Great greenhouse

Posted in: Garden, Island Life, Shanty | 0

Early last spring I went for a walk to the beach – the beach at the end of our driveway (rough life… I know).  Anyway, I thought I would collect some pieces of driftwood, maybe find some shells or some pebbles to decorate the new garden. Along the way I spied a set of windows leaning against a neighbour’s shed. I thought to myself that we sure could use a set of giant windows just like those to build a little lean-to greenhouse on the back of our house.


A few days later we were taking yet another truckload of renovation waste to the island dump (wood panelling, so very much wood panelling) when we spotted the self same window-having neighbour. Guess what he was dumping? That’s right, old windows! It turns out that he had decided to do some yard clean up and he did not need the stack of giant – and perfect for our little greenhouse – windows. Nice! So very nice! The loan of a trailer and a few trips back and forth and we had a stack of massive double-pane picture windows. Did I tell you how nice and helpful Island people are? Very helpful and very nice is the answer.

A few heavy railway sleepers and a truckload of lumber combined with some polycarbonate panels to make a nifty little transplant greenhouse. Now we will have a much better place for all the seedlings that covered each and every available window ledge in this little house last season.

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Most indoor seed starting manuals offer the sage advice that it is impossible to grow indoor seedlings without supplemental light. Not easy, to be sure, but not impossible. We have managed many years of seedlings without lights. It has involved a fairly large measure of fussing with fans, white paper and foil reflectors, and the regular rotation of planting trays. The resulting seedlings have always been short, thick stemmed, and robust (phewf!).

The little transplant greenhouse is planned to, hopefully, reduce the level of plant baby madness and the resulting massive level of, potting soil in the kitchen, mess. Yes, this will be better. Well, I surely do hope that it will.

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There is still lots more finishing work to do. Some cold frames are needed along the south side. We are hoping to install some more shingle art when we put up the cedar siding. I do miss the hand split rustic red cedar that you can get in abundance on the West Coast but the sawn white cedar shingles that we have here are much better for making pretty patterns like these…

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Tiny onion seedlings are looking out on the garden. They must be so happy that they are not anywhere near ready to be forced out into the -15° C winter weather.

Wild Eeps! Me too!