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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.

New Green House I22gcj10New Green House 14dhcg10

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Post  mlpii66 4/29/2017, 8:55 pm

I'm now the owner of a new 10 x 12 foot Harbor Freight greenhouse.

I looked through some of the posts here and read the discussion by Hoggar about his HF GH.  He noted a few shortcomings and possible solutions. I was wondering if anyone has experience, good or bad with the HF product.  Mine's still in the box with the receipt while I decide on a site and gather material for the base. 


On placing the greenhouse; any pros or cons on alignment?  I have adequate room with lots of unobstructed south facing space to capture what winter sun I can get as it creeps low across the sky. Instinct tells me align the roof ridge east to west and about half way down the south slope for some wind protection.

Cheers!
Mark
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Post  yolos 4/29/2017, 10:48 pm

I have heard/read that the Harbor Freight greenhouse is a good buy for the price but there are numerous modifications that need to be made when assembling in order for the greenhouse to be fit to use.  Search the internet to find the modifications necessary.
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Post  mlpii66 4/30/2017, 12:06 am

A quick look does seem to indicate a good sturdy wood sub-fame may be in order. They seem susceptible to wind and snow damage. I have both in abundance here!
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Post  sanderson 4/30/2017, 4:26 am

I hope Turan or Rooster are able to provide some feed back. My concern is snow load on the roof and wind against the high profile. My little greenhouse is only 4'x4'x6' tall at the ridge pole, made from 1/2" PVC with 4 mil plastic. The joints are not glued so I can disassemble and put it away for the summer. The joints are held together with string tightly wrapped horizontally and vertically. Your greenhouse is something I can only dream about. Shocked

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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt 4/30/2017, 8:00 am

I'm reading through the reviews on the Harbor Freight 10x12 Greenhouse with 4 vents (is that the one?)
I *personally* wouldn't use it (as in, even if I got one for free I wouldn't bother to try to put it up) for two reasons: the wind where I am, and the panels becoming brittle after 1-3 years. (We'll set aside the parts where I'm a renter and sometimes get heavy snowfall overnight.)

I'm seeing lots of hacks and mods for trying to keep it from falling apart/blowing away. I'm not going to read all the reviews, but the bulk of the non-terse good reviews mention modifications. i.e. it's apparently not a good product without modification. Ask yourself where *your* tipping point is on quantity of modifications and $/time spent doing them vs buying a better product or making something from scratch.
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Post  RoOsTeR 4/30/2017, 9:32 am

I've almost purchased the same greenhouse many times lol. Like Beetles hit on, the mods to make it a decent greenhouse have thus far driven me away. I do like to tinker, but I just don't have the time anymore to dedicate to some things. If I did end up purchasing one (from HF) it would most likely be for seasonal use only. I don't have the cover out here on the 'flat land' to help protect it. I do see some in town in yards that look to be fine, but they have other houses, fences, trees, etc helping with protection. That said, when I have done any real greenhouse shopping, most of the ones I could afford don't offer the type of stability I would need in my location.
If I had more time to tinker (which I like to do) I would probably have ended up with the same greenhouse many times over. But as it stands now ( cyclops) given my weather and location conditions, it just hasn't been worth the effort (for me) to have a little bit of a jump in the spring, and a little longer fall.

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Post  donnainzone5 4/30/2017, 1:10 pm

I have a 6'x6'x'6 Palram Harmony greenhouse with an automatic vent.

It was installed two years ago, and remains standing.  It's bolted to my wooden deck and sandwiched between a fence and the house, with the fence 4' from the door to the greenhouse.

Unbelievingly, it survived wind gusts to 58mph and our unusually heavy snow this past winter.  This photo was taken in December; come January, about another foot of snow accumulated on the GH roof.

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Post  mlpii66 4/30/2017, 3:55 pm

Thanks for the feedback.  It's always hard to tell from online reviews, one good one bad and so forth. I'm always a bit leery of HF.  Guess I'll weigh how motivated I am to modify it against time constraints and so on.  AND that it weighs 200+ pounds and I have to wrestle it back on top the SUV to take it back!

