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Installing our new greenhouse today

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landarch
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 9/26/2013, 12:15 am

My sweet husband and a helper have been working at getting this set up today.  I'm so excited I can't stand it, LOL! It's a 10' x 20' x 8' which will be a great size for me to work with.

We're only Zone 8a so I don't need a lot of protection, but this should actually allow me to grow year around with the addition of a small electric heater about 6-8 weeks of the year.  Here's some pics:

Installing our new greenhouse today <a href=Installing our new greenhouse today Greenhouse-set-up4_zpsae42b3a8" />
We're building over the top of two of our boxes, one is 5 x 10 (man I wish I would have listened and only built it 4 feet wide, LOL!)  and the other is a 4 x 4 tabletop.  

Installing our new greenhouse today <a href=Installing our new greenhouse today Greenhouse-set-up3_zpsfc947ffd" />
My handsome husband, Steve taking a break.

Installing our new greenhouse today <a href=Installing our new greenhouse today Greenhouse-set-up2_zps72ff1ace" />
In relationship to the rest of the garden.  Our home has a wonderful mountain view out the front, so the back is purely utilitarian.  There is actually a circular drive that has been going 6 feet from my back door, we're building right over it :-)

More tomorrow!
Audrey


Last edited by audrey.jeanne.roberts on 9/26/2013, 12:42 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post  unit649 9/26/2013, 12:34 am

Very nice Audrey; I am jealous of that greenhouse.
Madge
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Post  sanderson 9/26/2013, 12:52 am

Audrey, It's huge! I can't wait to see the finished house. That is so neat that you can put it over 2 boxes.
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 9/26/2013, 12:59 am

I'm going to use the straw bales for additional gardening space for this winter.  You can plant in the bales after they are conditioned for about a month. I grew quite a bit in them this year.

No new beds as my budget's shot for this year, LOL!  I'll alternately line the south wall with them and some black trash cans filled with water for a heat sink.  

A question for anyone that might know.  The ground should also help store heat from the temps we'll reach during the day (we spend a lot of our winter with sunshine and temps in the 60-75 range so inside temps should be 90-100 some days).  Would putting a layer of straw down on top of the gravel path area help insulate the soil and keep the heat?  Would it matter?

Any suggestions for keeping the temps up at night?  The small table top has a mini green house cover so it will be a double greenhouse and I'll put anything more tender in it.  Perhaps next year I could do similarly with the larger box.  My other table tops outside will have winter tolerant crops like spinach, lettuce and radish which here doesn't need any help.
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Post  landarch 9/26/2013, 10:29 am

I have friends that have a structure exactly like that...it came with a  fabric cover and served as a storage shed/ lawnmower garage...the wind has destroyed the cover and a branch fell on it bending one of the members...I was thinking of asking if they wanted to get rid of it so I could convert to some type of greenhouse.

Can you continue to post pics on how you do yours?
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 9/26/2013, 3:38 pm

Landarch;
I will do that once we have some more pictures to post.  The guys have been working but there isn't a lot of progress to show just yet.

We don't have horrific winds, though it can get pretty windy in the spring and fall. We'll be anchoring it well.

If/when the cover wears out, this manufacturer will sell a new cover so though I'm not sure how long it will last, I have a source to buy a replacement.  Our intense sun will more likely be the problem for wear as we spend most of our summer over 100 degrees.  I will be buying shade cloth to cover it during the summer with and that should help considerably.  

I would imagine you could buy heavy greenhouse plastic (I wouldn't settle for anything else) and build your own cover using heavy gauge clips etc.  Good luck!
Audrey
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 9/26/2013, 7:28 pm

We'll be done tomorrow, they're letting the cover stretch to its full length over night before securing everything.  

Of course I've already transplanted my first plant into the bed, LOL!  I can't wait to throw the guys out so I can move totally in and make myself at home Laughing 

Installing our new greenhouse today <a href=Installing our new greenhouse today Greenhouse-set-up-1_zps5b06d3a5" />

Installing our new greenhouse today <a href=Installing our new greenhouse today Greenhouse-set-up-2_zpsf1f4db8b" />
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Post  landarch 9/26/2013, 10:35 pm

Oh I see...the structure came with plastic sheeting that fit perfectly.  I think my friend's had more of a tarp or canvas cover...I'll have to ask them and do some research on available greenhouse plastic as seen in your photos.

