Magazine article Sunset

Year-Round Vegetables in a Greenhouse She Built Herself for $120

Magazine article Sunset

Year-Round Vegetables in a Greenhouse She Built Herself for $120

Article excerpt

"My greenhouse was a great investment--I spent only $120 on materials, and now I have vegetables year-round," explained Juanita Farley of Chico, California. With the help of Roger Cole, Mrs. Farley designed and built the sturdy structure shown on these two pages.

She uses the unheated 9- by 12-foot greenhouse to grow turnips, beets, carrots, lettuce, chard, peas, and other cool-season vegetables through the winter. She has also discovered that the greenhouse is a perfect spot for hardening off flats of young seedlings in early spring and for rooting cuttings in summer.

Mrs. Farley gets better results if she sows seeds of winter vegetables in early fall. This gives plants time to develop before cold weather arrives and slows their growth. If you plant later, it's best to use started seedlings.

Located on the south side of the house near some deciduous trees, the greenhouse gets plenty of sun in the winter. When the trees are in leaf, they help keep it from overheating during the hot Chico summers.

(Although this greenhouse works well stuated with the long axis running east-west--"We didn't have any choice!"--ideally, the long side should be oriented north-south or nearly so.)

To support the base, two 4-foot-long redwood 4 by 4's were sunk 3 feet into the ground at each corner. A post-hole digger was used, but no concrete footings, though concrete with gravel below would give posts a longer life. Pecky cedar 2 by 2's form the base and also outline the planting beds; redwood or pressure-treated fir, while slightly more expensive, would be more durable. …

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