Building greenhouse shelving: back shelves

Over the weekend I started a fairly small new construction project: building some custom wooden shelving for our greenhouse.

Here’s an older photo of the greenhouse, showing the potting bench and a couple of small wire racks:

Greenhouse

To increase the capacity of growing space, I designed and am building wooden shelving, sized to fit the greenhouse and the plant trays.  I considered various designs, but decided on an outer frame of vertical-oriented 1x2s, with horizontal cross-braces supporting slats, also 1x2s. That should make it more sturdy and tidy than other concepts I considered.

To start, the shelf edge and bracing (perhaps not the proper terms, but works for me):

Shelf edge and bracing

The shelf slats, with plenty of space for excess water drainage:

Shelf slats

After making one prototype shelf, I took it to the greenhouse to confirm the sizing. Perfect fit! The vertical 2×4 represents one of the shelf posts; the posts will be on the ends, resting on the wooden foundation, plus some extra in the middle:

Shelf in greenhouse

Here you can see the full width. The shelf is 69” wide by 22” deep:

Shelf in greenhouse

Having confirmed that, I then cloned that shelf three times, for a total of four shelves at the back of the greenhouse, each shelf taking a total of 10 8’ 1×2 boards:

Making more shelves

That done, I made a couple of sets of side posts and shelf supports out of 2x4s. It probably would have been plenty sturdy using 2x2s, but no harm making it stronger.  The shelves will rest on and be screwed into those supports. The bottom ones are treated 2x4s sticking half below the posts, as they will also be screwed into the wooden foundation, so the shelves can’t tip over:

Side posts and supports

Finally for now, I started on the back posts and supports. These are just to help prevent the shelves from sagging in the middle. This isn’t quite done, as it’ll have a 2×4 at the top to mount a power strip onto:

Back posts and supports

That’s all I had time for this past weekend. Next weekend (probably), I’ll install weed mat on the floor of the greenhouse, finish the posts, and install them.

After that (probably a subsequent weekend), I will also build a second set of shelves along the right-hand wall of the greenhouse; much the same as the back ones, and connected to them. So the final result will be about 95 square feet of L-shaped shelving. That’ll hold a lot of seedlings!

Later, once the ground unfreezes, I will add a couple of taps and irrigation emitters for all of the shelves to water the plants.

Stay tuned!

Bonus snow

We got some about an inch of unexpected snow yesterday. Some pictures from this morning.

Chickens in the veggie garden with snow:

Chickens in the veggie garden with snow

Beehives in the snow:

Beehives in the snow

Snow sliding off the greenhouse:

Snow sliding off the greenhouse

Brown gazebo with snow:

Brown gazebo with snow

The pond isn’t frozen:

Pond with snow

Greenhouse potting bench & shelving

A quick greenhouse update: today I assembled a potting bench and added it to the greenhouse (along with some soil bins we’ve had for years, which fit quite well):

I did think about building a custom bench, but this was pretty much exactly what we wanted, much cheaper and easier than a custom one would be.

I also added some basic metal shelving for seed trays and such:

I’ll probably build some larger wooden shelves at some point, but that’ll do for now.

Pretty much ready to start being used now:

Greenhouse assembly

Over the weekend (and a bit elsewhen) I assembled a small greenhouse purchased from Amazon.

Here are a sequence of images taken from about the same position, showing the assembly (with more detailed pics following):

Let’s go back to the beginning. Here’s the 90 lb package:

I built a foundation out of treated posts I had on hand (concrete would have been better, but this should be fine):

I secured the posts to the ground with some heavy-duty metal spikes:

The base of the greenhouse:

The base is secured to the foundation with several lag bolts:

I added an optional accessory, a louvered vent:

Back corner:

Openable roof vent:

Gutter:

Base of the door, with a magnetic catch:

Inside:

Another optional accessory, an automatic opener for the roof vent, that opens or closes it based on the temperature inside:

The vent open:

The greenhouse feels pretty solid, and hopefully is anchored quite well, but I also added a third accessory, tie-down anchor cables to make it even more secure:

The cables go over the top:

Hopefully we’ll make good use of this over time. It could be very useful to get a head start on spring veggie planting, and more.