Principles – What is special about our greenhouse ?

TOP is intended as a model garden, with ideas others can adopt. Within our 16’x10′ aluminium frame greenhouse, which we retrieved second hand for £100, we aim to explore and provide innovative examples of Organic, Low maintenance and Permaculture practice.

  • Raised Beds for Tomatoes, Peppers & Winter salads
  • Automatic and semi-automatic Irrigation
  • Heat stores through water storage and paved flooring
  • Ventilation – a mix of purchased vents and home grown
  • Communal space for meetings, working towards wheelchair access
  • Potting bench including irrigation
  • Space for a Fig tree and a Grape Vine
Greenhouse full of tomatoes Sep 08

Greenhouse full of tomatoes Sep 08

Diary of Progress

Apr 2002

  • After considerable delay, the greenhouse is up !
  • Water collected from greenhouse and feeding tanks – see water storage project page
  • Raised bed constructed and first early salad crop eaten- greek cress, rocket, lettuce & radishes
  • Potting bench in place, including the kitchen sink !
  • Paving area including socket holes for seed rack
  • Fig tree planted

June 2002

  • Purchased and installed additional automatic vents
  • Completed irrigation – Urinal cistern to automate flow
  • Benches and pipework for 2 baths
  • Organise overflow out of greenhouse

July 2002

  • Planted a Vine – summer shading and autumn vintage
  • Irrigation system working well, but header tank not big enough
High level cisterns for flushing pebble bed

High level cisterns for flushing pebble bed

2009 update

  • The irrigation system has proved excellent, with tomatoes automatically watered approximately 3 times per 24 hour period.
  • After a slow start, the grape vine now fills the greenhouse, and in 2008 we had a lot of small sweet  grapes – too good for wine.
  • a hydroponic system, constructed from refrigerator shelves and webbing suspends tomatoes and peppers above one of the baths. Again a great success in 2008.
  • the greenhouse proves a popular meeting place for eating and socialising in the winter months

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