After choosing your greenhouse and deciding where to put it you will need to get the area ready. We decided to set-up our greenhouse in an area that we had previously grown bearded iris. The area is shaded in the afternoon which will give our plants a break from the harsh sun. Using this area allowed us to regain a section of the garden where we had previously set-up the portable greenhouse. Building the greenhouse foundation and floor took a few hours but required the hardest work since it involved lots of digging. For the video, we figured it would be easiest to just let the camera roll and then do a few voiceovers where needed.
Leveling the Ground
Before we could level anything we had to dig up almost everything that was planted in this area. I spent one afternoon removing iris's, mint, fennel, and lots of rocks. Then Scott dug the area and leveled. Then it rained for several days. The rain did put a hold on our plans but it also helped level the ground and allowed us to see areas that needed to be filled in more or smoothed out.
Building the Greenhouse Frame Supports
When we began setting up the greenhouse foundation we knew we wanted to ensure that the greenhouse had a strong and stable foundation. We placed a cinder block in all four corners and then on the two long sides of the greenhouse we placed another cinder block. The cinder blocks were placed sideways and buried to be level with the grown.
Why we Did Not Use Sand for Leveling
As we began leveling the area and setting up the foundation for the greenhouse Scott and I knew we'd have to address the issue of why we decided not to use sand. First, we didn't feel like it was needed. This is not a home or a large heavy structure. It's a simple greenhouse. Secondly, the area leveled out well without it. If it hadn't we were willing to buy sand. Finally is the environmental impact. Did you know that the world is running out of sand? I know what you're thinking there are deserts all over the world, we have plenty of sand. Yes, we have lots of sand in the world but not the type of sand that can be used in construction projects for leveling.
Building the Greenhouse Floor
For our greenhouse floor, I wanted something that would be durable and easy to clean, we decided to use 12"X12" concrete stepping stones. One added benefit of stones is that they will retain some heat allowing the greenhouse to stay warm as the sun goes down. We measured out the square footage of the greenhouse and made sure we had enough stones to create a small border around the outside area of the frame. Instead of going to Home-Depot and having to load all of the stones ourselves, we ordered the stones online at HomeDepot.com. Our order was ready to pick-up in a few hours. When we arrived the stones were on a pallet, wrapped and ready to go! The associate loaded the pallet into the back of our pick-up with a forklift. Ordering online made it easy for everyone!
Anchoring the Greenhouse
The greenhouse frame had predrilled anchoring holes drilled in so we decided to utilize those. We used toggle bolts leftover from another project to anchor the greenhouse frame to the foundation. Using a masonry drill bit Scott drilled holes through the stones and cinder blocks at all four corners. The toggle bolt was then fastened down. Finally, I filled in all the corner holes and we were ready to begin constructing the actual greenhouse!