Greenhouses forum: Homemade Greenhouse

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Name: Colleen
Edgewood, NM (Zone 5b)
Live Long & Prosper.
Agoo
Sep 11, 2016 2:34 AM CST
My dear hubby built me a greenhouse several years ago as my 25th wedding anniversary present. My hubby is a wonderful man BUT, he is an auto mechanic, not a carpenter. I went to my local library and checked out several books on greenhouses and how to build one. I settled on one that gave step by step instructions and we set about making our very own greenhouse. Some modifications had to be made due to what we could afford in terms of materials and what we had on hand. To start with we had 5 full sized sheets of glass from sliding glass doors and used those for the south wall and one sheet on the west wall. That gave us plenty of light. Following the books instructions we poured a ribbon of cement for the base then used a row of cinder blocks on top of that. We bolted the frame made from treated 2x4s. We made our own frames for the sheets of glass. This 3 sided structure was attached to the south side of our house. It measures 12' x 16' with a slanted 10' high roof. We need a new roof, hey, mechanic not carpenter remember. This time around our youngest son, who is a skilled carpenter will be building the new roof. Other then problems with the roof blowing off a couple of times it has worked really well and grown some amazing plants. Happy greenhouse everyone. Blinking
Happy Gardening :-)
Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Garden Art
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plantmanager
Sep 11, 2016 9:44 AM CST
Hi from another from NM! We'd love to see pics of your greenhouse! I'm familiar with the NM high winds. We're on a hill near Silver City. A normal greenhouse would have a hard time surviving here. We ended up with a dome greenhouse, and it has worked well in the winds.
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[Last edited by plantmanager - Sep 11, 2016 10:01 AM (+)]
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Name: Colleen
Edgewood, NM (Zone 5b)
Live Long & Prosper.
Agoo
Sep 11, 2016 12:29 PM CST
Well it's not currently up and running. Did I mention before that the roof blew off. I will post pic after it has been repaired.
Happy Gardening :-)
Name: Colleen
Edgewood, NM (Zone 5b)
Live Long & Prosper.
Agoo
Sep 11, 2016 12:39 PM CST
PS, sorry, hello fellow NM greenhouse. Do you have pic of yours?
Happy Gardening :-)
Name: Britnay
Detroit Mi (Zone 6a)
Oh! What's that?! ....oops...
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1hugaholic
Sep 11, 2016 2:10 PM CST
I've been considering making a small greenhouse for my property. But to be honest, where I'm at in Michigan, our normal winters look like a snow storm in Alaska. Heck, there's been a few years where Alaskans have told us it's too cold or snowy for them!!
Anybody out there have the same discerns?
P.S. below zero temps and over a foot of snow are normal winters.
Lord please let this seed not be a weed!
Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Garden Art
Plumerias Hibiscus Houseplants Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Dog Lover Cat Lover
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plantmanager
Sep 11, 2016 2:57 PM CST
Hi Britnay,
You might check out Growing Spaces. That is the dome I have. They are located in Colorado, and get a lot of snow, but they grow in them all year. I have to add a little supplemental heat on occasion, but the water tank inside helps keep it warmer. It has solar fans, waterfall and 3 vents. It's the smallest one they make at 15 ft diameter. Get more space if you can. I filled this one up in a week!

https://www.bing.com/search?q=growing+spaces&pc=MOZD&form=MO...
Here is mine. I need to finish the landscaping outside. Right now the outside is very plain!

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Name: Colleen
Edgewood, NM (Zone 5b)
Live Long & Prosper.
Agoo
Sep 12, 2016 10:54 AM CST
I have managed to grow some neat plants from seed in my green house. I started some trumpet vine, my talent one is about 14' now. Also managedd to grow a polowania sp? I planted it out in my yard, it's about 10' tall now but still has not flowered yet. What different types of plants are you all growing? I have been looking for some past photos of stuff in my greenhouse. It has sure been a learning experience. The first year I tried growing tomatoes and got a jungle. I swear they grew to the ceiling, flopped over then repeated 2 more times. Did I mention I put in a raised bed along the south wall, filled it with potting soil & peat moss. This is where I planted the tomatoes. Then a couple years later I did that with some brugsmansia. 3 plants which turned into small trees. Smelled so good. I want to grow those again when I can get some cuttings.
Happy Gardening :-)
Name: Colleen
Edgewood, NM (Zone 5b)
Live Long & Prosper.
Agoo
Sep 12, 2016 12:24 PM CST
Don't say I didn't want you. This is my greenhouse right now. Very sad looking. Just wait till it has a new roof and other cosmetic work .😅
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That last one is a shot of the trumpet vine I grew from seed.

