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Post  Jay Bird on 12/8/2010, 3:05 pm

The Greenhouse is under way, the RV shed is gone the seedlings are 3" tall

I tore down the 20' x 40' rv shed save for the posts, saved all the lumber and went back up with 6' sidewall 8' roof greenhouse frame(lumber), layed commercial cloth on the grounsd and covered with single ply 6mil greenhouse film. Still need to hang and wire the heater, add trellis supports and build the SFG boxes. The Compost pile is ready and waiting to be mixed with peatmoss to fill the boxes. I wont be using vermiculite in the greehouse boxes this time.

Converted 2 bays of garage into leather shop 12' x 24' one store front 12' x 14' and one fda approved kitchen 10' x 12' this made room in the potting shed to actually start the seeds.

Started seeds Sun Nov 28th they are now about 3" used (3) brooder light fixtures and 120 watt grow bulbs from Lowes, waiting on the true leaves to transplant into 4" pots, total seeds planted = 250 Trust variety and 100 Blitz

Here is a photo of the Green metal RV shed from last year

Jay Birds Tomato Greenhouse 4-8_sf12

I will post pics of the greenhouse tomorrow

Thanks to Carolyn, her wealth of knowledge, and posts it has helped considerably in my plans. I expect early march harvest
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Post  happyfrog on 12/8/2010, 3:47 pm

oh, gorgeous!

and envy! i have several inches of snow that my oldest son is happily shoveling int he back yard right now. . .

man the thought of fresh tomatoes in march. . .wow!

you need to post regular pics for us - both to cheer on your progress and two, to dream of our gardens that will follow several months after yours is in full swing. . ..

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Post  Furbalsmom on 12/8/2010, 4:50 pm

JayBird, how exciting that you are completing the Greenhouse project you mentioned some time ago. I can't wait to see the photos. Good Luck! okay
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Post  camprn on 12/8/2010, 5:24 pm

okay
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Post  Jay Bird on 12/13/2010, 11:40 am

Latest pics of the status of the greenhouse and tomato seedlings

We have transplanted into 4" pots
Jay Birds Tomato Greenhouse 12-13-10

The greenhouse is complete
Jay Birds Tomato Greenhouse 12-13-12

The boxes are in process
Jay Birds Tomato Greenhouse 12-13-11

Possible relocation of 4" pots to greenhouse christmas weekend HO HO HO HO Ho! but no Hoe Hoe Hoe Hoe
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Post  cautery on 12/13/2010, 1:58 pm

Jay Bird - So far, I think you are the closest Forum member to me (about same climate too). I'd have made this a PM, but I don't think you have your side enabled.

Reckon you could give us some info on where you got the greenhouse, or plans, materials, size, costs, et al.

Not immediately, but I'm simply going to have to build a greenhouse to start plants, extend season, et al. Don't have the room anywhere else.

Thanks!
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Post  Jay Bird on 12/13/2010, 3:20 pm

Clay,
The lumber was all reused from the RV shed I tore down, I got all of the film , heater and cooling fan/louvers from the Greenhouse megastore, SFG boxes were rafters last week , got peatmoss from Lowes and my compost is courtesy my chickens from the hen house.

So far I have spent around $2000 on the greenhouse add another 500 if you have to buy the lumber

The greenhouse is 20' x 40' and will hold 350 tomato plants one per square foot.
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Post  cautery on 12/13/2010, 6:55 pm

Awesome! I don't have any stuff to re-use.... ouch. And I don't think I will have the room for a 20x40 either. Smile
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Post  CarolynPhillips on 12/14/2010, 2:54 pm

Absolutely wonderful. I live your excitement. I tried the trust tomatoes years ago. I did not like the flavor but they produced well. They are very expensive seeds too. Did you know that upteen years ago before they started breeding specialty tomatoes for greenhouse production they actually grew Big Boys in the greenhouses. I tried several of those specialty greenhouse varieties and they never compared to the big boy. So i tried the Big Beef which is a cross of the big boy and beefsteak. The Big Beef take a week longer than the greenhouse bred varieties but worth the extra wait.

I hope your greenhouse tomatoes turn out great. It is an obsession that I cannot seem to shake off.
I could never grow large tomatoes here during Feb. The expense would kill me and would not be worth the effort. Feb is our coldest month but it looks like December is pretty near it this year. Uggg, wish I could foretell the future..
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Post  Jay Bird on 12/14/2010, 3:22 pm

I am a little worried about my late jan and early feb heating bills, I opted for a electric heat on thermostat and have a portable propane for assistance / emergency. East texas is way to unpredictable to try and set a date in the cooler months it snowed on us last year in april so I just trust in the lord and plant the seeds.

If the first crop will just break even, I will be happy, then I can build some more bigger ones and then some more even bigger ones ,, sooner or later I will either make a profit or go broke.
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Post  cautery on 12/14/2010, 5:20 pm

Jay...

I don't know what all your heating options are, but I'd encourage you to "do the math" and figure out which method gives you the best bang for the buck... Gotta figure out a way to get each method expressed in a apples to apples comparison (terms).... for instance dollars (pr pennies) per BTU or something similar. I suspect your electric heater is rated in BTUs... And

Propane vs. Electric.... what a tough choice to have to make. I don't know what the per gallon price of propane is, but neither method sounds very attractive...

