Welcome to Bepa's Garden!
This blog is about organic gardening, healthy eating and healthy living.
Each month I will be posting Garden To-Do Lists, Tips & Techniques, Garden Project Plans, Photos from the Garden, Recipes and Book Reviews.
I hope you enjoy reading and I hope I can inspire others to start a backyard garden!
Happy Gardening!


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Finishing the mini-greenhouses

There is a frost predicted for next Friday, so today I put the 6-mil greenhouse film on both of the mini-greenhouses. Both units have wire hoops inside with row covers rolled up on the side that I can pull over for extra protection when the evening temperatures go down into the teens. There is also a thermometer sensor mounted in one of the mini-greenhouses transmitting to a weather station in my home office so I can monitor the temps. If it gets too warm I can prop open the roof panels to let cool air in. I may eventually add solar operated vents to automatically open the roof panels if it gets too warm inside.

In the first mini-greenhouse I have planted leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, kale and scallions. I will also be adding some spinach in next week along with successive planting of lettuce.

In the second unit I have planted red cabbage, green cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and more kale. 
Some of the cabbage will be for our rabbits during the winter!

Cabbage (Alcosa Savoy) planted on 8/1/10

I have had the plants covered with row covers to keep out pests and to protect them from cool evening temps until I was able to put on the greenhouse film. Except for an early attack of cabbage worms and an intrusive mole who burrowed through my carrots, everything seems to be coming in nicely!

In the spring I am planning on starting my tomato plants early in one of the mini-greenhouses, planting them directly in the beds and then removing the roof panels when the plants grow tall and the temps warm up. It will be nice to have early tomatoes!

This is my first attempt at growing a winter garden and I am keeping a crop journal to track the progress. I will be posting updates and photos throughout the winter to see how the mini greenhouses work for growing a winter garden. If the units perform well, I am planning on building some out of red cedar with removable polycarbonate panels, automatic solar vent openers and drip irrigation systems.

If you would like to build a mini-greenhouse for yourself you can download plans here. If you do build one, please send photos and let me know how it worked out for you!


The Chicken Chick



  1. The greenhouses look so cozy! How wonderful to have the space for them! I'll be thinking about your fresh greens and veggies while I'm slogging to Safeway for weird tasting, unlocal winter veggies!!! A bit jealous, I have to say.

  2. Thanks TS. That was the driving force to try and grow a winter garden. It was hard to buy vegetables in the winter from the grocery store after eating fresh from the garden all summer.

  3. Great job Rob, thank you for the inspiration! Bruce is ready to build # 2 now that he sees how well your plans work! I can't wait to start my spring plants in them too!

  4. Thanks Jodi! If I had time I would build a couple more. These are already filled with planst so I will just use row covers over hoops with plastic on top for the rest of the garden.

  5. I like your mini greenhouses! I have always wanted a cold frame and a row of mini greenhouses would nicely do the trick. My husband has a long list of projects already, so realistically it is still a future dream.
    I also love your idea of sharing garden books through a club. I would sign up except for the fact that it takes me literally months to finish a single book. My only times for reading is just before I fall asleep and I make progress a few pages at a time.I would keep other readers waiting far too long.

  6. Jennifer, I designed the mini greenhouses to go together pretty easy, it only takes a few hours to build them so it isn't really a time consuming project. They seem to work really well!
    No one has signed up for the book club, a little dissapointing, if you would like to read the book you're welcome to it. You can take as long as you want reading it and then just pass it on to someone else of your choice!

  7. I look forward to following your experiences with the mini greenhouses. Please keep posting on how they work through the winter.

  8. I need to make myself one of these... do you have a pattern?

    1. Hi Magde, you can follow the link at the end of the article or follow the "project plans" link at the top of the page to get the plans. Thanks for reading!

  9. I'm looking forward to following the progress of your winter garden! Thank you for linking up with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week!

    Have a great day!
    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

  10. I was thinking about doing something similar, but making the sides swappable with either poly or screen. The idea is in the summer i could use the screen sides for shade and to keep butterflies/squirrels/pests out. Any thoughts on that?

  11. I remove the hinged roof panels in the summer. I drape row cover, or shade cloth over the top to keep the bugs out and provide a little shade. When it turns colder, and I plant my fall crops, I put the roof panels back on.