Author Topic: Greenhouse anyone?  (Read 47678 times)

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JMaris

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Greenhouse anyone?
« on: May 07, 2010, 07:10:12 AM »
I was just wondering if anyone on here has built a greenhouse on there place? I am in the process of moving out of town and my wife and I am wanting to put in a greenhouse when we get out there.

harley1782000

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2010, 08:17:04 AM »
Do a search of the board for "Green House"  I know there is allot of storys on them and pics also.

JMaris

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2010, 08:46:30 AM »
Ok. Thats probably where I was messing up. I was searching for greenhouse instead of green house. I need to go back and take 5th grade english again...

Opera House

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2010, 11:16:44 AM »
That got me thinking about being up in Vermont a few years ago. This recently built greenhouse had lots of 6" PVC pipes coming out of the floor.  A large fan and plenum feed them with air.  Low cost ground heating for frost!

rjames

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2010, 12:05:37 PM »
I was just wondering if anyone on here has built a greenhouse on there place?


 JMaris,
    Yes to your question, we have.

     "Do a search of the board for "Green House"  I know there is allot of story's on them and pics also".
      Good advise from harley....

If you could be a little more specific on a greenhouse question, I'm sure you'll get plenty of answers.
  Just my experience here and other forums.
         Rick
The wind blows wherever it pleases.

JMaris

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2010, 02:17:07 PM »
I don't have any specific questions, just trying to find out who has experience with them. I am hoping to get some pointers or do's and don't do's. This is still completely in the thought and planning process. With nothing set in stone, I am open to any ideas. We are thinking about going with a 12x16 or something to that affect. We don't need it to be huge. We just want something to grow fresh produce durring the cold months.

GaryGary

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2010, 07:41:26 PM »
I don't have any specific questions, just trying to find out who has experience with them. I am hoping to get some pointers or do's and don't do's. This is still completely in the thought and planning process. With nothing set in stone, I am open to any ideas. We are thinking about going with a 12x16 or something to that affect. We don't need it to be huge. We just want something to grow fresh produce durring the cold months.

Hi,
If you don't want to be putting a lot of energy/money into heating it, I'd go with a solar greenhouse design.   Some discussed here: http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Sunspace/sunspaces.htm

Solar greenhouses in colder climates usually have some form of double glazing and insulation on the surfaces not glazed.
I like the book:  The Homeowner's Complete Handbook For Add- On Solar Greenhouses and Sunspaces, Andrew  Shapiro
Its out of print, but available at places like Amazon.com used books.

Gary


dnix71

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2010, 09:31:08 AM »
The store bought stuff isn't cheap, either. The better green houses use UV protected plastics. Otherwise every couple of years you will have to replace the panels.

If you need to start plants before the last chance of frost in the spring, indoors under a grow light or by a south facing window is a lot cheaper.

REdiculous

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2010, 10:21:15 AM »
I made a 10x10' greenhouse about 8 yrs ago thinking we'd grow some tomatoes at least. It still hasn't had any plants in it...it ended up getting used as more of a tool/potting shed since it's so small. It kind of makes me mad since I built it for Fathers Day and even got him a misting setup that's still in the box..oh well...

My advice is to use 2x4 and plywood and build it like a tiny barn. The metal strips people use to hold their trusses together aren't as nice looking as plywood. I cut everything to size first and applied a lot of sealer before assembling. Mine sits on a concrete pad so the footer is a treated 4x4. We got a roll of fiberglass sheeting for the sides and corrugated stuff for the roof...both have held up pretty well but the roofing looks a little old now.

If you plan ahead you can probably get it done in a long weekend like I did. My only real advice is to make sure it's big enough before you start.
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JMaris

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2010, 10:27:28 PM »
Thanks for the ideas guys. We are definitely going to go with a solar green house. Given, we don't have very harsh winters, but I think a solar green house will be the best option for growing year round. Since we haven't even moved out to our new place yet, we have a little time to get everything figured out before we "break ground".  I already found a good mister at Sam's Club for $35 that we are going to pick up on thursday. I priced the clear PVC "green house" panels at Lowe's today and they were $26 for a 26'x12' sheet. Now I have to do some more research and then some designing.  I will definitely keep everyone updated and will take tons of pics when we get the build going.

