My husband and I built a concrete foundation a few weeks ago, not very deep below ground level since the ground rarely freezes here. Laid out concrete blocks, the 16″ two hole ones, to match the outside dimensions plus an extra 1/8″ just in case–just over 8′ x 10′ overall. Then we added rebar across the top for a bit of extra strength and wired on the foundation bolts to they’d stick up enough to bolt on two 2′ x 4’s. Mixed and poured concrete; after it set bolted on the sill (chiseled a bit around the bolts; they were recessed so greenhouse base would lie flat.) Whn the weather dried out we Then laid greenhouse base over foam gasket strips (instead of caulking as suggested in directions), and followed directions to put up the frame.
The directions were well written, good diagrams, though I really had to pay attention to all the various shapes of metal bars and special instructions, and keep going to recheck details. I put the glazing (double wall polycarbonate) on the sides today. Looks like one of the pieces cut for the front end will have to be tweaked with a utility knife to fit, but I’ll double check before I do that, since everything else I had a problem with was resolved by rechecking directions.
Tomorrow I’ll finish the glazing, install the door and vents and seal all the gaps. Might take me two days, with the errands I also have to run–driving kids here and there, grocery shopping and such. Then I’ll set up a path down the middle, loosen soil on the sides, and plant cantaloupe seeds. My tomatoes are so tiny, I’ll probably get some big ones from the local garden/nursery to get ahead, and set them into the greenhouse soil.
The rest of the garden looks good–paths covered with wood chips, all but one raised bed have been built, only one of those not planted yet. I plan to set up drip irrigation in each, before our water use gets metered, I hope (we’re the last neighborhood in town to get that done). I plan to have a drain shunt from my kitchen sink for clean and safe gray water to go toward irrigation (no through the drip lines–might clog them). Also rain barrel to gather what comes off the roof. All the tasks for which I didn’t have time when the kids were younger and I was homeschooling.
I still seem to be short on garden space! Still no ideal spot for carrots, which I will have to cover to prevent carrot worm infestation. One idea is to build simple mesh-covered boxes to put here and there outside the fence, to utilize the soil between the apple trees while they’re still small. Should keep the dogs from trampling whatever I plant there. I’ll need space for the broccoli, dill, and cilantro I started, and some pole beans.
The sod we piled a few months ago and covered with a tarp is breaking down, so I’ll work at shaking out the soil and filling the low spots in the raised beds and rest of the garden. Lots of worms in the pile, too. The soil is heavy, like all the soil around here, so I’m amending with sand (what passes for “topsoil here”) that my late neighbor left across the street at the back of his property. Pretty soon I’ll have some compost ready, too.
The apple and cherry trees have leafed our nicely, but I’ve picked off the apple blossoms to help them get established. Same with strawberry blossoms. I planted the the blackberries behind the house and will trellis them when I get the chance–they’re only a foot or so high still. I planted a cover crop mix around them, since they are all of our feet apart, per instructions. Snuck some garlic sets in along the edge, too.
The shady spot under the trees at the south side of the yard will soon be home to a twelve foot trampoline. It’ll be a good place from which to admire the garden from all those different positions.