It was time to add the hoophouse roof, but as planned, the final greenhouse would be considerably larger than this first prototype.
That’s why I only wanted a temporary solution, until I could determine the size of the final greenhouse, and could plan accordingly. Thus I wanted to try to use the 16-foot steel livestock panels as a temporary solution, and didn’t want to permanently affix them to the structure.
Allowing the remaining posts concrete to set overnight, I then placed the steel livestock panel arches into the pens, allowing the bottom of one end to dig into the dirt while I pushed from the other side.
As the other end stopped upon encountering the wall, it began to bow upwards, forming the arch needed for the roof. Once the end I was pushing was also inside the pen, I set it down, allowing the spring effect to push it outward and dig into the dirt as well.
Were this the plan for the permanent solution for the roof, and had this been as big as I was planning it would have been, I would have framed the bottom with 2x4s and cemented the livestock panels in as well. As it was, only their weight, and the pressure exerted by their spring tension from being bent, held them in place, which was enough for a temporary solution.
Once I had the livestock panels in place, I covered the whole thing with poultry wire and then zip-tied some inexpensive tarps across the top to provide temporary shade.
And we were ready for turtles. Not finished, but ready enough to move them from their temporary home.
This worked really well, was quick to build out, used a minimal of materials at hand or easily available, and could be finished as-is with doors, or expanded to be part of a larger entity. Since I had purchased the auger, I had long ago decided to make this part of a larger entity. But, would my design expand in real life as well as it did on the computer? I was about to find out — and so will you, in the next in this series!
Read more here: King Snake