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Old 04-13-2019, 12:39 PM
 
Location: SNA=>PDX 2013
2,622 posts, read 3,026,208 times
Reputation: 2997

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I bought a house that has a freestanding greenhouse and it's become overrun with stuff growing (see attached pics).

I'm not sure what to do with the greenhouse. It kinda freaks me out. I hate bugs and spiders. This thing has wasps every year also. I think if the greenhouse was bigger, I might not be so bugged out by it. But then again, I also realized after owning a home with a yard for the first time in my life, I really don't like gardening in real dirt on the ground (can we say lots of bugs?). I'm laughing at myself because I enjoy growing stuff, but it's always been in pots.

So, do I sell the greenhouse and have my bf make me some raised, on legs, planters that will most likely have less bugs and grow things that can sustain my 8b climate? Most likely food we can eat. I feel like I should get rid of the greenhouse, but I can't imagine it's a cheap one. And how does one come take it away? Any suggestions on how to get rid of the all the weeds in there, w/o me having to actually go inside?

Or, do I clean out the greenhouse, figure out how to keep it somewhat bug/wasp free and let my plumerias enjoy the heat? I'll have to insulate it as it doesn't stay warm whatsoever. Otherwise, my plumerias and avocado tree live in the garage for 9 months under a lamp (that's at least insulated and hasn't dropped below 50*).

I just feel horrible getting rid of it as it seems like it's a good greenhouse; I just get freaked out by it.
Attached Thumbnails
Keep the greenhouse or go for raised beds?-20190413_101122.jpg   Keep the greenhouse or go for raised beds?-20190413_101211.jpg  
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Old 04-13-2019, 12:50 PM
Status: "It is the nature of grotesque things you can’t look away" (set 28 days ago)
 
Location: Old Hippie Heaven
17,988 posts, read 8,117,349 times
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An unheated greenhouse is great for seed starting, and for overwintering some potted plants. Also, if your green thumb starts to itch in January, it's much more pleasant to putter with plants in a greenhouse than anywhere else.

But unless you intend to make a hobby out of growing tropical plants, you don't need one, especially in Portland. Your plumerias would be better off overwintering in your house under lights. I wouldn't try to heat a greenhouse that small, but if you have electricity to it, seedling heat mats would be of real benefit.

Besides, it's not an either/or. You'll need outside beds anyway if you want to grow food.

Getting rid of it would be easy - just run an ad on your local free cycle list, giving it away to anyone who will come take it down and haul it way.

I will say that if it were me, I'd clean it up and use it. Maybe you could pay someone to spend 4 hours on weeding/cleanup? If someone else got a good start on it, it might not seem like such a daunting chore. Selling well-grown seedlings could pay for your gardening expenses, and you might find out you really love it!

A side note - I was brought up to fear insects and kill them indiscriminately. When I stopped killing them, I stopped fearing them. Plants can't survive in a bug-free environment.

Last edited by jacqueg; 04-13-2019 at 01:05 PM..
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Old 04-13-2019, 12:59 PM
 
2,159 posts, read 1,058,217 times
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It just needs some basic care. I would clean the greenhouse, put up shelving, and place screens or whatever is needed to keep wasps out. If it was mine, I'd put pots of tomatoes in there because tomatoes like heat and don't like rain. I'd use it to start seedlings as well.
If nothing else, you could clean it out and use it as a tool shed.

Bugs are everywhere, don't think raised beds will help you out there.
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Old 04-13-2019, 01:21 PM
 
Location: British Columbia ♥ 🍁 ♥
7,094 posts, read 6,507,733 times
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I see others have beat me to it with some of the same ideas while I was typing this, but I'll post this anyway.

If it was me, I know that if I got rid of such a sturdy, well made greenhouse I would regret it immensely. So what I'd do is both things - keep the greenhouse and build raised beds outside.