Happy Gardening :-)
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Sep 12, 2016 10:09 PM CST
1hugaholic said:I've been considering making a small greenhouse for my property. But to be honest, where I'm at in Michigan, our normal winters look like a snow storm in Alaska. Heck, there's been a few years where Alaskans have told us it's too cold or snowy for them!!
Anybody out there have the same discerns?
P.S. below zero temps and over a foot of snow are normal winters.


LOL, Britnay... I have some idea of what you're talking about...

How do you want to use your GH? If you want to grow tropicals and heat the GH for the cold months, I'm not sure that's really feasible (at least, not for me). But if, like me, you want to start some plants in the spring, and maybe grow some things that are difficult in the Michigan weather, and are mostly concerned that your GH will have problems with the snow in winter... I have both a Rion GH (used mainly for growing seedlings that get started under lights indoors) and a hoophouse, and both do fine as far as snow is concerned. You definitely need to make sure your GH is anchored down well, though.

This photo shows 2 hoop houses; I converted one to a "hoop trellis"
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My Rion
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I'm actually planning to remove the Rion this fall (which is 8x16') and replace it with a 16x20' hoophouse that will extend out into my garden area, so I can use the one end (where the Rion was) for my seedlings, and the part that is over the garden to grow plants in-ground. I've found the hoophouse to be extremely beneficial for growing tomato plants this year... much less of a problem with "blight."





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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
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RickCorey
Sep 13, 2016 2:54 PM CST
My only suggestion is that you can have warmer spots within a greenhouse if you "add layers" above and below. Maybe not the entire, u nheated greenhouse is warm enough for something, but you could maker a few spots extra-warm.

You can easily drape a floating row cover over some plants to give them a few more degrees of warmth.

You can set up some wire hoops or use stakes for "tent-poles" under heavy plastic film, to put a very low "mini-hoop-tunnel" over a row of plants inside the greenhouse.

You COULD go even further like one author did in Maine, and put a tallER hoop tunnel over the LOW hoop tunnel.

None of those will help much if the table the plants are on provides little insulation, or even worse, allows a draft to rise and flow around the plants, drawing heat away. But some solid shelving under the plants will cut drafts and insulate against heat conduction downwards. (The row cover and hoop film reduces heat loss upwards.)

If you take the trouble to look for "sheet rock" = "Gypsum Board" = drywall, and put a sheet of that under some plants (with plastic to keep water off the drywall), you will have excellent heat insulation under the plants. That will greatly boost the effectiveness of row covers or plastic film in a greenhouse.

You might not get a whole ten degrees F improvement with each layer, but you WILL keep that one spot warmer than the rest of the greenhouse, longer into each night.



Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Garden Art
Plumerias Hibiscus Houseplants Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Dog Lover Cat Lover
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plantmanager
Sep 13, 2016 2:59 PM CST
You have some great ideas there, Rick. We heat ours to 60, but that's a bit cool for some of the more tropical plants. I'll try those tricks this winter.
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Sep 13, 2016 3:37 PM CST
I hope it helps some of your plants, and your heating bill, Karen!

I read about that trick decades ago, but I no longer live in a really cold area. We get a few snow days, and many freezing days, but very few days much below 30 F. Our 20-year average LOWEST annual temp is 15-20F, yet I see few days below 30 F.

The authors (in Maine) claimed to be able to get another 10-15 degrees out of each hoop-film layer (two LOW tunnels under their big hoop houses). They said they were able to grow commercially salable salad greens all winter. I don't recall them supplying extra light, though.
Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Garden Art
Plumerias Hibiscus Houseplants Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
plantmanager
Sep 13, 2016 3:46 PM CST
Wow, we have been much lower than you are. It's rare, but we saw -22 a few years ago. Thankfully I didn't have the greenhouse then! Recently our winters have been much warmer.
Handcrafted Coastal Inspired Art SeaMosaics!
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Sep 13, 2016 3:53 PM CST
I looked at the NOAA records for my area. If you go back far enough, there was one winter that got down to 0F.

That's a reason I don't think the USDA hardiness zones are very helpful. They only tell you which plants will be killed in half of all winters. If I had a doctor that "only" killed half of his patients during each office visit, I really would look for a different doctor!

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