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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
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  audrey.jeanne.roberts 12/5/2013, 11:36 am

26 degrees at 8 am, so I'm guessing maybe it was 24 last night?

My once lush hillside garden is now a frozen, dead mess - oh well!

Camprn on the weather station, it's about 30 miles away and 1200 ft lower, HOWEVER I researched through the stations they have and there is one near me so thank you for posting that.  There's a weather station about 300 feet higher than we are, but close Very Happy

http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/getForecast?query=93675
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 12/5/2013, 2:47 pm

Finally got a chance to take some pictures of how things are set up now.  There is a side panel now on the large box (we had to buy 3 more space blankets).  I have stitched the four blankets together so there are no air leaks.

greenhouse -  The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 4 12-5-13E_zps51a89ed3
This table top gets covered at night with another space blanket.  So far the cherry tomato inside that hangs very close to the outer front wall is surviving and I ate 2 fresh toms off of it today.
greenhouse -  The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 4 12-5-13C_zpse12655d4

My now dead hillside.  This was a lush jungle of volunteer tomatoes, flowers and during the summer - melons.  
greenhouse -  The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 4 12-5-13D_zps93ed3c25

Here's how it opens up during the day.  The mirror like surface helps radiate the sunlight to the back plants.  All I have to do now is unroll the top cover and clip the sides each night.

greenhouse -  The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 4 12-5-13B_zpsa358c52f

Lemon Cucumber, tomatoes, bush beans, japanese eggplant, hot chili peppers, basil, multi varities of lettuce, beets, swiss chard and I'm sure I'm forgetting something, all safe and sound.  I'm a happy girl.  

We're seeing 100 year lows this weekend, so if we can make it through this we're good to go!

greenhouse -  The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 4 12-5-13A_zps8066094d
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Post  Marc Iverson 12/5/2013, 3:33 pm

This is a good way for you to build up plant by plant knowledge. I suppose these temperature extremes could even be a blessing in a way, allowing you to gather and document unusual info, like which plants are your toughest and what temperatures particular cultivars could manage before getting overwhelmed.
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Post  sanderson 12/5/2013, 4:14 pm

Thanks for the tour.  I can't wait to visit you.  Are those large Christmas lights?  I have mini lights and they don't put out much heat.  Just enough to keep the frost off the top.
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 12/5/2013, 5:19 pm

sanderson wrote:Thanks for the tour.  I can't wait to visit you.  Are those large Christmas lights?  I have mini lights and they don't put out much heat.  Just enough to keep the frost off the top.
Yes, only the large size, old-fashioned variety really work and they need a pretty constricted area to heat at all.
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Post  sanderson 12/5/2013, 11:24 pm

So I am discovering.
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 12/6/2013, 12:08 pm

sanderson wrote:So I am discovering.
That doesn't sound good - frost damage?! It was under 25* when I went to bed.  My compost tea had a little bit of ice in it in my greenhouse.  It was sitting on a bale next to the outside wall.  The covered gardens are fine though.  I'm concerned about when it gets down to 19* or lower on Saturday night.  I may run two heaters in there for the night as it's likely to be the coldest weather we'll face all winter long and I don't want to lose the fully grown plants I'm planning on harvesting through the winter from.
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Post  has55 12/8/2013, 12:35 am

audrey.jeanne.roberts, thank you for those awesome picture. 
Tonight in the Dallas area we will be at 21-19 degrees. I built a mini greenhouse for the greens like spinach,kale,mustard and swiss chard. I only had time to do one GH, the others I just cover up with plastic.  The cold here is fierce. We'll see what survive next week, if anything. I did cover the plants with frost row cover, but forgot to add the space blanket. What I have for space blanket is some type of thin aluminum sheeting and no fabric on it back side.
I bought my clear greenhouse plastic from 

Agriculture Solutions LLC 

http://www.agriculturesolutions.com/products/greenhouse-supplies/sun-selector-greenhouse-plastic
I can see the plants whenever i  approach the bed, which is nice.



