Billie and Robert Nicholson
In our last issue we wrote about the beginnings of a greenhouse. This month we will concentrate on some of the details we included to make the greenhouse more functional. After building the frame, we used pressure treated lumber to build-in work benches. One bench went the entire length and the other bench went half-way. In addition, we built two half-width shelves above them. One quarter of the house was left open. The benches were treated with Olympic wood preservative. The next phase was installing electric conduit for outlets. We spaced them to have outlets available at bench and shelf levels. All 6 quad outlets are water resistant, GFCI protected, 20 amp circuit for any conceivable projects. An exterior LED light fixture was installed. Ventilation was next. We installed 2 solar actuated automatic vent window openers. We ordered a humidity resistant 8-inch greenhouse exhaust fan with a temperature control module. To that we connected a filter box and ductwork to pull hot air out of the greenhouse. A louvered cover was attached to the exterior of the vent to prevent birds from entering. Bird protection is at the top so that birds don’t roost and do their business on the windows of the greenhouse.
Irrigation was the next phase. Water in the greenhouse serves several purposes including watering plants, clean-up and temperature reduction. We installed two water lines. One is available for hand watering and clean up. The other is connected to the yard irrigation system to enable us to control the time and duration of watering plants inside the house. We ran two water lines, one one either side of the building. The irrigation nozzles are designed to mist 3 gallons per hour with a 24” misting radius. Each water line has an automatic drain valve at the end to prevent algae or mold growth in the nozzle heads. To make the building more stable in a windy situation, we installed three hurricane straps. One on either end and one in the middle, going up and over the building and fastening into the ground.
Building a greenhouse can be as simple or as complicated as you choose and as temporary or permanent, too. We are thrilled with our completed project and have already begun to move in supplies and tools. We have visions of pineapples, bananas and tomatoes in December dancing thorough our heads.