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i made… grow shelves

June 29, 2012

Over the winter I was regularly drooling over the fancy shmancy Patio Grow House (that’s a glorified mini greenhouse) from Gardener’s Supply Company. I could spend forever thumbing through their catalog really. Anyway, I cannot justify the $$$ their grow houses cost, and honestly I don’t really need a greenhouse because dude this is Southern California!

But a tad bit of extra seedling protection in the winter… and something to keep the early butterflies from unleashing caterpillar assassins on my spring greens? YES PLEASE! So back in February I began…

Two craft shelves from Michaels form the main structure. I was already using these in the garden so no extra $ spent there. The dark bands on the legs of the shelves on the right are copper tape. It had been sitting near a grass area and i was trying to prevent slugs from getting up to my plants…

Luckily when first putting the shelves together I had an idea I might want to stack them one day so one already had the connection holes at the top and the other at the bottom, and for once I stored the extra dowel pieces somewhere I could find them again! I used some wood glue for each side of the connection to be safe. Don’t think I’ll want to take this apart. Then once it was stacked the whole thing was stable, but a bit wobbly. I found a stash of old adjustable shelf standards (the metal track in some storage cabinets) that were half rusted so no one can make a fuss about my appropriation ๐Ÿ˜€ Anyway, I used some teeny brass screws about 1/2″ long to attach them diagonally to the back and sides until it wasn’t so wobbly anymore.

Then I painted some wood trips to hold down the summer weight row cover that will encase the shelves.

Draped the row cover (I don’t know what it’s made of, online listing & packaging did not say. Either cotton or lightweight synthetic fabric – hoping it’s cotton) over the shelves, adjusted to wrap around 3 sides, aligned wood strips w/the pre-drilled holes in the supports, and clamped them down. Then screwed the wood strips down.

My Green Children kept pestering to explore their new home and I couldn’t resist letting them in…

And for the top it may look like I didn’t plan ahead – but I did! Glued the edge of the top fabric cover to the top of the wood strip because it’s 6 feet up and I don’t have to look at it! *Neener* I tried my own weird mix of Ja-Ary glue, but it melted away after it rained on night…. So I went back and re-did it with E6000 and that’s held.

For a few days I debated about making door for it, but decided I don’t want to keep space clear around it for doors to swing :9 I just draped another length of row cover over the front that I secure with clothespins. I almost went with sticky back Velcro, but didn’t want to buy anything and I’m not sure how long the row cover would last with the daily tugging.

Works for me! Except for one caterpillar attack after I accidentally left the front open for an entire day I have had no worm problems inside. I did get mites on my green onions and a couple aphids but a quick soap spray fixed that.

Total cost: $12 for the row cover. If you want to build one, the craft shelves only cost $5 each, and i think you could get the metal shelving standards and wood strips for around $10. If anyone builds one please show me! I’d love to see other takes on this simple project ๐Ÿ™‚

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