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Thread: Going Green??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    105

    Going Green??

    Well...I've decided we need to have a greenhouse built on the property. I've got our garden 'almost' planted for this year but want to plan ahead... (actually Marty thinks I'm out of control with it). Marty's been a huge help with the tilling portion of it and today he set out a soaker hose system that is absolutely wonderful

    So far, I've planted a 115' x 50' plot of garden out behind the Studio and bought over 200 potted plants to go in it. Although I was able to buy them somewhat on a discount it was still expensive. My goal is to build a greenhouse and this winter start our own tomatoes, peppers, etc to plant next spring. It will also serve as a haven for our ferns and other miscellaneous house plants over the winter.

    I'm not 100% certain what the greenhouse should be built like. Has anyone here ever built a greenhouse? If so please share your ideas with us...

    All I know for sure is that I am going to have a slab floor (my guess is about 12 x 12) and I have 37 window panes (remnants from the Studio) to incorporate into the build. I'd also like to have a small shed (or closet) with access from the outside for rakes/shovels/etc. on the north side.

    If you have any ideas to share it would be so wonderful.

    Like the Studio we're only going to do this 'Once'... So we want to do it right

    Any helpful tips/ideas would be greatly appreciated!!

    Thanks in advance!!

    Denise

  2. #2
    Denise,

    There's a guy who is a member here.....For the love me I can't remember his name....from Carlyle, IL....He is a professional florist and has green houses and I'm sure he can give you some really good recommendations. Boy I hate having these senior moments and unable to remember names. I was going to visit him last September when I was in southern Illinois but it didn't work our for either of us.......We were delayed due to detours and he had 4 weddings to do on that Saturday.......Golly I hope he'll forgive me ....

    It came to me Joe Mioux.
    Last edited by Ken Fitzgerald; 04-26-2008 at 12:05 PM.
    Ken
    ------



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
    Posts
    15,807
    Hi Denise!

    I guess it does not get that cold in your part of the world, would you need to worry at all about providing some heat source? If you did, I would consider some sort of radiant heat in the slab, no mess to deal with, at least in the green house.

    Good luck, and get the camera from Marty, so we can all see some pics!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Oak Harbor Washington on Whidbey Island
    Posts
    3,134
    I can't tell you much about a green house but I can tell you that there is a book on gardening that will help you plant as much as you'll ever need to eat & give away in a whole lot less space & cut down a lot on the work involved to take care of it. You'll eat good have beautiful flowers, Herbs & vegetables that work together to help each other grow & protect each other etc & a whole lot less work in less area to take care of.

    http://www.squarefootgardening.com/

    We checked out the book from the library for the 1st 3 years then purchased our own book. After our experience I would never go back to row gardening.

    I doesn't have to be as complicated as it may appear in the picture I had a 18' x 20' garden enclosed in 8" donated concrete block. You don't even really need a a enclosed border. My dream is to have a raised bed with a bench around the border to sit on as I reach across the 4' wide bed. when you can get around all 4 sides of the bed you can easily reach the whole bed, its the same if you can only get to apposing sides. It really makes gardening easy & fun.
    Last edited by Bart Leetch; 04-25-2008 at 04:46 AM.
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Odessa, Tx
    Posts
    1,813
    Hi, Denise, where you been? I saw a green house in Switzerland that I really liked. The floor wasn't a solid slab though, it had 3' wide concrete walkways between/around the plant benches, but directly under the benches they had about 1" sized crushed stone about 4" deep (and level with the concrete walk strips). They said that setup allowed any water that drained from the benches to soak into the ground below without making a mess, and kept the walkways from being wet all the time. It was a really nice setup and very neat. Boy, did they ever grow some great eating material there too.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ozarks
    Posts
    4,993
    Quote Originally Posted by Denise Walsh View Post
    Well...I've decided we need to have a greenhouse built on the property. I've got our garden 'almost' planted for this year but want to plan ahead... (actually Marty thinks I'm out of control with it). Marty's been a huge help with the tilling portion of it and today he set out a soaker hose system that is absolutely wonderful

    So far, I've planted a 115' x 50' plot of garden out behind the Studio and bought over 200 potted plants to go in it. Although I was able to buy them somewhat on a discount it was still expensive. My goal is to build a greenhouse and this winter start our own tomatoes, peppers, etc to plant next spring. It will also serve as a haven for our ferns and other miscellaneous house plants over the winter.

