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There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic

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Post  has55 10/16/2014, 10:31 am

brainchasm wrote:So I ordered some 6mil that was labelled clear...it's not.  It's white, but passes some light.

Do you think I could still use it for hoop houses?  I know that's hard to say without a pic or example, but has anyone used basically white 6mil poly before with decent results?
Hi BC. On page 1 of this thread, i addressed the issue of disappointment with being misled about the plastic labeled "clear", but really is opaque to milky white. There are pictures on page 1. 

The plastic will work fine. 6mil was much cloudier than 4 mil. I believe I took it back to Lowes and went to 4 ml like Sanderson did. 
On page 6, the next year I found real clear plastic from Agriculture Solution. I love it and felt it was reasonably cost effective. I like the idea of being able to view the plants from my window and when I walk up to the SFG bed. it the closest feelings I can get to  when I compare it to spring time as I approach the SFG beds that have no covering because the weather is perfect.

Agriculture Solution regular plastic last 4 years in constant weather, I'm taking my down each year, so I should get close to 10 years, because I'm doing low hoop houses, not high hoop houses for about 31/2 months. on their website you can actually see the pictures of what it looks like and you can called them for accuracy and verification, 

this year use what you bought, It a learning process. unless you got money to spare or can use the plastic that you bought for something else, I would continued with what you are doing with what you have purchased.


here's my cut and past from page 6 of this thread,
I bought my clear greenhouse plastic from 

Agriculture Solutions LLC 
agriculture sun selector green house plastic
http://www.agriculturesolutions.com/products/greenhouse-supplies/sun-selector-greenhouse-plastic
I can see the plants whenever i  approach the bed, which is nice.
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Post  Turan 10/16/2014, 11:17 am

The milky white sold as clear is what you want in a greenhouse.  You want the sunlight to be scattered as it enters so it makes a diffuse light. 

Some good reading on this~ http://www.greenhousecatalog.com/greenhouse-light

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Post  brainchasm 10/16/2014, 12:01 pm

Turan wrote:The milky white sold as clear is what you want in a greenhouse.  You want the sunlight to be scattered as it enters so it makes a diffuse light. 

Some good reading on this~ http://www.greenhousecatalog.com/greenhouse-light
That is REALLY interesting!  I guess I'll give it a shot then. Smile

For reference, this is what I have:

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Post  sanderson 10/16/2014, 2:28 pm

Turan, thank you for the link.

BC, That should be fine. 6 mil is used for haz mat because it is durable. Your green house cover(s) should last for a few winters.

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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 10/16/2014, 6:11 pm

My greenhouse is a white vinyl - specially made for the purpose and transmits light through it even though it is opaque.  I was concerned when I put it up last year, but it's been great.
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Post  has55 10/16/2014, 10:29 pm

Turan, that was an excellent article. Very helpful in this Journey. Thank you.
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 10/18/2014, 4:56 pm

I am sooooo disappointed. We took the shade cover off the greenhouse today and discoverd that though the cover for my greenhouse is only a year old it now has 4 tears in it. They're at the supports on the sun side. Hubby is going to call the mfg. and see what they will do about it. They make a tape that can repair greenhouse plastic, hubby thinks he bought it when we ordered but can't find it (sound familiar to any of you?!)

We're going to have to get this taken care of soon our first frost date can be any time later in November.
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Post  sanderson 10/19/2014, 2:30 am

Oh, no! What a Face I hope there is some relief from the manufacturer. Didn't you also put a shade cover over part of the greenhouse?

Now, where did I put that . . . Sounds so familiar to me.

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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 10/19/2014, 12:42 pm

sanderson wrote:Oh, no!  What a Face  I hope there is some relief from the manufacturer.  Didn't you also put a shade cover over part of the greenhouse?

Now, where did I put that . . .   Sounds so familiar to me.
Yes, shade cover from the moment the heat started. Steve found his tape so we'll work on fixing it so it doesn't tear further this week. If they don't replace the cover, I'll just buy 6 mil when I need to and cover with that. At least the front and back panels with the door and vent window, are showing no wear at all, they should be good for years.
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Post  has55 11/21/2014, 7:37 pm

Turan, I went back to that company to look at their  clear  plastic green house covering. I have not spoke to them, just read the data. I found they somehow put diffusion into the product. they have several level of diffusion. could you take a look and see if this addresses the diffusion that was mention in the article?  technology may have solved the problem. Any input would be appreciated. 
I would like to use clear if the diffusion factor is present, if not I will go with what BC purchased, which I already have on hand. I just like seeing the plants as I approached them, but I rather have higher productivity, esp in the winter.

