Greenhouses forum: Looking for Input to Help in My Decison about Greenhouse

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Virginia Beach (Zone 8a)
CaptObvious
Oct 19, 2017 8:16 PM CST
For my first greenhouse, I was hoping to build a solar-style one to grow vegetables and maybe a citrus tree year-round. Unfortunately, tall pine trees along the eastern border of my yard block the low angled fall sun. The site I was planning to use didn't get full sun until 2pm today and it only lasted 2 hours. Costs prohibit me cutting down the trees. I think the solar greenhouse idea is out.

An alternate site gets 7 hours of sun, but it's not as large as the preferred site. I have a small used Harbor Freight frame that I could put on this sunny spot, but I'm thinking set-up costs (per square foot) for such a small house would be exorbitant. Also, the sunny spot is at the far end of my house, as far as it could possibly be from the electrical panel, which I assume is where the electrical will originate from.

I'm not even certain what type of gardening I'll be doing. I haven't done any since I was a kid. My soil is very clayey and the yard floods easily. After reading about straw bail gardening, I stopped worrying about my soil issue. Recently learned of aeroponics, which I find very interesting and could be perfect for the small house.

Finally, I live alone and expect to begin a full time job soon. Will I even have time for it.

So there it is. Any thoughts, suggestions, prayers, insults, etc. welcome.
(I don't see a way to subscribe to this. Hope I can find it again)
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
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pod
Oct 19, 2017 8:44 PM CST
If you are planning to grow year around, it is possible the summer sun will be too much for your plants in a greenhouse. You may have to provide shade cloth in that location. Sadly the pines will always provide shade however it will change with the seasons.

My suggestion would be to start with your small used Harbor Freight frame in the sunny area and experiment with the aeroponics. Don't bite off more than you can chew or it will become overwhelming, especially with a new job.

Good luck and keep us updated please.
Be content moving inch by inch because, by days end, the inches, will add up to feet and yards.

Fulfilling ambitious objectives is usually done one step at a time.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
Greenhouse Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Enjoys or suffers cold winters Butterflies Birds
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Weedwhacker
Oct 20, 2017 8:02 PM CST
@CaptObvious -- (hopefully my tagging you will help you find your way back here Smiling ) Some 14 years or so ago we bought an 8x16 Rion greenhouse, even though I wasn't really sure how I wanted to use it... we used gravel and pavers for the floor, and it turned out that pretty much all I used it for was growing my seedlings for the veg and flower gardens, after starting them under lights indoors.

After a while it occurred to me that I could keep things growing inside a "high-tunnel" type of greenhouse much longer at each end of the growing season, if they were planted in the ground. So now I have a 7x15 hoop house and a 16x20 high tunnel that we built last fall. Both have dirt floors; the large one has room for growing my tomato plants as well as growing my seedlings to planting size in the spring, and the smaller one has room for determinate tomatoes, peppers, early or late lettuce, or pretty much whatever else. I don't heat either one, except I do use a propane heater to keep the seedlings warm in early spring. Even here in the far north it's pretty amazing how much cold certain vegetables will tolerate, especially if they already have a good start in the fall and are just "maintaining" as the weather gets colder. On the other hand, growing tropicals would be a whole different situation.

What I'm getting at here is that your probably won't know how you want to use a greenhouse until you have a greenhouse and try it out for a while. I would suggest setting up the HF greenhouse and giving it a try -- it may go through several incarnations before you actually decide what you want to do with it (or with its replacement).

It took me quite a while to get started with a greenhouse because I couldn't quite figure out how I was actually going to use it -- from my current perspective I would say just jump in and figure it out as you go! (and enjoy the journey Smiling )
“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." ~ Albert Schweitzer /
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Name: Jim
Stroudsburg, PA (Zone 6b)
Greenhouse Region: Pennsylvania
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MoonShadows
Dec 31, 2017 12:17 AM CST
I have to echo what @pod and @Weedwhacker have already said. I think you have to have a greenhouse to really learn all the aspects of a greenhouse and greenhouse growing. I've had my 8 x 16 Mt Rainier Greenhouse for 2 years, and I am coming to think of it as my "starter" greenhouse where I am getting my ideas for building the greenhouse I really want. People buy starter houses, why not starter greenhouses?
MoonShadows Farm - Good Eats & Treats from the Pocono Mountains
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Plays in the sandbox Greenhouse Sempervivums
Bromeliad Adeniums Avid Green Pages Reviewer Brugmansias Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tropicals
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plantmanager
Dec 31, 2017 10:14 AM CST
I agree, @MoonShadows. I have a small 15ft Growing Dome, and now that I've had it 2 years I do know what I want next. For me it will be a dry greenhouse for cacti and succulents. Having them mixed in with a lot of tropicals is making it hard to give each plant the proper care. I need a larger tropical GH too! I need more air circulation too. Insects have been major problems and I hate using chemicals.
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Name: Jim
Stroudsburg, PA (Zone 6b)
Greenhouse Region: Pennsylvania
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MoonShadows
Dec 31, 2017 11:19 AM CST
@plantmanager, I belong to another forum that has a member who owns a 14 x 26 glass greenhouse, and she grows mixed need plants within the same greenhouse....succulents, tropicals, exotics and even violets. She has been doing it for 32 years and said it has been some learning experience trying to keep them all within the same greenhouse.
MoonShadows Farm - Good Eats & Treats from the Pocono Mountains
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Plays in the sandbox Greenhouse Sempervivums
Bromeliad Adeniums Avid Green Pages Reviewer Brugmansias Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tropicals
Image
plantmanager
Dec 31, 2017 11:25 AM CST
Wish I had one that large! I'm managing to keep them all, but just think how nice it would be if I could group them better. I do have different micro climates in mine. It also contains a large water pond with waterfall and that keeps it warmer and more humid. I have mosquito fish in it, and use the water for watering. The plants seem to like the fish water!

