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It finally feels like summer here! Woo-hoo! We have been enjoying the nice and hot days with a few breaks for some rain here and working in our garden a lot! Check out our Shed to Greenhouse conversion Part 1 post here if you missed it.
We have now built raised beds inside the greenhouse as our next step to the year-round gardening. And I am soooo loving how it turned out! Of course, time will show if the investment of time and money were worth it, but we can already see how the plants are loving it too :). We have tried to keep the costs for the project as low as possible, as we had a chunk of money spent on our bedroom renovations earlier this year. So, most of it was done with repurposed materials.
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Lumber from wood pallets (you can use any untreated lumber. We’d been using 2×8’s and 1×6’s lumber from Homedepot for a few of our raised beds before we discovered we could obtain free pallets 🙂 )
Screws, corner beads, and metal bead/connectors (all from Homedepot)
Reciprocating saw (to dismantle the pallets) and a table saw (to cut the lumber)
Hay, compost (we used our homemade compost), organic cow and sheep manure, and soil (all from Walmart) to fill the beds
So, let’s roll your sleeves up and get rockin’
First, you need to have an idea what you want to see there. Make sure you take all aspects of your plan into consideration before you start ruining working on the shed 🙂 Draw the plan on the paper if needed. Our place is really small (10’x10′ or 3mX3m), so we did not actually prepare the drawings. But we did a mock-up of the beds’ layout with the lumber we had. That way it allowed us to see if we had enough of it, and what height the raised beds would be.
We were able to find great quality wood pallets for free at a few local businesses. My hubby dismantled them with a reciprocating saw (to make his life easier), and they were patiently waiting for their stellar moment inside the garage.
And that moment had arrived 2 weeks ago!
As you can see in the picture, we have laid out the lumber on 2 sides of the greenhouse (south and west).
We have a worm bin on the east side where we keep our red wigglers who work hard to make beautiful worm compost. The bin also serves as a “table” for a few plants in the containers, and little seedlings.
The greenhouse entrance door is on the north side, and we are keeping some gardening tools on that side as well.
First, we attached the back sides of the raised beds to the greenhouse/shed frame. Then added the frame to the front sides. Make sure you add another piece of wood to the back of boards to reinforce the connection between lumber pieces.
My hubby built the front sides of the beds before assembling them with the frame. Then, he attached the whole side to the floor. Check out a quick video below. It is easier to show than to write about the process 🙂
He has also added metal corner beads to reinforce the corners.
The floors in the shed are older wood, partially rotten. At first, we were thinking to remove a few floor boards to make more room for plants roots. However, we were not sure if that would affect the structure. So we just decided to drill some holes in the floors for better drainage and to allow the roots growth.
To fill the beds we started with a layer of the organic hay purchased last year. It has been stored under the open skies in one of the corners in the garden for a couple of months, and by now is partially rotten and full of earthworms. Then, we added a layer of our homemade compost. And finally, we covered it all with a mix of coconut coir, organic soil and manure, perlite, and sand.
Now to the fun part! – Planting!
We have now planted a few tomato varieties, eggplants, 6 plants of cantaloupe, 2 watermelons and some beans and basil in between. After that, we thought it was not enough, and seeded some carrots between the plants. Here how it all looked then and now:
cantaloupe with basil and beans
What a difference just two weeks can make!
I also wanted to share with you the story of our eggplants 🙂 We had one of the plants taken inside the house last fall as it never got to grow full size outside. It kept growing fine inside for the whole winter and started blooming early in spring. We had to actually cut those flowers as we knew it was too early and the fruit would not set up. So, about 2 months ago, we decided to keep a few flowers, but the plant was getting really big. So, my hubby cut a few cuttings out of it and put them in water. After two weeks of waiting for some roots to grow, there was nothing. I decided to give them a second chance and planted them in smaller containers in the mix of worm compost and coconut coir. The plants looked pretty good and happy, so we just waited.
And here they are now being transplanted into the greenhouse.
Look at those nice roots! (the eggplant is on the right :))
Some people might think we are crazy, but we find it very relaxing working in the garden. So many times my hubby and I find ourselves just wondering between the garden beds and staring at the plants, and bees, and spiders, and other living creatures working in our garden.
Do you find yourself doing the same? Do you find gardening a relaxing routine or is it more of a choir to you? Since you are reading this, I assume you do like to garden, and you do like to eat your own produce. Would you mind sharing your tips and comments below?
Thank you for checking on our shed to greenhouse project 🙂