Sweat, blood and swearing

Sweat, blood and swearing

Yep, it was when we were trying to put together our new Sproutwell Garden Pro 2400 greenhouse. The worse instructions for anything I have ever seen.

I wanted to get a greenhouse because I like the idea of getting an early start on the season, plus maybe trying to grow some stuff during winter in it. I have this grand idea of growing tomatoes all year round. It is a nice dream and I will keep it until I can prove one way or the other if it is possible.

My first greenhouse

I did get a cheap one to test out, to see what I thought of having one.

It was a disaster. There was no way to keep it warm and it was so flimsy that any wind would move the structure too much and it would shake a lot. I would come out in the morning and find all my seedling trays on the floor. It was driving me insane.

I would do a ton of work and then it would all be for nothing.

I needed a new greenhouse and one that had a better structure. Once I knew the new one was coming, I got onto a Facebook page for my suburb and asked if anyone wanted it. I was giving it away. Someone said they wanted it within an hour.

My next greenhouse

I can’t really say what brought me to Sproutwell. The reviews were good, though many people said it was hard to assemble, but I thought it would be like Ikea instructions. You know some find their instructions hard and others don’t. The price was good, so I decided to go for it. It also looked nice.

So I ordered it. I wanted the green one, however, the green one was out of stock, so I settled for the silver one. I also ordered some shelves for the inside, but they were out of stock of those as well and I would have to wait for them. Okay, I can use other things in the meantime.

I ordered, paid, and waited. Then I waited some more. Finally, I contacted them to find out when I would get it. Usually, they tell you when it is shipped. The shipping can take a long time. Turns out that it was one of those websites that say free delivery, but what they really mean is you have to pick it up. It can be so confusing. On the call, I organised to have it shipped. We were in lockdown at the time and I wasn’t allowed to travel that far to get it anyway.

When it arrived, I was a little surprised that the parcels weren’t bigger. I mean I knew we had to put it together, but we really did have to put it together completely. I think you need to be warned when things come as a flat pack.

Well, it said 1 to 2 days for 2 people. You really needed two people to put it together. It was hard, it was confusing, and one of the hardest things we have ever built. Thank goodness for Dave. The man has patience like you wouldn’t believe.

We called this post sweat, blood, and swearing because that is how it was. We both sweated because it was really hard work, and once the main structure was done, well it is a greenhouse so it was humid and sweaty. We both cut ourselves trying to put it together. Well the swearing, we did a lot of that trying to work out what we had to do. I should apologise to my neighbours.

The instructions weren’t great. They were drawings and didn’t always really show the bits and pieces as they really were. There was a video of how to put it together, but OMG it was hard to follow. It was more a how it goes, but didn’t really show you what to do.

One of the first problems we ran into was finding out that we had to cement the corner pegs into the ground. We had no concrete and we couldn’t go on without it. As I said lockdown made it hard. Click and collect in some places would take days. Dave had taken some time off to do this, so we needed to do it now. Thankfully a local hardware store had what we needed and we were able to just go and get it.

Then when we went to put it down we realised that some concrete from the shed was in the way and we would need to bring it forward to go over it.

Levelling the base took over 2 hours. Who would have thought that something like that would take so long? This finished us for the first day.

Then the problems began the next day.

So many pieces we did wrong and then would have to take apart heaps of it and do it over again. This was because of the drawings. They really need to get people who haven’t put them together to help them with their instructions.

We worked through the second day, putting it together, undoing it, putting it together again. Until we got to the ridge part of the roof.

We got the shade cloth to go over it and it had rails and we knew they would be easier to do when assemblying it, than doing it after. I don’t know how anyone would do after it was put together.

When we tried putting the ridge section across the very top we couldn’t get it to fit. Seems we had holes in ours and we should have had slots. Another problem. Thankfully a friend of ours had an angle grinder and he was able to come over straight away and fix the problem. Turn the holes into slots. Who knows how long we would have had to wait if we needed to get a new piece.

We did leave it there for the night. We had been at it most of the day.

Day three we managed to get the rest of it together.

We did find bits and pieces that were meant to go into it and we missed them. Hopefully they won’t matter. We have had some pretty strong winds here and I was worried it would blow away, but it has held very secure.

Paving the inside

I wanted to get it paved inside. The idea being that in summer I could wet down the pavers and it would help cool it. Also in winter they would warm up and help keep it warm overnight.

We initially were going to get this guy to do it, but he kept putting us off. It was I will do it next week. Then next week it would be the next week. I didn’t think it would ever get done. Plus then he wanted me to order the pavers. They were going to cost a lot to get delivered. When I told him he said it would cost us to get him to do them and bring them here. We had been given a quote and assumed that the cost of that would be part of the quote. Dave just said nope, tell him no. If he is going to start adding to the quote, what else will the quote not cover.

Dave and I did some YouTubing and realised we could probably do it ourselves. So that is what we did. We ordered gravel, sand and the pavers.

It took us a whole weekend to do it, but we did it. Did we do a good job, probably not, but it is fine for the greenhouse.

We are thinking of paving another area outside and doing this showed us that we do need other equipment. We will do it differently, but glad to have this practice run. Showed us what not to do next time.

I have put some shelves in it, but there will be more.

So after all that, was it worth it?

Absolutely.

I wouldn’t like to build it again, but I am so glad I have it now. I’ve been growing things in it and being able to get a head start for the season was just brilliant.

The only real problem I have is keeping it cool for the summer. So far I haven’t lost anything with the heat, but I do have to keep an eye on it.

Now the real beauty is going to be winter I think. I am really excited to see what I can do with it then. How I will be able to grow things in there. I can do lots of flowers too so I can keep taking photos.

I think that is enough for today. Sorry, it was a very long post indeed. So I have a greenhouse now and the garden just keeps getting better.

Take care and we can talk soon.

23 Responses

  1. Amazing post! Pl visit my webite

  2. ArcticFox

    Looks nice and strong with all the bracing inside but what on earth are the outside rails for? Or am I just being daft?

  3. Awesome! I think it’ll definitely be worth all of your hard work🙏🏼

  4. Good job. Is the ridge on the top for putting shade cloth over in Summer when it gets too hot? Pity there’s no ventilation to let out hot air.

  5. Elderly neighbours of mine have greenhouse about the size of the one you have – they have a couple of recliner chairs and a small table and that’s about it. If it’s not absolutely freezing they just go out and sit in it with a cup of tea and the paper/book. What a great idea, no messing about with compost and all that!

    • Hahaha interesting use for a greenhouse. I don’t think they would be sitting in it here right now, it is so hot in there, it is hard to spend any time in it during the day. In winter it would be nice and I’m looking forward to that. Thanks Stephen.

  6. Love the title! You are a hard worker:))

  7. You guys did a great job on the construction and flooring, well done! I hope you can grown all year around.

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