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greenhouse blues


My main problem with plastic-covered greenhouses is that eventually the frame spreads: the cover, which fitted so snugly in the beginning, stretches and the zips on the door get harder and harder to close, until they won’t close at all. And then the zip busts.

I tore the now useless door off, and found some remnants of my old windbreak, which I cut up and stapled to the top of the doorway; my shopping-trolley planter fitted inside, more or less, and I used a table to wedge the screens into place. Worked, more or less.

Then I found that the greenhouse seemed to be leaning a bit, and then found out why

Clearly no use to man nor beast! I had two of the smaller 4-tier greenhouses, but only one cover; I ripped a strip off the cover of this one to get a strip long enough to cover the front and a fair bit to go over the top and jam down the back

Sigh, things must be so much easier with a proper greenhouse …

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You take the cake for ingenuity Fran! Ten out of ten for effort...
I've got one of those wooden framed lean to ones called wallhouses. Much more robust and don't depend on plastic sheeting.

7 Aug, 2017


sadly I made the mistake of mentioning to the Housing Association rep about getting a lean-to outdoor dry space for my crafts etc.

I'm not allowed any kind of lean-to; nothing must be attached to the walls. And I'm not allowed any permanant structure - of course, the definition of "permanant" can be stretched a bit, but I'm not sure how much.

I did think of some kind of roofing over the space between the two sheds, but I can't work out the exact plan, so can't get anyone to build it. if it's fixed only to the sheds, it should meet their criteria.

7 Aug, 2017


Fran a leanto off the shed sounds the best way forward, surely they cannot object then, a frame with perspex for roof and sides, they cannot class that as permanent, I know it would be dearer than the plastic but would last longer....

8 Aug, 2017


These small plastic covered one's are very convenient and cheap, but I think they are meant to be for a season only! I have had several and provided they are tucked away somewhere not windy, work well, but long lasting they are not! In this day and age you would think they could make something cheap and lasting - but then they would do themselves out of business I suppose.
Off on a tangent again, I bought an arch for a rose which when put together actually bent before I had even sited it, but got stregthened with some metal poles from a broken gazebo - knew I kept all this junk for a reason!!

8 Aug, 2017


Oh dear. My daughter has the same problem. She is renting. She had only had flats before but now has her 1st garden. She wanted to grow some veg and bought herself one of those plastic small greenhouses. 1st wind we had it went down the garden and she lost all her plants. She now fights me for room in my greenhouse lol. Hope you come up with a solution.

8 Aug, 2017


I give you ten out of ten for resourcefulness,I do things like that.

8 Aug, 2017


You're certainly making an effort to do something about your problems, Fran. We are doing nothing really about our two green houses. The Offspring would like to see one at least demolished but it's still standing and the glass panes can be renewed. They're in a fairly sheltered spot fortunately. No point in getting new greenhouses now.

8 Aug, 2017


Keep an eye on the small ads for metal framed greenhouses on offer for free, or cheaply on collection. Also the local allotment secretaries get them offered for free as people dont want them. Our local glass supplier keeps replacement greenhouse glass ready cut standard size 24" x "24". I bought several and kept them behind the
wardrobe in my bedroom for spares when I needed them.

8 Aug, 2017


I admire you're initiative.

8 Aug, 2017


@ Lincslass - "a lean-to off the shed" - I'm going to go and get my hat, so that I can take it off to you!

I wanted a transparent roof - the idea was to shut out rain, not light - and, of course, it has to be pretty robust cos it'll be in the wind-tunnel part of the garden, even though it'd be sheltered behind a shed: i need to make sure the wind can't get under the roof and lift it off.

Also I wanted some frotnage, but not a full-height wall - be too stuffy when the sun gets going. I've still got the fence panels I bought for my back fence which weren't needed [the HA brought their own] so I thought of using one as a front, with a shutter-type piece over it; open when i need it, closed to [hope!] keep the wind and rain out.

"lean-to on the shed" ... such a brilliantly simple idea - once someone thought of it!

