Sunday, May 10, 2009

Building out the greenhouse

After I spent the early morning (3am-6am) waiting for the coyote to show up, I put in the rest of the day working on the greenhouse. I decided to do raised beds because the water table is so high on my land; typically less than 24" below the surface, at times less than 12". Most vegetables and melons like dry feet, so a raised bed gives me a little more leeway. It also helps raise the soil temperature, so things like peppers that require a high germination temperature will sprout.

I've laid out 8'x20' beds, with 3' rows between them. The rows will be used for overhang and vine expansion area and maintenance, the beds for the plants themselves. I've done a 2' wide border around the edge. that's where stuff that likes to climb will be planted. Peas and beans and so on. The greenhouse has hit 102 degrees every day for the last week, so the problem isn't going to be having sufficient heat for melons, it's going to be to moderate the temperature for things like tomatoes that want it a little cooler. Outside air temps in the low 60s.

The wood I'm using is 1x8 doug fir boards I milled out of windfalls from a storm a couple of years ago. Even with the tractor this is hard work. I can get the dirt into the center beds pretty easily, but I have to shovel the dirt into the side beds by hand. I've intentionally overfilled the beds -- I expect the dirt to settle a little, and I don't want to have to bring in more dirt by wheel barrow later. Better to be a little mounded than a little short.
This view is from the entrance to the greenhouse looking towards the beds you saw in the picture above. it puts the greenhouse project into perspective. I'm going to do these raised beds for 2/3rds of the greenhouse space. I'll use the beds as the base for chicken and turkey tractors in the winter.


Anonymous said...

Great post! Love the shots and perspective. Man, I'm envious of the size of your place--mine is nanotech in comparison!

StefRobrts said...

WOW! That's a lot of work, but what a neat setup!

MMP said...

Whats the tractor exhaust like in the green house? Without a good cross breeze I would think that would get stifling quick.

Bruce King said...

If the greenhouse is closed up it's pretty bad pretty quick. When I attached the plastic i did so 4' up on the sides, so I can raise or lower them to cool or to provide more ventiliation.