Sun Porch is Being Converted into Greenhouse

Written by Paul on June 27th, 2013

Our Sun Porch was being underutilized so I decided to start converting it into a green house. Beds were made using rough cut 2×8’s and hardware cloth and placed on 15 gal barrels recycled from where I work. By keeping water barrels on the porch (as the legs for the beds) it helps to regulate the temperature. 1 BTU being equal to a change in 1 gallon of water by 1 degree F. If you have 100 gallons of water and its temperature drops by 10 degrees, that’s 1000 BTU. Its not enough to grow through the winter but certainly keeps it above freezing in February and March. The Beds were lined with plastic (4mm) and filled with a combination of screened soil and compost from our cows, chickens and pigs. I covered this with organic potting soil. We were able to harvest salad greens from March into May when it got too hot. We started harvesting cucumbers the second week of June and Tomatoes will be ready any time now. Interestingly, I have not needed any fertilizer for the plants in the green house while I did feel I need a synthetic fertilizer to rescue the transplants in the outdoor garden. The goal for the future is to extend the growing season in the fall to December and start producing even earlier next spring.


Three tomato plants started in March in the house and transplanted into pots in the greenhouse are ready to bear fruit.

These salad greens supplied us more than enough from March into May when daytime temperatures were 120 deg F. A ceiling vent with a fan would definitely help.

Cucumbers also started in March, have been yielding cucs for the last two weeks. Leaving the door open is enough to get the flowers pollinated.


You must be logged in to post a comment.