Thursday, March 24, 2011

Enclosing the sides

Adding the sides to the greenhouse turned out to be fast and easy, once we figured out the design and got some mesh to provide an option for ventilation.  The plants growing inside chew up the carbon dioxide in the air pretty fast, so we had been told we need to provide some mechanism for allowing air to circulate, otherwise the plants would be starved for this vital gas.

We started by stringing cables at designated levels along the length of the greenhouse.  We used a come-a-long to tension the cables and then attached them to the posts with fencing staples.

Anderson Mora (l) and Fabian Perdomo tensioning the cable with a come-a-long.

Einer Posada stapling the cable to a post while Anderson Mora helps.

The next step was to begin attaching the plastic and mesh, starting from the ground up.  Above the first 90 cm high strip of plastic we attached a 90 cm high strip of plastic mesh.

l to r, Henry Rairan, Leonardo Guzman, and Gonzalo Osario attaching the plastic mesh.

This work was straightforward, it went quickly, and we could sense that we were nearing the completion of the project.  We were encouraged and smiles began to break out as we could start seeing our goal in sight.

To finish the sides, we installed curtains of sheeting over the plastic mesh, so that the ventilation could be controlled.  The curtains can be closed at night and on cold days, and opened when there is enough heat inside to allow ventilation.

By March 24th, all we had left to do was to install an access door, hallelujah!


  1. I have a question about the angle in the middle of the greenhouse roof. How does it evacuate on a heavy rainy day to avoid damage to the roof plastic?
    Is the rainy water collected for reuse in the greenhouse?

  2. Thanks, Gloria, for your comment in the form of thoughtful questions. Let me try to answer your questions: The rainwater falling on the roof in the center of the greenhouse runs down into a gutter which is sloped along the length of the greenhouse. Therefore, the water discharges from this gutter at the lower end of the greenhouse, where it collects in a barrel and can be used to water the plants inside the greenhouse.