Fixing my dirt jones


Out with the old (spinach), in with the new (l: Grand Rapids lettuce, r: purple kohlrabi)

I seeded some bare spots in the greenhouse this weekend. It’s funny: I am so much more of a fussbudget as a winter gardener. I am not sure if it’s a matter of scale or of time, or both, but I certainly spend more time fiddling over the greenhouse beds. In July, you won’t find me pulling off the dead lower leaves of my plants, but January? Well. Fuss fuss, primp primp.

I had the forethought (rare) to scoop up a couple of 5-gallon buckets’ worth of snow about three weeks ago. Bring them in the greenhouse and they melt down to maybe a gallon and a half of water each. This is pretty convenient if I need to water some newly-planted seeds, or wash off some root veggies. Look how pretty these cleaned-up parsnips are! (Well, okay; maybe “pretty” isn’t exactly right, but they’re pretty to ME.) In general, though, because the greenhouse is a closed loop, the beds never dry out. So the buckets of water are a convenience, not a necessity.


So I pulled some things out that were either used up (spinach) or were taking up too much real estate (parsnips), and I planted out more salad stuff. And I fixed my jones, at least for this week.  And it was fun.

6 responses to “Fixing my dirt jones

  1. I love your greenhouse posts. We have a couple plastic row covers set up to simulate mini-greenhouse conditions, and while we’ve been able to keep some chard and bok choy going, we don’t get nearly the results of the real thing! Those parsnips look awesome.


    So, if I may be so bold as to inquire, what did it cost to ship your greenhouse?

    And how heavy and how far apart are the tubular steel ribs? As we’re getting another 12+ inches of snow today, I’m wondering about strength needed for snow loads….


  3. Oops, or are the ribs aluminum? They must be…

  4. Hey Ali. The tubes are steel, actually. I think shipping was around $150. All told the thing (including all the wood etc. that I bought) was under a grand. Sweat equity though! Go see my earlier post about the wheres and the whats. We get A LOT of snow here and it isn’t really a problem with it. If it were a bit longer, it would require wind bracing. Wind’s a bigger problem because it’s not a distributed load like snow is. The place I got it from was the least expensive with the best stuff (diameter of tubes, 6 year plastic, wiggle wire channels, etc.), so that’s why I went with that company.

    Hi Meg. I did the row cover thing last year. I think the key really is the double coverage: a floating row cover under a wind-free greenhouse bubble. I mean, the ground has never even frozen in there yet: now that is warm, I say!

  5. Oh El, believe me, I have already looked at the posts on putting up the greenhouse. After all the work we’ve done on our house, I have no doubts I could put one up — like you, I even have my own 14 amp cordless drill.

    I love it that you already sussed out the cost-to-quality supplier. Thanks!

  6. Hmmm, now you’ve got me wondering about doing a variation of my “screen house” with row cover inside that. It would need a different shape to shed snow, and either plastic film or rigid glazing…ventilation (I have a cold frame opener)…and be sized to move from bed to bed as crops rotate…hmm….

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