Last fall we put up framework for our new greenhouse over our Aquaponics System. We used painter’s sheeting, a moderately heavy plastic, as our covering.
During the first part of the cool season we would pull the sides up so the plants could still get sunlight but once it got cool enough both day and night, we kept the plastic down completely.
Through the winter we had several wind storms that whipped through the plastic. We needed to be vigilant to make sure the seams were taped down well. We also added water heaters to the tanks and a general air heater between the grow beds. This wasn’t entirely ideal for our electric bill, but we lost only 5 fish and we were able to have several strong plants going into the growing season!
In our green house we kept the bed of bell peppers and Jalapenos growing from last year and we got several more batches of peppers. We had to keep on top of pollinating though. We also had two beds of lettuce that thrived all winter. Other than those three beds that
actively produced, we planted one bed of squash, one bed of tomatoes, and one more bed of peppers that could start producing as soon as spring hit. The last bed was our ginormous basil plant, a left over tomato plant, and an eggplant.
Having grown under the green house plastic all winter long, our tomatoes are now thriving with at least 100 tomatoes and are 6 feet or taller. Our new pepper plants are budding and starting to form tiny peppers, and our squash plants are the biggest squash plants I’ve ever seen. Both beds of lettuce were pulled up and haven’t yet been replaced.
The benefits of having a green house over our system was tremendous! Rather than having to “restart” my system with new fish every spring, I was able to keep my system running year round. I was able to continue to grow fresh veggies through the winter, and several of my plants got a great, healthy head start for the spring planting season!
The best thing about having built the green house how we did? We can now use the frame work for shade cloth and trellis as the plants grow through the summer!