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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Our new greenhouse is up!!

We've been busy around here lately. We recently purchased a greenhouse from and it was delivered on Tuesday, May 7th. We had to tarp it and let it set for a few days while it rained. I'm not complaining about the rain because we need it so badly. I don't want another wildfire summer like last summer! Hubby had Friday May 10th off from work because he worked 16 hours on Monday of that week, so we started putting the greenhouse together. Holy crackers! 56 pages of instructions (that's on copy paper sized paper!!!) and a gazillion pieces and parts. O...M...G... We managed to get one end of it built that day before it started raining again. 

The next day we had a llama club meeting to attend and were gone all day. We went to a friend's ranch and looked at their angora and pygora goats (goat babies!!!) - but more on that in another post (I picked out a doeling and a buckling and hope to get them next month!)

Sunday was Mother's Day and our son-in-law offered to come up early and help with the greenhouse. Our daughter wanted to take some of her Breyer and Peter Stone model horses out of the closet of what used to be her bedroom but is now hubby's home office, and take them to their house. Woo hoo! Closet space! So, while we worked on packing up her things and hauling them out to the truck, the guys worked on the greenhouse. The plan was to work for a few hours and then head down the mountain to Colorado Springs to my parent's house to wish my Mom a happy Mother's Day and take a plant to her (Asiatic Lily in a gorgeous shade of persimmon, by the way). But, they got to a point in building the greenhouse where they felt they were committed to finishing it so that the wind couldn't destroy it before we had a chance to finish it. Our daughter and I went out and helped remove the protective plastic off the panels so the guys could install them into the walls and roof. We managed to get it finished! At least to the point where I could move a few plants out of my studio here in the house and into the greenhouse. 

Here is how it looked when it was almost finished.

The greenhouse has shelves the full length on both sides.

This gives me double the growing space in the greenhouse! I can put smaller potted plants on the shelves and larger pots on the ground below. Years ago an old neighbor in Colorado Springs gave us a fiberglass dome greenhouse which we never had a chance to put up and after years in the high altitude sun, we figured it was too frail to withstand the winds and heavy winter snows so we decided not to even attempt to put it back together. However, there are 12 fabulous fiberglass wedge shaped planting boxes that fit perfectly underneath the shelves. I'll get pics taken of those soon. We put those in today and I planted the remainder of the herb and veggie plants we purchased and most of the seeds. 

On Monday afternoon, we went to the hardware store and bought anchors so that we could secure the greenhouse frame to the railroad ties that we used to make a foundation for it. Once that was done, we removed the boards that we had placed on the ground and I started moving plants, pots, stepping stones, garden tools, etc. from a variety of places around the house and ranch. 

We planted lots of herbs: basil, feverfew, lemon balm, valerian, lemongrass, dill, cilantro and fennel - and veggies: kale and celery. Then today I planted garlic, shallot and red onion bulbs. And lots of seeds: lettuce, short carrots, mesclun mix, basil, chives, cilantro, sweet peppers, oregano and marjoram.

There is a 4'x4' area in front of the greenhouse that is filled with composted llama manure (the best soil and fertilizer ever!). We're going to put up lattice-work panels and will plant beans, cucumbers and peas and train them up the lattice. This will protect them from the deer, who tend to eat everything in sight around here! 

We had one tomato plant last summer that I grew in a large pot on the deck. By Fall, it still had green and almost ripe tomatoes on it so we brought it into the house and put it in my studio, which is actually what the house plans call "the breakfast room" off the kitchen. It has lots of windows and is in the northeast corner of the house so the lighting is pretty good. Apparently tomatoes love early morning sun. I assumed that we would pick the tomatoes once they were ripe and the plant would die off. I picked the tomatoes as they ripened and kept watering the plant. It kept growing. Then I noticed that it had blooms on it. And, a few weeks ago I noticed little green tomatoes. When I took a closer look, here is what I found.

In the last photo, take a close look and you'll see a bunch of green tomatoes! We were going to attempt to move the plant into the greenhouse but after looking at it closer, I realize that there is no way to move it without breaking off branches, which would be a shame since it is doing so well where it is at right now. I have some cherry tomato seeds which I'll just plant in a container in the greenhouse and see if we have any luck with them out there. 

And here are a few shots I just took of the plants in the greenhouse. We're going to be eating really well this summer! I can't eat anything but certified organic lettuce and leafy green veggies due to the pesticides that are used. I am so excited about being able to eat a salad again!

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed the greenhouse tour!