For starters let me apologize at the lack of grammar, proper spelling, and punctuation today as I am posting from my phone!
As they say, “the grass is always greener”!
In 2008, I underwent gastric bypass surgery as I was 21 years old, morbidly obese and I was beginning to suffer from TEAS otherwise known as mini strokes, which cause similar body reaction to a stroke without causing neurological damage to the brain. It was an operation and decision that probably saved my life. I went from weighing just under 300lbs to 140lbs, which I have maintained through two pregnancies and 7 years. However, in the long run it has caused my body to suffer from very serious vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Something that would make it next to impossible for me to permanently move my family completely off of the grid, as I am treated at the hospital every Wednesday to help maintain healthy levels.
After treatment this morning I went home as I still had three greenhouse frames that needed to be covered. A frame greenhouses had to perhaps be one of the easiest built things, and as I have mentioned New England weather is completely unpredictable. I think they say this everywhere because I heard it when I was out in the DFW region of Texas as well, if you don’t like the weather wait five minutes. Our weather can be tricky for things like peppers and eggplants which do like their soil to maintain a temperature around 65 degrees.
Building them is easy and can be rather inexpensive depending on the quality of the material you buy. I opted to spend a little more on materials for a sturdier board so that I would have the option to save them, stack them and reuse them again next season.
You will need the following materials
2 – 8ft long 2x3s
1 – roll of clear painters plastic
1 – roll of duct tape
1 – box of staples – your preference
1 – box of 3 inch screws – your preference
2 – black trash bags – optional
Prep time – About 15 minutes
Total time – About 30 minutes
We marked one of our 2x3s off in 2ft increments. These pieces are going to be our legs. To make them easier to put together and to avoid having to buy extra pieces like hinges we cut these boards at a 40 degree angle.
With this part we learned a very valuable lesson, after we goofed first of course!! For the best results cut the 40 degree angle into both the front and back of the board as well the way you won’t have two legs with the angle on both ends and two with it only on one. This gives them a sturdier stand and also avoids them sticking up higher than the ground.
Once this part is complete you will screw the legs on to the remaining 8ft 2×3 holding it so that the 2 inch side is your top. I found that using two screws in each leg worked best, and that it was important to make sure that you were able to get the screws through all three boards and not protrude through.
With the next step, we learned continuously through trial and error that having someone who pulls the plastic taut is both good and bad depending on the rate of mammoth strength the person is putting into it. This is where the duct tape came into play! Lay the clear painters plastic over your frame that you have created. Staple in place only on the bottoms of one side for now. With it draped over your frame run a strip of duct tape over the plastic along your leg, now staple about every 4 inches up the leg through the duct tape. The duct tape helps to prevent the plastic from ripping when it is pulled taught on the other side when you repeat the same process. Do this down all four legs as well as down the spine of your frame.
Your basic house is now complete and you have a functioning a frame green house that is able to be moved wherever you need it in your gardening space.
Now depending on your location and weather you may opt to fit and staple the black trash bags on the ends of your houses. The black works well to absorb heat from the sun and heat your house that much more. Having the entire frame enclosed will also help to keep moisture in so it isn’t just being pulled from the ground and being swept away when a breeze blows through the house.
If your working on them outside you will see them already doing their jobs as you’ll see the condensation forming on the plastic.
We built six of these for about $50 grand total, which in the last week is also $20 less than we spent on produce at the grocery store. So in the long run it will pay itself off in about five days in the garden starts yielding food.
Being pregnant how I am physically feeling often determines how much I get done in a day. So some days it’s rather hard, I’d been saying now since Sunday that I wanted to get out there and start getting stuff in the ground, but just haven’t had the gumption to get right down too it.
Today I finally got some of my stuff in completely and other stuff in pots for later transplant.
I am one of those people who is really into planning. I like to have a set plan of exactly where and how things are going to do before I even get started. For this I found that Smartgardener.com offered great resources. Along with offering me additional information on all of my plants they also offer a weeding scheduler, great charts and diagrams as for keeping track of planting times and picking times, a journal option as well as a garden planner with an optional suggestion tab so that you can get advice on where your plants would do well in their opinion. For me I love all of the tools, I did opt out of the suggestions though because I have cultivated my soul in specific places so that certain plants do better in those areas. For example peppers and eggplant like similarly tempered soil with similar PH ranges.
Massachusetts fishing permits
Upcycling old tires into strawberry planters with help from little hands!