Greenhouse is finished!

Man, I’ve been doing a terrible job keeping this blog up to date!

I finished the greenhouse (well, “finished”… I still need to do a bit of caulking, and there’s one or two screws I’m waiting for Josh to get because I can’t reach, but hey it’s functional!) a week or so ago. I spent last Saturday trying to yank up this thick, slippery plastic over an enormous, slippery PVC frame. I spent a lot of time cussing and almost falling off ladders.

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And oh, it didn’t just take one day either. Maybe it would have if there were two of us working. And Josh did help out on the last few most difficult parts – he hung from the plastic to stretch it while I screwed in the furring strips. And he didn’t even complain. :) But yeah, it took several days of finger-bruising, frostbitten stubbed toes to get the frame sufficiently sealed up to where we started seeing a temperature difference.

Unfortunately, by the time the whole thing was done I was too tired to remember to get a photo. But here, the next day I got one of the inside!

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I nearly didn’t. I’d already started digging before I remembered.

The days here have been between 30-45ish, the nights down into the 20’s. If it’s sunny outside, the greenhouse has heated up to just above 70 degrees! We’ve been able to open the window and get some passive heating inside the house – which is why I planned it where I did and is one of the benefits I had hoped for.

Unfortunately, plastic is a really crappy insulator. The house quickly loses its heat at night and stays only maybe 5-10 degrees above the outside temperature. Plus, then there is enough condensation on the plastic in the mornings to where it will rain if I use the swiffer to wipe off the plastic and let more sun in. The key to both problems is to get more heat radiating out from the greenhouse – I’m hoping that each warmer day inside the greenhouse sinks more and more solar energy into the brick wall and the earth bed, in order to radiate out at night, at least enough to keep things above freezing. However, without insulation I fear this may be as good as it gets.

Still, it’s really delightful to be able to walk around in shirtsleeves when outside it’s a brisk 36 and windy, and the girls think it’s a hoot. Sofía especially is wowed by the temperature difference. So thus far, totally worth it!

 

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