Greenhouse Upgrade

Last year towards the end of the seedling season, a tropical storm blew through Tilghman ripping the plastic off of half of the greenhouse. So my lil’ greenhouse needed all new plastic across the top and on the ends.

The scene after removing the old plastic and laying down new weed barrier cloth for the floor of the greenhouse.

There really isn’t any local place on the Eastern Shore to buy greenhouse supplies. So once or twice a year I take a road trip up to Pennsylvania to shop at Nolts. They had all the plastic and hardware I needed to fix up my greenhouse. There are many great companies that you can order greenhouse materials from but with the plastic and wire bases being 8 feet long shipping can be complicated.

Getting everything in place as we start to frame out the end walls.

In the beginning of March it was finally dry enough to work on the greenhouse. Since we needed to replace the plastic, which in this instance involved removing everything down to the frame, we decided to make some other changes while we were at it. We changed the direction the greenhouse is facing, before the wind constantly blew on the doors weakening the end walls, so now the hope is that the wind blows up and over the greenhouse reducing the strain on the structure. We were also able to expand the growing space slightly from 200 sq ft to 240 sq ft.

My dad, Jerry Davis, making the greenhouse doors with my assistance.

I’m lucky to have an extremely experienced builder for a father, who graciously helped me on this greenhouse project. He made sure everything was straight and level, including building two sets of new sturdy doors for the greenhouse. My husband, Juan Carlos, used to paint houses back in the day which came in handy when I quickly realized that I have never really used a paint roller before, making me very inefficient in covering the bare wood with white paint. He had all the wood beautifully painted in no time at all.

Quality paint job thanks to my painting pro hubby.

Then we measured, cut and screwed on all the wiggle wire tracks. The wiggle wire and it’s track is what holds the plastic on to the greenhouse frame. I’m not sure who invented this system but it is brilliant. Next we added really long ground anchors so this lovely house doesn’t fly away with the breezy conditions we have here in Tilghman.

The wiggle wire track gets screwed on to the metal frame. The orange ground anchors waiting to go in.

After what felt like a bazillion days of rebuilding the greenhouse the morning finally came to actually put the plastic on. Even with a small greenhouse like mine (10’x24’) you need to attach the plastic when there is no breeze, otherwise you are wrestling with a huge plastic sheet that wants to fly away and you’ll just end up with a big mess.

You pull the plastic very tight as you snap the wiggle wire into the metal track.

With the greenhouse finally done, the finishing touch is to hang a new thermometer. I love the maximum/ minimum thermometer also known as a Six’s thermometer. The thermometer consists of a U-shaped glass tube with two separate temperature scales set along each arm of the U. One of these is for recording the maximum temperature and the other for the minimum temperature. The thermometer indicates the current temperature, and the highest and lowest temperatures since last reset. I check it every 24 hours recording the temperatures on a paper chart and then simply resetting it with a magnet.

Pushing the red button resets the blue magnets.

Upgrading the greenhouse took a bit longer than I planned but the plastic is on, the house is firmly secured to the ground and the doors will last a lifetime. With the warm springtime temperatures we are now having, plant growth has really kicked into gear and the greenhouse is starting to fill up!

Greenhouse circa March 12, 2021

3 thoughts on “Greenhouse Upgrade

  1. I can’t decide what captivated me the most–the idea of wiggle wire (wish the picture had explained its brilliance) or the fact that, as an adult of some experience, you’d never handled a paint roller! Congrats on the new set-up.

    1. 😊 The wiggle wire (different brands go by different names) is kinda shaped like this: _/-\_/-\_/-\_ and you push/ wiggle it over top of the plastic that is sitting in the metal track. I think the lack of paint roller experience is because for my entire adult life I have lived in rentals where painting is typical discouraged, so I have had like zero opportunity to paint rooms. But we are continuing our search for a farm property to buy so hopefully that will change in the near future.

      1. Good luck with that search. I know that California prices were part (only part) of the reason that we left Sonoma County. But we have settled nicely into Michigan. I wish you the same contentment wherever you settle.

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