Greenhouse, Part 3 (Finished!)

Finally! We got a few hours with (almost) no wind! Time to put the plastic on the greenhouse! When dealing with a sheet of heavy plastic that is 70 feet long x 32 feet wide, any bit of wind quickly turns it into a sail! The process requires a certain degree of acrobatics, ingenuity and strength without factoring wind into the equation.

Read about part 1 (bending pipe, etc to make the frame) and part 2 (putting up the frame) of our project.

We stretched the plastic on the end wall first, and installed the side-corner panels.

150414 end wall done

The main piece of plastic was rolled out along the greenhouse, when - horrors! We found out that we were shorted on the amount of plastic we ordered!!! We ordered 70 feet, to cover a 68-foot greenhouse (already cutting it close)... but we did not expect to be cut short. There was only 68 feet and 5 inches of plastic.

150414 tightening main plastic

The only thing to do was to try it out, as the plastic supplier is a 1.5 hour drive away, and this greenhouse HAD to be completed as soon as possible. We couldn't take a chance on waiting for another wind-free day.

Note to anyone putting on greenhouse plastic: get AS MANY hands on the job as possible. You can't have too many!

The best photos of this whole project would have been from the performance of pulling on the main sheet of plastic. :) However, no one could step away from their post at peak or corner to take a photo!

With a bit of time, acrobatics, strength, and awkward maneuvering, we were finally able to make the plastic stretch from end to end. It took more time / strength / energy than I expected... after much time perched on the top of a 12-foot ladder, wrestling with the plastic, I was wishing I had eaten 2 breakfasts that morning!

150414 wiggle wiring

The plastic was secured in place with wiggle wire (as in the photo above) - really neat spring wire in a zig-zag shape, which securely holds the plastic in place. When I first used it on the seedling greenhouse a couple years ago, I couldn't believe it would actually work. Amazing stuff!

150414 sitting at end greenhouse

Once the plastic was secured at the peak, we got to work on the sides. We made them in a way that took a bit more time, but will definitely be better in the long run.

The plastic on the lower 2 feet of the sides is fixed in place, and the roll-up part (for ventilation) is above that... which means the roll-up section is from about 2 feet to 6 feet above the ground (where I'm pointing in the photo above). Usually, the roll-up part goes right to the ground.

In the photo below: the sides are rolled up half way (excuse the temporary blue pipe holding the roll-up side in place).

150417 rollup sides up

We're very pleased with the outcome, and this lower fixed section should keep excess wind off the young plants (ground level). Also, it will hopefully help keep rabbits out of there! They are not Vegetable Share members, and hence, are not welcome to eat our plants.

150415 greenhouse ready to work the ground

Here is what it looks like inside. Ready to work the soil and start planting!

The tomatoes are more than ready to move in, and the cucumbers and peppers are also ready. They will be in the June Vegetable Share boxes - 6 - 8 weeks ahead of when these crops would be ready if grown outdoors! We also have some flower plants going in here, for early summer blooms. Beautiful and fragrant!

Overall, a fun project - and can't wait to put up another one or two or three in the future for growing lots of flowers under cover (for higher quality blooms) and to extend the spring and fall season for next year's Flower and Vegetable Shares!