Nothing like a little PRIOR research, and nothings as much as I did! Back to Craigslist to see if those windows are still for sale!
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Post  RoOsTeR 4/30/2017, 4:13 pm

I agree! It is hard to judge sometimes going by feedback because it seems the most you ever see is the negatives. Most don't bother to post much positive reviews.
I've had good and bad experiences with HF. I will buy some tools there from time to time if longevity isn't a concern. Anytime I have ever had any problems though with items purchased there, they've always taken care of me with no issues.
With a little time and effort putting together your new gh, I'm sure you'll be just fine. New Green House 3170584802

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Post  donnainzone5 5/1/2017, 4:12 pm

My neighbors have the GH from Harbor Freight.  They reported that it was difficult to assemble, and that some panels had to be replaced because of hailstone damage.
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Post  mlpii66 5/1/2017, 9:43 pm

donnainzone5 wrote:My neighbors have the GH from Harbor Freight.  They reported that it was difficult to assemble, and that some panels had to be replaced because of hailstone damage.
I'm leaning more and more to returning it.  Last year we had gusts of 50mph driving hail the 1st of June.  I want a greenhouse but not gonna let haste lead me to a mistake.

May look into the one you mentioned earlier, it looks pretty sturdy.
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Post  sanderson 5/2/2017, 3:23 am

I don't know your carpentry skill but it seems you could legally build a 10' x 10' gabled structure on concrete footings for less money, and it would hold up to strong winds/hail. ??

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Post  mlpii66 5/2/2017, 10:06 pm

sanderson wrote:I don't know your carpentry skill but it seems you could legally build a 10' x 10' gabled structure on concrete footings for less money, and it would hold up to strong winds/hail.  ??
I'm zoned AGRICULTURAL! Which means in this county it's anything goes that doesn't kill or injure someone else! Or is taller than my main structure.

But that is the direction I'm going. I got it for $650 and that's too much to gamble, so back it goes. Just glad I didn't loose control and rip open the box!
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Post  Turan 5/4/2017, 11:58 am

I have a different brand but similar greenhouse kit.  In order to get it to stay up the first week we had to build an interior frame for it.  The biggest ongoing problem is the panels flex in the wind and blow out.  We have now screwed them into the interior frame with big washers to distribute the load. It is 5 years old now and the panels are not brittle yet and this winter only one small panel blew out.
My family has told me we will never do this again, it is not worth it.  Next time we build from scratch using 4x8 panels over a frame.

Here is the supply for doing it yourself https://www.farmtek.com/farm/supplies/cat1;ft_ag_growing_supplies;ft_greenhouse_equipment.html 

I see around me a lot of high tunnel hoop houses and they are oriented east- west to help with ventilation.  Hoop houses can not have mid way down roof vents so they can get stifling in the middle. The wind here mostly blows west to east.  A big wind blows turns them into wind tunnels and destroys all with in. I oriented my greenhouse north- west with  roof vents on the east side.  This way the greenhouse house is not tempted to become a wind tunnel.  Light comes in from all directions, there is no lack.

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Post  Hoggar 5/4/2017, 3:33 pm

I thought I would put my reply to your PM here for others to see.
I have been very happy with my HF greenhouse it was a good deal I put in the bracing (as per the link below) and it has stood up to several heavy winters with out frame issues.  It currently needs new polycarbonate panels they have yellowed in the sun and gotten brittle. I never put the aluminum bars across the panels and have never lost a panel, however I left one of the roof vents open once during a storm and the wind tore the frame and panel right out of the roof. HF had replacement parts fairly cheep.

Hope that helps,

This Blog was a lot of help with mine.
http://hfgh10x12.blogspot.com/2007/08/part-five-modifying-frame-for-strength.html
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Post  mlpii66 5/4/2017, 9:40 pm

Hoggar,

Didn't notice you were in SLC, we're practically neighbors!
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Post  sanderson 5/5/2017, 3:18 am

I don't know how it happened but I regularly receive FarmTek glossy catalogs. I can only dream while I stand in the middle of my little back yard.

