Ross and I just recently moved from our house in Cary to a rental house in Cedar Grove to be closer to the land that we lease on the Breeze Farm. Before we even unpacked our stuff, we started construction on a greenhouse. A greenhouse is essential to getting a head start on the season and starting healthy transplants.
Ross was in charge of this endeavor and did quite a bit of research on potential designs. He settled on the small greenhouse design created by NC State University. Download the plans at the link below.
He liked this design because it was cheap and easy to construct and appeared to be strong enough to stand up to various weather conditions. Ross made some slight modifications to the design namely making the width two feet smaller to increase the allowed height of the shelves within the greenhouse. That modification had some unindented consequences which I'll get to later.
Of course with any project, things don't always go as plan. As I mentioned before, Ross decreased the width of the frame from 12 feet to 10 feet. This allowed us to fit our 5 feet tall shelves on either side of the door. However, bringing the width in put a lot of stress on the cross joints in the center beam. Within a couple of days, at least 6 cross joints had broken.
To fix this problem, we place 45 degree joints about 18 inches from center on either side of the cross joint. This took the tension off of the cross joint and made the top of the green house more square.
Finally the greenhouse is complete and is providing a cozy home for all our seedlings. We do have to provide extra cover at nights when it get below 32 degrees because the plastic is so thin. In the summer time, we'll probably have to open up the sides to let out excess heat.
Ross and Jillian Mickens are the owners and operators of Open Door Farm located in the North Carolina Piedmont.