Greenhouses forum: Anyone ever used Solexx greenhouse covering?

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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Sep 30, 2013 5:57 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

As I'm researching materials to use for my upcoming greenhouse project, I ran across this thing called Solexx.

http://www.greenhousemegastore.com/product/solexx-pro-per-li...

http://www.solexx.com/index.html

It is double wall and it comes in a roll and seems to be fairly inexpensive when compared to traditional polycarbonate sheets. It comes in 3.5mm or 5mm and apparently you just screw the stuff right into the supports of your greenhouse.

Has anyone seen this up close? Any thoughts on it?
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Sep 30, 2013 7:48 AM CST
I have a 10x12' Solexx greenhouse. It is a "lean-to", with one side resting against a brick wall of my house. I built it approximately 3 years ago. It is not the most durable polycarbonate I have used and I think (and this is just my opinion) that the insulation value is quite low, regardless of what the company publishes. I think I used the 3.5mm material but would have to do some research to be certain of that. The material tends to "slump" over time if there are long runs of unsupported material. The material is translucent, but certainly nothing like clear. I have built another greenhouse since this one and went with another company and another polycarbonate. The Solexx material was easy to put up and if you are using a curved greenhouse like mine is, the material follows the curve easily.

I am in the process of completely covering this greenhouse with a solar blanket, using bubble-wrap like material made for outdoor use. The wrap is 16 mil whereas regular bubble-wrap is probably 2-3 mil. I hope I will gain a lot of insulation value from this material and thus lower my electric heating expense. I am also going to wrap the newer greenhouse in this material. It doesn't have any better insulation value than the Solexx.

The first picture is the Solexx greenhouse and the second and third ones are of the one built two years later.

Ken



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drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Sep 30, 2013 8:07 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Thank you for sharing, Ken! I'm glad to hear results from a real user of the product. Thumbs up
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Sep 30, 2013 8:36 AM CST
I tip my hat to you.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: James
Fabens,TX (Zone 8a)
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Txtea
Sep 30, 2013 2:48 PM CST
Ken, Would you be able to let me know where you were able to obtain the 16 mil bubble wrap. Thanks
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Sep 30, 2013 6:12 PM CST
I will be glad to tell you, but I don't know IF this is going to work. I kind of hate having you, or anyone else, spend considerable money for something that I am using "Off Label". This heavy-duty bubble wrap is meant to be used to heat pools. Why not wait until I have used it for a season and get my feed-back on it?

Ken
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: James
Fabens,TX (Zone 8a)
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Txtea
Oct 1, 2013 6:02 AM CST
Ok that sounds like a winner, thanks. James P.S. I hope it works.

TXbee
Nov 3, 2013 10:45 PM CST
I'm new here -- already loving this site. Spent the evening reading about Hugelkulter beds. WOW! Planning one in my almost finished greenhouse which I am covering with Solexx. I've researched for quite a while about greenhouse coverings -- affordable greenhouse coverings, and decided to go with Solexx. I became a dealer and am quite excited. . . it should be here tomorrow. I'm excited.

Orginally we put in old single pane windows and planned to use Solexx only on the roof and eaves. Well, after reading the insulation statistics, decided to pull out the windows and go with Solexx all the way around. R factor for 3.5mm is 2.30 compared to 0.95 for single pane glass. U-Value is 0.43 compared to 1.05 in glass.

We have lots of work to do still with hopes it will be in full swing by Thanksgiving. Wanting to do one permanent Hugelkulter raised bed, some Off-Grid Hydroponics using "The Kratky Method", rain gutter gardening on the North block wall, even thinking about using rabbits or black milk jugs painted black to keep the place warm this winter. Lots of ideas waiting to be implemented.

Also wanting to get a few Hugelkulter beds started in the real gardens this fall/winter as we have had to cut down too many pecan trees due to three years of drought around here (TX). Maybe, just maybe I can actually get some produce next year!

Too much stuff to do and not near enough time! But fun to dream.

TXbee
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Dec 8, 2013 10:42 AM CST
Here is my six-weeks update on my experimental, off-label use of Solar Blanket material sold as a pool cover/water heating and heat retention.

So far my results appear to be all that I had hoped for. Both of my greenhouses heat up better (when the sun is out) but since our late fall/winter temperatures are cool or cold, the heat-up is never excessive. They appear to stay warmer without the heaters constantly coming on, so that should pay off in electrical bills in the long run. You will notice that I used two different materials, one clear/translucent and the other silvery and translucent. You really can't see anything in my greenhouses at all through the silvery material and can only make out vague images though the clear/translucent material. Both "bubble wrap" materials are a thick 16 mil and are UV stabilized. There is an 8 year warrantee on both, but since I am definitely using it off-label, I am not sure that does me any good. LOL. The silvery blanket has an aluminized inner surface that is supposed to transfer heat better but for a 20x40' roll, it cost about $100 more.