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Post  Turan 5/5/2017, 10:34 am

sanderson wrote:I don't know how it happened but I regularly receive FarmTek glossy catalogs.  I can only dream while I stand in the middle of my little back yard.
I have lust in my heart for automatic vent openers and a HUGE hoop house that would cover my whole house and yard.  Rolling Eyes

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Post  mlpii66 5/8/2017, 11:46 pm

Turan wrote:
sanderson wrote:I don't know how it happened but I regularly receive FarmTek glossy catalogs.  I can only dream while I stand in the middle of my little back yard.
I have lust in my heart for automatic vent openers and a HUGE hoop house that would cover my whole house and yard.  Rolling Eyes
Moving out here is the dream of a lifetime come true for me.  I'm on an acre and a half with about 3/4 of an acre I think I can get productive over time.  I would like to have four plots, with two of the Elliot Coleman type movable greenhouses in rotation.  We also want some fruit trees, grapes, berry bushes you name it! I entertain the thought of a shipping container garden sometimes too.

Turan,
Did you ever see the old 70's sci-fi movie Silent Running? It had the space ships orbiting earth with domes built on so Bruce Dern could keep plants alive for re-introduction to the planet?  He had three robot helpers, Huey, Dewey and Louie.  That's my secret hermit dream, all my plot covered by a dome and robots to do the heavy lifting!  But here on Terra firma though. It's a heavy movie so if you don't like heavy movies...

Sanderson,
Hang in there! It only took me 35 years or so to get my country elbow room!  Sometimes it just hits me when I'm in the middle of the yard, "It's all mine! Well mine and the banks!" I really wanted 5 acres to test the premise of the book Five Acres and Independence. The acre and a half and house we're in now was the best compromise the wife and I could come too.  All the five acre places had OLD run down houses she didn't like and all the "cute" re-furbed farm houses only had a half acre or less left and was a no go for me.

To return to topic, I'm back on with the HF green house... For now! Hoggar's link was inspirational!  If the wind kicks up again...
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Post  CapeCoddess 5/9/2017, 10:15 am

mlpii66 wrote: I entertain the thought of a shipping container garden sometimes too.


I've never heard of a shipping cntr garden so I had to look it up. Already being an Elon groupie, my heart has been stolen once again:

http://www.businessinsider.com/kimbal-musk-shipping-container-farms-new-york-city-2016-12/#the-square-roots-farms-sit-between-an-old-pfizer-factory-and-the-apartment-building-where-jay-z-grew-up-in-brooklyn-1

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Post  mlpii66 5/10/2017, 9:26 pm

CapeCoddess wrote:
mlpii66 wrote: I entertain the thought of a shipping container garden sometimes too.


I've never heard of a shipping cntr garden so I had to look it up.  Already being an Elon groupie, my heart has been stolen once again:

http://www.businessinsider.com/kimbal-musk-shipping-container-farms-new-york-city-2016-12/#the-square-roots-farms-sit-between-an-old-pfizer-factory-and-the-apartment-building-where-jay-z-grew-up-in-brooklyn-1

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Not a Elon groupie but if he could bounce some fat cash my way to start a container farm... I could warm up to him.
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Post  Hoggar 6/27/2017, 11:13 am

Sorry, I've been very busy I took the pictures I promised the same week I promised them and haven't been on the computer for leisure since.


The tubing is attached with metal plumbers tape.
The top is attached to the bolts that hold the rail in place and a through bolt in the Conduit tubing. by adding this brace I can now hang plants on the added cross members.

New Green House Imag0012



The bottom of the upright is just a loop of metal plumbers tape attached with a bolt through the tubing.  Eye bolts were used because I had a large number of them from another project. :-)New Green House Imag0013
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Post  sanderson 6/27/2017, 11:28 am

How would you rate the ease of assembly?

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Post  Hoggar 6/27/2017, 12:28 pm

I put mine up by my self in two days. not counting building the wooden frame for the base. I built the box frame to set the Greenhouse into, with 2 x 6s and 2 x 4s. I built the frame then built the greenhouse in the frame and filled the floor in with topsoil then Concrete Pavers for the floor.


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Post  sanderson 6/29/2017, 2:03 pm

Thanks

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