I was thinking that your pics might show me how to fit generic plastic sheeting around the shape of the frame and how to close the ends...but I like the fact that there may be something already made and available...thanks.
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Post  jimmy cee 9/26/2013, 11:25 pm

I am very happy for you..
Enjoy your new toy, see not only guys get toys.....
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 9/26/2013, 11:32 pm

Here's the site we bought it from:
http://www.greenhousemegastore.com/product/grow-it-10-x-20-peak-style-greenhouse/hobby-greenhouses-under-_1_000#reviews

Here's the manufacturer so perhaps you can see if they have anything specific like what you have: http://www.shelterlogic.com/ProductList.aspx?CategoryName=Greenhouses

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Post  Marc Iverson 9/26/2013, 11:48 pm

landarch wrote:
I was thinking that your pics might show me how to fit generic plastic sheeting around the shape of the frame and how to close the ends...but I like the fact that there may be something already made and available...thanks.
landarch, I've seen on Amazon and elsewhere that they sell clamps that fit over PVC (or metal, of course) pipes. They look like PVC cylinders slightly larger than the pipe they clamp to, with part of a side cut away so you can push them onto the smaller pipe, securing fabric or some sort of sheeting in between clamp and pipe. They come in various sizes for various size pipes. Because they are a few inches long, it looks like they'll hold sheeting to a pipe firmly and with minimal danger of the sheeting getting torn by the wind tugging against a small surface.

Check out "snap clamp 1 inch wide x 4 inches long" on Amazon for the product and some pictures, if you're interested. Judging from the customer-submitted pics and the reviews, the clamps are commonly used to put together greenhouses.
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Post  sanderson 9/27/2013, 12:06 am

Audrey, How exciting to have a greenhouse! I'm sooo jealous!
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 9/28/2013, 11:07 pm

I might set up a hoop house over the 5 x 10 raised bed garden inside the greenhouse later in the winter so I have a double greenhouse set up, since the canopy greenhouse, while nice, isn't a dual pane window kind of insulation.  

The table top in there already has a mini green house cover.  I can't wait for the boys to get done so I can go crazy.  The front and back doesn't fully reach the ground so we're going to put 1" x 6" boards fastened to the poles and fill the walkways in there with wood chips over the gravel base.  That will tighten up the air flow significantly.

I have planted 9, 2' window box planters with winter seeds: kale, various lettuces, spinach, beets, cabbage, and some herbs I'm going to give a whirl.  Oh my goodness, I just realized that I forgot to plant radishes.  I know what I'll be doing tomorrow!
Audrey
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Post  sanderson 9/29/2013, 3:00 am

Audrey's so excited that she forgot the radishes! I'm happy for you, you and your greenhouse!
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Post  2SooCrew 9/29/2013, 4:22 pm

09.29.2013
Please keep us updated on your efforts and rewards !!!

I have on up too - but I am in Northern Michigan ( SNOW, SNOW.....)  I am actually worried about getting so much snow, that the roof caves in......  My husband and I will be keeping up as best as we can..... so I ordered extra polyethelene plastic - just in case.

I can fit in 6- 4 X 4 SFG's..... very exciting..

Thanks for your post... looking forward to hearing more even though you are so far West and WAY  warmer than I  Smile

Lynda
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Post  2SooCrew 9/29/2013, 4:27 pm

Audrey:

I've seen some people even cover their plants in the green house at night. 

Check out this link below

http://www.hoophouse.msu.edu/

Lynda
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 9/30/2013, 4:19 pm

I've had a crazy busy weekend, but will devour the information on that website as soon as I get a chance, thanks so much for sharing it!

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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 10/14/2013, 9:06 pm

Okay, progress has been slow but steady, finally today it's almost done.  Just missing the final 1" x 6" board that will go across the front gable in to hold in the wood chips.  The tent material doesn't quite hit the ground so the boards on either end will hold in 4-6" of wood chip mulch for additional insulation and to keep out the wind which runs about 95% directly out of the west into the front of the greenhouse. To orient, the front is facing west, south is to the right.  

Installing our new greenhouse today <a href=Installing our new greenhouse today 10-14-13_zps620beb80" />
Front is a 4 x 4 Table top in the back a 5 x 10 raised bed with 12" depth.  Around the edges are "table" made of straw bales.  They will also insulate the edges from wind and cold as well as hold my plants until the spring at which time I'll start seasoning them to get an early start on spring seedling (you can grow directly in the bales).  They will begin to compost and will keep the "soil" warm enough to start seedlings 3-4 weeks before final frost date.

Installing our new greenhouse today <a href=Installing our new greenhouse today 10-14-13c_zpsed36ae1d" />

Here I have planted quite a bit that should carry through the winter.  You can't see in the back corner of the big box: bush beans and a baby cucumber that will probably die as my sweetie stepped on it installing the greenhouse :-(  Japanese eggplant, beets, mixed lettuce, tomatoes, hot chili peppers, oregano, lemon cukes.

