link.
Harbor freight describes the product like this:
- Sliding door for easy access
- Roof vent for climate control
- Durable, all-weather aluminum frame
- UV-coated polycarbonate panels for sunlight diffusion
What you need to know about this greenhouse: you should never install it outside where you have wind… or even a strong breeze. Or get snow. It’s super flimsy. BUT, my crazy? creative? idea was this:
Let’s install it in a corner of the southern-facing back porch. We can attach it to a frame and push it into the east corner. (Our strong wind comes from the west.) Our porch is covered by a permanent roof – not ideal for sun, but will definitely protect the roof of the greenhouse from snow. And, I theorize it will get enough sun, regardless.
We decided that for $300, it was worth the experiment. So, we drove over to Harbor Freight and picked it up. Here are photos from the install. By the way, if you purchase this greenhouse, make sure you watch the many customer-made YouTube videos on how to put it together. It’s quite the process and the instructions provided in the box are not-so-hot.
Mr. Gordon pretty much put the entire thing together. I helped out with stripping the plastic off of the panels and placing a few in. But I barely helped. I’m glad Mr. Gordon has patience for this kind of work. Anyhow, it took a couple of days because the first day, we ended up with a massive wind storm! We had just started to put the panels in when it kicked up. It actually pushed the greenhouse backward. (We hadn’t placed it in the corner at that point.) We brought the panels inside and had to wait for another day to finish.
This is part of what we do. We say…. how can we? And we give something a go. We try to minimize cost in time and money when it’s an experiment. Right now, I remind Mr. Gordon, we have the luxury of both working full-time and can afford to take the risk. It might be different when we’re retired. Let’s do the experiment NOW.
Okay, so having this greenhouse is one thing we are going to try to do for 2021 to:
- Get an early start on spring planting and growing hardier seedlings for 2021 planting – the grow lights by themselves are just not cutting it
- Grow some greenhouse greens through fall and maybe have some success in winter? Maybe?
- Definitely grow greenhouse greens in spring 2021
- Have sheltered gardening space to work
We’ll let you know how it goes.
Okay, time for me to go! On today’s to-do list: cleaning out the coop, much housework, laundry, pulling in a LOT of green tomatoes from the garden and trying to redden them up in the greenhouse, putting up the squash (I’ll post pics), and putting up the peppers. We picked the peppers green off the vine instead of letting them mature. It’s just too cold.
Did I mention we are hitting the 30s at night now? Cold spring… early fall, I guess
So I’m off…
Any infrastructure you added this year or plan to add? Let us know in a comment below!
Did you visit these recent posts?