Greenhouses forum: Join the Greenhouse Tour

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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 10:33 PM CST
This is my greenhouse & I love it. 8' x 12' EasyGrow from Costco.
It is attached to a treated wood frame, which is secured to heavy duty augurs to keep it anchored in place
I put a thick landscape fabric and about 4" of small gravel for the floor

I have a Little Buddy Mr. Heater (propane) that has 2 setting 5000 BTU & 9000BTU. This isn't quite enough heat to heat a 8'X12' GH. This heater has a pilot light, no fan, and a low oxygen sensor - which means it will go out in the middle of the night with out air circulation.
So now I also have an electric heater that on high heat/fan it is 3000 BTU.

Last Oct, I had run 2 electric lines to the greenhouse. This is very cool. No extension cords & now I have extra plugs and I can have a circulating fan up high to circulate the heat.

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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
Image
Joannabanana
Feb 10, 2010 10:36 PM CST
In 2007, I got an indoor seed starting light/shelving unit to start seed early, indoors. I went a little over board and didn't plan for all the plants to need so much space. I was in big trouble in the middle of April. Our average last frost is May 25th. I did not have any window area or indoor space to accommodate all the plants.

Did a little head scratching and negotiated with the kid. The swingset was transformed into my 1st greenhouse.

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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
Image
Joannabanana
Feb 10, 2010 10:40 PM CST
DH must of felt sorry for crawling along like a snake to light a little tent heater every night, so he bought me a 6'X8' GH. I was thrilled. We got it in February of 2008, just in time to set it up and have operating March 1st

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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
Image
Joannabanana
Feb 10, 2010 10:42 PM CST
By the end of April, it was obvious - too small

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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
Image
Joannabanana
Feb 10, 2010 10:48 PM CST
So I sold the little one and got the 12'X8'. Everything was wonderful. Built the new GH in October and it was ready to go for Mar 1st, the magical day that there is long enough days for a GH (11 Hours Daylight)

Well, I was not impressed when a week into March we got nailed with severe cold for a week. No exaggeration, -30ºC, which is -22ºF. There was a sheet ice on the inside of the plastic panels. My baby petunias were in trouble.

Googled insulating a GH and found the quick & easy was bubblewrap


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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
Image
Joannabanana
Feb 10, 2010 10:51 PM CST
I left the bubble wrap on until late April. That was the 1st time I started seeds that are cool temperature germinators like annual phlox in the greenhouse. They germinated great.

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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
Image
Joannabanana
Feb 10, 2010 10:53 PM CST
By April, everything was really taking off

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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
Image
Joannabanana
Feb 10, 2010 10:54 PM CST
By May I was praying for warmer weather

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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
Image
Joannabanana
Feb 10, 2010 10:57 PM CST
During the summer months I kept a couple tomato plants, peppers, an eggplant, Long English cucumber, bunch of basil, and a few other herbs.

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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
Image
Joannabanana
Feb 10, 2010 11:00 PM CST
In a few more weeks it starts all over again. YEAH!!

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Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
Seed Starter Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Onewish1
Feb 11, 2010 11:00 AM CST
I like the bubble wrap idea.. I did not pick up a heater for my 6 x 8 .. there are gaps the air can get in.. still need to figure it out

the photo is when we first put it up last year

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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
Image
Joannabanana
Feb 12, 2010 8:59 AM CST
The electric heater I bought is design for the RV & Boat industry so it can take a splash of water. It is also thermostatically controlled.

Specs 600/900/1500W heat settings (I use 900W as mentioned above that the heater would not last that long running on max the entire time). Also with the 1500W/ high fan, the amp draw is 12.8 amps. If you a running an extension cord the performance of the heater will be affected by the resistance of the cord. So length of cord and also gauge - it would need to be 10 or 12 gauge ( the thicker, the better). Two fan settings. Overheat protection.