The bales hold 4, 2 foot window box size pots/planters each.  I use them to start seedlings and often will transplant out of them into other gardens, or continue growing things and I can move them around depending on how much room the plants need.
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Post  sanderson 10/14/2013, 9:19 pm

I think I would just hide out in there all winter.  I am so, so jealous.  Tell your DH he did good. okay
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 10/14/2013, 9:29 pm

sanderson wrote:I think I would just hide out in there all winter.  I am so, so jealous.  Tell your DH he did good. okay
I will pass that along - he has worked so hard on this.  The obstacles he had to work around were crazy!  It's pegged into the ground so it's going nowhere.  

I want to figure out a way to do a screen door on the front. Using velcro should work, the stick on glue might melt though since it's western facing sun.

I am really enjoying working in there and it will be really nice in the cold this winter since we get so many sunny days up here at 1500 ft.  I want to by an electronic temperature gauge so I can read the temp from the house and keep an eye on freezes or getting too hot.

We'll have to get together one of these days, if you want to come up I'll do lunch for you :-)
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Post  sanderson 10/14/2013, 9:42 pm

Audrey, I will seriously work on a visit soon. I'm thinking it will be about 75 minute drive? South on 41, east on 180. I'm in north Fresno (of course).
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 10/14/2013, 9:44 pm

45 minutes. Our kids live near Fig Garden and that's what it takes us to get to their house. You have to come up on a miserable foggy day and enjoy our sunshine Laughing Very Happy 
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Post  Marc Iverson 10/15/2013, 1:46 am

audrey.jeanne.roberts wrote:Around the edges are "table" made of straw bales.  They will also insulate the edges from wind and cold as well as hold my plants until the spring at which time I'll start seasoning them to get an early start on spring seedling (you can grow directly in the bales).  They will begin to compost and will keep the "soil" warm enough to start seedlings 3-4 weeks before final frost date.
That made me wonder ... if you had room, what would you think of maybe seasoning another bale or two mid-winter, so as to help heat the greenhouse with the compost heat?

Here I have planted quite a bit that should carry through the winter.  You can't see in the back corner of the big box: bush beans and a baby cucumber that will probably die as my sweetie stepped on it installing the greenhouse :-(  Japanese eggplant, beets, mixed lettuce, tomatoes, hot chili peppers, oregano, lemon cukes.
Are you heating the greenhouse in any way? Or are your winters so mild that even those usual summer crops can overwinter?
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 10/15/2013, 9:21 am

We are zone 8a or b. Our lows are mid 20s, but only occasionally reaching that low, most of the winter is in the mid 30s.  We may erect a hoop house structure over the big box if it's needed and we will run a small heater out there on the coldest nights if/when needed

We already know that the biggest issue is going to be the air volume of a 10 x 20 x 8 greenhouse.  We have debated putting a few black trash cans filled with water to see how much difference they might make.  

I don't think that the straw bale heat would be enough to warm the volume of space, but they can  heat a smaller space within the space if we set up plastic over the top.  It's all a big experiment.  The summer crops are simply already growing and we'll see if we can keep them producing.  I don't necessarily expect the beans as an example to make it all winter, but they should last enough to give me a crop as they're getting close and our first frost is usually late November.
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Post  boffer 10/15/2013, 10:12 am

audrey.jeanne.roberts wrote:...We already know that the biggest issue is going to be the air volume of a 10 x 20 x 8 greenhouse.  We have debated putting a few black trash cans filled with water to see how much difference they might make...
I have the same size greenhouse with four 50 gallon black barrels inside.  After two years of use, I've decided that they are a waste of space.  The barrels don't have enough surface area to raise the water temp inside very much, and the volume of the greenhouse is too large.  Whatever heat gain the barrels showed during the day was quickly dissipated when the sun disappeared.  I even tried an aquarium water heater in one barrel to keep the temp up, but it wasn't worth the electricity to do so.

I tried putting 2x2 boxes directly on top of the barrels, but those plants didn't do any better than the others in the greenhouse.  I'm thinking about enclosing one barrel in its own glass/plastic enclosure within the greenhouse to see if  the temps would rise more, but I'm not expecting great results.

I'm having great results with soil heaters in a couple boxes (a 2x2 and a 2x5).  I made mini-hoop houses to fit over the boxes, and I had tomatoes and cukes thriving in them in March, a month before my last frost date.

I've also tried a small hoop house within the greenhouse, and the temps were 5-7 degrees warmer overnight.
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