Planting out the growhouse

Back in November, I bought a growhouse—a metal-tube frame about half the size of an old telephone box, with four shelves and an optional cover—and almost immediately assembled it indoors: ostensibly to check all the parts, but also to function as a set of actual storage shelves for a few months.

As part of my plan for the year (which I might share on here at some point!) I was determined to find a place for it outside. The sunniest part of the garden is (sigh) where the compost bins and the shed are kept, so I sandwiched it between the two, right up against the privet hedge for shelter, and weighed its lowest shelf down with four bricks. I was sure, given all of these stabilizing factors, it wouldn’t fall over this side of an actual hurricane.

No pictures exist of this position, because almost immediately… it fell over. Thanks, Storm Gertrude:

The growhouse clearly needed re-siting, preferably still as close to that sunny corner as possible. There are two rather flimsy-looking metal eyelets on the back of the cover, so I put some bungees up around the slightly wonky trellis surrounding the compost bins, then tipped each eyelet over a bungee hook. Not so there’s massive tension on the cover itself, but also without enough wiggle room for the eyelets to come loose again.

I think it now looks very much at home:


In fact, for at least some of the day, it’s clear that the growhouse has full sun in its new position; probably more than it would have actually had tucked in between bins and shed:


At some point I’ll replace the slightly unsightly bungees with something less obvious like cable ties, but I’ll also need to feel happy that the trellis can take the more concentrated stress of being pulled by a thinner, less yielding tie. It’s not the world’s best trellis.

That minor refinement aside, the real next step will be to start growing things in the growhouse, as it hopefully starts warming up prior to spring everywhere else in the garden. But it’s still early days yet, and I’m trying to keep a cool head, not planting anything outside (except maybe carrots, which don’t appreciate transplanting anyway) until at least March. Still, at least I now have a growhouse ready, for when I am too!


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