How does your garden grow?

I'm on a voyage of discovery in my first garden.
It's mostly about the veggies at the moment but I'm also discovering lots about flowers and other plants - quite often the hard way and always on a very tight budget.
But this blog is not just about my garden, it's about all the things I see and discover in Sussex and beyond and I would love to hear from you too.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

How to build a budget greenhouse Pt.1

A few days ago I ordered a greenhouse - the cheapest one I could find. It was £69.
There has been a fair amount of discussion about Norfolk Greenhouses New Budget Greenhouse.
Some people say it is too complicated to build, too flimsy, etc. but I thought, for £69 (plus £10 postage), it was worth a try and I decided to document my efforts for other people who were considering buying one.
When it arrived I admit to being a little concerned - the whole thing fitted in a long thin box which was relatively easy to lift.
I waited for a warm dry day and unpacked the contents - a whole bunch of labelled components and four sides of A4 with dodgy hand-drawn diagrams explaining how to put it together.
Having been warned that it was a tricky task, I decided to lay out everything and read the instructions carefully before I started - something I can never usually be bothered to do.
The instructions tell you to build the thing on level ground and anchor the plastic sheet covering by burying it in the ground.
I had decided to situate the greenhouse on the site of a child's playhouse that was left by the previous tenant but because my garden is on a slight slope I used four paving slabs to create a firm base on ground which I had prepared and levelled out beforehand.
This was trickier than I had anticipated and took the best part of a morning and a lot of help from my other half.
Next I assembled the front and back parts of the frame. The instructions were, I thought, fairly clear and I didn't have too much of a problem. The only tricky aspect of the build was the size of the nuts and bolts - they were tiny - or at least much smaller than I would have expected for something like a greenhouse. Although I had borrowed a ratcheting ring spanner, it wouldn't fit into some of the ridges in the frame and I ended up using some mini pliers and a screwdriver to tighten most of the bolts.
The next stage definitely needed a helper to hold the front and back sections while the joining pieces were bolted into place. After securing two or three, the structure was able to stand on its own and we continued bolting together the rest of the frame. It is possible to do some of this alone but having a buddy makes it a whole lot easier.
Because of the time we spent levelling the ground and making sure the paving slabs were level, I had not started building the frame until the after lunch, so by the time the frame was together, light was starting to fade. We therefore drilled four holes in the slabs, attached the frame to the base and called it a day.

No comments:

Post a Comment