Small Plastic Greenhouse On My Fire Escape

Posted on Oct 21 2009 - 5:00am by Mike Lieberman

The other day on my fire escape garden, I got my mini greenhouses for my hanging soda bottle planters up. Now I finally got the greenhouses built for the self watering containers as well.

The total cost to build the greenhouse was $0 since I used all materials that I had lying around my apartment. I was also able to cover two of the containers with one bag. The tomato plant was left uncovered because I don’t have a bag nearly large enough to cover that beast.

Of course now that they are set up, the weather during the day is starting to get warmer again. I’ve been removing the plastic during the mornings and putting back on during the evening.

The goal is that they will help to keep the plants warmer and live longer.

You think it’ll work?


  • Jackie

    Hi Mike, nice blog. You know, it might work. I support all experimentation! It's good that you've left the plastic off during the day… Fried plants have happened to me before 😉

  • Mike Lieberman

    This whole project is experimentation. I definitely knew that at the current temps to take the plastic off during the day. Thanks for the comment.

  • Esmaa Self

    Excellent way to extend the season. It's pricey, but a roll of either 6 mil or 8 mil clear plastic will extend the season even further. Last I checked the roll went for $60, though you could split that cost with friends. (the rolls are loooong) Anyway, that's that I use here (northern Colorado) for our row covers in the summer (we get hail even in June) and also what I use when I decide to erect a greenhouse inside the greenhouse in order to grow habanero peppers in the winter.

    Loving what you are doing here! Keep up the great work.

    I shared this on Facebook and one of my friends pointed out the dangers of clogging the fire escape. So here's another idea: a wall-attached and yet pivoting shelf upon which you could affix your potted garden, over which you could construct the plastic greenhouse. Accessible and out of the way. Also, the wall would be warmer than the fire escape.

    Of course I have no idea if apartment ownership extends to exterior walls, so maybe this is a bad idea.

  • Mike Lieberman

    Thanks for the ideas Esmaa. Doing my best to find the balance of getting things done and not creating more waste, so want to stay away from buying more resources. Can definitely work for others though.

    As for the fire escape, I always make sure that there is a clear foot path in case of emergency since it is ya know a fire escape and not a garden :-)

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  • Kate@SmallGreenGarden

    Man, I love the spirit of experimentation. I just bought one of those mini-greenhouse kits — it was about half off, but still, it was a splurge compared to your idea. I also like that your greenhouses are low and will probably be under the wind…my greenhouse is pretty tall and I'm not sure how sturdy it's going to be throughout the winter. Still…it's an awesome toy…

    Like you blog, now will follow your tweets, too.

  • Mike Lieberman

    Thanks Kate. The greenhouses seem to be good so far, but it hasn't got too cold yet. Def keep me updated on how your greenhouse works.

  • Mike Lieberman

    Thanks Kate. The greenhouses seem to be good so far, but it hasn't got too cold yet. Def keep me updated on how your greenhouse works.

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  • mitchdcba

    How interesting,Definitely something to add to my must have in my kitchen list!.i prefer to have Small Plastic Greenhouse On My Fire Escape..

  • Mike Lieberman

    Thanks. They worked out ok. I would definitely need to figure out a better way if I were to do again.

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