Thank you.

Sun Selector Greenhouse Plastic
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Post  Turan 11/22/2014, 2:33 pm

Hass, my understanding is that the more diffusion (light being scattered) the less clarity, that that is a physical reality.  We want a sweet spot where there is not so much diffusion that it is blocking too much light but not so clear so that there is little to no diffusion (scatter).  I do not know how much advantage you in your particular spot will gain and lose.  Your love of seeing the plants clearly is worth quite a bit for your joy.  Do you really lose much winter production by not having diffusion?  Maybe you need to do 2 beds to compare this. 


I brought this whole subject up to reassure people getting greenhouse film and being dismayed that it was not clear.

The ways of computers are passing strange.  I posted this last night but apparently my computer decided against it.  But wonder of wonders the site had saved it for me to post today!  I am so glad these magical beings are in my life but they are mind boggling.

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Post  boffer 11/22/2014, 3:27 pm

audrey.jeanne.roberts wrote:I am sooooo disappointed.  We took the shade cover off the greenhouse today and discoverd that though the cover for my greenhouse is only a year old it now has 4 tears in it.  They're at the supports on the sun side.  Hubby is going to call the mfg. and see what they will do about it.  They make a tape that can repair greenhouse plastic, hubby thinks he bought it when we ordered but can't find it (sound familiar to any of you?!)  ...
 

Any response from the mfg.?

I had similar results this summer when I covered wood supports on a 'hoop house' with duct tape, thinking that it would protect the new 6 mil plastic from rubbing and tearing.   I'm guessing the duct tape held heat and disintegrated the plastic.  

I've been debating with myself whether to try this felt tape; it's pricey:
http://www.farmtek.com/farm/supplies/ProductDisplay?catalogId=15052&storeId=10001&langId=-1&division=FarmTek&productId=87386

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Post  sanderson 11/22/2014, 3:55 pm

boffer wrote:

I've been debating with myself whether to try this felt tape; it's pricey:
http://www.farmtek.com/farm/supplies/ProductDisplay?catalogId=15052&storeId=10001&langId=-1&division=FarmTek&productId=87386


At 50', it could be worth it. My thought is to use it on the outside surfaces of the PVC couplings so the tulle doesn't snag on the imperfections. hmmm
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 11/22/2014, 4:00 pm

My Husband hasn't had a chance to contact the mfg.yet (he had a minor surgery on his hand this week). After we repaired the cover, we wrapped the poles with white shipping foam to accomplish the same purpose. However, the tape we used isn't holding.

Thanks for posting that here so we can find it again if we need it!
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Post  sanderson 11/22/2014, 4:34 pm

The nighttime temps are in the 40's so it's time to think about the green house.  Our first freeze was a doozy last Dec 1. I'm going to erect my little green house this weekend and modify it to make it taller and have a swinging door.
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 11/22/2014, 4:52 pm

Yeah, when it comes it hits fast and seems like it's rarely expected much in advance.  

I have to practice run my survival blanket set up for this year as plants have grown and I've changed things a bit.  We bought some 6 mil drop clothes to use over the front panel where the zipper is separated from the panels which are in shreds.  We should be able to weather the winter with what we have *fingers crossed*
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Post  has55 11/28/2014, 7:43 pm

well I contacted the company and found that the pictures they had online that showed clear with different levels of diffusion was actually milky white. I glad I called. but that bothers me when I see that being done by a company. even lowes has "clear" on their boxes, but it's milky white. 
Anyway, I using the milky white. Thanks Turan for your help.
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Post  sanderson 11/28/2014, 11:00 pm

I have been rethinking setting up the green house this winter. I had such a failure with the tomatoes, as well as some of the peppers, eggplants and tomatillos, seedlings. I believe the leaf hopper-borne curly leaf disease was transmitted when the seedlings started spending time in the greenhouse with the established over-wintered plants. I have decided to try something different this winter by letting go of all of the potted eggplants and peppers. Come March, I can set it up for the transition period. Eggplant, pepper, tomatillo and tomato seedlings are easy to raise in this area. I have also decided to push back the date of planting the seed pots to mid or late Feb. I think pushing back or moving up a date can help avoid a certain pest. It's worth a try. All I have to lose is a few seeds, right? Oh, and lowering the height of the fluorescent lights. Smile
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 11/29/2014, 10:52 am

I have some sort of blackish issue on a cucumber in my greenhouse.  I had problems with that last winter on bell peppers and eggplant.  I have to spray Neem oil once a week for a couple weeks and get a fan in there.  However, over all my plants have done really well in my greenhouse and my starts have transplanted well.  Perhaps it's the larger size of it.  I open it wide open each day in the spring, so I didn't see any real issues when moving things outdoors.  

