Hillbilly Greenhouse

Everytime we touch the greenhouse, it becomes more “hillbilly.”

We started making it in September by covering a hoophouse with greenhouse plastic, held on with ratchet straps. The next step was to be the closing up the back end and adding a door to the front end, but getting Covid but a crinkle in that plan.

When the temperatures dropped really low in October, all we could do was clip pieces of greenhouse plastic to the ends. Then the winds came and we laid a board across the back end to hold the plastic down. At this point, shall we say, the greenhouse had plenty of ventilation. As it got colder, we added another panel of plastic to each end, held on with clips.

Amazingly, the plants inside are still alive with this make-it-up-as-we-go structure!

Today, the winds were bad again and the back end came apart so we pulled out that homesteader’s staple: duct tape. We taped all the plastic sheeting pieces and seams together, put the board back against it, weighted the board with leftover bags of soil.

Y’all this is the most Frankenstein thing you ever saw — but it works so I’m not knocking it!

This looks like Frankenstein’s greenhouse
The front is still held together with clips – so I can get in to water and such

So far I’ve harvested all of my radishes and cut the lettuce twice. I did notice that, though the peas were blooming and the cauliflower and beets were growing, they had suddenly stopped progressing and started to looked a little puny. I wondered if it had been too cold or if it was just my black thumb.

I love that I can grow pansies in the winter

Wednesday, a You Tuber I watch, Living Traditions Homestead, commented that they had been having trouble with the plants in their greenhouse (they have a real one!). After trying various things, they determined it was the soil they used – the same brand of soil I used. Though it was specifically intended for raised bed and container gardening, and priced higher because of that, it did not live up to it’s on-line reputation. They had to add significant amounts of fertilizer and their plants turned around.

Today, after we finished adding duct tape to the Hillbilly Greenhouse, I fertilized everything. I hope it makes a difference.

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