Greenhouses forum: Welcome to the Geenhouses & Coldframes forum!

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Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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Joannabanana
Feb 10, 2010 10:10 PM CST
Here is the Geenhouses & Coldframes forum.
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
Jul 15, 2011 7:33 PM CST
Thanks, Joanne, for the forum!

I have always wanted a cold frame, and now that I live in the cool Pacific NorthWet, I also want hoop tunnels. And maybe lean some clear plastic panels against the south wall of my house for trays of seedlings.

I seem to have indecisive springs with temps fluctuating around freezing for months. If I can keep rain off the RBs and warm up the clay soil, I might be able to direct sow 2 or even 3 months earlier, seeds that go out "as soon as soil can be worked".

Fall rains come early, and last year they rotted seedheads I would have liked to collect seeds from. Something tall and clear that wouldn't blow away would be nice.

Winters are mild (Zone 8, avg minimum 10-15 F), so I might be able to grow Bok Choy all year.

And summers are so cool, especially at night, that ifr I ever hope to ripen a tomato or pepper, I think I may need plastic tents from transplanting dates through mid-July ... and then again in late August.

For hoops, I'm trying to decide among:
- bent metal wiring conduit ("EMT")
- PVC pipe (bent with heat?)
- black platic piping where the curl comes from the roll
- bamboo (some day, if my F. rufa ever grows up!)

For a solar cold frame, either corugated clear plastic panels or something designed for greenhouses ... yet I'm cheap cheap cheap and don't want to spend much until I identify the cheapest possible thing for each application.

I'm thinking that hoop tunnels and floating row cover fabric are the cjheapest design, and might serve all purposes (keeping raised beds dry & warmer in Spring, seedling flat holding area, and tomato warmers.

Corey
Name: Doris&David Bishop
Cartersville, Ga. (Zone 7b)
Daylilies Cat Lover Clematis Region: Georgia Garden Art
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Casshigh
Aug 17, 2011 7:15 PM CST
Corey,
If you want el cheapo, I'd recommend PVC hoop houses. There are many easy designs to be found on the internet. In NW GA we have used low tunnels/hoophouses for the last two colder- and cloudier-than-usual winters and had very good results with daylily seedlings. It usually takes two years to bloom daylily seedlings planted this time of year, but many will bloom the first year after growing longer in a low tunnel. Even ones that don't bloom are much larger than ones just left to the elements. We used 10' sticks of 3/4" PVC anchored with 18" rebar1/2" thick. That covered 8' beds. 6 mil sheet plastic is very reasonably priced. This will be the first year for a walkin hoop house. It will be 13' 3" wide and have 20' ribs of 1" PVC. Building the ends and putting in the old storm door will likely be the hardest thing, as the raised beds have been built and daylily seeds have been planted. Good luck and have fun!
David
"Anything worth doing is worth overdoing"~~~David Bishop
http://daylilyfans.com/bishop/
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
Aug 17, 2011 8:00 PM CST
"Cheap" is key!

I found some prices for "metal wiring conduit EMT", but forgot to get the prices on flimsy PVC at Home depot for comparison.

>> 10' sticks of 3/4" PVC
>> This will be the first year for a walkin hoop house.
>> It will be 13' 3" wide and have 20' ribs of 1" PVC

Yowsa! I think that your hoop houses will be almost as big as my little manufactured home (exageration).

But bigger than any part of my yard. I'm picturing a hoop tunnel just big enough to straddle the RBs, like 3-5 feet wide. Bigger and more rigid than floating row covers, with more heat protection, and also able to keep rain off in the spring so i don't have to wait until summer for soil to be dry enough to work.

Ideally, they would be light enough and sturdy enough that I could flip them over for warm days, and back on in the evening. If course, there tends to be a trade-off between "light" and "sturdy".

>> Building the ends and putting in the old storm door

Smart! With rigid ends, you have a lot of options, even those "gas cylinder" vent openers.

I've been wondering what kind of flap system I'll make, to have an option for opening and closing flaps instead of flipping the whole tunnel off.

Then I start to daydream about temperature sensors and tiny motors to open and close sliding vents while i'm at work ... corrugated plexiglas or polycarbonate walls ... dream on!

We just had a night below 50 F, rendering the three tomato vines I'm trying out even more of an academic exercise than they were before. They are willing to put out pretty yellow flowers, and at the "peak" of the summer I got two green golf balls and a few marbles, but not anything I'd call a "tomato".

I brought them home from a nursery as a learning exercise, and wasn't too surprised that the nursery clerk kind of raised an eyebrow like "we didn't think ANYBODY was going to be THAT optimisitc". I carried them in and out of my house daily for a month before the nighttime low temps serttled to MOSTLY above 50.

Baby needs a hoop tunnel.

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
Nov 7, 2011 5:30 PM CST
Rick, have you seen this article?

http://garden.org/articles/view/Bubbles/156/

This looks really amazingly simple to me, life has gotten in the way of trying it this fall but I'm really planning to build one in the spring!

for smaller hoop tunnels, I think you can zigzag a cord over the top and then open up a side for ventilation and for working/harvesting (the cord holds the covering up).

(cheers from zone 4!)
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
Nov 7, 2011 7:39 PM CST
I had seen it, but it's bigger than any one part of my yard, and might be 1/4 the size of my manufactured home!

