Archive of posts with the category 'Greenhouse'

Building a Testudarium – stage 4

I’ve now finished Hermes’ testudarium so thought I’d upload some pictures. Inside: Inside view of completed testudarium Outside: Outside view of completed testudarium Tortoise penthouse, this will go in the section of the testudarium inside the greenhouse: A picture of the tortoise penthouse The new owner gets distracted from using the door by a dandelion: Hermes and a dandelion First time through the door: Hermes heads outside Read on

Building a Testudarium – stage 3

Following on from stage 1 and stage 2 of the Testudarium project, I’ve now completed all the brick work and have two distinct enclosures with completed walls. Inside: Outside: Obviously I’ve still got a fair amount of work still to do. For example both enclosures need mesh covers and I’ve also got to build a door so Hermes can go in and out. Should be fun though. Read on

D,E,F – Damselfly, Eft and flowers

Whilst working on stage 2 of the testudarium today I had plenty of time to look out for interesting things in the garden. The first things I spotted was the first damselfly of the year. This is a Large Red damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula), it was probably a female and had only recently emerged from the pond as it was rather reluctant to fly (which meant photographing it wasn’t too tricky): Whilst clearing a bit of... Read on

Building a Testudarium – stage 2

Having already started building the outside section of a testudarium for Hermes I thought I’d focus on building the inside section today. We’ve quite a few old bricks in the garden so I’ve decided to use these for the remaining walls of the testudarium. Obviously from a recycling perspective it’s great to reuse bricks and they also have a rustic appearance. The downside of using old bricks is that you need to spend lots of... Read on

Building a Testudarium – stage 1

I’ve started work on a Testudarium for Hermes. This will comprise an outdoor area and be connected to the greenhouse. Inside the greenhouse I’ll build an enclosure and Hermes will be able to move between the two via a small swing-door. The plan is for Hermes to be outside for most of the summer and he’ll be able to go in to the greenhouse at night or if it rains. Stage one of the Testudarium... Read on

First gherkin

Our first gherkin has appeared in the greenhouse. I’ve tried growing gherkins before but not had much luck. I’m hoping that the greenhouse will help produce a bumper crop this year. The variety we’re growing is called Adam F1. Our first gherkin takes shape Read on

First vegetables planted

This weekend I planted the first of our vegetables. In the main veg beds I planted the climbing French beans, the runner beans, sweetcorn, leaks and onions. I also planted the Scallopini squash and some courgettes in the other veg bed. We’ve still plenty of seedlings coming through in the greenhouse and some of the plants are getting quite big now: Compare the above to how the seedlings looked in mid-April. Read on

Staging finished

After a bit of a false start with my greenhouse staging, I’ve now built everything and the greenhouse is ready to go. The staging seems very sturdy and I’ve been quite impressed with it. It’s standard, two-tier upstaging from Two Wests and Elliott. I’ve got a long 5ft 9in set on one side of the greenhouse and two sets, 3ft 10in each in length, on the other. Read on

Has spring sprung?

An exciting day in the garden today. We’ve now got five crocuses in bloom (four yellow and one purple) and they’re really cheering up our view of the garden. Also, for the first time, I saw a robin (Erithacus rubecula) in our garden. I’m a huge fan of robins as they don’t seem that bothered by people, eat loads of slugs and they have a fantastic song. Seeing one in our garden for the first... Read on

Trip the switch fan-tastic

By the time I’d finished soldering up my temperature switch last Sunday it was too late to install it in the greenhouse, or even test it. This weekend it was time to test the switch. Imagine my surprise when the red LED on the switch came on when I connected the battery to it for the first time! It’s hard to see in this photograph but the red LED really is on… However, the next... Read on

Temperature switch

The final part of my heatsink arrangement in the greenhouse is a temperature switch to control the PC fan. I ordered the temperature switch from Maplins but I had no idea that it came unassembled…. so I had to buy a soldering iron and teach myself to solder too! Anyway, after a bit of largely unsuccessful practicing, I set about building the switch and have now finished it: I may not be the neatest solderer... Read on

Let there be, errr, wind?

By the time I’d fitted the solar panel yesterday it was a bit too dark to test it. However, it was reasonably bright this morning so I hooked up an old PC fan to the solar panel and, lo and behold, it created a draught. Once I’d satisfied myself that the panel was generating some power I fitted some large crocodile clips to it and attached it to the car battery. Although I’m not all... Read on

Fitting the solar panel

Having built the heatsink I’ve now turned my attention to fitting the solar panel in the greenhouse. The solar panel is going to to be used to charge an old car battery. In turn the battery will run a fan from an old PC which will blow warm air down a pipe into the heatsink. After a fair bit of work I managed to produce a frame for the solar panel. The frame consists of... Read on

Building the heatsink

I’ve now started building the heatsink. This consists of a loop of pipe at the bottom of hole. I’ve drilled holes in the pipe and this will let air out: I’ve filled the hole with a mixture of stone and broken glass. The thermal properties of both should mean that the warm air permeating through should warm the fragments. They will keep the heat during the day and release it slowly over night (that’s the... Read on

