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Square Foot Greenhouse Gardeners, Check In, Please!

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Post  martha on 12/10/2011, 11:51 am

So early, early Spring, I am almost definitely going to finally achieve my dream of having an (unheated) greenhouse.

I am looking for insider information Wink on special needs, precautions, how-to's and how-not-to's.

I am definitely going to be SFGardening in the greenhouse, and I am really excited about being able to extend my seasons.

Chime in, please!
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Post  boffer on 12/10/2011, 12:00 pm

Rule of thumb: Decide how big you want and then triple it.
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Post  martha on 12/10/2011, 12:43 pm

Boffer, this is very true, but I am limited by the town. If I keep it a maximum size of 8X10, I don't have to go to the planning board or the building department for permits. So 8X10 it is.
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Post  boffer on 12/10/2011, 1:02 pm

OK then, when you plan the placement of your 8x10, keep in mind that you might want to add a couple more next year!

We have a similar code. But there is a lot of leeway in what can be built as a temporary structure, that does not require a permit, and a permanent structure that does require a permit. A lot of the greenhouse kits that I've seen would qualify as temporary here because they don't need a foundation.
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Post  martha on 12/10/2011, 1:42 pm

I'm not using a kit. I am building something similar to, but not exactly like this...

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/greenhouses-and-garden-sheds-pat-price/1100409032?ean=9781589234376&itm=26&usri=greenhouse



(okay, by "I am building" I mean "I am paying someone to build")
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Post  walshevak on 12/10/2011, 2:45 pm

I gave one of these to my DIL last Christmas and she finally set it up last week. My son is running a 25' string of C9 lights into it this weekend. It is housing some flowers and pepper plants. I got him one of the indoor/outdoor thermometers for Christmas. Will let you know how it does after the 25th.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_231-10155-FHPH150_0__?productId=3199759&Ntt=greenhouse&pl=1¤tURL=%2Fpl__0__s%3FNtt%3Dgreenhouse&facetInfo=

I have one too, but will wait until spring to set up for seedlings. Need to get my exterior light sockets fixed.



Kay

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Post  martha on 12/10/2011, 3:18 pm

Keep me posted!
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Post  ribarr4 on 12/11/2011, 7:10 pm

We love our greenhouse. Yesterday, December 10th, I picked 6lbs. of tomatoes and 3lbs. of peppers. Ours is unheated and we don't have an exaust fan, but you need to have some kind of fan to move around air inside the greenhoue. We use planting times as though we were 2 zones to the south. So we are in 6b, but we use zones 8-9 for planting. How are you going to configure your beds?
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Post  martha on 12/11/2011, 7:50 pm

Ribarr, this is very exciting to hear! Two zones would be beyond my expectations!

However, your other question made me realize that I am a lying sack of compost. On the ground level will be boxes with grids - 2' deep and however long, but above will be shelves with Mel's mix, but small enough containers that there will be no boxes and grids. So sad when one has one's character flaws exposed! Wink


I am going to have a couple of automated vents. What do you use for air circulation?
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Post  ribarr4 on 12/12/2011, 10:56 am

Ours is 14'x24' and we have a fair bit of thermal ballast, but we just survived a night down to 22deg. outside and we still have tomatoes, eggplat and peppers in there.

As for the fan I just bought a couple of 22" fans, but you probibly only need one 12" or 14" put up in one corner pointed down the long side so it circulates the air in a circle around the greenhouse. It just needs to keep the air moving alittle.

Don't worry about the layout not being square foot enough. Everbody does what they need to do.

Heat in the summer is a problem and the vents will help alot with that.

Good luck,
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Post  Lavender Debs on 12/12/2011, 11:37 am

I have been looking at this title and thinking, "I'm just a wanna be" only to find the original poster is a dreamer like me. Ray and I are planning a small greenhouse with an aquaponic set-up and a grow area for peppers (a plant that does not want to fruit for me). Maybe a tomato or eggplant too, as well as water cress and whatever else can be grown in the 'ponic part of the aquaponic system.

So glad you published your dream Martha!

Debs.....still need to dream up the room to place this in the toy box
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Post  martha on 12/12/2011, 12:24 pm

Debs, you're Square Foot Greenhouse Gardeners, Check In, Please! 396615
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Post  ribarr4 on 12/12/2011, 4:07 pm

Aquaponics is actually what we have in our greenhouse. It is a 300 gallon system with 14 - 55 gallon barrels cut in half and planted as 6-1ft squares each. This is my second system. The other was much smaller and great to learn on. FYI I have alot more info on about in on our blog under the gardening tab.

www.green-cityzen.com
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Post  martha on 12/12/2011, 4:20 pm

sweet potato pancakes... Square Foot Greenhouse Gardeners, Check In, Please! 211713 .... I can think of several different possible interpretations, all of which make me Square Foot Greenhouse Gardeners, Check In, Please! 959632 . (I am addicted to emoticons!)

