Things are really starting to happen in my back yard at this time of year.
Other than weeding, taking care of garden ‘hygiene’ and watching things grow, I decided that it was time to pull down my tired wreck of a green house and replace it with something far more substantial…
I had been planning for this task for quite some time. A new, larger lean-to greenhouse had been years over due. So, I cleared the old trustee unit and ordered my wood (you can buy pretreated wood – it is called tanalised wood) and new fangled polycarbonate panes instead of old fashioned glass.
I built the frame, studs, noggins etc out of rough sawn 3×2 inch wood and bought an external door casing. I stained the wood with a fence stain to protect it and change the colour.
The polycarbonate windows were ordered off ebay. They are said to be up to 300 times stronger than normal glass, twice as light and better for heat within the green house.
They came pre cut to standard greenhouse size (4 foot by two foot in this case) and are cheaper than glass too. I found the polycarbonate sheeting easiest to cut to size with a good quality pair of tin snips. I didn’t go for fancy plastic channels, plugs etc to house the windows in but preferred to make window reveals out of 2×1 batons and enclose the glass within the reveals with half inch beading.
I sealed the upwards end of the twin wall 4mm polycarbonate sheeting with waterproof tape and the bottom end with the same but with pin holes pricked in to allow breathing for condensation etc.
I am venting the green house by inserting closeable venters in the soffit and by simply opening the front door, when I fit that this week. It has taken me four days in total, at a leisurely pace.
Not bad eh?!
As for the produce, now that the danger of frost has abated I have been furiously sowing and planting out and the plants are growing quickly now. This is one of the most exciting times of the year, with my food emerging from the ground and increasing in size towards the summer when it will be harvested for the table.
These are courgettes having emerged above ground just one day ago!
Runner beans and French beans are also beginning to appear.
Strawberries are beginning to flower ready for Wimbledon.
My climbing peas are accelerating vertically.
I have sewn spring onions. This year opting for a variety called Deep Purple!
My potatoes in pots have already been earthed up twice and my sweet potatoes (this year’s new vegetable down on the urban farm) are growing well, too.
The tomatoes are housed in the new green house, along with the chilli plants. I have also added the work surface from my old kitchen as a new work bench.
Another addition to the garden this year is this lovely sweet cherry ‘Stella’. This fruit tree was given to us as a wedding gift by Paul and Jenny Marsden, two of our RLPO friends. It is already flowering and promises to have some tasty fruits on it for us before long. We are growing it in a large pot for now.