Here's the little greenhouse complete and ready to nurture some luscious veg. There isn't any heat provided, so, it will be completely reliant on the temperatures of Mother Nature.
I was hoping that I may be able to grow lettuce and spinach through the winter months, but, I think it's going to take a creative mind to be able to do that.
We've had below average temps for December and biting winds on top of it. The temperature in the greenhouse is sometimes par with the outdoor temp and the most gain I've had is about 7 degrees.
But, with that being said, the structure of the greenhouse is quite strong and the manufacturer has thought of most details perfectly with the exception of one thing. The manual roof vent does not have a way to shut securely. It blew apart on one of the windy days and was left hanging askew. Fortunately it was not damaged beyond repair and the hubster was able to make a couple of tweeks to improve it and re-install it.
Below is a shot of the inside of the greenhouse showing one side with the shelves and the manual vent at the bottom that you can open for air flow.
This is the automatic roof vent. A simple but effective design. It was opening while we were still in mid construction on the few warm days we had left in November.
I'll have to see what temperature it opens at now that we have everything put together and sealed. If I remember correctly, it was in the 50's during the construction with bright sun so I'm thinking it was somewhere in the 60's inside. I'll put it to you this way, we had on light winter jackets and when we came inside to work, we were breaking into a sweat.
Yesterday when I took the pictures it was 28 degrees outside and on par inside. It was just starting to snow, so, the cloud cover was rather heavy therefore, no solar gain. This is what I feel February will be like inside the greenhouse! However, I'm wondering if I put mini-hoops over the trays of veg if that would help bump the temperature enough to hold the plants through the evening hours. Any ideas or suggestions would be most helpful.
Here is part of the raised bed gardens all put to rest for the winter. We ran out of mulch on the last two rows between the beds, but, will do them in the spring. It's not that I mind grass growing between the beds, what I minded was trying to push mow and trimming around the beds! Ugh! I was spending 30-45 minutes in there trying to keep things neat and tidy. That's 30-45 minutes I could be spending tending to other things!
You'll notice the one small rectangular bed has some green things growing in it. That would be strawberries. We have two beds with four different varieties growing and this bed is just holding on not wanting to become part of winter yet.
The other small boo-boo was the table top we screwed to the tree stump. It did well for a couple of months then once the rains came it just kinda fell apart. Oops! Great idea just not well executed! I'll need to re-think that one for the spring also because it came in quite handy while puttering around and planting.
So even though it's only December, I'm starting to get seed catalogs in the mail and the gardening bug up my sleeve. I'll have to scratch the itch by growing some lettuce inside and make plans for the spring planting whilst sitting in front of the woodstove, and as always, with a glass of vino in my hand. Not a bad start to winter, eh?
*by the way, the white, rusty thing on the post in front of the greenhouse is an old mailbox. I use it to store tools, gloves, twine, etc. It works great!*