8 Aug, 2017


@ Honeysuckle - yes, they're cheap and cheerful [well, fairly light-hearted] and not in any way more than a temporary shelter.

I dislike crowding the plants, espeically the lower shelves at the back - they'd hardly get any light, given that the greenhouse has to be against a wall for stability - and even then, someties it needs tying down. So I never used them to full capacity. I've still got a couple of old frames - one minus the top arch - in one of my sheds doing duty as a shelf unit.

wow, your rose arch sounds very cheap and miserable! I know they're only very thin metal, but they ought to be able to take their own weight before collapsing!

8 Aug, 2017


@ Jenlewis - I always put heavy stuff at the bottom, or a few bricks if all else fails. Even that doesn't always keep it upright, and I've had to tie cord on to the "guy tabs" and run it through a hook on the wall. That just about did it.

8 Aug, 2017


thanks, Callie1914 and Lisam - lol i hate to be beaten, and i have a weird way of working at times!

8 Aug, 2017


@ Eirlys - have you thought about offering it on Freecycle? I've seen a few on offer in my local area; only snag for me is that I'd hve to dismantle and take it away [on my shoppin trolley on a bus!]

ps in case you've not heard of it, Freecycle is an online swop shop; people list stuff they don't want, and others ask for it; or they list stuff they do want and others offer it. Very handy for picking up and getting rid of odds and ends. I could have had two conservatories and half a dozen pianos if I could get them home!

8 Aug, 2017


@ Dianebulley - I've seen some greenhouses on my local Freecycle, but they entail me dismantling and taking away, then reassembling them.

Also, I'm a bit wary of glass - it doesn't break into friendly fragments, especially with my level of vision, so I'd look for something with plastic panes - probably would need replacing more often, but easier to pick up the broken bits!

8 Aug, 2017


Blimey Fran, you have some ingenious ideas. I'm impressed.

We used to have one of these types of mini greenhouse completely free standing, wooden frame and plastic glass. I've also got a metal framed one (bigger) but they're better if they're fixed to something solid (like the side of a shed perhaps). Mine was fixed to a wooden baton attached to a heavy old slab. Not brilliant but did the trick. The wooden one was never fixed to anything, but we had it in a more sheltered spot.

I've had my metal one for about 4 years now and it's still going strong. I've had to replace one of the panes in the door (after the wheelie bin was blown over on it) and the roof pane bur that's it. Our wooden one went to mother in laws but it's looking a little the worse for wear now. Mind you it was all of about £50 from B&Q (or maybe Homebase) about 3 years ago.

13 Aug, 2017


Fran: Are you referring to the greenhouses? They are still standing and are FULL of plants. No way would my OH consider giving them away, or dismantling them! The Offspring are the ones who would like to see the latter, I think, because the greenhouses are somewhat shabby now. OH won't consider getting a new greenhouse though I keep hinting. Big anniversary next week so perfect excuse for one.
Did consider a POD but where to place it is the problem.

Yes, I know about Freecycle. Haven't obtained anything.....yet....but have disposed of quite a number of things, including a very large and very heavy fishtank.
(We should start a post on stories regarding Freecycle, if we are allowed!)

Waddy: Did you read my suggestion on your post "Overview 2016-2017"? I mentioned Freecycle there. it's the very last post. I suggested gazebo side-pieces as a possibility though I guess there would be difficulties in fixing them.

13 Aug, 2017


@ Samjp - thanks, I've saved the link and will browse in the next few days, after my in-for-repair pc comes back and I finally get a fully working one!

The path beside my house is about 6' wide, so a row of smaller units along the wall [or the fence] shouldn't get too much in my way, but should allow the plants the maximum sunlight and minimum windchill.

Part of my problem is that I'm still havering between options, and don't want to commit to one in case ... I need to make a decision and just go with it.

15 Aug, 2017


@ Eirlys - sorry, I misread!

15 Aug, 2017



16 Aug, 2017

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