dinsdag 19 april 2016

The greenhouse success.

In the Netherlands we were accustomed to protect our garden from rain and cold. But here in Portugal certainly not. The weather always was beautiful. Some rain... a tender little rain and plenty of sunshine. A shade cloth over the vegetables would do. Until this happened... and it happened repeatedly.

April Rain... 2014.

The summer of 2014 was relatively wet also. But fortunately it was not like in April. So the use of a shade cloth was nearly enough. But we were warned and made plans. Could we build a greenhouse with wood? Or was it better to buy a (tunnel) greenhouse? And on which spot is should be built?
We liked the idea of a Chinese greenhouse also... But this we postponed (as a too big a project) to the future.

Most of the time it is our peculiarity to prefer doing everything ourselves. Then we can decide what the size of the greenhouse should be and what shape it should have. And, not least, whether it fits within our budget.

June 2014.
May 2014.

Meanwhile we were already well under way with our new raised bed, on the south slope, next to our house. It already had something like a surrounding wall and the soil was mixed with compost.

September 2014.

This summer we found a construction market that sold cheap 'FSC controlled' wood. This wood had to dry first, as it turned in all directions. But now, a few years later, it has adapted to our constructions :)

Slowly we started building our greenhouse. We had to do it in parts, because some plants could not yet do without the protection of the shade cloth.
The aim was to build a closed and an open greenhouse. Both needed a roof of plastic sheeting. First we built the closed greenhouse because we wanted to grow vegetables in the coming winter.

December 2014.

The closed greenhouse with plastic walls for the winter, and a plastic roof.
Shade cloth on the west and south sides.
January and February 2015.

March 2015.

Meanwhile the raised bed, on the southern slope, was on its way to a big harvest, with onions, carrots and cabbage. What we cannot grow in the greenhouse, in pots, we grow in the raised bed. This way of doing has been good for us.

One year later...

May 2015.

In May it was time to further build the open greenhouse. First we wanted to see, if this summer it could do without a plastic roof. So first we chucked a shade cloth over it. After all it was May already, so we expected no major downpours anymore. And so it went ... luckily.

October 2015.

In October we took the shade cloth from the roof of the closed greenhouse, so that again there was sufficient light. Now we made a plastic roof over the open greenhouse, which helped us through the wet winter. And wet it was. A in between wall of plastic was not yet necessary. This only needed to be applied during the winter.
Occasionally there was frost. Against this, we have no defense. A genuine warm greenhouse this closed greenhouse will never be.

And now, two years later...

March 2016.

The closed greenhouse overlooking the open greenhouse through the plastic in between wall.

The open greenhouse. "That spinach on the table, we eat today..."
Couve Lisa, can grow in pots.
April 2016.

In the closed greenhouse. Tomatoes we can sow early. These are from January on.
Again, the summer season is about to begin. The green shade cloth is already put on the roof, because the weather starts to warm up. When the sun gets hot in summer, we remove the plastic from the walls around the greenhouse also. Then the wind has free rein, through the shade cloth that covers the south and west side of the greenhouse. So then this closed greenhouse is in its summer mode again and turns into an open one.

The wild strawberries are outside the greenhouse on the outskirts, where they feel at home best. Weed ensures that the plastic pots do not warm up in the sun.
Later, when the sun gets hot, they will be moved to a better spot.
The in between wall of plastic, which makes the closed greenhouse into a closed greenhouse, can be rolled up again.
The Courgettes are already blooming and the melon plants can be repotted.
Survived another downpour again! Boy, how we welcome this greenhouse.

Netting on the outside, in order to keep the swallows outside the greenhouse. It is nesting time again and every sheltered roof, bar or wall is a good place to raise a swallow family.
And the netting can do nicely as a climbing frame for peas and pepinos (small cucumbers).

Meanwhile the swallows found their roof:

Miraculous swallow architecture. This vila has its entrance at the right-hand side,
the left side (on the windward side) is closed.



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