I have a plastic greenhouse and, although the door won’t close and there are some rips in it, it has served its purpose and inspired me to have a permanent greenhouse on the property.I don’t need a giant greenhouse but something to serve the following needs:
- environment for the starter plants, in the spring, for the garden
- extending the gardening season in the spring for my lemon plant, cumquat, and fig trees
- extending the gardening season in the fall for my lemon plant, cumquat, and fig trees
- house my potted fig tree over the winter
Originally, I had planned on building the greenhouse in my “tipi area” that is near a power outlet and rainbarrels. However, I found that the “long trip” to the backyard wasn’t something that I made on a regular basis. I seemed to spend my time in the front yard. Also, I have initiated a new experiment, with a double layer of plastic at my front door (with the door removed). So far, the aluminum door and the two layers of plastic are keeping the cold out, the hot air in AND providing some glorious light in the house and for my house plants. (Oh how I hope I can keep the door off for most of the winter—loving the sunlight).
With this experiment, I have started dreaming of having a greenhouse right outside the door – easy access, southern wall, and access to water and electricity.
That’s the easy part—the dreaming. Now to make that a do-able plan that looks rather nice at the front of the house. Then to build it.. but we aren’t at the building stage yet. I have the winter to narrow down a plan and decide if, indeed, I do want a “lean-to” structure in front of the house.
Here’s an idea of what I want (site)
- The greenhouse won’t be attached to the house but rather a “lean-to” structure with insulation between the two walls to maintain the heat inside
- We don’t have a lot of space between the house and the grape arbour but it would be enough to house the plants and put a shelf up on one side if needed
- electricity is “just inside the door or I could rig up an outlet through the outside light that is at the front door, for heating purposes as required
- there is a downspout at the edge of the house that would provide water for the plants
- The base of the greenhouse would be covered with leftover pieces of metal roofing, tying the colour in with the new roof that I am still waiting for, but that is another story
- I would put a door on the west side (I have some outdoor wooden doors… I wouldn’t want to block the sun on the east or south, so that means a west door)
- I have second-hand windows, which of course won’t be consistent in size so we’ll have to be creative again as we did with the Cabin.
- I want an automatic window opener on the top
- I was thinking about having a magnetic cat door on the bottom – for our cat as well as for air flow
- It would sit on a wood floor (pressure treated wood)
- some of the windows would tilt open and be screened in, as we did in the cabin
- keep the greenhouse to the left, removing the firebush
- making the greenhouse more central – which would mean a much larger structure
It might not work… there might be lots of flaws to the plan… but I can dream, right?
-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)