I would think a small size could heat up VERY quickly and might experience more extremes?
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Post  has55 12/3/2014, 9:46 pm

I have two winter project on the drawing board. The first one is off now. It a simple box construction made from 1" PVC tubing. The corners are 1" 4-way couplings. this way I can put in support bars. the top consist of 1/2 inch PVC shape into a square. the corners are 1/2" 3-way couplings used for the support . I also inserted 1/2" legs into the corners, then slide the top into 1" bottom section corners. when I want to get into the box, I lift the top up approx 1-1/2 to 2 feet to harvest the food. I have built a pull out legs to hold the top up. will add those pictures later. when I finish , I push the drop down legs forward and the top slides down back in place. The top isn't flush with the bottom section. there a small gap. I letting that stay  for venting. I using a simple row cover for added heat at night inside the box. it stays 24/7. presently the plants seem to tolerate it and don't seem to be getting hot. I plan to use the survival blanket on the outside for severe cold. more pictures of that coming soon. Got some help from my little brother.

I got the 4 ways from here-    4 ways LT

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Post  sanderson 12/4/2014, 12:46 am

Has,  I love SnapClamps.  They have so many neat fittings.  I had to go back through your post to figure it out. Wow, that's a clever "pop top."
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Post  has55 12/4/2014, 2:58 pm

some more pictures with better explanation.
At this stage the SFG winter greenhouse boxes don't look that great. I don't know if that will change. I'm focused on functionality at this point.

 you can see where there is a gap for venting heat. the top is made from 1/2" PVC. the bottom 1" PVC. the snap clamps are 1" for the bottom and 1/2 " for the top. the center piece in the middle of the top cover is for lifting. I found I need lift a certain height , approx 2 ft to get in comfortably. I can tilt the side facing me higher once I lift the whole top about 1 ft, then tilt the front part another foot=2ft. the center pole will need to be lowered so I can drape a survival blanket over it. it's like the ones audrey has in her greenhouse

 The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 7 Img_0621

this is the swing leg with a 5 way on the bottom and a 1/2" T coupler that glued to a white flexible snap clamp. it rotates out or in  and hold the top up when I'm using it, but it comes loose to easily. also you could use a simple coupler at the bottom of the leg instead of the 5 way. I just use what was on hand. the coupler is cheap.
 The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 7 Img_0622


another view of the swing leg The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 7 Img_0623


a view of the snap clamp with a T coupler glued to it and attached to the 1/2" PVC leg pole. The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 7 Img_0624

flexible snap clamp with glued T coupler  
 The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 7 Img_0625

flexible snap clamp with glued 1/2" T coupler holding the plastic wall to the PVC. the T coupler makes it easy to remove the snap clamp. it not hard to removed the flexible snap clamp
 The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 7 Img_0626

It is hard to remove the almost non flexible green snap clamps, but easy to remove with the coupler glued to it.
 The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 7 Img_0627
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Post  has55 12/4/2014, 4:05 pm

Hope this video is helpful.

SFG winter greenhouse Box
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 12/5/2014, 12:18 pm

Very cool setup!  It will be great to see how well it works for you, keep the pictures coming  Smile
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Post  has55 1/10/2015, 11:15 am

came out of the house 2 weeks ago and found the wind had push hard against the south wall of on of the square hoop houses, pushing the wall out of the ground and blowing the top off. Well this is going to work. So i took it down. harvested the food. Now I have two square green houses and decided to change one to a low tunnel hoop house with swing doors. This way I'll get a idea what it will be like next year when I put up the 8ft or 10 ft walk thru green house from the same company. 

I initially built the frame over the SFG bed I eliminated because I had put the mulched down and would need to remove it from around the bed, then placed the hoop house over the bed.


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Now it time to move it to the other bed, but i had to dig out the mulch to exposed the ground. the swing door are in the front.

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all sides buried and supported. they should keep the hoop house anchored.

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swing doors in front

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survival blanket-will need to extend coverage, but ok for now. temps staying about 32-36 degrees at night. Thanks Audrey!

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using automatic vent system. I'm just lazy and don't want to run outdoors to open the hoop houses when I'm in my pajamas.

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closer view. working find. open and closes at 55 degrees.

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using 1" x's 3 ft PVC pipes with end caps. filled pipes with gravel for weight and it won't freeze. using 1" snap clamps to fasten to blanket. these were placed on both ends.

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I used short PVC pipes on the right and left sides, so the blanket would collapse when I removed it.

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finish

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