Saturday, December 6, 2014

Greenhouse Update - Raise the roof!


I have decided that I am going to keep the greenhouse where it is so during the Thanksgiving break, my dad and I put a poly-carbonate roof on it. These are panels that you can buy at Lowes and have the waves in them. They are lightweight which is good for us because they make it easy to move them around and they last for a good long time.
First let me remind you of what it looked like with the torn plastic sheeting and the blue tarps covering it... a real hillbilly greenhouse looking thing. Sad..

Before we started the project - I had 2 blue tarps covering the roof

After we stripped off the roofing plastic and tarps we had to nail on the cleats that you screw the panels into. They are wavy and thin so you have to be careful with lining them up from top to bottom. By the way, the label on these clearly says 6 feet but when we got them home and measured them they were only 5 ft 7 inches. What a big difference!

This is the cleat, you first attach these to the rafters and then attach the roof panels to them.
Halfway finished - but the clouds are coming in!
You have a special screw that you use to attach the panels to the cleats. They are painted and have a washer to stop leaks. But you must pre-drill the holes or the panels will split... this is really important!
Just getting started on the first side
 You can see the one cleat running the whole length of the bottom of the roof. We just used 1 row on the top and 1 row on the bottom since these are pretty lightweight and don't need a lot of bracing or attachment.

My bestest helper! My dad the super-man!
Screwing on the panels to the cleats

Dad finessing the end panels

Inside view of the finished roof - and even with the pouring rain the next day, no leaks.
I love the roof because it is watertight and lets light through but not too much to scorch the plants. I am using the leftover material to cover the holes where the walls meet the roof. Then I need to try and winterize it some more to keep the heat in as much as possible. My vegetables and fish are still going strong! 

Kale and tomato plants... the tomato plant have small green tomatoes and even new flowers. The kale are cold hardy so they should continue to do good in the winter as long as I can keep it from freezing.

Green pepper that I just picked and ate today! Finally... the pepper plants grew the slowest of everything in that system. I am thinking that they are not a fan of the aquaponic system and will probably need to grown them in the dirt next year. But still in the greenhouse to protect them from the deer that eat these plants down to the stem in just 1 night.


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