Northeast Gardening forum: Any Nor'easters have a greenhouse?

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Name: Jim
Stroudsburg, PA (Zone 6b)
Greenhouse Region: Pennsylvania
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MoonShadows
Jan 1, 2018 8:31 PM CST
I have always loved my gardens, both flower and vegetable, but two years ago I bought an 8 x 16 Mt. Rainier Gardenhouse and the greenhouse bug bit me big time! The virus is rampant, now!

I started off just using it to get a jump on Spring and to extend the Fall, but now I am working on it to be able to grow year round...not a very easy task in NE PA. I should be ready for year round greenhouse growing by next winter. So far I have insulated the north and east walls and part of the north ceiling and built two 3 x 6 raised cold frame beds to achieve a greenhouse within a greenhouse. I have plans this season to build an insulated knee wall around the perimeter, put down Swedish skirt insulation around the perimeter, and build a active solar powered heat sink.

I mainly use my greenhouse now to start flower and vegetable seeds and then bring in a few vegetables in the late Summer to get the most out of them. I want to be able to grow cold winter crops starting next Fall.

Anyone else here from the Nor'east own a greenhouse? I'd love to hear what folks in this region are doing with their greenhouse.

Here is a pic taken the day I finished landscaping around my finished greenhouse.
Thumb of 2018-01-02/MoonShadows/1a608e

Here's a pic from last Summer.
Thumb of 2018-01-02/MoonShadows/fc67fa

And a couple after I insulated and built my cold frames.
Thumb of 2018-01-02/MoonShadows/e445a3
Thumb of 2018-01-02/MoonShadows/f97e99

MoonShadows Farm - Good Eats & Treats from the Pocono Mountains
[Last edited by MoonShadows - Jan 1, 2018 8:35 PM (+)]
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Name: Marilyn
CT (Zone 5b)
Birds Daylilies Dog Lover Garden Art Heucheras
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RobinD
Jan 2, 2018 8:07 AM CST
Wow...gorgeous! Have never owned a greenhouse, but took a course one summer at U. of New Hampshire on growing winter crops.....it was MANY years ago, my son was probably 5, now he's in his 40s, but I remember a few things......one, they used some sort of quilted material for shades to pull down each night....also had a brick floor, and a large container of water....not sure whether there was a space heater or not......anyway, they were able to grow lettuce, kale, radishes.....
Name: Jim
Stroudsburg, PA (Zone 6b)
Greenhouse Region: Pennsylvania
Image
MoonShadows
Jan 2, 2018 12:35 PM CST
Thanks @RobinD They call those shades thermal blankets.
MoonShadows Farm - Good Eats & Treats from the Pocono Mountains
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Container Gardener Seed Starter
Dog Lover Region: New Jersey Hummingbirder Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Onewish1
Jan 3, 2018 3:57 AM CST

Moderator

Yours is beautiful!!.. I had a little hobby greenhouse.. at our old place.. was too much to try and heat in times like now.. but great in spring and fall.. had a milkhouse heater for inside
Name: Jim
Stroudsburg, PA (Zone 6b)
Greenhouse Region: Pennsylvania
Image
MoonShadows
Jan 3, 2018 5:16 AM CST
@Onewish1 Milkhouse heaters are very popular in hobby greenhouses. I looked into getting one, but I wound up buying one of those oil-filled ones that looks like a little radiator. They take longer to throw heat, but once heated up, they use less power to stay hot, or at least I think that is what I remember reading before I bought it.
MoonShadows Farm - Good Eats & Treats from the Pocono Mountains
[Last edited by MoonShadows - Jan 3, 2018 5:19 AM (+)]
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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! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Container Gardener Seed Starter
Dog Lover Region: New Jersey Hummingbirder Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Onewish1
Jan 4, 2018 5:05 AM CST

Moderator

Have to make sure circulation is good .. I mounted a fan on the ceiling.. blowing back down on the plants .. in my brain.. take the heat that rose up. . Push it back down.. was one of the smaller vortex types .. still borderline of being ideal though .. just kept it near the auto vent.. so it would not heat up and open
Name: Jim
Stroudsburg, PA (Zone 6b)
Greenhouse Region: Pennsylvania
Image
MoonShadows
Jan 4, 2018 6:05 AM CST
@Onewish1, always a good idea to keep the warmth low when it gets cold outside. My greenhouse has a 10' high peaked roof. I closed in the top 3 feet with greenhouse film this winter to keep the warm air lower.

