Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Getting a bit more use out of a home made greenhouse

What has your day been like today? It's been sunny here, so a good day for outside jobs. First off, this morning I did an hour of litter picking and took Rocky with me. He was completely baffled with the to-ing and fro-ing, this way that way, stopping to talk to people. There was a group of school children doing some field study work with their teachers, they loved Rocky and he enjoyed the attention.

I ate my lunch in the garden, then started reading a book, and almost fell asleep. Why not have a snooze, I thought, so I got the camp bed down from the spare room where it is being used as a cat bed, and put it on the lawn. It was lovely to lie there with the birds twittering, I soon dozed off. What a lazy slob I am, ha ha.

On waking I felt fully refreshed, and decided to tackle the job of recovering my home made greenhouse. I built this four years ago from pallets and reclaimed timber, it's still quite sturdy. The plastic has been replaced once before, so this will be it's third covering. First of all strip off all the tattered plastic and remove the battens with a big screwdriver.

Stripped down ready for it's new cover.

Keep the battens and the nails in them, they can be used again.

I have a roll of shrinkwrap to cover it, this was free from my last job when they were closing down and chucking stuff away.

The roof needs to go on first. I have a big sheet of heavy duty plastic, left over from my market stall days. I cut it in half and it fits just perfect. Square the corners up with a fold and batten it down.

Next get the shrinkwrap and tie the end to one corner, then go round and round the whole thing, lots and lots of times, from the top to the bottom, taking it over the top of the roof hanging down the sides, and down over the base as well.

But where's the door to get in? With a pair of scissors, I cut a line up the centre of where the door is to be. Then folded the excess plastic around the uprights on each side, and batten down.

And there you have it. It doesn't have a door, it's never had a door. I usually use it to house tomato and cucumber plants. Things are growing a bit slowly at the moment, but the greenhouse is ready for them when they are big enough. My friend Janet has given me some tomato plants to get me started till mine catch up.

Next another Rocky walk, then dinner which was the third day of a three day veggie stew, and tonight a dash to Tesco to look for some reduced bargains. It's almost two weeks since I last did a shop, and I have only just finished the brocolli and cauliflower which was about to go out of date when I bought it. Anyway, I didn't get as many bargains as I would have liked this time. The best buy was four loaves of seeded bread at 20p a loaf. I should have enough fresh food for at least a week, then I can use some of the tins I have stored to stretch it out a bit longer.

Going to jump in the bath now, got to have a scrub up. I'm due at the hospital in the morning for a mammogram. Can't go all smelly if I have to take my clothes off. Toodle pip.


  1. Nice frugal job.
    Lucky old Rocky. I don't reckon he's got too bad a life now, he's got you to look forward to on a regular basis and I assume owners feed him ?
    It's been sunny here too but can't do anythng outside - the garden is still under water !

  2. Brilliant upcycling (is that the right term?). Hope you get masses of toms and cucumbers!
    Jane x

  3. Brilliant ! Love the greenhouse; I would probably put a flap door on it to keep the warmth in at night

  4. YOU Lazy?? I think not! I love the greenhouse. If I had as much energy as you, I'd make a portable one for my Plumeria for the one or two nights when the temps go below the forties. As it is I just throw an old, light table cloth over it.

  5. A brilliant days' work and a walk and a nap thrown in!

    Sandie xx

  6. This is the sort of invention Barbara and Tom would have made for themselves on "The good life" :-)
    Loved the post about the dogs day out.

  7. I find your greenhouse really inspiring. I'm itching to make my own greenhouse too, from the bits and bobs of wood we have lying around the garage. Too busy with other jobs this year but next spring maybe, need to keep my eye out for free plastic. April has been a month for running my stock down. My freezer was crammed with yellow sticker food, so I decided to see how long I can go without shopping. Something satisfying about running the cupboards and fridge freezer to nothing. To then be cleaned out and replenished. I feel organised not to mention having some spare cash :) Debs x

  8. I hope the hospital is not too traumatic for you.

    When you buy cabbage and broccoli, do you chop off a bit of the talk and put it into a cup of water? That way it will keep longer than if you put it in the fridge.

  9. I had to plant a friend's tomatoes as ours are just tiny, little seedlings at the moment. I'm sure they'll soon catch up.
    I hate mammograms - that machine is an instrument of torture.
    Love from Mum

  10. That's an incredible construction.