Today my role was more as an assistant – Laura is our resident IKEA construction expert, and even while there apparently was some unclear (or plain wrong) instructions in the Juliana guide sheet, the aluminium frame of our greenhouse was built in one day.
Category Archives: garden
The method of building the foundation for our greenhouse has proved to be a bit more demanding than perhaps some others – hopefully the final outcome will be worth the extra labour. The tricky part is casting concrete into long pipes, that go down into 80 cm depth – i.e. beneath the soil frost line. These concrete pipes, or pillars, need to be cast so that the the steel plinth that will provide the basis for the actual greenhouse will be exactly square shaped in horizontal X & Y directions, while simultaneously also exactly at right even level (Z) so that there will be no tensions into the glasses of the finished greenhouse. The actual freezing protection will be provided by several layers of gravel and sand, separated by filter fabric layers, plus a couple of layers of Finnfoam (extruded polystyrene foam – XPS – thermal insulation). The tricky part is that those pipes I mentioned need to go through all of those other layers, and they need to be made and fixed in pretty much their correct, final positions first, before any other elements of this foundation have yet been built. From the photos underneath you might get an idea how our ambitions have met with the reality so far.
Oh, and did I forget to mention that there of course need to be also underground drain pipes, so that all rain water will not turn that big hole in the clay earth into a swimming pool? And that those pipes need to be installed at the right angle of bank.
The building project of this summer has been to make a greenhouse – for my chilli peppers, as well as other vegetables for the family. Construction of proper foundation for a rather sensitive small building that will mostly consist of sheets of glass and thin bars of aluminium is important; however, July was mostly rainy and we also were travelling a lot, so most of the digging was still to be done in early August. Now, in mid-August, the hole in the ground is almost deep enough (in Finland earth can freeze in quite deep during winters, and our garden is on top of several meters of clay, which expands when it freezes; thus – a lot of showel-work). Since our backyard is a bit on the small side, there was a narrow spot where the entire construction had to fit into. But the hole is now there. Have I mentioned that going down into solid clay is somewhat heavy digging?
In other news, our pick for the greenhouse kit manufacturer was Juliana: http://juliana.com/en/products/juliana/
I have also already got the watering system (that I have also already used during our travels for my chillies), from Blumat.
Next steps will probably involve some concrete and a lot of gravel. And a shovel and a wheelbarrow.
(To be continued.)
It is germination time again: this post lists (most of) the chilli pepper varieties I have selected for this season, with links to the Finnish Chili wiki and other sites:
- Fatalii: http://www.chiliwiki.fi/index.php?title=Fatalii
- Aji Norteno: http://www.chiliwiki.fi/index.php?title=Aji_Norteno
- Habanero Uganda: http://www.refiningfirechiles.com/uredhabgallery.html
- Fatalii Gourmet Aji Fantasy: http://www.fatalii.net/Chile_Peppers/Aji_Fantasy
- C. galapagoense: http://www.fatalii.net/Chile_Peppers/Species/C_galapagoense
- NuMex Twilight: http://www.chiliwiki.fi/index.php?title=NuMex_Twilight
- Lemon Drop: http://www.chiliwiki.fi/index.php?title=Lemon_Drop
- Aji Cristal: http://www.chiliwiki.fi/index.php?title=Aji_Cristal
- Pimenta Lagrima: http://fataliiphoto.net/index.php/chiles/c_chinense/pimenta_lagrima_pods
- Prik Ki Nu: http://fataliiseeds.net/search?query=prik+ki+nu
- Tabasco Greenleaf: http://www.chiliwiki.fi/index.php?title=Tabasco_Greenleaf
- Malawi Bird’s Eye: http://www.chiliwiki.fi/index.php?title=Malawi_Bird%27s_Eye
- Caramel Bhut Jolokia: http://fataliiseeds.net/search?query=caramel+bhut+jolokia
- Turbo Pube: http://www.chiliwiki.fi/index.php?title=PI_585267_Turbo_Pube
- Trepadeira Werner: http://www.chiliwiki.fi/index.php?title=Trepadeira_do_Werner
- Fire Flame: http://www.ethno-botanik.org/Capsicum/Fireflame/Fireflame-Capsicum-annuum-en.html
- Thai Rawit: http://www.microfluo.net/en/piments-hot/637-thai-chili-pepper-rawit.html
Happy chilli season!
The exact point when summer starts is hard to define, weather and calendar both playing their tricks. When your summer vacation starts can set a fuctional entry point for most purposes.
There has been more administrative and various reporting & statement writing work dragging into June than ever before. I am really looking forward to a break; no word that I would be using my hard- earned vacation days for writing my own research, like in so many summers before. That means that I wont be publishing anything, but – that is academic reality this year. My personal goal is to cut radically down administrative duties during the next academic year and work my way back towards doing my own research more. Lets see how that will work out.
Meanwhile, still a couple of days in the office, and then – off we go!
These days you can find pretty nice bird tables, like this little house we have now in our front yard. It was originally designed to be hung from a string, but it was pretty easy to hack into a suitable stick. So, now we have a regular show going on, with five pheasant, a flock of small birds and a squirrel fighting over the nuts and seeds.
Quiet at the night time, though. The photo was taken at the point when the snowfall had turned into light rain (of water), using my trusty old Canon EOS 350D (exposure time 3,2 seconds, I was using a Manfrotto stand), and I admit a serious graving of 7D with its environmental sealing and advanced autofocus point selection system… (More here: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos7d/ )
Couple of years ago I wrote about our first lawnmower, a Stiga Collector model. In couple of summers I have managed to break the thing several times (I always run it against stones), until it felt not worth paying for repairs any more. Also, it had become apparent that the collector part was not really necessary for us — bio-clipping is really enough (like Eki then already commented). Our new model is hopefully simple and durable machine: a Klippo Excellent S GCV model. It has a solid aluminium base and motor built by Honda. To be ready for those stones, I asked it to be installed with a Blade Plate system: six small blades that cut the grass at different levels and which are hopefully more resistant against stones (or, more likely, breaking in a manner that makes repairs a bit cheaper). Lets see. The ultimate goal is to have a smaller lawn in any case.