I had two little Walmart plastic fans I used to keep the air moving in the greenhouse this past year. Like the one you mention, not ideal, but cheap and they got the job done. I also hooked up one of those blower fans, like they use for drying floors, up in front of one of the roof vents. I had it on a thermo-cube that came on at 78F and went off at 70F which coincided fairly well with the paraffin vent opener. I really want to retrofit a greenhouse exhaust fan and intake shutter, but I want the shutters that are on a thermostat and motorized to open and close the louvres and keep them shut tight so they don't open in the wind, otherwise they'll let in too much cold in the winter.
MoonShadows Farm - Good Eats & Treats from the Pocono Mountains
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Container Gardener Seed Starter
Dog Lover Region: New Jersey Hummingbirder Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Onewish1
Jan 4, 2018 6:40 AM CST

Moderator

Yeah can see that being a problem .. my hubby would figure a way to keep em closed.. pink insulation foam sheet over the luvers maybe .. the mechanic can always figure a way to fix it .. after I describe the problem
Name: Jim
Stroudsburg, PA (Zone 6b)
Greenhouse Region: Pennsylvania
Image
MoonShadows
Jan 4, 2018 7:05 AM CST
Yeah, but the problem is if I cover them, I can't use them during the winter. I had days in December when it was below freezing at night, but my greenhouse would get up to the 90's during the day, and my 2 large cold frames would be in the 110's. I want to figure something where I don't have to cover/uncover every day.
MoonShadows Farm - Good Eats & Treats from the Pocono Mountains
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Container Gardener Seed Starter
Dog Lover Region: New Jersey Hummingbirder Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Onewish1
Jan 5, 2018 3:39 AM CST

Moderator

Yeah not easy .. that would be a pain
Name: Jim
Stroudsburg, PA (Zone 6b)
Greenhouse Region: Pennsylvania
Image
MoonShadows
Jan 5, 2018 5:32 AM CST
I actually sell a few models of greenhouses on one of my sites. I am going to try and find a wholesale/dropship arrangement to list other greenhouses components for my customers. Perhaps I'll hold off, and then I can get a good fan and vent for wholesale.
MoonShadows Farm - Good Eats & Treats from the Pocono Mountains
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Container Gardener Seed Starter
Dog Lover Region: New Jersey Hummingbirder Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Onewish1
Jan 7, 2018 4:04 AM CST

Moderator

You are not that far from me.. PM me your site or info .. we were thinking of getting another small one to "cook" firewood in over the summer .. and I would use it in spring to keep the frost off
Name: Frank Mosher
Nova Scotia, Canada (Zone 6a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds Roses Clematis Lilies Peonies
Region: Canadian Photo Contest Winner: 2017 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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fwmosher
Mar 22, 2018 3:32 PM CST
Wow! Beautiful greenhouse, unbelievable landscaping! I am a little further North than you, with an 8' x 12' Pelram unheated greenhouse. I have planted HT roses in it, which now gives me as many as 24 beautiful "Olympiad" red roses, (and others), first cutting, then all Summer long. You could plant something similar on perhaps the back-side of yours, won't interfere with your other plans, roses love heat. I buy inexpensive roses in the Spring, from the box stores, plant them up in 5 gal. camo pails for the back deck, "Drop & Drag" system, (enclosed) and enjoy them all Summer, then take them down and place them in my greenhouse over Winter. Just checked yesterday, 99% are still alive! I thought about heating my greenhouse one time, but realized I did not want to put in all the effort. My choice for an inexpensive heater would be a kerosene heater, runs about 12 hours straight. Fuel is cheap. There are gadgets available from several suppliers, which will automatically raise or close your roof vents, activated by temperature alone. I also use the greenhouse to "harden-off" new plants started in my basement under lights. Again, beautiful greenhouse and landscaping!!! Cheers!
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Container Gardener Seed Starter
Dog Lover Region: New Jersey Hummingbirder Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Onewish1
Mar 23, 2018 3:03 AM CST

Moderator

Yeah same here with a greenhouse in winter .. wasn't sure the effort would be too much .. proper water line .. so it doesn't freeze was my concern .. and the cost of heat .. granted we can do a natural gas line .. but eh kinda expensive for me to play around
Name: Jim
Stroudsburg, PA (Zone 6b)
Greenhouse Region: Pennsylvania
Image
MoonShadows
Mar 23, 2018 3:38 AM CST
@fwmosher Kero would be a cheap fuel, but then you have to haul it home and keep feeding the heater. @onewish1 I could put in propane, but a few people I know told me it keeps shutting down once the oxygen gets below a certain level.