I use metal hoop from electrical conduit. These were the ones I had this summer that I use to support my shade cloth. I glue the pvc together. I could tell they would separate from the weight of the hoops. So I'm not worry about wind with the hoops frame being on top of the bed instead of within it. I also added a handle so I could just simply lift it up to get to the food.
greenhouse -  The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 4 Img_3911


greenhouse -  The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 4 Img_3912



greenhouse -  The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 4 Img_3913




I put 3 straps on the back to secure it to the bed when I open and lift up  it from the front. One strap on each edge and 1 in the middle.
greenhouse -  The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 4 Img_3914


the metal hoops are smaller than a 1/2 inch pipe and adapter. so I cut off a 1/2 pvc pipe approx 1/2 long and put ot on the end of the hoop pipe tubing. It's a great fit. then I inserted it into the 90 degrees pvc adapter as seen below. the L bracket was placed at the back end on the right and left corners to prevent the pipe from shifting side to side. 

greenhouse -  The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 4 Img_3915

during the test of lifting it up and backwards to open, I let it go all the way back. but found the poles started to collapse onto each other.
greenhouse -  The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 4 Img_3917


so I added reinforcement by placing a pvc pipe between each hoop. I glued 3 ways tees unto snap clamps and then inserted the pipes. The clamps I had available were a little large, so I added some row cover cloth between the pipe and clamp which allowed it to clip tightly onto the bar.
greenhouse -  The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 4 Img_3918

now, the second test, I was able to let the housing go all the way back and sit nicely on the ground. no collapsing. 


greenhouse -  The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 4 Img_3919


The CLEAR PLASTIC. Love it. I can see thru it.

greenhouse -  The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 4 Img_3920

The opening seems to work. I used snap clamps on the lower ends and allow the plastic to drape the side to keep the wind out. I noticed the flaps want to drop inside after I lift it up. If you look closely at the flap on the right is doing it. I will try adding pvc weights to keep them on the outside. Does anyone have a better idea for keeping the flaps leaning toward the outside?

greenhouse -  The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 4 Img_3921
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Post  Goosegirl 12/8/2013, 9:47 am

has55 - love the project!  

GG
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Post  boffer 12/8/2013, 9:58 am

has55 wrote:
the metal hoops are smaller than a 1/2 inch pipe and adapter. so I cut off a 1/2 pvc pipe approx 1/2 long and put ot on the end of the hoop pipe tubing. It's a great fit.
greenhouse -  The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 4 Img_3915
Thanks for that idea; it will come in handy someday! greenhouse -  The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 4 3170584802 
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 12/8/2013, 10:13 am

Love your system!
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Post  sanderson 12/8/2013, 12:49 pm

Love that you can lift it off, and the clear plastic is nice.  Good, clear photos for DIY.
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 12/8/2013, 1:05 pm

Well… my greenhouse has survived probably the coldest temps it will see (fingers crossed!) and we didn't lose a single plant.   The tips of the cherry tomatoes that are hanging out of the interior green house got a little frozen and will need to be trimmed but the main plant is fat and happy.

 YAY!  I'll have fresh veggies all winter long and a good start on the spring.  

Happy!  Happy!  Happy Girl!
aj
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Post  has55 12/8/2013, 1:25 pm

boffer wrote:
has55 wrote:
the metal hoops are smaller than a 1/2 inch pipe and adapter. so I cut off a 1/2 pvc pipe approx 1/2 long and put ot on the end of the hoop pipe tubing. It's a great fit.
greenhouse -  The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 4 Img_3915
 
Thanks for that idea; it will come in handy someday! greenhouse -  The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 4 3170584802 
I forgot this important part: I used  1/2 inch 200psi PVC pipe to cover the ends of the tubing. scheduled 40 is to thick. these are the types of pipes used for irrigation. they come in length of 10 ft and cost about 1.50-1.70
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Post  has55 12/8/2013, 1:30 pm

audrey.jeanne.roberts wrote:Well… my greenhouse has survived probably the coldest temps it will see (fingers crossed!) and we didn't lose a single plant.   The tips of the cherry tomatoes that are hanging out of the interior green house got a little frozen and will need to be trimmed but the main plant is fat and happy.

 YAY!  I'll have fresh veggies all winter long and a good start on the spring.  

Happy!  Happy!  Happy Girl!
aj
I will be following your progress. To have some summer crops like tomatoes to eat is exciting. went back to look at your list of vegetables:Lemon Cucumber, tomatoes, bush beans, japanese eggplant, hot chili peppers, basil, multi varities of lettuce, beets, swiss chard


WOW.Now that the farmer market of wintering gardening.Very Happy 
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 12/8/2013, 2:47 pm

has55 wrote:]I will be following your progress. To have some summer crops like tomatoes to eat is exciting. went back to look at your list of vegetables:Lemon Cucumber, tomatoes, bush beans, japanese eggplant, hot chili peppers, basil, multi varities of lettuce, beets, swiss chard


WOW.Now that the farmer market of wintering gardening.Very Happy 
What zone are you in Denton? I think you get down into the teens regularly don't you? Our son and daughter-in-law live in Dallas and were married in Denton. It's a lovely area.

