Thursday, December 17, 2015

Dreams of a Greenhouse

As a homemaker, I don't usually get much time off.  There's always something to be cleaned, cooked, or picked up.  But every Thursday, I try to give myself a little slack to do whatever I want to do.  I still feed the mouths and  do the dishes, but otherwise I just chill.  And today, that chilling involved a lot of daydreaming.

As I've mentioned before, I live on a small lot in the city; I cram as much garden stuff as I feel comfortable with, but I'd really like more room.  One thing I really dream about having is a greenhouse.  I'm not sure why.  It's not like I really know how a greenhouse works exactly, or what kind of advantages it has.  I mean, I know you can start your plants early in a greenhouse and it keeps things warm for warm loving plants like peppers and melons, but it seems like there's something I'm missing.

Even so, I still wish I had room for one.  A special little place for my plants, where I could start my seeds outside instead of my cramped basement; somewhere warm enough so I can get more than one shriveled little sad looking pepper on my otherwise healthy looking pepper plants; and maybe ever somewhere that I could extend my season and have fresh homegrown greens through the winter.  What a lovely thought.

But do you see a place for a greenhouse here?  Really?

Property line is easy to tell on the left; right property line is just passed the clothesline.  Back line is about where the compost is.

I mean, I guess there is a bunch of space in the center there.  But how silly would that look?  I would like to sell this house within 10 years, and I think a giant greenhouse in the middle of the lawn would make it a bit hard.  The garden is probably going to be a problem as it is.  Maybe I could put a greenhouse over the whole of the garden, and then just take the thing down when we go to move...  But a greenhouse that big would probably be pretty expensive.  Plus, I'm not sure how well you can grow spring crops in a greenhouse.

Well, in my dreaming this morning, I started wondering what kind of little greenhouse-like things garden companies sell.  Well, let me tell you; quite a few!  Most of them are either tall plastic pop-up things that pretend to be mini greenhouses, or short plastic pop-up things that go over an existing garden.  But I found a couple of them that are both a raised bed garden and a greenhouse at the same time, and this one in particular kind of caught my eye.

I happen to have a spot on the south side of my house that's still (miraculously) empty.  Between my raspberry canes and the cement slab next to the side porch, there's a space that's maybe 5x5 feet that's empty lawn.  Now we do  get some chives that grow there, and some mint that's crazy wild, but this thing is cool enough to put over those things.

However, it's also a spot where, every late winter/early spring, a huge chunk of ice falls off our room.  And I mean huge.  Usually 4x2x1 feet and weighing at least 100 pounds.  It sounds like the roof is coming in when it falls down.  And the greenhouse would be right in the way of that.  Shoot.

Ahh, but!  They also make a smaller one.

And this one looks like it's small enough to avoid the impact of the ice boulder.  It's 2'x4', and is meant to sit against a wall.  Which is perfect, since I have a wall right there.  It's empty underneath so you can put supplies there, but I probably won't do that.  It'll just be nice to not have to weed that whole area.  It usually gets full of monstrous weeds by the middle of summer because we don't mow that side of the house, and certain unnamed husbands don't weed wack but once or twice a season.  And also, I'm lazy.  Although it might be nice to get all those bags of compost out of the garage.... hmmmmm....

Anyway, I already bought the little greenhouse, lol.  It was $249 on Amazon, but Burpee had it for $199, plus I found a 20% off coupon online.  Score!  So after the $25 shipping, it was only $185, woot!

My plan is to fill it with premade raised bed soil mix and then plant peppers in it!  I'm so excited to actually grow peppers and maybe get something from them!  I've tried peppers every year since I started gardening, and every year I'm disappointed.  They do sooo well in my basement; they're tall, with thick stems and bushy leaves, and some even start getting buds by the time I start hardening them off.  And they still look nice when I put them in the ground, but they stop growing so quickly, start looking a little small, and then the peppers, once they start coming, are so small and sad looking.  The only time I got decent peppers was when I grew jalapenos, and I've heard that hot peppers can withstand colder weather better than sweet peppers.  Which is good to know, living in the north, but I don't like hot peppers.

I've seen some other northern living people do great with peppers when they grow them in greenhouses or hoop houses, which is great.  So I'm hoping that my new toy will act as a greenhouse and keep my plants warm enough to actually get some peppers!

I guess we'll see how it goes.  Even if it doesn't increase my pepper yields, it'll be nice to have more growing space and a place to maybe start some seeds early (or have lettuce late in the season), and somewhere sheltered to harden off my plants in the spring.  Yay!

To totally change the subject, check out what Chad and I saw in the backyard the other day.  Keep in mind that we live in the city.

As far as I can tell, he's either an 8 or 9 point buck.

I'm pretty sure he was after this lady.

There was also another lady in the neighbor's backyard.  We had to do a bunch of shouting and waving of arms to get them to get out of our yard.  (Note: always be careful around deer, especially bucks, during breeding season!)  They came back a few times; sometimes they were just laying in our yard in front of my garden!  What the heck?  We shooed them off every time, because I certainly don't want them getting cozy.  Deer are the most destructive animals in my yard.  Which is silly, because the closet woods are about a mile away.  Ok, half a mile away, but still, that's half a mile they have to walk through the streets to get to my house.  Across a busy road and a school and sardine-packed houses.  Silly animals. 

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