Friday, August 20, 2010

My "Greenhouse"

Here is a simple way I found to make a basic "greenhouse" in order to start up some seeds and wanted to keep it low-cost. By simply using a plastic shelving unit, shower curtain and some screws I got what I needed. This is where I put the egg cartons from the previous post.

The shelving unit is plastic that was purchased at K-Mart and it was on sale but there should be no issue finding something like it somewhere else. I bought a plastic unit but any material that can be left outdoors should be fine. There are metal units out there but they do cost a bit more.

The clear shower curtain and thermometer can be found anywhere else and nothing special is needed.

Materials:
1. Shelving unit
2. Thermometer - It's only $3 at Home Depot.
3. Screws - I used same ones that were used in building of raised bed.

Tools:
1. Scissors
2. Drill
3. Tape Measure or Long Ruler
4. Sharpie (Something to mark off spots for screws.)

Instructions:
1. Build shelving unit per manufacturers instructions.
2. Measure height and width of shelving unit.
3. Write it down so you don't forget it and have to measure it again. 
4. Before cutting, spread out shower curtain on ground and mark out measurements.
5. Mark off shower curtain so that openings for shower rings end up on top. (see picture below)
6. Remember to measure twice because you only get to cut once. (unless you buy another shower curtain)
7. Place cut curtain pieces, one at a time, where they will be going on shelving unit. 
8. Using Sharpie, or writing utensil of choice, mark off where the screws need to go in order to hang curtain on front and back.
9. Drill in ONE screw to start off.
10. Hang shower curtain piece in order to make sure other marks are correct.
11. Drill in rest of screws.
12. Put a screw on the inside to hang thermometer or just leave on shelf.
13. Hang curtains on screws and you are done!
Note the placement of curtain holes.

Tips:
1. When cutting shower curtain, measure out for two separate pieces. (back and front)
2. Leave sides of shelving unit wide open to allow air flow.
3. Place somewhere that does not get direct sunlight all day long.
4. If using a plastic shelving unit, weights will be needed so it does not blow over. I used bricks on ends but water bottles or anything heavy may work. 
5. Leave a spray bottle with water to spray seedlings when needed.
6. If you are using a shelving unit other than plastic, like metal, screws will not go into it. You need to find another way to hang the curtain and thermometer.
7. Once the sun has cooled down, you may want to remove the front shower curtain piece to get some better airflow.

This may seem like a difficult project, but it did not take long. Now I have a place to put my egg cartons and any other trays to start my seeds. Now I do not have take up the shelf inside the kitchen. I have lettuce, beets, radishes, and turnips growing in there already. 

As usual, comments / constructive criticism / questions are always appreciated.

-Luis 


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