Some like it hot

Last week I put a max/min thermometer in the greenhouse. On Saturday the temperature peaked at an impressive 29°C, pretty good for November! This has been beneficial for the long-chilies as one of them has now started to turn red. On Sunday I went round filling the gaps between the base and the ground with concrete and also ran silicon sealant round the edges of the greenhouse frame. This should keep the draughts (and rain)... Read on

Greenhouse build – day 7

Typical, all I have to do is mention wind in a blog posting and it starts blowing a gale. On Friday I finished glazing the main structure of the greenhouse but, by the time I’d done that, it was too dark to fit the doors. I was out all day yesterday and returned home to find that the wind had picked up and it looked like we’d be in for a blustery night. All I... Read on

Greenhouse build – day 6

The glazing process carried on in earnest today. It turned out to be quite an involved process as the instructions are a bit light on detail and the fittings are a bit fiddly. Some of the bits didn’t fit either. I had to cut the polycarbonate below the vents so that it would fit and the ventomatic vent openers didn’t fit the pre-drilled holes – so I had to drill new ones. Having started at... Read on

Greenhouse build – day 5

One of the nice things abut polycarbonate is that you can make big sheets of it and so the glazing of a greenhouse should be quicker. You can put in one big sheet where there would be three sheets of glass. Unfortunately the problem with polycarbonate is that you need to use different fittings than if you were using glass. The greenhouse instructions were a little sparse on how to fit the polycarbonate glazing. After... Read on

Greenhouse build – day 4

My mum and dad popped down to visit today and so I roped them in to helping with the greenhouse. We managed to get the sides connected to the gables pretty quickly and, by lunchtime, we had the roof bar on too. After lunch we attached the roof struts and the vents. We then got the greenhouse reasonably square/true and attached it to the base. I think it looks pretty impressive (albeit a little Hindenburg-esque)... Read on

Greenhouse build – day 3

Day three of the build. Today I concentrated on building up the gables for the greenhouse. The rear gable went together reasonably well: I also thought I’d try the gable up on the base to see how tall the greenhouse looked. It didn’t seem as high as I’d thought to be honest but should still have loads of headroom for me: I’ve also now built up the front gable too: The final bit of work... Read on

Greenhouse build – day 2

First job for today (after a cup of tea) was to get the base concreted in. V and I eventually got the base square with its four feet in the holes we’d dug yesterday. At this point I confess that I deviated from the instructions. The instructions suggest that you cement the legs down to a depth of 80cm, this being “below frost depth”. Living in the “mild mild west” I decided that 80cm was... Read on

Greenhouse build – day 1

The great greenhouse build has begun. I’ve now built the base but, as you might be able to tell from the photograph, I’ve hit a snag: When I originally planned the greenhouse I wanted it to sit on the patio. When I came to order it I found out that it’s a good idea to put it on a base otherwise the doors might not open. Obviously having the doors stuck shut (or open) would... Read on

The greenhouse arrives…

If you’ve ever wondered what a greenhouse looks like when it’s delivered here’s your answer: Yep, my greenhouse has arrived, looks like I’ll be spending the weekend out in the garden putting it up – I can’t wait! Read on

Greenhouse ordered

I’ve done it…. finally ordered my greenhouse! I’ve ordered an Eden Highline 8×8. It’s almost square (8′ 5″ by 8′ 6″) and has high eaves (so I don’t bang my head). I’ve opted for polycarbonate glazing as I suspect it will be a lot safer. I bought the greenhouse through Taylors Garden Buildings, who’ve been exceptionally helpful and answered all my questions about the greenhouse really quickly – I’ve been very impressed by them. It... Read on

Greenhouse base finished

I’ve now finished the greenhouse base. It’s all grouted and ready for the arrival of the greenhouse. I didn’t need to buy any new slabs and am quite pleased with the result – having never laid slabs before. I just have to hope it now stands the test of time once the greenhouse is on it. Read on

All slabs down

I’ve now got all the slabs laid. The gap you can see to the right (by the bucket) is for my heatsink, this will be used to store warmth during the day and release that warm at night to keep the greenhouse warm. I just need to grout between the slabs now. Read on

First row of slabs

After a considerable amount of head scratching I’ve worked out a way of paving the area under the greenhouse without the need to buy any slabs. The previous owners of the house left us a motley collection of slabs and bricks and I’d like to use these rather than waste money on new slabs (it’s also more environmentally friendly to reuse stuff). I’ve now put down the first row of slabs. The depths seem to... Read on

Sand and hardcore

The greenhouse base is progressing well.I’ve now got the hardcore layer tamped down and have put the sand layer on top. I’m still a bit concerned about the depths but we’ll see how that goes when I start laying the slabs. Read on

Greenhouse base started

After a bit of a kerfuffle (the lorry not being able to deliver my sand and hardcore and then, when able to deliver, punching a hole in the pavement with its outrigger) I’ve finally been able to start the base of my greenhouse. I’ve now finished digging out all the soil. Despite only going down about 20cm the amount of soil that needed moving is quite surprising. I filled up two dumpy bags of soil... Read on