With the growhouses purchased for the outside section of my Winter garden, I turned my attention to the insulating of the little greenhouse which is to be home to a cauliflower, cabbage, two tubs of carrots, a tub of strawberry plants which are still trying to fruit and some of Muds’ herbs, over winter. I may even try to over winter some of this years chilli plants but as my attempts to do this with last years plants failed, I’m not holding my breath.
I had already begun to Winterfy the greenhouse by upturning some of the left over wooden crates and placing some of the ubiquitous black shelves we happen to have lying about the place, on top and then standing the tubs on these, thereby lifting them out of the draughts and off what will soon become a damp, cold and potentially frozen concrete base.
During our trip to the garden center over the weekend we had also bought a 30m by 0.75m roll of bubble wrap, along with a pack of fixing pegs and so it was now just a matter of cutting to length and fixing the wrap to the inside of the aluminium frame. This was to prove far easier to say than do.
“How are you going to fix it to the frame,” Mud has asked me as we wondered around the garden center.
“Using the fixing pegs,” I’d said.
“But those pegs are designed to slot into the aluminium frame grooves,” he replied, “And our greenhouses don’t have them!”
“Yes they do,” was my response.
As it turned out we were both right. while the edge of the frame doesn’t have the grooves, the frames joining the polycarbonate glazing panels do. So I pondered the problem for a bit and then out came my trusty ball of wool and I set to work.
I strung lengths of wool from one end of the greenhouse to the other, using the nuts fastened to the bolts that hold the frame together:
- across the apex of the roof;
- halfway down the roof panels; and
- then along the join where the roof panels meet the side walls.
Next job was to cut a length of the bubble wrap. At this point I took the roll out of its’ wrapper and discovered that it came with a packet of plastic fixing pegs and so the packet I bought separately is now surplus and will have to be returned.
I decided that the best way to ensure as snug a greenhouse as possible would be to cut the bubble wrap in long enough sections to go from the base of one side to the base of the other which, again, sounded easy in principal but in reality was quite a difficult thing to do because the bubble wrap seemed to have a mind of its’ own and kept trying to twist over on itself and/or fall between the wool guides. Finally I had one piece draped across the entire greenhouse and then began the even more difficult task of fitting the wrap to the frame.
At this point I would like to state that the plastic fixing pegs are awful, won’t stay in the slot as you try to fasten the bubble wrap to them using the plastic disc thing that is kind of the equivalent of a metal popper fastening on clothes and are incredibly fiddly to use! After about 40 minutes or so, the first section was fitted and I had had enough. So I packed everything away for the day and went in doors for a drink and to warm up a bit.
“You’ll have to put bubble wrap on the back and front as well,” Mr ‘Let’s State the Obvious‘ said as I walked in the door, “Otherwise it won’t work and it’ll be a pointless exercise!”
“No! Really?” was my sarcastic response and there I was thinking I could get away with just putting the one piece up – not.
Mud wisely withdrew to continue making dinner.
On Monday I went back out and completed the sides and the back panels, overlapping each piece by a few inches to ensure as snug a fit as possible and now I only have the front to sort out. This is going to be the most difficult section to work out how to secure the wrap but I’ll do it. I’ve put the wooden boxes and plastic shelves back in to help secure the bottom of the bubble wrap, having deliberately cut the pieces long so that they create a barrier for draughts under the frame and it certainly feels cosy in there at the moment.
Overall I think it looks pretty good but only time will tell if it works well enough to protect the plants living there over the winter months.