I'd completely weed it and clean it out (in your case hire somebody to do it for you if you're afraid to do it yourself). Then lightly pressure wash it inside and out (that will get rid of any remaining bugs) and after it's dried out inside rake the ground level if necessary and lay plywood or plastic sheeting down on top of it to prevent future growth of weeds.

Insulate it on the inside with heavy duty agricultural bubble-wrap and install an electrical outlet or two for things like overhead lights, a winter space heater and a fan. Build work benches and potting tables with lots of storage space and shelves underneath the tables along all the walls and use it as a combined greenhouse and workshop.

You can over-winter your sensitive tropical plants in there and during spring and summer you can start seedlings in trays kept safely on the work benches as well as do all your potting of container plants. When the seedlings are ready to go outside they can be transplanted into the raised beds that you build outside and you will have a greater success rate for them surviving because they got such a good strong start in the shelter of the greenhouse.


.
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Old 04-13-2019, 02:04 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,510 posts, read 54,065,915 times
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My suggestion depends on the wildlife in your area. Once you get rid of the bees you can keep them out, but here, raised beds or any other outside veggies and plants will get eaten by the deer, rabbits, squirrels, or even crows. My greenhouse has 1/2” “rabbit wire” on the door and windows so that even mice can’t get in. In fact, bugs are rare, Some plants like cucumbers require that I hand pollenate.
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Old 04-13-2019, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
68,909 posts, read 51,075,089 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psichick View Post
So, do I sell the greenhouse and have my bf make me some raised, on legs, planters


Or, do I clean out the greenhouse


I just feel horrible getting rid of it as it seems like it's a good greenhouse; I just get freaked out by it.
My suggestion is to have your bf clean it out. You're going to feel a lot better when its all cleaned and bug sprayed to prevent any future bugs in there. It will look clean, new, and you will appreciate having something not many of us have.


Look at this like this... If you get rid of it, you're getting rid of good money. How much do you think that is worth? $1000? Keep it. Enjoy it. Plan on future plantings. Take pics of it all cleaned up and post here.
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Old 04-13-2019, 05:17 PM
Status: "It is the nature of grotesque things you can’t look away" (set 28 days ago)
 
Location: Old Hippie Heaven
17,988 posts, read 8,117,349 times
Reputation: 10434
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
My suggestion depends on the wildlife in your area. Once you get rid of the bees you can keep them out, but here, raised beds or any other outside veggies and plants will get eaten by the deer, rabbits, squirrels, or even crows. My greenhouse has 1/2” “rabbit wire” on the door and windows so that even mice can’t get in. In fact, bugs are rare, Some plants like cucumbers require that I hand pollenate.
When I was rural, I liked to build protective structures on my raised beds. If the OP is within Portland city limits, she won't have too much trouble, unless she's growing berries. I've seen many caged berry plants on backyard garden tours.
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Old 04-13-2019, 06:54 PM
 
Location: SNA=>PDX 2013
2,622 posts, read 3,026,208 times
Reputation: 2997
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacqueg View Post
An unheated greenhouse is great for seed starting, and for overwintering some potted plants. Also, if your green thumb starts to itch in January, it's much more pleasant to putter with plants in a greenhouse than anywhere else.

But unless you intend to make a hobby out of growing tropical plants, you don't need one, especially in Portland. Your plumerias would be better off overwintering in your house under lights. I wouldn't try to heat a greenhouse that small, but if you have electricity to it, seedling heat mats would be of real benefit.

Besides, it's not an either/or. You'll need outside beds anyway if you want to grow food.

Getting rid of it would be easy - just run an ad on your local free cycle list, giving it away to anyone who will come take it down and haul it way.

I will say that if it were me, I'd clean it up and use it. Maybe you could pay someone to spend 4 hours on weeding/cleanup? If someone else got a good start on it, it might not seem like such a daunting chore. Selling well-grown seedlings could pay for your gardening expenses, and you might find out you really love it!

