December Greenhouse

“tis the season to renovate the greenhouse and prepare it for next season’s crops. We haven’t done anything with it for a month or so since we finally had a hard enough frost to freeze it. But even with the waning daylight hours and cold weather over the last couple of days, it was nice out there for a while. Dad is putting in a bigger, better hydroponic system to grow lettuce, spinach, watercress and what-not. We are lining and will be flooding the trough under the central path. This will help keep the greenhouse from freezing, as the water retains the heat from the day, releasing it in the night slowly.

We also set up a shelf for start trays, as we will begin starting seeds as early as late January. Under that is a series of glass-covered cold-frames. Greenhouses within greenhouses to give us an even earlier start. The greenhouse isn’t heated, although Dad does have a nifty solar exchange system that forces hot air under the beds from the top of the tunnel, heating the soil.

Laying heavy black plastic in the trough.
Thin wall pipes for hydroponics. Water barrels for added mass heat storage under.

Trough. Once it's flooded we can trim the plastic and deck over it.
Installing a shelf for seed trays. Cold frames below it, with in-ground plantings.
Gladiolus corms from last year, they can't freeze, so we lift them and plant them again in the spring.
Dad has a nucleus hive in the greenhouse temporarily, and one of his girls escaped.
Everbearing strawberries planted in-ground. They will start blooming again when it warms up a little.