Do you have a greenhouse?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Gemma, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. Gemma

    Gemma

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    I have a greenhouse broken down in sections stored in the garage, we put it up in March and take down in June, have done so for the last 4 or 5 years and it has worked well, but now I'm contemplating the idea of building a larger, permanent one and I need to research all the pros and cons so I can choose the building material

    We were going to use concrete blocks (for the base), aluminium extrusion, and 8mm poly-carbonate panels, but then we saw the wood greenhouses and started to contemplate building it out of 2x4s other than extrusion....the cost would be way cheaper, but I'm not sure how long it would last before needing maintenance
    Do any of you know about greenhouses, and what's the best material to use?


    I
     
    Gemma, Oct 10, 2017
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  2. Gemma

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

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    Do you plan to use your greenhouse during the winter? If so, you will need to insulate the perimeter down to the frost line (or use a "Swedish Skirt"- See this article: http://www.ceresgs.com/solar-greenhouse-basics-insulating-your-foundation/) or you will use a heap of energy trying to keep it warm. If not, just the plain concrete blocking will be fine.

    Polycarbonate panels will last much longer than greenhouse film. I think 8mm is the max, and the best you can get. Go for it. They are also stronger and more insulating than glass, and they diffuse the light much better than any other material.

    I chose redwood, but it was a kit I bought. If you go with wood, what type do you plan to use? The redwood or cedar will resist rot; so will pressure treated. You can put clear finish on any of these to keep the natural wood look, but you'll have to keep up with that over the years. If you don't put a clear finish on the wood, it will get that silvery-gray look over time. I chose not to put a finish on my wood....I don't want the maintenance headache.

    I have some more thoughts, but I am on the run right now. I'll check back later. Here's a pick of my greenhouse from early summer.
    019-Aug_09.jpg
     
    MoonShadows, Oct 10, 2017
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  3. Gemma

    Stephen T.

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    As you may have noticed, I built mine into the ground 42" to help deal with the cold here. I used polycarbonite glazing and add 2 layers of 1/2" bubble wrap in the late fall through mid spring, to let in light and provide some insulation. I do have to add some supplemental lighting for a few hours in the winter. We should have fresh cold weather greens and carrots all winter, with luck tomatoes also, we'll see.

    I also have about 200 gallons of water in plastic 1 gallon milk jugs to serve as a thermal flywheel. they are enclosed between greenhouse and sauna, well insulated. I do cheat a bit, as I have a wood fired sauna on the north side and I use the leftover heat to warm the water to about 100 degrees after every sauna. I can then, using a small fans, circulate air through here from the sauna floor and out the top, blowing down on the plants during freezing weather (it'll be mighty chilly for fall in a couple nights, 17 is predicted).
     
    Stephen T., Oct 10, 2017
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  4. Gemma

    Gemma

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    I love your greenhouse and walkways!
    Our greenhouse is only going to be used in Spring and Fall and mainly for flowering plants.
    We were considering cedar, with an oil base sealer that penetrates the wood and repels mildew, would that be good?
    I read about barrels of water along a wall, to help insulate, but I don't know the details
    something I will look into, thank you!
     
    Gemma, Oct 10, 2017
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  5. Gemma

    MitchM

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    My greenhouse is aluminum frame and double pane glass. I used ICF's (Insulated Concrete Forms) for the foundation. Depending on the size and weight of what you're building, you may need a proper foundation.
     
    MitchM, Oct 10, 2017
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  6. Gemma

    Gemma

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    We are considering wood instead of extrusion, because we like the look of it, it would cost a lot less and it's easier to build with
    I need the space to be at least 12'x16' , We are thinking of using concrete blocks for foundation, would that be ok?
     
    Gemma, Oct 10, 2017
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  7. Gemma

    MitchM

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    Sure, but with a rigid foundation like that, you'll need to make sure it won't get damaged from freezing by having it extend below your frost line. Make sure to provide adequate drainage as well.
     
    MitchM, Oct 10, 2017
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  8. Gemma

    callingcolleen1 mad hatter

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    I have a greenhouse that I built and designed myself. It has walls of heavy plastic with a pocket of air of 1.5 inches to help insulate. I also plan to skirt the bottom with insulation this year, between the two layers of heavy plastic, on the bottom of greenhouse to help it stay cosy this year. I also hang old blankets on outside walls during really cold nights when temps go below minus 25 Celsius. I will have to do a video of it soon once I get insulation done
     
    callingcolleen1, Oct 10, 2017
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  9. Gemma

    Stephen T.

