Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mini greenhouse


Based on my observations this winter I have come to conclude that seedling grow very slowly in the cold. I have also noticed seed germination rates, particularly those sown directly in the garden, have also declined. To combat this saddening situation I decided to build a mini greenhouse.

By utilising the same wire frame that I had put on the seedling table a month back I already had most of what I need. All that remained for me to build was a clear plastic cover. Though not as easy as I first thought. It took me sometime to come up with a way of fastening it in place. The difficulty being I had two conflicting requirements:

1. Hold firmly in place even under extreme wind conditions.
2. Be a quick and effortless task to remove for the gardeners.

I had successfully met these requirements with the netting cover, but by the mere nature of netting it is far less affected by the wind than a sheet of plastic. I was rescued from my dilemma by Melanie with the idea of elasticizing the corners just like a fitted bed sheet.


To fasten the elastic to the corners of the sheet I decided to use eyelets (little mental donuts). The particular eyelets I used however didn’t seem to be designed for thin plastic sheet. They have a slightly sharp edge on the inside that when installed using a hammer, as instructed, they partially cut through plastic. Unfortunately I didn’t notice this until I was on the last one. So if you try this at home I recommend  using a couple of washers on either side of the plastic.


Once I had my eyelets in place I then went hunting around the house for some elastic. Alas I could not find any suitable so I changed approach and used a rubber band and paper clip. Oh the things you can do with a paper clip. However I didn’t go with putting one on each corner, instead I just used one of each end, pulling the ends tights.


The back of it I fastened even tighter with a couple of string tying it to the legs of the table.

When complete I felt very chuffed with my creation, it looked good and seemed to function well. Sticking my head in there with the plants it seemed very warm and cosy. The next test was to see if it could handle the wind and by day 3 it was starting to look like it was going to be a raving success.


But then on the morning of day 4 I discovered it like this. Oh well, looks like it is back to the drawing board.

11 comments:

  1. Oh No! But it has been a very windy and wet couple of days.
    It was the Winter Solstice today...the shortest day of the year.
    From now on the days, very slowly, get longer...well the daylight hours do! :)

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    1. I am so pleased we finally reached the darkest day. I couldn't cope with it getting any darker. We are going to hold a little celebration on the weekend with the gardening group.

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  2. ... It looked very promising to me, but with the weather we are having it is not a surprise. Maybe you could have a stronger tie down option to be implemented only when gale force winds are warned but can be left off the rest of the time??? Good luck ~Yollie

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    1. That's quite a good idea Yollie, thanks.

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  3. Mate, you are like a garden McGyver! Greenhouse held together with paper clip and rubber band! (Just like your old fiat!)

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    1. Garden McGyver, I like the sound of that. We that's right if I was able to hold a car together with them why not a greenhouse?

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  4. Great idea Jason. I have the same problem. The seed I sowed on 27 May are all just sitting there with 2 leaves. And this is in sunny Qld!

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    1. It is quick disappointing isn't it? I find seedlings can be my biggest set back. You need a constant supply so when they don't perform it puts everything else behind. Hope you find a solution to keep your babies warm.

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  5. Bugger. We have the same problem here - we just can't seem to raise seeds in time and so have to resort to buying seedlings. That's a double blow - both the cost AND the fact that our seeds are much more interesting than the seedlings we can buy. Having done our sums, we have invested in a heated seedling kit from New Gippsland seeds. Only just ordered it, so no idea how it's going to work, but I'll blog about it once we've had a go.

    If you're interested, the propagation kit is here:

    https://newgipps.com.au/product.asp?prodId=4911

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    1. That sure looks like it would keep the seedlings nice and cosy. A bit small, but I assume you will plant up, and by then they should be able to handle the cold.

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