Brand is Caframo & the model is True North

This heater would probably heat the 6'X8' space.
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
Seed Starter Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Onewish1
Feb 12, 2010 12:39 PM CST
thanks for the info.. always a big help
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Container Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids
Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Canadian Roses Seed Starter Tropicals Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Steven
Feb 14, 2010 2:45 PM CST
Fantastic greenhouse Joanne!
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Feb 20, 2010 9:24 PM CST
Those are great

Karen
Name: Molly Denza
Columbia, TN
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mollyd1953
Feb 23, 2010 12:47 PM CST
I made mine out of cattle panels and greenhouse plastic film. At the time I lived in upstate NY in zone 4b. To build it I started out by building the kneewalls. Kneewalls are just that. Walls the height of your knees. I had 4 x 4's in the corners and these went down 3 ft into the ground and had concrete poured around them. They anchored the GH as well as supported the structure.
Next I bought 4 cattle panels. I'm adding a jpg from a store sight to help those of you who've never seen them visualize them. The panels are 60" tall x 16' long. They run about $18. each I attached these to the kneewalls so they formed a vaulted ceiling for the GH. I used plumbers metal straps screwed into the kneewall to hold them down and then used zip ties to attach them to each other. Once all 4 were up the next step was to frame out the end walls and cover with plywood. The far end had an opening for a window. The near end was framed for a door. After this came the plastic. I purchased this from a greenhouse supplier. I had to throw it over the top of the GH and this wasn't easy cause it stood 7 ft high. So I attached twine and pieces of brick to the twine. Threw this over and then used the twine to pull the film over the top of the GH. Once it was in place I had to scramble to fasten it down before the wind undid my work. I stapled it to the sides pulling tauntly as I went along. Then I took long 2 x 2's and rolled the excess film on each side and screwed through the whole thing into the knee wall. At the ends I pulled the film over them and stapled to the plywood then reinforced this by taking strips of wood and screwing through them into the plywood. At this point it was all somewhat weather tight so I moved to the inside. I dug a small trench and hole for the electric wire to run out and then wired it to a junction box. From the box I ran wires to 4 outlets. Two at each end of the GH on opposite sides to each other. The wire from the junction box went back to an outside outlet that had in a former life run a pool pump. This was on a breaker all by itself so no overload.
Back inside I put down lanscape fabric to deter weeds followed by builders sand and topped it all with gravel.
Next came installing the window and then the door.
Now because of my cold climate I needed to insulate. The north side of the GH doesn't allow much light so I covered the entire side with rigid foam insulation. I also used this for the remaining kneewalls. Over the kneewalls I put lightweight plywood.
Then came the bubblewrap all over the inside walls. Zip ties held it up and attached to the panels. On the walls my staple gone did the job.
On the north wall I added a layer of mylar which insulated and reflects light. You can get mylar where they sell camping supplies for about $3. They're like an aluminum blanket that keep you warm.
At this point my GH was almost ready for plants. I had some barrels which I painted black and after placing them where they would be holding wire shelves I filled them with water. I'm told they would retain heat during the day and give it off at night. I was never really sure they did much to heat the GH and don't plan to use them when I build my new one.
For heat I used a variety of things. Electric 1500 watt heater ($15. Walmart) when temps were in the 40's and 50's, once it dropped below that I used a kerosene heater (might be a problem for anyone growing tomatoes) and a propane blue flame instald in a corner. The door was a regular kitchen metal door with the top half double pane insulated glass.
I used cheap $10. fans One at each end of the GH facing in opposite directions to have good air circulation. Then came the shelving. I bought Closet Maid plastic coated shelves and put them over the barrels. Where they needed more support I built long rectangles of wood to hold them and act like legs.
Then came the plants.
The rest is history. For under $700. I had a greenhouse that was 7 h x 8' w x 17' long. I had it for three years and it survived windstorms of 70MPH winds.
I had a florecent fixture for light but mostly so I could work in there late into the evening and if I needed to check things after dark.

Problems:
the ceiling often collected water from air moisture and had to be helped out manually
the propane heater had a habit of going out when it was coldest and in the middle of the night. I had to add a vent for it to get more air.
I feel the barrels ate up more space and did not contribute enough heat to justify the space they used.

MollyD


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RainDog Farm,Columbia,Tn
Goats




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
Image
Joannabanana
Feb 23, 2010 12:57 PM CST
Great info Molly. Sounds like you got everything covered. 17' long GH must give you a lot of room. What is the image suppose to be?
Name: Barbara
North Pole, Alaska
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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chocolatemoose
Feb 23, 2010 12:59 PM CST
Joanne...Those are the cubits Molly is going to grow in her greenhouse
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
Image
Joannabanana
Feb 23, 2010 1:06 PM CST
Good Eye!
Name: Molly Denza
Columbia, TN
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mollyd1953
Feb 23, 2010 1:10 PM CST
Here is my greenhouse one very cold day. Not a thing of beauty but it sure did the job!



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RainDog Farm,Columbia,Tn
Goats




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