I thought I would have to remove this insulation during the spring/summer months, but perhaps I won't. The aluminized surface might just end up being a great "shade cloth" and since I have multiple fans in each greenhouse, heat build-up may not even be an issue.

The lean-to is a Solexx greenhouse with PVC framing and the free-standing one is fabricated with typical double-walled polycarbonate paneling on galvanized metal framing. I put a roll-up flap over the double sliding doors of the free-standing greenhouse since these doors open out NNW and that's where our cold winds always come from. The doors have the insulation too, I just thought that a double layering would be effective.


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drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: James
Fabens,TX (Zone 8a)
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Txtea
Dec 8, 2013 4:05 PM CST
Would you care to share the price of a roll of each one of these? And where you got them from? Thanks James
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Georgia Garden Sages Organic Gardener Beekeeper Vegetable Grower
Seed Starter Cut Flowers Composter Keeper of Poultry Keeps Goats Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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abhege
Dec 8, 2013 5:34 PM CST
Thanks for the update, Ken. You did a really nice job wrapping the GHs and I'm glad it's working for you!
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Dec 8, 2013 6:09 PM CST
I got my two rolls from In The Swim. The pricing depends on what sort of blanket your want - primarily the thickness. The 12 mil is quite a bit less expensive. The top-of-the-line, 16 mil Ultra-clear, at 12x20' is $100, and in the Clear is $70. In the 20x40' size, the Ultra-clear is $235, and the Clear is $163. The names are confusing since the Ultra-clear is not nearly as clear as the Clear. I thnk shipping was free.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Georgia Garden Sages Organic Gardener Beekeeper Vegetable Grower
Seed Starter Cut Flowers Composter Keeper of Poultry Keeps Goats Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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abhege
Dec 8, 2013 6:10 PM CST
More questions. Then did you just custom cut and how did you attatch? You may have said this before and I forgot.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Dec 8, 2013 6:29 PM CST
Arlene, I never went into any detail since it was an unproven (and still is) experiment. This stuff is really thick and heavy-weight. It is easy to cut to size with scissors or a sharp knife. I allowed enough extra on the sides to actually bury it 6" under my mulch surrounding the greenhouses. Also, for the doors, I cut it to fit but allowed an extra 3-4" so that I could lap the ends. I then simply unscrewed the panels, first the top, doubled the top end, and screwed the solar blanket material and paneling back to the framework. I then did the same for each side, and finally the bottom. To hold the long runs down (one side, then going over the top, and then down the other side), I ran aluminum wire long-wise across the material every 4-6' or so. Thus for my 10' wide greenhouse, I would have a total run of perhaps 36' of solar blanket with 2-3 cross wires on each side and 4 cross wires on the peaked top. I just loosened a screw, wrapped the aluminum wire around it, then did the same thing on the other end of the GH. So for the free-standing GH, I have ten, 12' long wires (three per side and four over the roof) and three, 10' wires (the non-door end). For the lean-to, I used five, 12' long wires (over the roof that slopes to become the side) and two, 10 wires (the non-door end).

I hope this is fairly clear. I could draw it in one minute but it is harder to put it into words.

P. S. Did I mention that I tend to over-engineer things I do? Whistling

drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Georgia Garden Sages Organic Gardener Beekeeper Vegetable Grower
Seed Starter Cut Flowers Composter Keeper of Poultry Keeps Goats Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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abhege
Dec 8, 2013 7:19 PM CST
okay, I'm realizing I'm really, really tired tonight and that just went over my head so I'll come back to it tomorrow! Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Dec 8, 2013 7:39 PM CST
I think you did a great job at "wrapping". May I ask, in the last lean-to photo. It appears that you hung bits of wood to the bottom wire? Why?
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Dec 8, 2013 8:58 PM CST
Oh, sorry for that. I already had an aluminum wire is strung the 12' (before the wrap was placed), and I hang a few of my epiphytic mounts on the wire to weather. Some of them have lichen growing on them and keeping these outside, nourishes the lichen. I think it is neat to have mounts with plants already growing on them. Good eye. Fooled you, I bet. Sticking tongue out
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Dec 9, 2013 7:27 AM CST
Perhaps this picture will help with the hold-down wiring. It is the lean-to, but would be the same with a free-standing GH. Just more wires are strung on a free-standing one because of the peaked roof. Click on the picture to see the enlargement.
Thumb of 2013-12-09/drdawg/3e54ab

drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Georgia Garden Sages Organic Gardener Beekeeper Vegetable Grower
Seed Starter Cut Flowers Composter Keeper of Poultry Keeps Goats Avid Green Pages Reviewer
Image
abhege
Dec 9, 2013 12:38 PM CST
Aha! Now I get it! I really was tired last night. I had been holiday baking all day!
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Dec 9, 2013 1:24 PM CST
I tip my hat to you.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.

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