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I completed my cattle panel greenhouse in the Fall a few years ago. It has now been through two summers and three winters in Zone 6. Here’s a report of how it’s holding up and what repairs I’ve needed to do.
Preview: I haven’t needed to do much!
The base is all wood and is quite heavy and solid. It hasn’t shifted in any way. The cattle panels are also sturdy and haven’t moved since being attached.
As for our weather, the most snow that has piled up and rested on the top of the greenhouse is about 10 inches, and it lasted about 5-6 days. It’s been through several days of ice that’s coated the greenhouse and the plastic.
We haven’t had major weather events during the time I’ve had it - no hail storms and no tornado-like winds. We usually see snow fall of about 3-6 feet a couple of times during the winter, and it tends to melt to a much lower height within 1-3 weeks. (While we do get snow, we don't have super high drifts that stay for months.)
The two things that have needed some sort of repair is the plastic and the wood screen doors.
I’ve mentioned before that my greenhouse sits partially under the spread of a very large oak tree and a very large maple tree. I’m inside the city on a small lot, so I didn’t have much choice about where I placed it. I’ve ended up really enjoying the shade that it casts on the greenhouse. The downside is that lots of sticks and branches continually fall in my yard and they sometimes hit the greenhouse. They either bounce off or they puncture the plastic and get caught. The punctures have been a fairly small holes (quarter-sized or less) and I patch the plastic with clear T-Rex Repair Tape (sticks to wet surfaces, all weather, UV resistant). At this point I have about half-dozen patches. I do know the day may come when a larger branch falls on the greenhouse. It’s a risk I’m willing to take in order to have a greenhouse so I’ll just make the repairs if that happens!
The door is a wood screen door that I purchased from the hardware store. After about a year the corners started to rack and it sagged on one side. It eventually got bad enough that I couldn’t close it. After talking with a couple of folks I found that this is pretty common for wood screen doors and the solution is a Screen/Storm Door Turnbuckle. It gets screwed to the inside of the door at an angle, and then you tighten the turnbuckle in the middle until the sagging side is lifted to where it should be. I had it attached in just a few minutes and it solved the issue beautifully.
And that’s it! There’s really not much that can go wrong with this type of greenhouse, so repairs and maintenance are minimal.
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