I'm 8A so my lightweight system will work here, however if you added a heat source when needed and used the space blankets over the top of your greenhouse I bet you might be able to pull it off too.
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Post  Marc Iverson 12/8/2013, 4:57 pm

has55, what a cool idea for a project. Now instead of lifting off cloth, you can keep it properly fastened and just lever off the whole frame. Much easier and quicker. I love when people approach the same old problems with some new creative thinking!
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Post  has55 12/11/2013, 6:14 pm

I received some more pictures from Mr. Vern Harris about his gliding hoop house. See below:

greenhouse -  The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 4 Family10


greenhouse -  The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 4 Family11


greenhouse -  The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 4 Family12


greenhouse -  The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 4 Family13

greenhouse -  The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 4 Family14


greenhouse -  The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 4 Family15


greenhouse -  The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 4 Family16


greenhouse -  The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 4 Family17


greenhouse -  The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 4 Family18
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Post  has55 12/11/2013, 6:36 pm

Hi, audrey.jeanne.roberts, my zone for denton, tx-7b-5F to 10F


question about your space blanket. 
Where did you buy it? 

Cost for one? 

Do you know the size? 

Is it thick or the thin type? 

Fragile or sturdy?

greenhouse -  The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 4 Audrey10

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Post  has55 12/11/2013, 6:55 pm

does anyone know of a local name brand store that carry clear greenhouse tape? I'm in Denton, tx. so far. i'm only finding it online. Probably not using correct key word.
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 12/11/2013, 11:24 pm

has55 wrote:Hi, audrey.jeanne.roberts, my zone for denton, tx-7b-5F to 10F


question about your space blanket. 
Where did you buy it? 

Cost for one? 

Do you know the size? 

Is it thick or the thin type? 

Fragile or sturdy?

greenhouse -  The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 4 Audrey10

greenhouse -  The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 4 Audrey11I bought them at REI (the sports outfitter company, not sure what REI stands for).  They were I think $16.95 or thereabouts.  They are quite durable as they are 4 or 5 layers laminated, thus the greater expense than the $2 one time use variety.  You can find them at Walmart online and several other places, I just googled space blankets.  

They are proving very effective.  They are only sold in 5' x 7' sizes (that I could find) so I used my sewing machine to sew 4 together to make a covering for my 5 x 10 box + there are 2 more, one on each side that form the envelope.  

In 22* overnight temps I have not lost a single plant - including a two squash, a cucumber and full sized tomatoes which are all sensitive to the cold.  I am running a small heater under the large covering.  It is set at it's lowest temp and seems to turn off about 40 degrees so it runs very little.  I haven't seen a power bill, but fingers crossed it won't be horrid, LOL!
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Post  has55 12/11/2013, 11:40 pm

thank you for the info.

you said" 

 All I have to do now is unroll the top cover and clip the sides each night."



What type of clip? Any pictures? I couldn't tell from your pictures.
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Post  johnp 12/12/2013, 8:52 am

hass55 I just got a roll of repair tape from Growers Supply (Farmtec) yesterday. It was a 2 inch wide tape. I also bought 6 mil clear remnant's for a really cheap price for my yet to be built cattle panel green house.
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 12/12/2013, 11:22 am

has55 wrote:thank you for the info.

you said" 

 All I have to do now is unroll the top cover and clip the sides each night."



What type of clip? Any pictures? I couldn't tell from your pictures.
I'll try to remember to take pictures tonight when I close up, I'm actually using alligator office clips and odds n ends clips I have hanging around. I roll the seams over 2 or 3 times and then just clip them. That way no warm air escapes.
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 12/12/2013, 7:25 pm

OK, here's the way I clip the sides.  I place the two edges one on top of the other then roll them 2 or 3 times and add the clips.  That keeps the air gaps/leaks to a minimum.  These are business clips, I've always called them "alligator clips" but don't know if that's the name you would look them up under.  Easy to find and very cheap.  Lots of different sizes available.

greenhouse -  The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 4 Photo-5copy_zps7bb83252

Not sure what these kinds of clips are called or where we got them - I'm fairly certain also at an office supply store.  

greenhouse -  The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 4 Photo-5_zps0eaaedb2
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