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The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic

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Post  has55 11/12/2013, 5:52 am

Hi Sanderson. 
For those snap clamps I have found that it's easier to remove them quickly and simply if I glued a three way pvc T adapter. see below. you can insert a 2 inch pipe into the "t" stem portion/section and cover the end with a cap. you don't have to glue in the pipe or cap, they will fit snuggly. I don't use a pipe. it works well without it, but it will have a cleaner look and feel completed, plus keep out unwanted guest. I haven't found unwanted guest(insect-spiders,etc...). I believe it's due to the heat in summer and the cold in winter. I will probably get around to doing it when I get these experimental ideas out of my heart and head.
 Still looking for clear, see thru greenhouse plastic.

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Post  sanderson 11/12/2013, 12:10 pm

Has55,  Thanks for the photos.  "A picture is worth a thousand words"
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Post  has55 11/13/2013, 5:57 am

On 11/11/13- I received the updated info from David Whiting at Colorado State University:


Here are some links to space blankets that look like what I use
 
http://www.rei.com/product/407106/space-all-weather-blanket
 
http://www.amazon.com/Space-All-Weather-Blanket-Blue/dp/B001OPM25G/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1384186888&sr=8-3&keywords=emergency+space+blankets
 
 
http://www.cabelas.com/product/Sportsmans-Space-Blankets/713345.uts
 
 
David
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 11/13/2013, 12:47 pm

Great, we have an REI store near us and I think Walmart carries these type as well (at least online if not in store).

Thanks!
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Post  has55 11/13/2013, 11:43 pm

Here in denton, tx, walmart only had the flimsy foiled blankets. one time use stuff. Keep us updated what you find please.
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Post  sanderson 11/18/2013, 12:38 am

I finally made the little green house frame.  There is room for a short picnic bench or 2 inside so I can double-deck some of the pots and flats over winter.  I ordered the special fittings from "PVCPlans" ???, I think.  Made it sooo easy to cut and assemble.

Nothing is glued so I can put it away for the long spring/summer/fall season.  I will reinforce all 3 directions with twine so it won't come apart at the first wind.  Also, there will be a 4' x 4' plywood platform (insulation against the cold bricks), covered with a section of plastic, to anchor the bottom of the frame to with zip ties through small drilled holes.

Dimensions: 47" OD of base using 45" pvc sections.  Ridge pole is 58" high ID, made with 32" rafters.  The side walls are 34 3/4" on the inside where the 45* fittings bends.  2" pvc pieces connect the 45* fitting to the 4-way fitting. These 4 vertical poles, 30" in length, were left over sections after cutting two 45" pieces off a 10' (120") piece of sch 40 1/2" pvc.
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Post  has55 11/18/2013, 10:36 am

Sanderson, it's looks great. thank you for sharing. It's makes a big difference being able to use those specialized PVC adapter.
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Post  has55 11/18/2013, 10:39 am

Please keep the pictures coming.
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Post  GloriaG 11/18/2013, 12:01 pm

FWIW - the night we had a hard freeze here in N Texas, I did some research on the temperatures at which plants will freeze or be hurt by the cold.

I was surprised at what LOW temperatures most plants can survive and bounce back.  The key seems to be to mulch the ground then let the plants acclimate by delaying covering them until necessary. 

This article explains the "kill" temperatures for a list of veggies - http://www.botanicalinterests.com/articles/view/26/Frost-Tolerance-of-Vegetables 

These articles explain the INSIDE temperature of low tunnels (hoop houses) - http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/critical_time_for_low_tunnels_management_in_vegetable_production  

and http://extension.umass.edu/vegetable/umass-and-unh-research-trials/low-tunnel-cover-materials-trials    From this you'll note that 6-mil plastic makes temperatures spike sharply so you need to be careful of daytime temperatures getting too high.

This year, for my garden, I'm planning on using a 2-prong approach.  When the temperatures are in the 30's, I'll cover my hoops with a floating row cover so I can avoid excess heat build-up inside during the day.  (That adds about 8° inside the hoops and cuts the wind)  When temperatures reach the 20's, I'll change to 6-mil plastic hoop covers with a second layer of floating row cover inside directly over the plants.  (That should increase the daytime temperatures quite a bit and reduce nighttime drop by utilizing residual soil warmth)   By using a 2-layer system, I can vent the plastic when the inside temperatures get too high and leave the inside layer on so the soil doesn't lose too much heat and plants aren't shocked by the cold draft.

Hope this helps.
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Post  has55 11/18/2013, 12:32 pm

Hi GloriaG, 
This was extremely great info. I'm also going to use the two prong method, but have not decided to yet to use a zipper versus vented windows for the plastic. It's a work in progress. Will have some pictures coming soon. I'm going to order my plastic tomorrow from Agriculture Solutions LLC. thanks for sharing.
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Post  boffer 11/18/2013, 4:04 pm

Gloria, thanks for the interesting links.

