Greenhouses forum: Greenhouse Noob--- Please be gentle :P

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Name: Beth
Greenwood, IN (Zone 6a)
Cat Lover Region: Indiana Vegetable Grower Miniature Gardening
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BPadilla
Apr 7, 2017 8:09 PM CST
I've only been gardening for a couple of years and asked for a small 4 shelf greenhouse that I can set up on my deck. My Christmas wish came true and I got one. But to be perfectly honest...how do you use it?

I have it set up inside currently as I have to figure out how to keep it from flying away in some of this crazy weather Indiana has been getting. My seedlings are sitting on one of the shelves. Can I move the whole thing including my seedlings outside and leave them be (of course water them) or is there more to it and I'm just not figuring it out.

Thanks for the help!
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Critters Allowed Region: Arizona Xeriscape Greenhouse Annuals
Cactus and Succulents Bromeliad Adeniums Orchids Tropicals Plumerias
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plantmanager
Apr 7, 2017 9:12 PM CST
Hi Beth, I think @TAREV, has one of these portable greenhouses outside all year. I am hoping she will be able to tell you how she uses it. If you're in a windy area, I'd think you'd have to figure out a way to peg it down or guy it. They would never stay in place where I live.
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Apr 7, 2017 9:54 PM CST
Beth, I think that's a very good question! During the daytime, in the sun, a small greenhouse like that will cook the plants. Then at night, if the temp dips below freezing, the plants will most likely freeze. And then, yes, there is the issue of somehow anchoring it down so it doesn't get blown away.

I would suggest not putting your seedlings in the greenhouse on the deck until the nighttime temps are staying above freezing (maybe yours are already?), securing the greenhouse to the deck railing or in some other fashion, and opening the GH up during the day. As long as the seedlings don't freeze they will be a lot better off a a lower-than-optimal temp than being cooked inside the closed GH!

I'd also suggest placing it, if at all possible, where it gets sun early in the day and not direct late afternoon sun, which seems to be the hottest (at least at my house).

It's probably going to be a matter of some trial and error... so I hope you get lots of good suggestions that will make for less "error." Smiling

Happy gardening!
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Critters Allowed Region: Arizona Xeriscape Greenhouse Annuals
Cactus and Succulents Bromeliad Adeniums Orchids Tropicals Plumerias
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plantmanager
Apr 7, 2017 9:58 PM CST
Good advice from Sandy. I forgot that Tarev is in California, so her methods may not work for you. I'm originally from Indiana, so you may only be able to use it outside during summer. I have heard of people putting a candle in a clay pot and putting them inside the tiny portable greenhouses for heat when it's cold, but that wouldn't work for freezes and snow.
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Name: Beth
Greenwood, IN (Zone 6a)
Cat Lover Region: Indiana Vegetable Grower Miniature Gardening
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BPadilla
Apr 11, 2017 3:23 PM CST
Follow up....

I decided last weekend to move my greenhouse outside. Luckily there were little loops that we drilled screws through into our shed where it is now housed. My shed also has a roof overhang so even though I get a lot of sun throughout the day I will get shade for the greenhouse.

All my seedlings are resting peacefully in it since last weekend. Even making it through a huge storm that came through last night. Currently everything looks good.
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Critters Allowed Region: Arizona Xeriscape Greenhouse Annuals
Cactus and Succulents Bromeliad Adeniums Orchids Tropicals Plumerias
Image
plantmanager
Apr 11, 2017 3:36 PM CST
Congratulations, Beth! Enjoy it! Keep an eye out for insects. They seem to love greenhouses. Be on the lookout for aphids, spider mites and whiteflies. Make sure there is plenty of ventilation, either vents or small fans.
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Apr 11, 2017 3:52 PM CST
Hello Beth! Sorry for my late reply. My greenhouse is just more for protection of my orchids and some tillandsias. But during Fall, once temps starts to go below 50F, I start moving the orchids back indoors, to my sunniest side of the house. Then I wait for winter to be over and for temps to be more stable in the 50F overnight range before I bring them out again.

My growcamp has a heavy base, so it is not easily upset by the winds and I guess our fence helps buffer some of it. The screen helps airflow around the plants during the warm days, and I also have some extra shade from the city trees. I roll up or remove the plastic foil cover to allow more air around.

Our winter is milder, more rains and no snow, and one time I tried to see if closing down the foil cover is enough to protect my orchids from the cold rain, turns out, not good, so still got to move them in. So during winter, that is where I can put some of my succulents that has to be kept as dry as possible.

It will really depend what you are growing there as to where to position it outside. My orchids needs some good shade here, since we get into a very dry triple digit heat, so they need good shade, airflow and be able to shower them as needed. We don't have rains here for 6 to 7 months so it goes so rock dry here. When winds are around, it gets drier even more.

It also protects my plants during summer from voracious grasshoppers and other insects.

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