Food & Drink

My sanctum: The greenhouse

Dean Mullis
Dean Mullis jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

As it is written, all tasks require three times the amount of allotted time to complete. Calculus or something.

For the last week and a half, I have been trying to get the greenhouse back into shape so I can begin starting transplants. The greenhouse was a mess, having been neglected for a few years. I am only focusing on the front quarter of the greenhouse, a 28-by-18-foot area, just ignoring the remaining 78 feet of greenhouse.

The greenhouse has become overrun with Bermuda grass and there is not much you can do to control it except to maybe try to smother it. I laid huge sheets of 2-inch thick cardboard on the ground in the 28-foot area and covered it with heavy-duty landscape weed barrier.

The ground was already uneven and the sheets of cardboard made the walking surface lumpy, so now I am building board walkways out of a little store-bought lumber but mostly from lumber on hand. The seed-starting area of the greenhouse has started to take on an eclectic, homespun feel to it. That is the nice way to say it. A more realistic version would be it looks like something that sprang from the mind of a demented, organic farming miser.

But it is a cool place to work. It may be 35 degrees outside but, if the sun is out, I am down to a T-shirt in the greenhouse. I installed a long-range Wi-Fi antenna at the greenhouse so I can carry my laptop over and listen to various podcasts as I work.

Dean Mullis writes from Laughing Owl Farm in Richfield; demullis@vnet.net.

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