Handcrafted Coastal Inspired Art SeaMosaics!
Name: Jim
Stroudsburg, PA (Zone 6b)
Greenhouse Region: Pennsylvania
Image
MoonShadows
Dec 31, 2017 11:43 AM CST
Sounds great. That's the same thing she does...creates micro climates within her greenhouse. You greenhouse sounds splendid! Do you have any pics posted here somewhere?
MoonShadows Farm - Good Eats & Treats from the Pocono Mountains
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
Greenhouse Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Enjoys or suffers cold winters Butterflies Birds
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Weedwhacker
Dec 31, 2017 12:21 PM CST
MoonShadows, I think "starter greenhouse" is a very good way to look at it! Thumbs up

Karen, I know exactly what you need: http://county.milwaukee.gov/Do...
One is a tropical environment, one is an arid environment, and one is a "show dome" where the plants are changed out seasonally and to celebrate holidays. The place is awesome, although unfortunately it's fallen into a bit of disrepair; I really, really hope they will manage to restore it to excellent condition! If I won a really big lottery I'd buy some land and build something like this place nodding
“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." ~ Albert Schweitzer /
Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities[/I] / Share your recipes: Favorite Recipes A-Z cubit
C/F temp conversion / NGA Member Map
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Plays in the sandbox Greenhouse Sempervivums
Bromeliad Adeniums Avid Green Pages Reviewer Brugmansias Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tropicals
Image
plantmanager
Dec 31, 2017 12:41 PM CST
Sandy, wish I could see them in person!
@MoonShadows, I'm terrible about taking photos and posting, but here are a few.


Thumb of 2017-12-31/plantmanager/d450b3


Thumb of 2017-12-31/plantmanager/5aecdc


Thumb of 2017-12-31/plantmanager/052129


Thumb of 2017-12-31/plantmanager/d189cc


Thumb of 2017-12-31/plantmanager/bd7df9


Thumb of 2017-12-31/plantmanager/b53568


Thumb of 2017-12-31/plantmanager/c6160f


Thumb of 2017-12-31/plantmanager/6f8b2f


Thumb of 2017-12-31/plantmanager/5bb875

Handcrafted Coastal Inspired Art SeaMosaics!
Name: Jim
Stroudsburg, PA (Zone 6b)
Greenhouse Region: Pennsylvania
Image
MoonShadows
Dec 31, 2017 12:47 PM CST
Beautiful! Thumb of 2017-12-31/MoonShadows/20c256

Who is the manufacturer of your geodesic dome?

MoonShadows Farm - Good Eats & Treats from the Pocono Mountains
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Plays in the sandbox Greenhouse Sempervivums
Bromeliad Adeniums Avid Green Pages Reviewer Brugmansias Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tropicals
Image
plantmanager
Dec 31, 2017 12:49 PM CST
Thank you! It's Growing Spaces out of Colorado. They do get pricey when you add a lot of things on. We had to have the hot weather package, wind package, waterfall package and a few others! I didn't realize there were instructions on building domes yourself on the web.
https://geodesic-greenhouse-ki...
Handcrafted Coastal Inspired Art SeaMosaics!
Name: Jim
Stroudsburg, PA (Zone 6b)
Greenhouse Region: Pennsylvania
Image
MoonShadows
Dec 31, 2017 10:00 PM CST
Very nice. They look like they make very good quality greenhouses. I've always been intrigued by geodesic buildings. I am looking to add a geodesic greenhouse to one of my websites where I sell greenhouses, but since I cannot stock them physically, I drop ship them directly from the manufacturer and it's hard to find a geodesic drop shipper since most geodesic greenhouses are custom-ordered.
MoonShadows Farm - Good Eats & Treats from the Pocono Mountains

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