I made this project before registering on Instructables, so I do not have many photos. With that being said, this instructable is supposed to be inspiring more than anything else.
The problem behind this project was that my small 1,5m*1,5m greenhouse had too little space than I would have wanted it to. But because the (even) space in my garden is limited and as a student do not posess the financial resources to build a bigger greenhouse, this is what I came up with.
Except for some structural components, these raised beds are made from 100% recycled wood, and add about 50% of the existing bed space to the greenhouse, thus maximizing space in the sun.
This design is intended to provide space for both indeterminate and determinate tomatoes.
Now, in the sense of convenience, this double-layered design not so great, as you need some acrobatic skills to harvest the tomatoes behind the shelves. For me, accessibility was not the first priority, but keep in mind that harvesting and maintaining the plants might be a problem if you have mobility issues.
Step 1: Planning Your Design
As greenhouse designs vary, measure the measurements inside your greenhouse. Mine was about 1,5m*1,5m. if you have planks available, use the measurements of the different planks you have in order to make it work.
Step 2: Making of the Shelves
The shelves were then made by copying the design from sketchup and sawing the moldy planks of my parent's old balcony. I then cleaned them with a high pressure cleaner to get rid of the mold. Finally, I sun-dried them to kill of the fungus once and for all. Again, sorry for the lack of images.
I then used old screws to build the entire structure. Since these planks enforce a rustic look, pre-drilling holes was not necessary in my opinion. 1-2 screws per connection is enough.
In order to keep the soil inside the shelves, I then added plastic tablecloths to the bottom by means of stapling. Just make sure, for the top shelves to poke small holes into the plastic in order to allow for drainage.
Step 3: Plant!
Now this picture is taken at the relative end of the season.
For the planting, I added simple topsoil, rich in sand and combined it with compost and aged horse manure to allow for dense planting. No chemical fertilizer added.
As for the tomatoes, I only pruned once, because it was just inconvenient to prune through this construction, but also because I was on holiday for the majority of the rapid growth season (But I still had someone water the plants).
I also tied strings to the ceiling in order to allow for structural stability to the plants.
The tomatoes were grown from seed and the determinate tomato, of the roma variety occupied the top shelf. I had indeterminate tomatoes next to the windows, allowing for vertical growth.
Step 4: Thank You
So, again sorry for the lack of pictures in this instructable, just thought yo share my experience with a double layer design. In the end, I think I probably harvested more than 5 kilos of tomatoes from this little space, but you might get even better results if you companion plant shade-loving plants in the shady areas of the greenhouse. Also - remember to fertilize if you plant densely (of course only with organic fertilizers).
Happy building - and planting!
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