hydrosun

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2010, 11:57:30 PM »
I just use single layer greenhouse poly coldframes. On one I used 16 fool long 3/4 inch gray pvc conduit pipe as the hoops and used pvc plumbing tees and crosses to attach the 4 foot cross pieces. I put short pieces of rebar in the ground and  used pvc cross fitting to be able to slip the hoops over the rebar. The plastic is held in place with short pieces of split pipe bent back and slipped over the plastic and pipe. Some I drilled and screwed to make permanent.  The end plastic is held the same way so I can easily take off and get in or vent.  I grow tomatoes and other heat loving plants in the summer and then the next spring start peas and greens. When they are well established I pick the whole thing up and move the rebar to a new spot to grow tomatoes again.  So I have a 9 by 16 foot enclosed space that has dual use and then a good rotation.
I also did a small one this year with 10 foot hoops to enclose a 7 by 9 foot area with logs on the ground to hold the plastic on. That was to protect some early transplants. It was only temporary and is now done.  I bought a 100 foot roll of green house plastic a few years ago and will last me for many years.
chris

JMaris

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2010, 08:57:12 AM »
Hey Hydrosun, do you have any pictures of your setup? Hopefully we will be closing on the land this week, so I will have some pictures in the next few weeks of my land, setup and eventually the build.

rjames

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2010, 09:45:33 AM »

I don't have any specific questions, just trying to find out who has experience with them. I am hoping to get some pointers or do's and don't do's. This is still completely in the thought and planning process. With nothing set in stone, I am open to any ideas. We are thinking about going with a 12x16 or something to that affect. We don't need it to be huge. We just want something to grow fresh produce durring the cold months.

JMaris,
   Ours is actually attached to the garage ("Lean-To" type).
   In your planning & design, do include a ventilation system. We have found this be 1 of the most important aspects of growing
   healthy plants & veggies.
The wind blows wherever it pleases.

Boss

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2010, 10:04:57 AM »
Quote
solar green house
I hope I don't come off as Mister Knowitall ::), but I think all green houses are solar.
I think what you are after is a way to keep the heat after the sun warms everything up.
What you want to look at are things like aquaponic (fish-tanks) as thermal storage, very few well thought out and precisely placed windows, if you are in the southwest USA like us, you'll not need a transparent roof, too much heat loss through the roof, insulate the crap out of the roof and get the windows where they will get gentle morning sun, not so much of the long wave radiation from afternoon sun
On the other hand you can do like I did and use the home for the night-time heat source

I employed recycled glass, yes that is a shower door ;D

Many people say forget wood, even painted it'll rot too quickly. We hope to remove the pink 1957 mobile home trailer behind the glass before this happens

BTW these sliding-glass doors I used for windows are often free and readily available, but remember something I forgot, they are big, awkward and heavy, no doubt the culprits which caused my sciatica

This isn't my first greenhouse, second actually, the first one had a Lascolite (fiberglass reinforced composite panels) roof www.kemlite.com/pdf/2671_mb_tech.pdf It was way too hot in the greenhouse in the Summer.
Brian Rodgers
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hydrosun

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2010, 11:09:49 AM »
Jmaris
Sorry i don't have any pictures. But the design isn't very critical. Just light weight Pvc conduit arch to form hoops. snow loads can be a problem so it needs to be shoveled off or more bracing put in for the winter. Duct tape can be used to hold things together or use plumbing fittings. Look at commercial hoop houses using steel pieces for design ideas. I've also seen people using metal conduit for the hoops. I've also got a few 12 by 6 foot coldframes I made with ferro cement for the sides back and low front and then a pvc framework covered with poly for the top. The top can be be swiveled up to step into the planting area. I've used them for the last 20 years. The back is about 4 feet high and the front 1 foot, giving a steep angle for the cover. I just take the cover off in the summer heat or prop it up if growing heat loving plants.  So there are all kinds of simple cold frames to give a longer growing season.
Chris

SteveCH

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2010, 12:10:31 PM »
We've got one I built back in the late 80's and it works well. We live in a harsh winter-time area and need it to grow anything at all. What the weather does not kill off, the wildlife gets if planted outdoors.

Ours is about 12' by 22'. I used wood to frame and then glazed it with patio glass door replacement units, just the glass, which these days comes double-paned mostly. I bought a crate of them, ten in all, from a glass co.

Now there are available many options for using a plastic, double and even triple panels. If I were building today, I would go with one of those. They are expensive, but they are also easy to handle. The patio door glass is brutal to lift and move around.

You will need a larger greenhouse than you think. Everyone does. Unless you are simply using it to start seeds which will be transplanted outdoors. You never have enough room inside. Trust me.

Mine is solar heated only. Too expensive up here in the mntns to heat with gas or electricity. So, I let mine go dormant around Nov. and don't get it going really well til around April.

