Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Our First DIY Greenhouse

My initial plan was to blog about the 30 second no-sew breastfeed cover tutorial that I had promised before but unfortunately, I haven't had the time to take photos for it yet. Therefore, it is still on the waiting list. However, I have got something else for you here today.

In Australia, we have happily opened our doors to the beautiful Spring and it has been quite generous to us already. Nice sunny days have definitely warmed us inside and out. There is always something to do in the garden and when it is nice and warm, the idea of gardening is very inviting, even though we've never stopped gardening throughout the whole year, even if it meant wearing a beanie, a scarf, a pair of gumboots, a few layers under a thick jacket and some nice gloves to be able to work outdoors.

DIY greenhouse materials

Early in winter this year, we decided to build a greenhouse over one of our garden beds, our first-ever greenhouse! It was very exciting indeed. As a family, we worked hard regardless of how harsh the weather had been at times. We achieved building our greenhouse over two afternoons.

From blinds to a greenhouse

Building a greenhouse using recycled mateirals

We tried to use recycled materials whenever possible and the most unusual recycled item we used was the rods that we saved from our old blinds in the house and used them to make the rooftop frame.

Green house


When we completed our greenhouse, we were very satisfied. However, soon after we noticed that it was too early to be happy as we started having many days with strong winds and the greenhouse had too much pressure in it. Some parts of it came undone and we had to find a solution to it. Our solution idea came from Mr. Hubby. As he suggested, we made several little so-called 'windows' on most sides of it and we used some strong tape to secure the ends of the cuts to make sure they would not keep ripping with strong winds. It seemed to be working well even though it was still not the ideal greenhouse. We also put some extra poles to support the frame and the plastic cover better. 

DIY greenhouse

We planted some broad beans, peas, beans, lettuce mix and silver beet in it. However, soon we recognised that the silverbeet seeds were something else and to this date, we still don't know what they are. We have to be a bit more patient before we can make anything out of it. Hopefully it is something edible at least!

broadbean plants

The plants started growing beautifully in the greenhouse until one day, one of our gorgeous girls (chickens) found a way to get in it on a windy day! We were happy that she had a feast and was quite a content girl when we found her but unfortunately, it came with a price: bean seeds were everywhere, there was almost no lettuce left, peas were mostly hidden under big piles of soil etc. The two lessons we learned from this experience were that making a greenhouse in a place where there are strong winds, you have to be extra cautious to make it nice and strong; and that chickens don't eat broad bean plants.

Chicken wire for garden beds

Garden bed

Towards the end of winter, we first opened the rooftop of the greenhouse and lessened the pressure even more for windy days and a few weeks ago, we took it down altogether to get the garden beds ready for Spring.

Handmade wooden door handle

vegie patches

Over a few afternoons, we made our three main vegie patches chicken-proof. The kids just loved being a part of the whole process and also playing in the dirt, of course. As for the girls (our chickens), they had a feast every time we turned the soil upside down or dug a hole on the ground. In fact, at times, it was so hard to work for us as they would not leave our sight for a second and their heads were always around our feet. We had to fight for space!

Chickens in the backyard

Brown Isa chicken

I plan to update you on the progress of our plants and trees in time as well as posting on other topics. Until my next post, make the most of the nature you are in regardless of the season you have there!

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