>> for smaller hoop tunnels, I think you can zigzag a cord over the top

I like the idea of zig-zag cord, but hope to have somewhat stiff (though thin) bamboo culms to provide support between hoops. My hoop tunnel would probnably be around knee-high.

Thanks for the cord idea!
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
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Weedwhacker
Nov 10, 2011 8:04 PM CST
Ha, had to google that "culm" thing; I guess it's just a "shoot" ??

Had our first snowfall here yesterday, need to rework my HH covering. I think my best bet would be to put a wooden frame at each end, but for now will try to make do with what I have!
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
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Weedwhacker
Nov 10, 2011 8:06 PM CST
Ha, had to google that "culm" thing; I guess it's just a "shoot" ??

Had our first snowfall here yesterday, need to rework my HH covering. I think my best bet would be to put a wooden frame at each end, but for now will try to make do with what I have!

Posting more info about this situation here: http://cubits.org/greenspace/thread/view/22928/?offset=20
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
Nov 10, 2011 9:01 PM CST
Yup, but there are so many bamboo-lovers that I thought I would use their term.

Stem? Shoot? Pole?

I just wish my little F. rufa would look more like a broom-handle and less like a straw.

One thing I tried with cheap, skinny bamboo poles from Home Depot stiffer was to lash two together, parallel, with their thinnest parts overlapping around 20-30%. This made them a little stronger and longer.

From your link, I like the idea of using 4" lengths of flexible black water pipe for film clamps. I've seen white PVC sections sold for that purpose, but how much 'spring' can PVC have?

I'm lucky to very seldom have much wind. But on a windy day, I would have to either rush home and move hoop tunnels under cover, or attach return postage to them.

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
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Weedwhacker
Nov 11, 2011 9:53 PM CST
Rick, the clamps seem to work well with one layer of plastic over the metal framework, but 2 layers (which I have on the ends) seem to be slippery and pull out... trying to work out a solution for that! LOL, return postage could be a good idea, I've seen that happen!
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
Image
RickCorey
Nov 14, 2011 12:34 AM CST
>> 2 layers (which I have on the ends) seem to be slippery and pull out...

Hmm! If it's a permanent arrangement, maye a little glue like rubber cemeent between the two layers?
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
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Weedwhacker
Nov 15, 2011 8:55 AM CST
Well, I know it won't actually be "permanent," because I just used cheap plastic that isn't UV protected; but yes, permanent in the sense that it will all come down together when it wears out (I only expect to get one year or so out of this plastic), so it wouldn't be a problem to try that -- thanks for the idea!
Name: Claud
Water Valley, Ms (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member
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saltmarsh
Nov 20, 2011 1:32 AM CST
Hi folks, I like the way you guys think. It's 4' wide x 20' long x 7' tall. Claud




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Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
Dances with Dirt
Native Plants and Wildflowers Critters Allowed Garden Procrastinator Herbs Vegetable Grower Plant Identifier
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gardengus
Dec 7, 2011 8:54 PM CST
Claud,
that is a great looking set up you have there.
Do you put it up every year or leave it up?
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Claud
Water Valley, Ms (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member
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saltmarsh
Dec 8, 2011 1:29 PM CST
Thanks Cinda, this is the first season I've tried this. It's a work in progress. So far it's doing well. Last night it got down to 24 degrees and the temp inside the cold frame only went down to 51 degrees with the heater set on 65 degrees. I've been having trouble with too much heat in the daytime on sunny days, so I installed a thermostat controled vent system to draw cool air from the outside. Today was the first time I got to try it out (Its been overcast the last 5 days). It works like a charm. It's 38 degrees outside and 84 degrees inside the frame. Before the vent system was added the temp was going over 130 degrees if the plastic wasn't raised.


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Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
Dances with Dirt
Native Plants and Wildflowers Critters Allowed Garden Procrastinator Herbs Vegetable Grower Plant Identifier
Organic Gardener Keeps Goats Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Composter Houseplants
Image
gardengus
Dec 8, 2011 9:59 PM CST
so are you still getting tomatoes or is there something else in there now?
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Claud
Water Valley, Ms (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member
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saltmarsh
Dec 9, 2011 12:51 AM CST
Cinda, they're just starting to ripen. I picked my first 3 tomatoes on Monday 5 December 2011. If things work out, I should still be picking tomatoes all winter. Also I have a source for free dry ice shippers. They're 12" x 12" x 12" and lined with 1/2" foil faced foam, I have room to put 38 of these in the front and back of the cold frame to plant lettuce and other vegetables in. Sophie's Choice tomatoes will go into 2 1/2 gallon pots. I'm a firm believer in bottom watering. Claud
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Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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Joannabanana
Dec 10, 2011 9:14 AM CST
Awesome setup Claud. Thanks for sharing
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
Dances with Dirt
Native Plants and Wildflowers Critters Allowed Garden Procrastinator Herbs Vegetable Grower Plant Identifier
Organic Gardener Keeps Goats Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Composter Houseplants
Image
gardengus
Dec 11, 2011 4:47 PM CST
I agree
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Claud
Water Valley, Ms (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member
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saltmarsh
Dec 26, 2011 10:45 PM CST
Just wanted to update. I hope everyone had a safe and happy Christmas. The overcast days and cold weather is really slowing fruit growth and ripening a lot, but when they do ripen they taste great. They taste the same as the spring and summer crop. Hope all of you have a good year in 2012. Claud

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