Greenhouses forum: Greenhouse on the Brain

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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
Nov 14, 2013 8:08 PM CST
While I love my little temporary greenhouse, I dream of a more permanent one. What do you think of this one? What about the polycarbonate panels. Are they warm and insulating? We would use it as a combo shed/greenhouse in the winter.

http://www.harborfreight.com/10-ft-x-12-ft-greenhouse-with-4...
Thumb of 2013-11-15/ShadyGreenThumb/e0d9f8

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
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drdawg
Nov 14, 2013 8:53 PM CST
I don't know the brand in the picture, but I can assure you, none of them are insulated polycarbonate. They certainly will be warm (hot) in the summer but cold in the winter months. I have built four greenhouses, all different manufactures, and it is the same for them all. I have two greenhouses and have now wrapped them both with heavy-duty, outdoor bubble wrap, trying to keep the cold out and the warmth in. Time will tell if my investment was worthwhile.
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: 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
Image
ShadyGreenThumb
Nov 14, 2013 9:11 PM CST
DH was concerned about it being transparent since he wants to use it as a shed and store the lawn mower, etc. We are thinking of using insulating foam, cut to fit into the panels. I think that might help with insulating, too? Again, it would sit on the deck specifically built for the purpose of having a shed. We thought that this would kill two birds with one stone: Move the lawnmower and kayaks out of the shed in the fall and put the plants in instead. This is half or more of the prices of wood sheds we find around here that wouldn't even be suitable as a greenhouse.
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
Nov 15, 2013 7:31 AM CST
If you used insulating foam, which is opaque, solving the transparency problem, you won't get any light in. IF you only used it on the side panels, leaving the top without insulation, you would loose almost all insulation value. But that's the only way to get light in and plants have to have light.

There are several manufacturers of polycarbonate paneling that allows sufficient light in but you can't really see through. My lean-to is made of a material called "Solexx" and is sold by Greenhousecatalog.com. It comes in rolls and you simply cut it to length. It is not very expensive and is double walled, giving you some insulation value. I used the 3.5 mil paneling, but if I had it to do over, I would use the 5.0 mil material. It is semi-transparent, allowing about 80% light and you certainly can't see what's inside the greenhouse. I have now completely covered my two greenhouses with 15 mil bubble wrap, and it comes in transparent and semi-transparent material. I used both, wanting more light transmission in some areas, less in others. But my usage of the bubble wrap is an experiment and only time will tell whether I get the insulation value that I hoped for. I will give the results after winter has passed.
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
Nov 15, 2013 11:56 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

We had a thread about Solexx and Ken shared his thoughts on that. It would definitely solve your problem of bringing light in while not showing to the outside what the contents are. It's like a milk jug.

I'm still in the design phase of my own greenhouse and I'm going to build a so-called "solar greenhouse". It is solid walls on 3 sides and the 4th side which faces south is the only wall that is plastic or glass. The south wall is inclined in a manner that maximizes solar exposure during the coldest months which, for me, is about a 55 degree angle.
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
Nov 15, 2013 12:41 PM CST
That's an interesting concept, Dave. What will your three solid walls be constructed of? Have you decided on Solexx for the south wall? Is this going to be a lean-to or a free-standing GH? Is the roof also going to be solid or will you extend the transparent/translucent material over it? What's going to be the size? It sounds like your idea is to have more of a sun-room/garden room/Florida room than a typical GH.

Even though it has only been "tested" for a few weeks, the solar-blanket bubble wrap seems to be working as I hoped it would.

Thanks for the "thumb".
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
Nov 15, 2013 12:47 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

The three solid walls will be covered in whatever I can scrounge together, probably plywood primed and painted. It'll be free standing. I decided against solexx for this project since I want something more substantial. I'll be using either triple wall poly or else glass. I went to the local ReStore (Habitat for Humanity) and they have a great selection of large glass. It may be that I could get together enough to build the whole front wall in glass, which would be really nice. Sliding glass doors.

The north wall will have double stacked 55 gallon barrels of water. In the winter the sun will shine on the barrels. In the summer, the barrels will be entirely in the shade. Check out the pictures of solar greenhouses here:

http://aes.missouri.edu/bradford/education/solar-greenhouse/...
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
Image
ShadyGreenThumb
Nov 15, 2013 3:21 PM CST
I appreciate your input. I am constructing most of the new shed/greenhouse on my own. Dh will help where he can from his wheelchair. Thanks for your review on Solexx. This looks like something I can install. Might be able to even apply it to the panels before they go up. Or would you recommend keeping it in one piece? I hope it works out for your Ken.
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
Nov 15, 2013 3:41 PM CST
The less seams the better with the Solexx. My panels run from the roof (at the house) all the way down to the ground. That's probably a 15' run. Thus the roof continues to curve, forming the east wall. The company has splicers that are cut to length, joining the panels together. Since the Solexx is flexible, it easily follows the curved slope. It just depends on how the roof joins the sides. This greenhouse has pvc pipe, thin-walled to create the slope and thick-walled for straight runs and the connectors.
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: 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
Image
ShadyGreenThumb
Nov 18, 2013 2:12 PM CST
In my research, the Harbor Freight Greenhouse is not getting good reviews at all. Someone used 15 tubes of caulk to hold the panels in and they still blew off? Thumbs down Back to the drawing board!!
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
Nov 18, 2013 2:27 PM CST
I too looked at the Harbor Freight GH, before purchasing my last one in 2012, and I did not like the reviews. When someone owns one of these and says they can't keep the panels on, I tend to believe they know what they are talking about. I decided on the DuraMax 10x12, and purchased it from Greenhouse Nation. I have been pleased with this greenhouse, not only because it has remained sturdy through numerous 40-60 mph winds but also because is looks great. My other GH is a Solexx Harvester, and though it has never lost a panel and is now 3 1/2 years old, the Solexx panels tend to warp and it is not as "pretty" as the DuraMax.
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: 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
Image
ShadyGreenThumb
Nov 18, 2013 3:14 PM CST
I appreciate your input, Ken. While we don't have snow or harsh winters, I do need to protect my tropicals. I want a functional greenhouse but not overkill, you know? Especially since it could very well sit empty-ish in the (9) summer months. I need to find a solid structure that can withstand wind and rains mostly. And more importantly, not break the bank.
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
Nov 18, 2013 4:06 PM CST
I understand. We all have budgets and spending comfort-levels. Like you, other than a once-a-decade ice storm, we get wind (mostly from thunderstorms and the occasional remnants of a hurricane), a good bit of rain, and every few years a couple of inches of snow. Mostly I just deal with cold from November until March/April. Other than my young (baby) orchid plants, everything stays outside from March/April until November. The baby orchids stay inside unless I group a dozen or so in large, wood baskets and hang them under oak trees.

Check out the DuraMax GH. It is very reasonable and (so far) very durable.
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: 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
Image
ShadyGreenThumb
Nov 18, 2013 4:11 PM CST
I have been looking at your DuraMax. also one by Sun Glo.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.

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