A Winter Garden

My Grand kids loved their little raised gardens so much this year that we decided to extend the fun and plant a winter garden. Problem is, we just had a bit of a cold spell here in Southeast Alabama. I know, all my relatives from up North are probably laughing at me right now. After all, When I say "cold spell" it's relative to our usual climate.

Well, in a desperate attempt to save the onions, lettuce, broccoli, spinach, and beans planted in our four little raised beds, I decided to build a greenhouse. So here it is. My first foray into self-sufficiency posted here for all to see.

I'm a cheap bastard so I attempted to build the greenhouse using as much salvaged lumber as possible. My list of materials consisted of a ten by twenty-five foot roll of clear plastic, ten (ten foot) lengths of one-half inch PVC pipe, six T-fittings, six cross fittings, and lots and lots of staples!

My afternoon project turned into a two day project as I had to sacrifice more of my old wooden fence that is being taken down (hopefully replaced with a nice white privacy fence soon) and also had to make another trip to the home store for another roll of clear plastic. I forgot that two ten-foot sections of PVC pipe put together equaled twenty foot. What can I say, math was never my strong subject.

So, here's the final product pictured below. I couldn't believe how quickly the little greenhouse heated up. It took about fifteen minutes for the temperature inside the plastic to rise about twenty degrees beyond that outside. I just hope I wasn't too late, and the plants will thrive in their new tropic environment.

I decided to forgo a fancy hinged door, for now anyway, and go with the tried and true military tent closure method. Around January or so, if it gets cold enough, I might consider making a solar heater run from a solar panel and an old computer fan. Stay tuned for that project.

I've also decided to try my hand at aquaponics next year. It's all part of my preparedness plan. I will also start experimenting with solar and wind power alternatives. Who knows, I may just have to splurge and put that rooftop solar collector array and make it a grid-tied system so I can cut my electric bill and get that thirty percent tax credit. Take advantage now folks. This may be your last chance to get any kind of break.


  1. Cool. Good job. Let us know how it goes (grows).


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