A Dream Come True

-Submitted by Robert “Bo” Kissinger; Charlotte, North Carolina:

Kissinger greenhouse exterior“Hello Shane,

I finished building this greenhouse in September 2001. I designed it and built it myself. It took approximately 2 -3 months to complete. I love plants and had built a small a greenhouse about 10 years ago that cost me nearly $300.00!. This greenhouse was quite a bit more expensive, Continue reading

Why Settle for a Cold Frame?

-Submitted by Anonymous:

Cold frame“Our greenhouse came about because we wanted a better cold frame to harden off plants started in our basement. Well it soon became a true greenhouse, even able to contend with a portion of our cold Wisconsin winters. Shane’s book has proved invaluable in answering all of the questions, which arise when undertaking such a project.

The construction took most of the previous summer. Attached to the back of our garage, standing structurally free, Continue reading

A Cooler Greenhouse!

-Submitted by Anonymous:

Greenhouse made from old coolers.I live in Coeurd’Alene, Idaho and I work for a beverage company and we frequently throw away old coolers that are on the fritz. I had a thought one day that I could use those doors for something since they are tempered 3 paned glass. The next thing I knew I had a beautiful greenhouse thanks to my sweet and crafty husband!

High Tunnels

– from Hightunnels web site

“High tunnels, or hoophouses, are unheated greenhouses that can help market gardeners extend their growing season so that they can improve the profitability of their farms.
This website is part of a USDA-sponsored project that is testing and promoting high tunnel systems in the Central Great Plains…” To learn more, visit www.hightunnels.org.

Greenhouse in the snow

Aside

winterGHlightsby Liberty Hyde Bailey

It is in the dead of winter that the greenhouse is at its best, for then is the contrast of life and death the greatest. Just beyond the living, tender leaf-separated only by the slender film of the pane- is the whiteness and silence of the midwinter. You stand under the arching roof and look away into the bare blue depths where only stars hand their fold, faint lights. The bald outlines of an overhanging tree are projected against the sky with the sharpness of the figures of cut glass. Branc

hes creak and snap as they move stiffly in the wind. White drifts show against the panes. Icicles glisten from the gutters. Bits of ice are hurled from trees and cornice, and they crinkle and tinkle over the frozen snow. In the short sharp days the fences protrude from a waste of drift and riffle, and the dead fretwork of weed-stems suggest a long-lost summer. There, finger’s breath away, the temperature is far below zero; here, is the warmth and snugness of a nook of summer

Liberty Hyde Baily

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This is the transcendent merit of a greenhouse, – the sense of mastery over the forces of nature. It is an oasis in one’s life as well as in the winter. You have dominion.

But this dominion does not stop with the mere satisfaction of a consciousness of power. These tender things, with all their living processes in root and stem and leaf, are dependent wholly on you for their very existence. One minute of carelessness or neglect and all their loveliness collapses in the blackness of death. How often have we seen the farmer pay a visit to the stable at bedtime to see that the animal are snug and warm for the night, stroking each confiding face as it raised at his approach! And how often have we seen the same affectionate care of the gardener who stroked his plants and tenderly turned and shifted the pots, when the night wind hurled the frost against the panes! It is worth the while to have a place for the affection of things that are not human.

Did my reader ever care for a greenhouse in a northern winter? Has he smelled the warm, moist earth when the windows are covered with frost? Has he watched the tiny sprout grow and unfold into leaf and flower? Has he thrust a fragment of the luxuriance of August into the very teeth of winter? Then he knows the joy of conquest that makes a man stronger and tenderer. – L.H. Bailey (From, Country Life in America, Volume 1, Number 5, March 1902)

Tropical Minnesota!

-Submitted by Carol Ford; Morris, MN:

young man with thermometer“Here’s a couple of photos from the beginnings of the greenhouse construction. My boyfriend Chuck keeps saying we should write an article about it to get published in Mother Earth News or something–but who’s got the time when there are seeds to sow and potting soil to mix!?!

What we’re hoping to do this coming summer Continue reading

Bugs on the prowl in your greenhouse?

Using dustbuster to remove whitefliesThe book Greenhouse Gardener’s Companion lays out hundreds of solutions to controlling everything from aphids to slugs to whiteflies. Also, check this link to a listing of companies that provide supplies for controlling bugs.

Simple tip: If you have a low infestation of Whiteflies convert your dust buster into a whitefly sucker. Simply make the tip of the dust buster yellow (done here with yellow paper wrapped around the nozzle). This attracts the little buggers into the vacuum. Suck thousands of them in minutes!