Greenhouses forum: WHICH GREENHOUSE? help me choose

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thonyc1968
Jan 10, 2018 5:35 PM CST
Hi,
we are a small farm about 2 acres located on east Long Island and have decided to invest in having our own greenhouse.
We're looking into a gable style structure in the range of about 200 SF and 250 SF.
I've attached here the ones I narrowed down.
They all start at around $10.000 except for the last one listed here, which is less than $5000 sold by ACF.
They say it's supposed to be even better than one of the Cross Country and justifying the low price with the fact that is mass produced in China. The price is tempting me but I don't know if I should trust something made in China.


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Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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crawgarden
Jan 10, 2018 6:10 PM CST
@MoonShadows has great info!
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
Name: Jim
Stroudsburg, PA (Zone 6b)
Greenhouse Region: Pennsylvania
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MoonShadows
Jan 10, 2018 11:13 PM CST
@thonyc1968 The Grow Span and that first Gothic greenhouse seem like good greenhouses, but I've never seen them upfront and in person. The CT Series is really not a farm greenhouse, and I would stay away from any greenhouse made in China at any price. I notice all of the greenhouses you are looking at have a clear glazing. May I ask why you are choosing a clear glazing?

I am just wondering since you said you are a "small farm", do you sell what you grow, and are you looking at large hobby greenhouses because commercial ones tend to be so large, although those first two could certainly serve a small commercial farm?

One greenhouse that comes to mind is made by Conleys. It is a commercial grade greenhouse, but on a smaller scale. It is extremely well built, has an excellent price, but requires some "building knowledge" to put together, so if you are looking for out-of-the-box, this one might not be for you. (Even though some out of the box greenhouses are hard to put up.) You would wind up with a good sized and durable greenhouse, like you're looking for, at a much cheaper price.

Take a look at Conley's Hobby House at www.conleys(DOT)/pages/hobby-house (Aside: How long does it take to get link privileges?)
This greenhouse is a scaled down commercial greenhouse. It comes in 9, 12 and 18' widths. It is made from the same rolled steel frame that they use make commercial greenhouses. It can be fitted with polyethelene or rigid covers like twin wall polycarbonate. And, since the parts can be nested for shipping, the freight is less than a typical out-of-the-box hobby house.
I had a 1/2 hour conversation with one of their reps just today because I am thinking of carrying their Hobby House on my website. I was quite impressed with what they can offer in quality at a good price. If you want to PM me, I can give you the name of the guy I spoke with and his number. (It's his cell phone, so I don't want to post it publicly.)

Can you explain a little more exactly what you will be using your greenhouse for. Recommendations are tough without more info.
Include:
What size you are thinking of, although the ones you have looked at so far are all different sizes.
Will you be using it for personal or commercial use?
What do you plan to grow?...and will it be seeds to starts or seeds to full maturity?
What seasons do you plan to use it?
MoonShadows Farm - Good Eats & Treats from the Pocono Mountains
[Last edited by MoonShadows - Jan 10, 2018 11:17 PM (+)]
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thonyc1968
Jan 11, 2018 6:31 AM CST
@MoonShadows,
thank you so much for your great comments.
Here's some extra information to help you and anybody in this forum to give pin point suggestion.
We are a 13 acre farm, I grow vegetables, flowers and berries on less than 2 acres.
Initially, 2 years ago, the goal of this farm was to produce food for the sole consumption of the owners, 3 siblings with their families and friends.
This coming season we are starting to grow in the fields as well as we are going to have an on site farm stand to sell produce and flowers along with establishing a couple of wholesales accounts.
So far we have been starting seed for transplants at a friend farm, but we have decided to grow out arrangement and have our own greenhouse.
So in choosing what structure and size, I'm considering that we are small with the potential to grow and expand. Yet I don't think we should invest in a commercial size greenhouse because our production volume would not justifie it.
So the greenhouses I looked at and posted here are somehow larger hobby greenhouses and smaller commercial ones.
The size we came up with would be around 200 SF (ideally 10x20)
We would use it to start seedlings for transplanting, though when august comes and there is not much seeding left to do, I would like to remove the benches and grow winter greens as in a cold frame, without heat and with extra row cover protecting the crops inside when freezing.
So the idea would be to place wide removable benches over 30" wide raised beds during seeding season then take down the benches and saw crops from transplant to maturity in the beds.
Name: Jim
Stroudsburg, PA (Zone 6b)
Greenhouse Region: Pennsylvania
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MoonShadows
Jan 11, 2018 6:55 AM CST
Sounds like a plan...and an exciting one at that!

Since you will be growing seedlings, I would recommend twinwall clear polycarbonate or clear greenhouse film. Neither is 100% clear, but either will diffuse the light much better which is good for seedlings, and they protect seedlings better from burning or scorching than a clear glass greenhouse.

Sounds like you most likely will need room to grow your greenhouse as your business grows, so I advise looking at greenhouses that can easily be added onto as needed.

Growing winter crops without any source of heat is a real challenge in your climate. I am working on ways to naturally heat my greenhouse. There are also ways to add seasonal insulation without changing the structure of a greenhouse. Cold frames and row coverings are a good idea, and there are more.

I am excited for you and your project(s)! Thumbs up
MoonShadows Farm - Good Eats & Treats from the Pocono Mountains

thonyc1968
Jan 11, 2018 7:20 AM CST
@MoonShadows, I too was thinking about polycarbonate twinwall for the same reasons you brought up, not so much film.