    I'm not 100% certain what the greenhouse should be built like. Has anyone here ever built a greenhouse? If so please share your ideas with us...

    All I know for sure is that I am going to have a slab floor (my guess is about 12 x 12) and I have 37 window panes (remnants from the Studio) to incorporate into the build. I'd also like to have a small shed (or closet) with access from the outside for rakes/shovels/etc. on the north side.

    If you have any ideas to share it would be so wonderful.

    Like the Studio we're only going to do this 'Once'... So we want to do it right

    Any helpful tips/ideas would be greatly appreciated!!

    Thanks in advance!!

    Denise
    i don`t see no stinkin` garden
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Inside the Beltway
    Posts
    2,666
    Dear Denise,

    Yes, I've built and used greenhouses in the south... biggest one was 32 feet long. Have to run to work, but I'll try to do a write up sometime today.

    You can build a really nice one for not too much money, as long as you forget the concrete, and forget the glass... A *really* nice one...

    Thanks,

    Bill

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    London, Ontario
    Posts
    3,383
    When I was a youth, I worked every summer for a greenhouse operation in southern Ontario. I picked millions of tomatoes, and later on cucumbers, and planted poinsettias in August.

    To this day I dislike the smell of tomato plants (still love to eat the fruit) and can't stand the feel of the plants. Makes it tough as my wife loves to plant tomatoes in her garden. We have an "understanding".

    But as I read your email I'm trying to reconcile it with reading Marty's stories about how hot it gets there in the summer. A greenhouse is going to be unbearable down there in the summer -- cook to a crisp anything left in it.

    Have you considered just building a few cold frames instead to get your plants started? Cold frames can be low on the ground, or a variation could be a vertical "temporary" greenhouse, Like this one (current May/June issue of Canadian Home Workshop magazine)

    Permanent greenhouses are hot and humid environments. Wood will rot quicker. Where I grew up, all the greenhouses were being converted to galvanized steel for the structural frames. They also changed from glass to plastic also.

    If you're going to build your own, you might want to look at something like an automatic window opener. It is important to not cook your plants when it gets hot in there!

    If you just want a slightly earlier start on the season, we use things like these frost protectors (aka tomato cosies) which let us put plants out in the garden over a month early. They act like mini greenhouses. Cloche's are another thing that does a similar job. Or for a garden your size, you could get a row cover.

    Do you get the Lee Valley garden catalogs? Start browsing!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    The Heart of Dixie
    Posts
    4,268
    I am in the same climate, just a bit north east of you guys. So yea, useless in the summer but I am sure you know that. I am assuming your just thinking winter use.

    Two considerations. I haven't built a green house but years ago I looked VERY SERIOUSLY into passive solar heating a house. Which is basically/very similar to a greenhouse. With our sunshine it can be subject to HUGE temprature swings. hot by day and can then freeze at night. So you will have to heat it or loose you plants to freezing.

    One thing to consider is passive heat storage. There are lots of ways to do this. Concrete and water are two common methods. I have read about pits under the buildings filled with LARGE stones. Hot air was pushed through the stones to heat them in the day and keep the temp down in the building. Then at night the air from the warmer rocks help to keep the building warm.

    Same idea but use 55 gallon drums painted dark and filled with water. In the direct sun they heat up and then give off that heat at night. They can be used as stands with plant on top too. Or put on a back wall out of the way but in the sun. There are a lot methods and I am sure there are new ones I have not heard of.

    It's a lot of work but if you can insulate the windows at night that will hep keep the temperature swings down too.

    If all this interests you I would suggest Googleing "Passive Solar". Bet you can find lot of on houses and some on greenhouses. It is the same principle for both though.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Carlyle IL
    Posts
    350
    hi Denise.

    I can give you all kinds of info regarding greenhouses....

    I have built them, grown in them, and torn them down, and then built some more.

    Air volume is key, Since you are in GA, make sure you have lots of air flow through the greenhouse.

    this means some sort of roof venting and side venting.

    anything in the 12 x12 size range is going to heat up really quick on warm days and get really cold on cold days.

    if I were you I would go 8' side walls. with a 12/4 pitch for the roof. I would also try to incorporate a Ridge Vent that can open and close. Actually you could make the entire roof a vent.

    If you go to www.van-wingerden.com you can see an example of this type of ventilation on their intro page.

    It's basically just a rack and pinion mechanism that opens and closes the roof.

    If you need any questions answered just call me or pm me.

    joe

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