Greenhouse in the Desert: Just about everyone probably
has an easier time gardening than I do, out in the open
desert. At one point in my life, I discovered that gardening
is very relaxing for me, plus I love eating my own organic
food. So, no matter where I am, I try to grow a few
things. In the desert, I have to deal with poor soil,
rabbits, birds and javalina, but I have found a way,
so I'll pass it along. It's another "where there's
a will, there's a way" story. =)
put my greenhouse in the center of my circular driveway
because that was the only direction where I cared to
block the view. I have close neighbors in that direction.
decided to use a method I had seen where you build
a foundation with rebar sticking up and bend pvc
pipe over the rebar from one side of the greenhouse
to the other. I didn't realize how difficult this
would be in a circle, but I managed to pull it off.
By then, I had learned how to make a level foundation,
which I did out of CMU block filled with concrete
(no building codes - yay!) and I left rebar stubs
poking up in 24 places. I used electric conduit
instead of pvc, since it is more sun-resistant.
However, I used pvc connectors because they come
in more angles, to make the connections. Eventually,
I had a dome with one pole for support in the center.
covered the bottom of the dome with shade cloth
for sun and wind protection. We have very hot, intense
sun in the summer. I covered the top with bird cloth
and coated the floor with chicken wire, so the rabbits
couldn't tunnel inside. Even after all this, in
the first monsoon thunderstorm, the wind cracked
some of the support piping. So, I added four more
wooden poles on the interior. to keep it from bending.
The shade cloth had far more wind resistance than
I realized. And then, the javalina smelled the compost
and bashed in the door to get to it, destroying
all the plants. After realizing that nothing stopped
them (they travel in groups), I put an electric
fence around the base of the greenhouse. That seemed
to do the trick and they have not returned.
built raised beds with CMU block and now I have
a wonderful greenhouse where I can grow veggies
most of the year. I left enough room for a wheelbarrow
between the beds. I compost scraps from the kitchen
and get horse manure from nearby homes. So, as
with the house, all the work has been worth it!
you have other questions - send me an email - email@example.com.
it Simple - and be kind!