Monday, 1 September 2008


Much excitement all of a sudden. Due to not doing much at all this summer I have managed to save enough for a small greenhouse. The one that I uncovered from the undergrowth last year proved to be beyond my capabilities where renovation is concerned so I gave it away on Freecycle.

Now, there are several things that get me very excited about resurrecting my greenhouse project. One, we will pay for it in six months if we utilise it properly and never buy crap bags of salad, EEC compliant cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers or French beans ever again.

Two, it will be fun.

Three, it will mean I can finally use my half price seeds bagged at Woolworths earlier this year.

Yes, I'm still feeling like death on a stick, but I figure that if I start eating properly maybe that'll help? It will give me something to do on the days that I can do things, and I can instruct my son in the art of acquiring green fingers for the days that I can't lift a watering can, which it has to be said is more days than not. He has no choice. Anything heavy or out of my reach will be his domain. And he will get to eat whatever he manages to grow. No more trips to the corner shop for fluorescent bootlaces. God, aren't I awful? Stupid old hippy mother with her Good Life notions.

To be frank though, if a school can get kids growing prize orchids (saw it on Gardener's World) then I figure I can get mine interested in tomatoes and suchlike. She said vaguely. This is new territory for me I have to say.

If anyone still reads The Beauty Offensive and has experience in these matters could you tell me if I can get away without a concrete base? Basically it's cheaper to get my tattooed gardener to put it straight on soil on it's steel base and infill with gravel.

I await responses with interest. But having been away for so long I won't hold my breath. Oh. Just scrolled down and forgot I worked out how to blog from my mobile only a day or so ago. Won't be doing it often though. They haven't worked out how to centre pictures, and that's not on around here.


soulful sepulcher said...

Hi I'm still reading! I think the tattooed gardener sounds quite intriguing! I think growing the vegetables and maybe an orchid sounds like a great plan.

Maggie said...

Try some of the allotment forums. If you search through them often the info you need is there already, but folks are very friendly so ask! ;-)

Here's one to start you off:

Look under Equipment Shed.

And there's also this one, The Grapevine:

I suspect you would be better having a proper base rather than just the soil. Probably depends on what the greenhouse is like... Didn't it come with instructions on what to do?

Hugs from sunny Bwlchtocyn, though suspect more rain later! Back to Liverpuddle later today.

Cusp said...

Well, recently we put up a shed for my son and couldn't face the hassle of concrete and timbers so we risked the innovative solution presented here

These plastic square thingies just lay next to each other and sort of click together. So far they seem fine and the shed has been up 3 months. It was like a kids lego set. This company have other quick base solutions and they alos deliver free and will install too (they do greenhouses as well as sheds and stuff ---we bought a gazebo from them too)

Hope this helps and maye you'll be starting an organic veg box scheme by next summer ;0)) x

Tayi said...

A greenhouse sounds terribly exciting; frankly, I'm jealous. I'm not a super building constructor, but I did just read a book about it, so here's my guess on the concrete v. steel base question. The one problem I can see having is draining water when it rains. If water doesn't drain away properly, your steel will rust etc. But if you're putting it on gravel that may fix that problem. Since you say it is small and has a base already, I'm guessing its a pre-fab thing? so I think you probably don't need a solid poured concrete foundation to prevent structural damage like larger buildings do unless the ground you're putting it on is really unstable or you think you might get earthquakes or sink holes or something.

But really I'm not at all an expert, so maybe you could call up someone at a gardening or home improvement center or something. Are there huge box stores like Home Depot in your part of the world? They're obnoxious but they do tend to know the answers to these questions.

north said...

just found your blog - I enjoyed reading it - I am thinking about eating only Scottish produce - will be hard in weeks of beetroot and kale but it's coming closer - that feeling of having, just having to act
all the best

seahorse said...

Hi all :-) Well it's up, and now I have to source free staging off freecycle...could be a while but I won't be growing anything til early Spring.

Stephany: My tattooed gardener is a bit unpredictable, but then so is the weather. The two are linked.

Maggie: The best grow your own site by far. Just got John Harrison's book and it's packed with advice. What I like is the fact he angles a lot of advice at people not in full health. Great!

cusp: The base conundrum was sorted by doing breeze blocks round the edge so the middle is free draining gravel one side and an actual bed in the soil on the other. Over that I'll put some cheap collapsible shelving, so I can use that before the tomatoes etc grow tall, then just unhook it and it lies flat against the walls!

Tayi: You are totally right. Gravel is good inside, with concrete round the edge to support. We don't have Home Depot. I get all my advice off the internet. Far better.

north: I quite agree. There's plenty of good stuff you can eat that's close to home. It's a great experiment to see just how small you can make your carbon footprint.