A side note - I was brought up to fear insects and kill them indiscriminately. When I stopped killing them, I stopped fearing them. Plants can't survive in a bug-free environment.
I'm going to address the bug thing first. I realize that bugs can be good for plants and detrimental. It's more the digging in the dirt to plant things that I don't like all the squirmy bugs that are crawling around. I just hate creepy crawly things, so not too sure I'll get over that; it's totally irrational, but that's what phobias are, right? Oh, I don't typically kill them, I just move them but it still freaks me out.

I like the idea of paying someone to clean it up for me. I was going to just spray it down with a natural weed killer then maybe put something down on the ground so as to inhibit weed growth.

You said you wouldn't try to heat a greenhouse that small; do you mean like space heater type of heating (vs seedling mats)?

I wouldn't say plumerias are a hobby. Being from SoCal, I loved having them and I miss it, so I've been growing them from seeds from my mom's trees. I've tried to give them away to people who love plants and stuff and no one wants them due to the upkeep. Gotta admit, loved how low maintenance it was in SoCal.

Lastly, it's an either/or because of the location. That spot where the greenhouse is, unfortunately, is the only place that gets sun almost all day long (darn backyard is north facing).

Thank you for the feedback, I have some thinking to do and some more reading.
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Old 04-13-2019, 06:56 PM
 
Location: SNA=>PDX 2013
2,622 posts, read 3,026,208 times
Reputation: 2997
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgardener View Post
It just needs some basic care. I would clean the greenhouse, put up shelving, and place screens or whatever is needed to keep wasps out. If it was mine, I'd put pots of tomatoes in there because tomatoes like heat and don't like rain. I'd use it to start seedlings as well.
If nothing else, you could clean it out and use it as a tool shed.

Bugs are everywhere, don't think raised beds will help you out there.

Unfortunately the greenhouse has one of those automatic roofs that opens when it's too hot inside. They come through that way, I would assume. My bf wanted to do tomatoes, maybe I can talk him into helping me clean it out

I would hope, think, that it'd be less bugs than the actual ground? No?
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Old 04-13-2019, 07:01 PM
 
Location: SNA=>PDX 2013
2,622 posts, read 3,026,208 times
Reputation: 2997
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
I see others have beat me to it with some of the same ideas while I was typing this, but I'll post this anyway.

If it was me, I know that if I got rid of such a sturdy, well made greenhouse I would regret it immensely. So what I'd do is both things - keep the greenhouse and build raised beds outside.

I'd completely weed it and clean it out (in your case hire somebody to do it for you if you're afraid to do it yourself). Then lightly pressure wash it inside and out (that will get rid of any remaining bugs) and after it's dried out inside rake the ground level if necessary and lay plywood or plastic sheeting down on top of it to prevent future growth of weeds.

Insulate it on the inside with heavy duty agricultural bubble-wrap and install an electrical outlet or two for things like overhead lights, a winter space heater and a fan. Build work benches and potting tables with lots of storage space and shelves underneath the tables along all the walls and use it as a combined greenhouse and workshop.

You can over-winter your sensitive tropical plants in there and during spring and summer you can start seedlings in trays kept safely on the work benches as well as do all your potting of container plants. When the seedlings are ready to go outside they can be transplanted into the raised beds that you build outside and you will have a greater success rate for them surviving because they got such a good strong start in the shelter of the greenhouse.


.
Thanks for the very detailed suggestions. Couple of questions.

1. can you suggest a good bubble wrap?
2. how about a space heater?

I'm pretty sure they previous owners just used an extension cord since there's a fan in there. Would that whole vinegar, dishsoap, salt mixture kill the plants? Maybe I can buy a full hazmat body suit. LOL. Seriously need to hire someone.

I'm going to have to see where else I can maybe put the raised beds. My stupid backyard is north facing and the sides get a lot of sun. I'm going to have to figure out where else I might be able to put some. BF just finished building his workbench in the garage, so y'know, he should have time to start making me some shelves in the greenhouse. I can wait for the raised beds for next year.
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