Thursday, March 11, 2010

Propagation Box

Yesterday I had the most clever gardening/recycling idea I have had in a long time. I call it an invention when I come up with a clever way to do something I haven't thought of before. And this one is pretty nifty, if I do say so myself.

My brother and I were poking around in the garden, not really doing much of anything, we cleaned up the raspberry patch and filled the bird baths but that was pretty much it. As I stood there looking at my yard (which is quite a mess), and my garden, I looked at the frame of our old skate ramp in a completely different way. I had looked at this thing several times and wondered what it could be used for in the garden. I thought about using it for a raised bed or potato bin, but the framework is treated wood, and I couldn't bring myself to let it be in contact with the same soil that my food is growing in. (this is OLD treated wood, BTW, not the new less harmful stuff).
So I had an epiphany....It was going to be my new green house.
You really can't call it a cold frame, because it is at least 4' tall if not a little taller. But it is very much the same principal. It is like a really sunny window, outside...I guess. I call it a propagation box, mini-greenhouse, or maybe even a "germination station" which is actually something else (I think a heated, lidded flat for seed starting, I dunno). The front is two stationary windows, and the rear is the same but the windows are hinged.

Inside are a few 2x4 shelves for flats. On top is another window, also on a hinge and some framing, to close it in.

This thing is COMPLETELY recycled. The only "new" parts are the hinges (2 for $1 at Sutherlands) and the door pulls (also 2 for $1 at Sutherlands). Total investment...maybe $5, but could have been free, because I have hinges around the house and maybe even a door pull, so if I could have found the items, it would have been completely free!
Even some of the screws were reused! It came together quite easily, by reusing all the lumber that came off of the original ramp, there was very little cutting involved, mostly just trimming and shimming.

I apologize for not having "before and after" photos, It really came together too fast to think about that!

The plan now is:
  1. Caulk up all the seams and air leaks. Also, clean and caulk individual window panes.
  2. paint exterior with durable, weather-proofing paint.
  3. paint interior white, to reflect light.
  4. ? line inside with shiny foil????
And then it will need to air out for a few weeks.
This is the most exciting project I have done in a while. And it is literally built from trash! I had been saving these windows since we built our house, for cold frames, or something like that. But with the ease that we were able to put this together, I know that this was supposed to be the fate of my junk! LOL! And I am pretty proud of my little ghetto greenhouse!

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