Despite some nasty weather lately, Will got the new greenhouse totally enclosed. I’ll admit there are a few “temporary” things about it as the only plywood we had was some cheap stuff off the boxes David had gotten at work. But at the cost of treated plywood soaring to over $50 a sheet, Will figures he’ll hold off awhile and see if the price comes down or we can get some other material from the dump. I’m so happy to see it finished! He’s going to put down landscaping fabric under the bench areas and use some heavy grade rubber conveyor belting a friend got for us — discarded at the iron mines — for the walkways. Then it’s building benches for the plants and installing the propane wall heater we used, years ago, to heat our fish house living room when we first moved here in 2004, in February. I can’t wait!

The new greenhouse is now totally closed in. Will even washed the windows!
Will watered down the gravel in the greenhouse, prior to installing the landscape fabric and rubber belting so it would be nice and solid.

I’ve been transplanting tomato plants like mad. Yesterday, I did six flats and only got to the “Cs”. I planted tomatoes alphabetically, so I had some order to the chaos. Whew, what a job! But it has to be done and soon as some of those plants are more than 6 inches tall already. Luckily, they aren’t getting too leggy. I’m thinking that when Will gets the new greenhouse up and running, I’ll have tons of plants ready to go out there.

While Will has been working on the greenhouse, I’ve been transplanting hundreds of tomato seedlings, getting them ready to go out into it as soon as it’s heated.

— Jackie


  1. I can’t wait until you start moving plants into the greenhouse – a long overdue addition to your homestead.
    All but a couple of my taters are up and the strawberries are starting to blossom. Got some rain today (not a lot but some is better than none), warm weekend coming so hoping the morels start popping. Of course rain helps the weeds but the exercise will do me good.

  2. Jackie,
    You and Will are such an inspiration to me. I am planning to move back to the Midwest in the next 12 months or so to start my little homestead. I grew up in Wisconsin and most likely will end up in the central part of the state. With the prices of lumber up over 200% in the past year, you two are so lucky to have a source of free materials! I have read your blog for about 10 years now and I am impressed at how much you have accomplished. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us throughout these years and I hope to meet you and Will someday.

  3. Congratulations on your greenhouse! When do you start the following vegetable starts: onions, tomatoes, peppers, winter squash and melons in the house? Thanks!

  4. The greenhouse looks great, have enjoyed seeing the progress. I know I’ll have one someday, but first things first. Congrats, I know you’re going to enjoy it so much!

  5. I remember years (I mean YEARS ago…… back in the 70’s) being told that tomatoes do NOT like propane heat. I have never seen that. Is there any basis behind that? I noted that you plan on using a propane heater in your green house. I also do know that commercial greenhouses use propane.

    • Yes, commercial greenhouses do use propane and we’ve used a LP heater in our hoop houses. No problems.

  6. Very impressive, Will did a great job. In addition to heating the greenhouse how will you cool it when it does get too warm? Your plants look great! I’ve begun to “harden some of my plants”. A garden club I belong to sells plants 5/15 and we have a community garden to supply people. Summer is coming.

    • We installed screen doors on both ends of the house and will be using a box fan, hung from the ceiling above the center bench to move air through it. We’ve never needed more in our hoop houses and never even used a fan, just both ends left open. Yes! Summer IS coming.

  7. That greenhouse is beautiful! I’m writing this while I get ready to make your recipe for Old-fashioned Baked Beans. I keep ya’ll in my prayers. God is so good!

  8. What a beautiful looking greenhouse! Jackie, I bet you can’t wait to get inside and start growing things.

    Yes, cost of lumber, even the cheap plywoods and particlboards have skyrocketed here in Canada too. I hate when things become a “trend” and folks go gaga without even thinking about what they are doing. Makes it very hard for the average person who needs these things to afford them. When this pandemic shutdown first started, everyone was going crazy over toilet paper and costs up practically doubled. I could never understand the riot over toilet paper. There are substitutes you can use for that. If folks are going to hoard, at least make it food. There’s no substitute for that.

    • That’s for sure Donna! Today’s folks are just too spoiled, I think. We’re sure tickled to have that greenhouse so close to finished. I’m putting plants in on Saturday!

    • We’ve just found that when you really need something, you get around to it, even if it does take awhile. We love it!

  9. Nice job! Beautiful greenhouse! I’m sure you are ready to fill it up! You guys are an inspiration to us all!

  10. I’m with you on the happy dance for that greenhouse! :)
    You mentioned getting your seed potatoes at the feed mill. I was wondering if it’s possible to overwinter your own potatoes from last year’s crop to use for seed potatoes? Especially with the way things are going in this crazy world. Last year I was surprised how many stores were out of seed potatoes, so this year I bought mine right away at the garden store, even though we won’t be planting for quite a while. Just wondered if you have ever saved some for next year’s planting?

  11. Your greenhouse looks great! I would love one like that. I bet you can’t wait to put out your tomatoes!!! I would be excited too.

    Your plants look great! All your hard work is paying off. Thanks for sharing!

    • I’m really tickled with this new addition to our homestead. It’s been needed for awhile but even more now with COVID orders to our little seed business. We feel we have an obligation to help keep people fed!

    • Thanks. I went in and did the happy dance this morning. 43 degrees outside and 57 inside with no heat.

  12. Greenhouse looks great. Don’t get in a hurry to get anything lumber cheap. A sheet of 3/4” plywood here is just under 100.00 Crazy !

  13. Congratulations. Great looking greenhouse
    Always fun to see your Updates.
    Finally got potatoes planted, late. We
    Had 5 inches wet snow the middle of
    April. That’s just not normal weather,
    Even for Kansas. Sure enjoy your
    Progress report

    • It’s fun to share with you all. My seed potatoes haven’t even come in at our feed mill! My what a difference a few hundred miles makes, huh??

  14. I am so happy for you ..having a green house is on top of my list I am in Arizona and my tomatoes and zucchini are producing..I love love love are an inspiration to all of us

  15. David might look into something called Woodlife Copper Coat for the plywood. That will seal it up and do as well as pressure treated.

    • We’re pretty happy too! I can’t wait to get started working out there but Will has to build some benches first to hold the plants.

  16. The greenhouse looks great. Congratulations on getting done. I think l hear it calling your plants to come on in.

    • And the best thing is that it cost less than 1/4 of what a smaller commercial greenhouse would have cost and we’d still have to assemble it.

  17. I t looks wonderful, Will is a very gifted man, is there anything he can’t build? You will enjoy the green house so much. We got some badly needed rain here in Utah today. I also got my tomatoes transplanted into bigger containers, $ store styrafoam cups. Aren’t they the best and you can use them over and over. Of course I had no where near what you have, I am impressed with all that you both do. Happy Gardening.

    • If there’s something Will can’t build, I haven’t seen it yet. Just like my dad. The grandkids called him “Magic Grandpa” because he could build anything or fix darned near everything they broke. I love my Dollar Tree Styrofoam cups! I’ve reused some of them for over 8 years now so they DO last.

  18. The greenhouse looks great!! Be very careful with the conveyor belt, it can be very slippery with a little moisture.

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