I started to build the insulated knee wall, but stopped and removed the portion I built because I started rethinking it and how it actually might become a harbinger of mold and a home for bugs who would be living right outside a vegetable smorgasbord! To completely seal it, I would have had to run caulk along the polycarbonate panels at the top, and after contacting the greenhouse manufacturer, he advised against it. This is what I had done.

Thumb of 2018-03-23/MoonShadows/90670a


Thumb of 2018-03-23/MoonShadows/78f93d

I did build the solar hot water storage system, and that has helped in cutting way down on my electric heat. Here is that project. (I tried to embed the video, but I keep getting an error. ) He's is the YouTube link to the solar hot water project: https://youtu.be/iCcUp2NQgvI



Once I put this system in, I was able to cut way down on my electric consumption and consistently keep the greenhouse in the 40's at night. I finished in mid-February and planted a number of cold crop vegetables of which the lettuce and spinach are now ready to start harvesting. The onions will take longer, and I will transplant most of the cabbage and Brussel sprouts outside as very big plants when the time comes...the rest I will let mature in the greenhouse.

I still have to put in the Swedish Skirt, but that won't happen until Spring or Summer, now.
MoonShadows Farm - Good Eats & Treats from the Pocono Mountains
[Last edited by MoonShadows - Mar 23, 2018 3:45 AM (+)]
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Name: Marilyn
CT (Zone 5b)
Birds Daylilies Dog Lover Garden Art Heucheras
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RobinD
Mar 23, 2018 8:44 AM CST
Very clever ...great instructions, so that even I (a non-techie) could follow them......just need a greenhouse or move to FL!
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Container Gardener Seed Starter
Dog Lover Region: New Jersey Hummingbirder Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Onewish1
Mar 26, 2018 2:29 AM CST

Moderator

How about cement board for the bottom?
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Container Gardener Seed Starter
Dog Lover Region: New Jersey Hummingbirder Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Onewish1
Mar 26, 2018 2:31 AM CST

Moderator

Now you got me thinking .. chicken wire and slather on hypertufa???.. I made tombstones for our Halloween display with pink foam .. chicken wire and tufa .. granted they were still heavy as heck but they were outside for 3 years without a problem .. until the wind caught them and smashola in the driveway .. and even that could have just been a repair ..

Edit .. some halloween people use pink foam and drylock paint .. even easier .. would think oops paint .. exterior would work .. if you don't care about color .. we Halloween people . . Love oops paint .. cheap as heck .. I look in that section everytime we go .. actually painted our whole house with oops paint before we sold it .. hd or lowes. . I grab any exterior paint I find .. can always spray paint a different color . . After a prop is sealed

Edit again.. here is a link to my photo album from that year .. the chicken wire wrapped on the pink foam and locked just by twisting a couple pieces together
https://photos.app.goo.gl/j4Xe...

And I had a propane heater that used the small torch cans .. it had a catalyst on it .. can be used indoors .. wouldn't choke out .. or kill you with CO
[Last edited by Onewish1 - Mar 26, 2018 3:47 AM (+)]
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Name: Jim
Stroudsburg, PA (Zone 6b)
Greenhouse Region: Pennsylvania
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MoonShadows
Mar 26, 2018 3:08 AM CST
Even if I were to use cement board, there is still the issue of sealing it where it would meet the polycarbonate...which the manufacturer says I shouldn't do because the polycarbonate needs to move with the changes in heat. If I can't seal it, I open it to bugs and mold. Anything else would require cutting the polycarbonate which I don't want to get into.

Love that photo album! You don't hold back in your decorating do you? We're not that big on Halloween. We just put orange lights on the porch and a vintage light up black cat on a pumpkin that we found in an old garage sale.
MoonShadows Farm - Good Eats & Treats from the Pocono Mountains
[Last edited by MoonShadows - Mar 26, 2018 3:12 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1668131 (19)
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Container Gardener Seed Starter
Dog Lover Region: New Jersey Hummingbirder Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Onewish1
Mar 26, 2018 3:48 AM CST

Moderator

Opps edited after your post .. scroll back up for info on the heater .. any decorations are good decorations.. I always say 😁

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