Basement steps Greenhouse

This is the finished product.  I capped our walk-out basement stairs with a very simple greenhouse made of scrap wood and 3 mil painting dropcloth.  This should help me extend the season a bit.

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Just open the door from the laundry room and you’re there.

This afternoon the outdoor high reached 42.  The greenhouse was 81.  It seems promising.  I’m going to start some butter crunch lettuce seeds in the containers on the steps in the pictures.  I just need to figure out what to do about nighttime freezing.  I wonder how much help a 5 gallon bucket of water warmed with an aquarium heater would be?

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12 responses to this post.

  1. You must have the nicest and most understanding wife in the whole wide world ;)
    You have no IDEA. ;)

    Reply

  2. You are one CLEVER man! Heck, if your new greenhouse is right off your laundry room, you might even be able to pipe the heating vent from the dryer in there to extend your growing season even longer, right?

    Reply

  3. Interesting! Boy would I be on top of the laundry then. I’d wash a little every night. :D

    Reply

  4. How ingenious! I wish my bilco got sun and I would do the same, but it gets mostly shade, oh well.

    And great idea #3 using the dryer vent, humidity and warmth.

    Reply

  5. Posted by spyder1321 on November 28, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    Jimmy that was a great idea.Just a thought,you might try an extra layer of plastic on the outside with a deadspace in between.Also,gallon jugs of dark blue water will heat-up in the day time and give off heat at night.Might help.

    Reply

  6. Thanks for the suggestions everybody! I’m planning on running the dryer vent this weekend. I’ll also add some gallons of dark colored water as long as I can find a good spot for them. I increased the hot water bucket from 5 gallons to a 39 gallon trash can tonight. We’ll see how well that 200 watt water heater can warm that much water. Even if it doesn’t keep up during the night, I doubt it will be anywhere near freezing.

    Reply

  7. What a great idea – and way to make use of what you have on hand! I can’t wait to hear how the dryer vent idea works out…
    I’m building (with help) a little greenhouse this month (over one of my exisiting raised beds) – perhaps we can share growing notes in January. ;-)

    Reply

  8. Excellent idea! I have started lettuce seeds inside. They are currently sitting on the warm glass top of my aquarium under a fluorescent light. I’ll transplant them as soon as I have a few true leaves.

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  9. Wow! Absolutely amazing. It’s a pleasure to be in the presence of a true genius. I really wish I had a home to try this in!! :) The dryer vent idea is fabulous!!

    Reply

  10. Katrina, don’t encourage him!

    Reply

  11. I couldn’t convince the wife to let me do this to our 6×6′ balcony. You must do things like rub her feet while feeding her chocolate.

    Reply

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