Andrei's hobby blog
The green house

      Some time ago I saw few pictures of the inside of a green house. I liked a lot the abundance of green and the vegetables hanging everywhere. Since I already discovered before how fulfilling the gardening can be I decided to build one.
      YouTube is full of ideas, and very quickly I settled to a tunnel type green house. It would be a semi-permanent construction. The only problem I couldn’t solve was how to bend metal pipes to form the ribs. All the bending machines were too far from my location. Because of this I used polypropylene pipes. They are easy to find and look durable enough. Or at least that is what I thought.
      So first I build a 12m long metal beam that will form the center of the green house and will hold one end of the plastic pipes. The other end of the pipes will enter into metal pipes stuck into the ground. The cover is a special 3 layer plastic sheet. It is designed to retain heat and to avoid condensation.
      The metal structure involved a lot of welding. This was the first time when I try to weld metal. After you are getting used to it is quite fun. Except a few burns from melted metal. I’m looking forward to the next metal work project.
      After raising the metal structure I pour concrete at the base of each vertical pipe. The result is a very solid frame that doesn’t move an inch when you push it. The rest was pretty straight forward. The plastic sheet is rolled on a 12m plastic tube on both sides. In this way if I roll the pipe I can ventilate the green house. In summer this is very important.
      An unexpected problem was the gentle slope where the green house is located. The 30cm difference between the two sides caused a serious asymmetric shape at one ends. This could be compensated by bringing closer to the center the lower end of the plastic ribs.
      Overall I was very pleased with the result. The inside area is huge. We planted tomatoes on the whole 72 square meters. Unfortunately nobody had time to care for the plants. They were growing on the ground. But even so we harvest up to 20kg of delicious tomatoes every week for a few months.
      One interesting fact is that we didn’t have to spray the plants with chemicals. Normally when we grow tomatoes outside it is mandatory to spay them because they are so sensitive. I suspect that the reason is the fact that we irrigated them without wetting the leaves. We just poured water on one end at ground level and let it flow. Many of the tomatoes diseases are caused by moisture on the leaves.
      In winter I didn’t remove the sheet and the weight of the accumulated snow bent the plastic pipes. Then my parents dog chew the cover sheet so now the green house is not used anymore. We plan to restore it with full metal pipes and maybe a smaller size.