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    The water barrels or other water storage aren't for insulation, but to store heat when the sun hits and release it overnight or during cold spells. They act as a thermal flywheel, evening heat changes out. Water stores and releases far more heat than stone.

    Bubble wrap makes pretty fair insulation. I buy it on Ebay, 24" wide by 125' for under $25 with shipping.
     
    Stephen T., Oct 10, 2017
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  10. Gemma

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

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    Thanks you. You wouldn't believe what this area looked like before we did this. I wish I had an old pic of the area.

    I didn't seal my wood, and I have had no problem with mildew in the two years we have had it.

    Yes, barrels of water...paint the barrels black...will heat up during the day, and radiate the heat off at night.
     
    MoonShadows, Oct 10, 2017
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  11. Gemma

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

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    @Gemma ... You have to see @MitchM's greenhouse. It is outstanding! He posted pics in an older thread where we were talking about greenhouses.
     
    MoonShadows, Oct 10, 2017
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  12. Gemma

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

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    While I read about insulation of the foundation for winter growing, I never did it when I built my greenhouse....and, now I am kicking myself for it! I do plan to plant winter crops of spinach, lettuce and onions this year. I hope!

    To prepare, I have insulated the north and east walls with Reflectix insulation. It should reflect 95% of the greenhouse heat:
    034-Sep_14.jpg

    and I am building 2 raised beds that I will cover with Thermal Anti-Condensate Greenhouse Film, 6mil....for a double barrier...which should bring me 3 zones higher than my zone.
    037-Sep_19.jpg

    I also have a bunch of 5 gallon buckets that our wash/lotion ingredients come in that I will paint with a plastic adhesive paint and fill with water in addition to an oil filled heater for colder nights.

    But, this being the busy season for our home biz, I am so far behind. I should have had the 2 raised gardens filled with soil and planted already...but, I just haven't been able to get to it.
     
    MoonShadows, Oct 10, 2017
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  13. Gemma

    Gemma

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    I look forward to see your video!:)
    Your garden looks really nice!Now I'm not sure I want stamped concrete walkways, I like yours better!
    Now you got me curious, I'll look for that thread when I can
     
    Gemma, Oct 10, 2017
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  14. Gemma

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

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    The walkway was created from 2 pallets of irregular slates we bought years ago and just were piled up.
     
    MoonShadows, Oct 10, 2017
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  15. Gemma

    Gemma

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    Looking good, I hope it works out just as good for you!
    My greenhouse will be mostly for water plants and flowers like Canna, Dahlias, Geraniums... I have no intention of using it in the winter time so I guess it'll be ok with no insulation below freezing line, right?

    I'm thinking for what I want to use it for, I shouldn't need a floor, would just gravel of some sort be ok as flooring?
    Hubby will take care of the engineering aspect, I don't think he knows what he wants to do yet, he hasn't had the time to research, so I thought posting here would help
     
    Gemma, Oct 10, 2017
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  16. Gemma

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

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    If not using in the winter, you won't need any insulation.

    Gravel will make a good floor for drainage.
     
    MoonShadows, Oct 10, 2017
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  17. Gemma

    MitchM

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    If you're not using it for winter, you probably don't need a cement block foundation either. Just some pressure treated wood on a level bed of gravel.
    Maybe use some pressure treated 6x6's (treated for below grade use).

    I'll find my greenhouse pictures if you're interested.
    My wife wants a greenhouse like yours now, MoonShadows.
    It would be great for growing without worrying about bringing pests inside.
     
    MitchM, Oct 10, 2017
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  18. Gemma

    Stephen T.

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    I used pea gravel for a floor in mine, but first, shaped the ground to all slope to one area, gently. At that point I dug a large hole, put a stout plastic barrel in with holes drilled all over for drainage. I laid heavy weed barrier over it all, then placed my gravel. That way if I spill or over fill a pot, there's a place for the water to drain out. I can even wash down areas with the hose.
     
    Stephen T., Oct 11, 2017
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  19. Gemma

    Nyboy

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    I was deciding which greenhouse I wanted when we where hit with a snowy winter. All winter was snow storm after snow storm. Everyday buildings were collapsing from weight of snow on roofs. I did not think a normal greenhouse can handle weight so went with a solar shed from home depot. Much stronger I did insulate and one day will add heat. will find photo
     
    Nyboy, Oct 11, 2017
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  20. Gemma

    Gemma

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    It's good news that I don't need all that! Of course I'm interested in pics of your greenhouse!

    we're thinking maybe 12'x16' anchored down by treated 4"x4" cemented into the ground, what you guys think about that?
     
    Gemma, Oct 11, 2017
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