JMaris

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2010, 02:09:16 PM »
Well I live in west texas and we don't get very harsh winters, so I don't think heating in the winter is going to be a very big issue. Given, I will have to do some form of heating durring a few months, I think the water storage tanks will help out with this alot. Then if I need to have some other form of supplemental heating, we have plenty of time to figure that out. I am thinking about putting in a removable evaporative cooler for the summertime. That will keep the plants moist and help with the heat. In the warm season, we are going to have an outside garden as well.

Hilltopgrange

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2010, 06:33:56 PM »
Hi JMaris,
           I have built a few of different sizes the smallest was 6x4 and blew away in a storm. The lastest I built about 9 years ago and has withstood all the Northern Ireland weather could throw at it. It is a poly tunnel type and is 90ft x 20ft, the hoops are made from 2inch scaffold tubes bent and covered with a rather expensive poly cover. The cover is not just any plastic sheet it is designed specifically for the job and is very tough.

My wife is the one with green fingers and spends most of her time in it, it keeps her busy and out of my workshop lol.  On the coldest of winter days it is noticeably warmer inside. All in all it was a very successful project and we are now planing to put up a second one.

This is probably much bigger than you want but it is very easy to scale it up or down. I have seen them in kit form but they are very easy to build from scratch, ours took less than a week start to finish.

I will try and add a couple of pics (fingers crossed)
« Last Edit: May 10, 2010, 06:46:03 PM by Hilltopgrange »
How many windmills do I have to build to become a windmillologist?

frackers

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2010, 08:59:26 PM »
I was just wondering if anyone on here has built a greenhouse on there place? I am in the process of moving out of town and my wife and I am wanting to put in a greenhouse when we get out there.
I'd recommend the geodesic quonset design - no longer available from the original source but you'll find details of this simple but very strong frame on my website at http://gilks.ath.cx/gallery/v/quonset/.

I have three built so far, a 5 m long plastic covered house that I'm about to extend to 9m when the tomatoes and chillis have finished in a few weeks time and a 9m long shadehouse that has all the soft fruit in it. The basic design gives a width of 4.5m (14') and each section add just over 1m (about 3'6")

I'm also going to be making another 10 of them for a more commercial growing venture. I'm making that many as I want to keep the size of each individual house down to 5m long - I can pick them up and move to fresh ground each year then with my tractor :o

Robin Down Under (Or Are You Up Over)

JMaris

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2010, 09:05:09 PM »
Hiltoprange,
Man, that is a gorgeous setup you have there! Do you grow all year long? What do you use to add/capture heat during the winter? How did you attach the plastic to the framework? I see some type of green netting. What purpose does that serve? I haven't made any decisions on the final build but the more I think about it and research it, the more I am leaning towards the tunnel type. It seems to be the easiest to build and fairly inexpensive in comparison to some of the other types.

Oh yeah, did I mention you have an absolutely beautiful setup!!!
« Last Edit: May 10, 2010, 09:19:24 PM by JMaris »

JMaris

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2010, 10:04:44 PM »
This is something I found scouring the internet. I found it very interesting and thought some of you following this thread might as well. 
http://www.eaglespringsfarm.net/id11.html
It is called an aquaponic greenhouse. It will definitely not be what I build first but I can definitely see one a few years down the road. The only thing better than fresh produce year round is fresh fish and produce year round!!!

Hilltopgrange

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #21 on: May 11, 2010, 06:25:07 AM »
Thank you for the kind comments,

We grow for most of the year except for December and January as it is to cold. We use a heated sand box for a propagator to start seeds early January, its just a buried heat cable but it works very well. We don't use any heat for the tunnel it would be nice to use some solar heating but for that you need to have some sunshine! that's as rare as hens teeth in these parts!

The green mesh is a screen to keep birds and people of the fruit beds. The Giant strawberries are irresistible to people (me) and the birds. We try to encourage the small birds as they are excellent for pest control. There is also an army of frogs from the pond that seem to spend most of their time in the tunnel  eating slugs , the frogs come out and bask in the fine spray when the irrigation pump comes on. We don't use any pesticides, chemicals or fertiliser, we also make all our own compost and enrich it with plenty of cow dung and comfrey tea. The only other additive is sweat lol.

The plastic lies over the hoops of the tunnel but is not connected directly to them as they need to be able to move independently . The hoops have to have  “hot spot tape” on them this allows the plastic covering to move and it protects the plastic cover from the hot steel in full sun (whatever that is)..
The plastic is sandwiched between two pieces of 4x2 D rail (pressure treated) and bolted to the hoops this puts the tension on the plastic.

