Umbrella Greenhouse

Umbrella  Greenhouse 2

So if you have been following this blog, you might remember back to last fall when you got a first glimpse of my potted herb garden. This post is a little upgrade that I made to my herb garden that allows me to get out into the garden early in the season.

In Southern California we are obviously blessed with pretty amazing weather. The problem is   that when we have nice warm days in January I want to get outside and get my garden going. What is this thing we call frost? How am I supposed to know when the last frost will be when we have no clearly defined seasons? So in seasons past I have been way to eager and all my little plants die because of frost and I have to end up planting everything again anyways. A perfect example is that I planted my herbs about 2 weeks ago and this morning there was ice on my windshield. I didn’t even know how to get it off, this is Southern California right?

Anyway, I am really glad I made this little greenhouse because not only have my herbs not died a premature death, but they are actually flourishing in their protected new bio-dome.

Umbrella  Greenhouse3

So the whole idea is pretty simple and you only need a few supplies:

  • one bubble umbrella (got mine at target)
  • one large pot/planter (mine is a galvanized steel basin)
  • potting soil
  • herbs (or whatever you like!)

Tips: I recommend trying to find a pot that is very similar in diameter to the umbrella that you have purchased. So umbrella first, pot second.

Step 1: Fill your pot with potting soil and plant your desired seeds or plants. Don’t overcrowd the pot because soon your plants will be filling in just fine. The only important thing to note is to make sure to not plant anything in the direct center of the pot. This is where the pole of the umbrella will go.

Step 2: Using large metal cutters, cut the handle off of the umbrella (and by cut, I mean I had to squeeze multiple times and then bend the handle back and forth). This should leave the pole crushed into a flat shape at the base because it is hollow. Using duct tape, cover this end. This will not only make it safer for handling, but will prevent dirt, water, and bugs from making their way into the umbrella.

Umbrella Greenhouse 1

Step 3: With the umbrella open, fit over your pot using the pole as a post to anchor the umbrella in place. If you pot is smaller than the umbrella, release the latch and allow the umbrella to “custom fit” your pot. The greenhouse effect still works this way.

Umbrella  Greenhouse 4

You should still remove the umbrella weekly to water, but watch how your plants grow faster, are shielded from the weather, and are protected from an abundance of bugs!