One way to reduce your heating costs would be to increase the thermal mass in/adjacent to your green house... They use water tanks in black containers in some designs... If you could do something similar, you could use stored heat to offset some of the net energy expenditure during hours of darkness. If any surface of your greenhouse that is not involved in the direct transmission of sunlight were converted to a thermal storage mass and/or reflector/director, you could gather and store a ton of heat that could be used at night... again, all about the BTUs Wink

I don't know/remember much about gardening, but I know thermal performance/design pretty well. If you ever want to investigate it and brain storm, gimme a holler.
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Post  Jay Bird on 12/14/2010, 5:53 pm

Clay must be either a chemical engineer or a mech eng so much knowledge, I agree with all you said but sometimes its cheaper in the short run to use more fuel, I have even been looking at rainwater collection option but so far the pay back is much longer than the life of the equipment,

Also remember that greenhouses heat themselves during the day my test runs so far in 40 deg temps with 20 mPH winds is the heat only comes on for a few minutes evry hour now at night that will be another story,
I do think that opposes to thermal mass which may block the sun that wind breaks on the north side would be even better, so as to stop the heat loss caused by cold wind blowing over the plastic yadayada.

If the money would have been available I would have purchased the double wall poly panels but they are 65 bucks a 4x10 sheet opposed to 250 bucks for the whole roll of film
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Post  cautery on 12/14/2010, 6:05 pm

PS: Jay.... you sent me a PM but I can't respond because your are set to refuse them.

Nope... I'm not a professional engineer... I'm an amateur engineer out of necessity and I dig it besides... Smile
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Post  miinva on 12/15/2010, 5:32 pm

There's some information in the Winter Harvest Handbook about influencing the temperature inside a greenhouse, but I've seen lots of information scattered here and there about using water to store heat to be released at night. I don't want to use electricity or fuel to heat my cold frames, so I've been contemplating ways to do so without it. One interesting fact that came from that book is that in Paris they used to bury a thick layer of horse manure beneath their raised beds to warm the soil. I've thought about giving it a try since I have a fair bit of horse manure laying around Smile
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Post  Jay Bird on 12/16/2010, 9:19 am

Horse manure, thats interesting! the same phiolsophy is being adopted in chicken houses. Called the deep litter method they leave a 6" deep litter thru the winter and the composting effect of the chicken litter creates heat.

Something to ponder on!
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Post  miinva on 12/16/2010, 10:52 am

Doesn't chicken litter have stuff in it that you shouldn't breathe? We're planning to get a few chickens in the fall, but only a few hens Smile
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Post  CarolynPhillips on 12/16/2010, 2:15 pm

a few years ago, i wanted to use electricity instead of fuel-propane. But the big wigs told me it would be a big mistake. They said electricity was far more expensive than propane. I took their word for it cause I couldn't afford to live and learn that experience.
It does cost a lot to grow during winter months--and of course the profit is not as high during winter compared to spring and summer. But if you have several crops through out the year , the spring , summer, and fall crops make up for the winter expense if you have customers that want toms year around.
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Post  Jay Bird on 12/17/2010, 9:16 am

Gas vs. elect, the old school would definitly go gas but with the recent increase in fuel prices as well as the uncertianty of fuel prices I chose elect plus I am a electrician by trade kinda seems to fit, profit is the real issue and I decided that if just a few percent over cost of construction is all there is then it will be enough because that gets it built. (Build it and they will come) then the next crop going into early summer should be considerably more profitable. Cant sell fresh veggies if you dont have any,, cant commit to sell fresh vegggies if you dont have a clue how much you can produce.

Only concern I have is with the Senate bill 510 that is giving the FDA more controls over fresh foods, it is a interesting bill and still has to go thru the house, it may very well allow the gov to shut down small groweres and farmers markets and or require permits that make growing onprofitable. But then with all gov actions it may narrow the competition thus creating more demand and allowing for higher prices,, nothing like creating inflation this bill would also regulate egg sells and milk sales.

But on the positive note SB 510 looks like it may exclude growers with less than 500,000.00 gross sales.
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Post  GloriaG on 12/18/2010, 4:01 pm

Jaybird,

Check it out thoroughly on the internet.
SB 510 is a long running hoax.
Gloria
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Post  middlemamma on 12/18/2010, 4:48 pm

Hey guys....at this time discussing politics is agianst the TOS of the forum. https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t4744-tos-terms-of-service

Hoax or not at this time 510 is a political discussion.

Until which time that there is a place here specifically for this kind of conversation I am asking this one time for you to abide by the TOS and decease discussions on this topic.

I see the value in debate and conversations for awareness, learning, and informational purposes. As the admin of the forum I am looking into possibly having a portion of the forum that is dedicated to this type of conversation and has an opt in or out sort of dynamic. I AM NOT PROMISING THIS WILL HAPPEN....it is in the thought stages ONLY at this time.

In the meantime unitl there is an anouncement otherwise I need TOS to be followed.

THANK YOU IN ADVANCE for your cooperation.

Smile Jennie
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Post  miinva on 12/18/2010, 6:03 pm

Forgive me, I love this forum and have no desire to violate the TOS, but it makes me sad that a bunch of gardeners, many of whom grow food for income, can't discuss something that directly affects the act of doing so. I'm not an argumentative person, but I think it needs to be said.
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Post  middlemamma on 12/18/2010, 6:52 pm

I agree...that is why I am looking into the forum having a place for that type of conversation. I think some members would agree. however I want to respect the gardener's here who just want to grow some decent veggies and they don't care to have their boat rocked with this type of dialog. I want for the forum for EVERYONE to get what they need.

I'm on my phone so I am going to be short at this time.

Jennie
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Post  miinva on 12/18/2010, 7:31 pm

If that part of the forum happens I'll be happy to participate there as well, and if not this forum will still be a great resource.
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Post  GloriaG on 12/18/2010, 9:29 pm

I'm sorry, I certainly wasn't trying to be "political", I just wanted someone who has a huge investment in this to have some additional information.

Please forgive me if that offends anyone. And BTW - it has been discussed here before!


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Post  LaFee on 12/19/2010, 4:22 am

and it's been replied to by the moderators with the same request before.
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