Recipes, pictures, descriptions?
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Post  Lavender Debs on 12/12/2011, 5:48 pm

Way kewl Richard. My guys are planning some kind of tote thing for a tank. Apparently they can get them reasonably in the area. They made my rain water collection system from local barrels and there are about four more barrels sitting outside of my bedroom window waiting to get cut in half length wise for growing spring potatoes in.

I clicked on your barrel aquaponic link and got an error. I need to walk the dogs, so I'll try again later. Looks like a nice blog.

Debs
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Post  ribarr4 on 12/12/2011, 6:19 pm

Thanks Debs. I fixed the dead link. It is really a comprehensive manuel. I am very glad that I built and ran that system for 9 months before I built the big system. Thier Yahoo group is very informative as well.

I'll try to get Terrie to post the sweet potato pancake recipe. They were very good.
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Post  ashort on 12/12/2011, 6:58 pm

Curious - what software do you use for your blog? It is well done.
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Post  ribarr4 on 12/12/2011, 7:04 pm

Thanks, we use some template in wordpress. A buddy helped me get it up and I customized it a bit when work was slow. He keeps asking me if I want to update it, but it took me a while to get it the way both me and Terrie like it. Thanks for noticing.
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Post  janezee on 12/13/2011, 10:50 pm

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Post  Windsor.Parker on 12/14/2011, 1:02 pm

@ribarr4 wrote:Aquaponics is actually what we have in our greenhouse. It is a 300 gallon system with 14 - 55 gallon barrels cut in half and planted as 6-1ft squares each. This is my second system. The other was much smaller and great to learn on. FYI I have alot more info on about in on our blog under the gardening tab.

Interesting stuff! I'm looking into options for this winter.
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Post  martha on 12/14/2011, 1:07 pm

What do you have in mind?
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Post  Ha-v-v on 12/14/2011, 5:55 pm

Ive taken these two sites and combined the two ideas some what to make a hoop house for a 4x8 bed. I still need to make the clamps for it, we will see how many clamps these hands can make Smile

Simple simple to make it to this point. I took 2 10 ft pieces of 3/4 pvc cut it into 24 inch pieces, put those in the ground about 10 inches or so. Took 8 ft 1/2 inch pvc bowed into the pipe set in the ground. One 9 ft 1/2 pvc pipe as the ridge pole tied with string Smile

http://westsidegardener.com/howto/hoophouse.html

http://therealgarden.com/2011/01/hoop-houses-the-real-garden-way/

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I will be making a version of the 10'x21' hoop house this January !! Im so excited!!! I will have plants ready for spring Smile I am also going to start tomatoes (call me crazy) to put in that big hoop house Smile I will update you as I go with the 4x8 hoop house. I plan to make another hoop house for another bed to start some more crops Smile

I will let you know how my "green house" does.
Ha-v-v
Excited!! 7 days until the days start getting longer.
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Post  Windsor.Parker on 12/14/2011, 6:30 pm

@martha wrote:What do you have in mind?
Square Foot Greenhouse Gardeners, Check In, Please! 109486 Martha,
Right now I probably have too many options in mind!
But here's the situation:
We've been pretty ambitious, novice gardeners for the last 3-4 years. Our back yard garden consists of 450-500sf in 5 non-contiguous, "slightly" raised beds. Although there are plenty of growing days here along the south shore of Lake Michigan, we experience lots of wind and shading.
Basically I'm learning through trial and error. I'd like to improve plant quality and yield while lowering production costs. So, I'm reviewing SFG, greenhouses, hydroponics, and aquaponics.

Over the years we have started some plants from seeds, and bought others! We both enjoy gardening and eating the fruit and vegetables we produce!

(OBTW: My wife helps with all the chores, guided somewhat by early childhood experiences in her grandfather's garden in rural France. Unfortunately, she's suffering some loss of mobility.)

'nuf for now...
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Post  martha on 12/14/2011, 8:58 pm

I'll look forward to seeing what you decide.
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Post  Windsor.Parker on 1/5/2012, 1:57 am

@martha wrote:I'll look forward to seeing what you decide.
Some of my decisions follow:
Reading ANSFG
experimenting with a deep water culture hydroponic system (DIY type)
experimenting with rooting cuttings taken from fruit shrubs and various houseplants
Blended my 1st batch of MM and used it when transplanting pot bound houseplants.
Transplanted 5 Blueberrys to containers of MM, watered and stored them in a basement corner.
Dumped soil from ALL outdoor containers (c. 15 large) to ready them for MM.
Oops, some of my wife's perennials were unearthed! So, directly into pots of MM in the basement alongside the Blueberrys.
Built a 2'x2'x6.5" TTSFG from items on hand! It's pretty sturdy, lightweight and semi-portable!
Whatever works!

'nuf for now, pics later...
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