In one of the classes at the Farmer Training Program at UVM that I took in 2015 I was exposed to growing winter green in a hoop house in Vermont, you'd be surprised about how much you can grow without heat. Yes at some point crops do freeze, but not for as long as if they were outdoors, so when they though out you can harvest again
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
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Weedwhacker
Jan 11, 2018 7:36 PM CST
I agree about the winter growing -- I've done some experimenting with it and although there can be a month or two when things pretty much die back here, they often start re-growing from the roots as the sun gets higher and the temps moderate a bit. Adding a low tunnel over the planting beds inside the GH or hoop house works even better. This past fall got very hectic for me and I didn't plant anything in the hoop house, but yesterday I was surprised to find that a culinary sage plant and a couple of lavender plants that I grew in containers last summer and then stuck into the GH when I was cleaning up in the fall, have survived the past several weeks of very cold weather -- I guess I should take them some water since they're so determined to live! Smiling
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Name: Dick Strever
No.Calif amongst the Redwoods (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: California
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Strever
Jan 30, 2018 8:22 PM CST
i have the 12x24 growspan from Farmtek, been at least 10 years now
http://www.strever.com/Greenho...

http://www.farmtek.com/farm/su...


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[Last edited by Strever - Jan 30, 2018 8:25 PM (+)]
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Name: James
Fabens,TX (Zone 8a)
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Txtea
Jan 31, 2018 8:41 AM CST
I was very excited to see the pictures of your greenhouse. Kept saying to my self fine looking greenhouse, wonder how long it took to put together. Then the last picture appeared what a heart break. I hope you have recover and so sorry for your loss.
Name: Dick Strever
No.Calif amongst the Redwoods (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: California
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Strever
Jan 31, 2018 4:59 PM CST
i put it up by myself the first time, took my time about a week, notice all the strings holding it up in one of the early picts before it gets all bolted together Smiling
had help after the tree fell and the Insurance company bought me a new one
Gardens are a thing of Beauty and a job forever
Name: Jim
Stroudsburg, PA (Zone 6b)
Greenhouse Region: Pennsylvania
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MoonShadows
Feb 2, 2018 11:24 AM CST
I was thinking along the lines of @Txtea. I was admiring how nice and big your greenhouse looked, and really liking that beautiful piece of property you have. Then, that last picture! I'm sorry you had to go through that, but I'm glad the insurance company covered it and bought you a new one. Did you buy the same size Farmtek the 2nd time around?


MoonShadows Farm - Good Eats & Treats from the Pocono Mountains
[Last edited by MoonShadows - Feb 2, 2018 11:25 AM (+)]
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Name: Dick Strever
No.Calif amongst the Redwoods (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: California
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Strever
Feb 2, 2018 12:02 PM CST
yes Jim i had the Insurance co buy the same one and the price had almost doubled
and as every one says "it is never big enuff", it is now overfilled to the brim
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Name: Cheryl
Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Plumerias Ponds
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ShadyGreenThumb
Feb 2, 2018 10:09 PM CST
Insurance will cover a greenhouse?! SWEET!
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Greenhouse Sempervivums Bromeliad
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plantmanager
Feb 2, 2018 10:17 PM CST
Did you have separate coverage for the greenhouse, Dick. I don't think our insurance would pay for ours but maybe I should check.
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Name: Dick Strever
No.Calif amongst the Redwoods (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: California
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Strever
Feb 3, 2018 1:23 AM CST
no i did not have separate coverage i have home owners replacement coverage from State Farm
no questions ask they replaced anything damaged except the Tree Smiling
Gardens are a thing of Beauty and a job forever
Name: Jim
Stroudsburg, PA (Zone 6b)
Greenhouse Region: Pennsylvania
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MoonShadows
Feb 3, 2018 5:30 PM CST
ShadyGreenThumb said:Insurance will cover a greenhouse?! SWEET!


Yes, mine is covered as an "outbuilding" on my property under my homeowners policy.

MoonShadows Farm - Good Eats & Treats from the Pocono Mountains
[Last edited by MoonShadows - Feb 3, 2018 5:32 PM (+)]
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Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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crawgarden
Feb 3, 2018 5:50 PM CST
Even with the replacement coverage, did you have to notify the Ins Co when you put the green house on your lot?
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Greenhouse Sempervivums Bromeliad
Adeniums Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tropicals Xeriscape Garden Art Plumerias
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plantmanager
Feb 3, 2018 6:18 PM CST
I'm wondering the same thing. We already had a well house, garage, workshop and observatory dome listed, but I don't think they know about our greenhouse since it didn't require any permits. I'm sure if we check with them, it will mean more money charged for the insurance.
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Name: Dick Strever
No.Calif amongst the Redwoods (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: California
Image
Strever
Feb 4, 2018 2:07 PM CST
no i did not
but an inspector did have to come out and look at everything when we contacted them about the tree falling.

crawgarden said:Even with the replacement coverage, did you have to notify the Ins Co when you put the green house on your lot?


Gardens are a thing of Beauty and a job forever
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Greenhouse Sempervivums Bromeliad
Adeniums Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tropicals Xeriscape Garden Art Plumerias
Image
plantmanager
Feb 4, 2018 2:30 PM CST
It's wonderful they paid for it, when they didn't even know you had it! I'm not sure my Allstate insurance would do that.
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