The hoops sit into sockets knocked into the ground about  2 ft and at a slight angle so as to put the hoops under tension, there is no concrete needed. 
I adapted a design from a book about poly tunnels, I cant mind the title of hand but I will see if I can find it and let you know the title and author.

Russell
How many windmills do I have to build to become a windmillologist?

JMaris

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2010, 08:13:34 AM »
Im not sure I understand how you attach the poly. Could you take an up close pic of it?

Hilltopgrange

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #23 on: May 15, 2010, 08:48:48 AM »
Hi, I will take a couple of pics for you later today and get back to you with the detail.
Russell
How many windmills do I have to build to become a windmillologist?

jlt

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2010, 01:12:54 PM »
Hi, I will take a couple of pics for you later today and get back to you with the detail.
Russell
What is the hot spot tape? Maybe what I need to use in my hoop frame. I used 2" black poly pipe to build mine. and before last summer was over  the  green house poly melted to the pipe.

Hilltopgrange

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #25 on: May 15, 2010, 07:06:37 PM »
Hi,
        the hot spot tape is essential and does a couple of things. First and foremost it provides insulation from the heat of the hoop in full sun. The tape is a type of foam rubber similar to the insulation for around a door or window. It is about an inch wide and close to 1/4 thick it is self adhesive on one side and has a shiny slippery coating on its outer side (possibly Teflon) this is its second purpose, it allows for movement between the hoop and cover in windy conditions and stops the hoop wearing through the cover.

I think you will alway have problems with the black poly tube as it will absorb the heat and get very hot. White would be a better choice as it will help to reflect the heat and with the addition of the hot spot tape your cover will last much longer. I purchased my cover and tape from an agricultural supplier locally the cover brand is Polytherm and from memory the tape was made by the same company.

In my case the cover cost close to £600 GB Pounds ($1000 U.S.) and the tape was about £50. The cover had a 5 year  warranty but only if hot spot tape was used. The tunnel has now been up for 9 years and is still as good as new and very supple, we have had a couple of minor cuts from storm debris but there is a repair tape available that works very well.

If you do a search on ebay for hotspot tape you should find it.

(prices quoted are from 9 years ago)

Regards Russell
 
How many windmills do I have to build to become a windmillologist?

Hilltopgrange

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #26 on: May 15, 2010, 08:46:34 PM »
Hi JMaris,
                I have taken a few pics for you of the tunnel construction and how to attach the cover. I have also sketched out roughly how it all goes together as a picture is worth a thousand words lol. The whole construction is very simple and only requires the use of a hydraulic bender for the hoops and a power drill. Best to pic a flat and level site but as I live on a hill I had to make do with a slight slope uphill from front to back. A certain amount off unevenness can be adjusted out once the frame is up.

I have been told by she who must be obeyed that I have to build another one same size and next to the first for veg only and she wants a third but smaller one covered in black polytherm for a mushroom house probably about 20ft x 40ft. I need to find a cheap source for scaffold poles!

If you decide to build or buy a polytunnel you wont be disappointed one word of advice is to build it twice as big as you think you will need! you will fill it very quickly

I hope you can follow my sketches, if not let me know and I will try and help as best I can. You should be able to build one from these couple of drawings, just decide on the size you want and keep adding hoops. If you visit a garden centre or plant nursery you will see how simple they are, there are many styles to choose from and many ways of doing it. I sort of designed this as I went along and to be honest I don’t think I would change anything about it as it has more than payed for itself. I am in a high wind area with regular vicious storms and severe gales so I used 2in galvanised tube but you could use smaller dia tube, but keep in mind the wind load and also the weight of the cover, mine was over 1/2 ton when rolled up.

The sketch should be self explanatory but just to be sure the polytherm cover is secured to a D rail of pressure treated 4 x 11/2  timber that is bolted with coach bolts to the hoops all the way around and is then clamped with 2 x 1 slating lath and 2in galv screws. The cover then goes down into a shuck (trench) with a drainage pipe and is backfilled with gravel. My drains run into an underground sump that holds about 5000 gallons, this catches any rainfall and is used for the irrigation system.

I hope this helps

I was intending to add the pics with text between, but I cant figure out how to with the new software!

Note to edds if I have added to many pics please delete, I will email them direct.

BTW if anyone wants the full size images drop me an email to hilltopgrange at tesco dot net just change the at and dot.





How many windmills do I have to build to become a windmillologist?