My browsers (FF and Chrome) don't seem to parse and display the second and third links properly.  If anyone else can't open them, these might work.

http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/critical_time_for_low_tunnels_management_in_vegetable_production  

http://extension.umass.edu/vegetable/umass-and-unh-research-trials/low-tunnel-cover-materials-trials
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Post  GloriaG 11/18/2013, 7:30 pm

Glad you liked it and thanks for helping with the links!
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Post  Marc Iverson 11/19/2013, 12:25 am

That's a great looking little greenhouse, sanderson! How much do you think the whole thing will run you?
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Post  sanderson 11/19/2013, 2:05 am

Thank, Marc.

$28.01      FORMUFIT pvc fittings
  12.00      Home Depot - 6 x 10' pieces 1/2 pvc sch 40
   6.00      Office Supply - dozen large black binder clips

Total to date:  $46.00

I have on hand enough plywood for a 4' x 4' base, zip ties to secure pvc floor plates to plywood, and 4 mil plastic to cover.  If my math is right, it will take a 12' x 14' piece to cover.
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Post  sanderson 11/19/2013, 8:08 pm

Today, I reinforced all 3 directions with twine.  The special fittings are so smooth inside that only glue or twine will keep them together,  Glue is out because I want to be able to dissemble for storage.
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Post  has55 11/20/2013, 12:05 pm

beautiful. great work.
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Post  johnp 11/22/2013, 4:58 pm

Looks great. One suggestion is to use PVC electrical conduit. It is grey but is not affected by sunlight. I have PVC for my irrigation and the sun has taken it's toll. The conduit elbows are long sweep which was a plus for me.
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Post  sanderson 11/27/2013, 7:39 pm

Finally got a cover made for this 4' x 4' house.  Already crowded!  Only three were store purchased this spring so not an economical loss if it doesn't work.  Still need the Christmas lights - Griswald, move over.
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Post  Marc Iverson 11/28/2013, 12:53 am

Sure looks nice. Do you have any concerns about the wind catching it and causing havoc?
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Post  sanderson 11/28/2013, 2:38 am

Marc,  No, I don't think I will have any problem with wind.  Originally I was going to secure the bottom plates/rails to a 4' x 4' plywood platform so it wouldn't blow away.  Reconsidering, if I did that, then i couldn't lift the whole frame and cover off to to harvest (optimistic, aren't I?) or other work besides watering.

Inside are 2 short redwood picnic benches with 4 pots on top of each.  I pushed on the frame on all sides and it seems immoveable.  The binder clamps are so strong so the plastic should stay put.

I just need more room.  I originally envisioned a key-hole place for me to kneel or stand but it's wall to wall pots!  I could make it taller fairly easily.  Or I could make a second one.  This was just to get through Thanksgiving with possible rain and nightly temps around 40*, daytime around 60+.  The peppers are blooming and have fruit.  The Early girl tomato sent up a nice sucker and it has flowers.  Experimenting, right?
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Post  sanderson 11/28/2013, 2:45 am

johnp,  I will eventually spray paint the PVC sage green.  I think that will extend the life.  I think you are right that plastic electrical conduit out lasts white PVC.  My white PVC is marked for drinking water and is rated for only so many years.  I forgot how many but it was over 10 years.  Let's see, in 10 years I will be, um, 10 years older.
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Post  Marc Iverson 11/28/2013, 4:41 pm

I'm using the white schedule 40 PVC, and if it's lifespan is 10 years, I guess I'm due to start worrying about it in 9 and 11/12's years.
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Post  Marc Iverson 11/28/2013, 5:46 pm

sanderson wrote:I could make it taller fairly easily.  Or I could make a second one. 
Hey, that's a pretty good thing about your build there. You can expand it easily, and in pretty much any increment(s) you like.

I'm going to see how I feel at the end of this year about using row cover on some of my pots versus building a little greenhouse like you did. Don'tcha just love experiments? Very Happy

The Early girl tomato sent up a nice sucker and it has flowers.  Experimenting, right?
Now that's an early girl! I wonder about ripening and setting fruit at really cold temps, but maybe you could get some nice green tomatoes over the winter? My green tomato chutney is getting gobbled up at a frantic pace, and it's made me reconsider leaving so many tomatoes to ripen next year. I think I'll try to plant some good performers specifically to get green tomatoes. Like maybe the Better Bush II I grew this year, which seemed all but indestructible.
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Post  sanderson 11/29/2013, 8:49 pm

Members,  I need your advice!  Thank you

I put all my pots in this greenhouse and I just got to thinking . . . maybe certain plants need to stay outside of it and only need to be covered on frost nights.

Here's what I have inside that I will keep inside for the next 3-4 months.  Tomato, Peppers, Salad box, Herbs

Here's what I put inside that I THINK may be better to only cover on Frost Nights:  Potatoes, Carrots, Onions and Brussels Sprouts.
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Post  camprn 11/29/2013, 8:51 pm

Potatoes are tender like tomatoes. I would keep those in the greenhouse.

Lucky you,What a Face  with Brussels sprouts!cheers 

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