Sunday, January 6, 2013

Greenhouses


I am may not be a good or knowledgeable gardener but I am a "serious" gardener.  The more you do it, the more infrastructure items become more of an investment rather than a luxury.   Not everyone is blessed with an awesome husband who knows how to build things and is loving enough to do it for you.  But there are other options.  One thing I am seriously considering purchasing is an auger....  Digging as many holes as do can be very time consuming.  My husband has a tractor that has a bit on it that has been very helpful, but as my garden grows the tractor can't drive through without tearing things up..so the auger is becoming more of a necessity ....

Now, on to greenhouses.   Commercial greenhouses can be VERY expensive.  I saw some at the big box stores that cost thousands albeit pretty.  They do have more affordable smaller versions in defense.    I have heard that some of the kits are affordable but hard to put up.

Greenhouse at lowes.com

One idea I thought it go about was putting a beach tarp frame I had and wrap it with visqueen.  But I forgot I have the tarp part and not the frame :(  Anyway, you could buy a beach tarp at Walmart or some other outlet.   The frames are sturdy and collapsible...and the best part..you can take it down in the summer and use it for the beach!  For the record, I have never tried this but it seems like a good idea?   If you don't have a big yard or don't want to look at it all year this might be a viable option.  The image has walls but you can get the type that doesn't and perhaps have flaps of visqueen attached to the sides????

My husband built me a greenhouse for my Christmas present (by request).  Here are the plans that he referenced.  Click here for Greenhouse Plans from the University of Tennessee Extension.  He said he deviated from it.  It's a 12 X 24 greenhouse.

The ends are wood and the dome is made of pipes.
He built it over approximately three weekends..but he is fast at building stuff...


Interior.  Bear in mind that circulation is an issue for me.  I do not have a vent at the other end.  It, also, gets VERY hot during a cool day.  If it approaches 70 degrees outside..it approaches 100 degrees! in the greenhouse.  I bought a 2 dollar thermometer for mine and it doesn't go high enough on some days.

When you have a greenhouse, it fills up very fast.  Notice the hose and  in the background is a grey pipe which my  husband was kind enough to run electricity to it.  When choosing a location keep in mind  access to water, electricity, proximity to where the plants are going, how much sun will it get, if you are going to be okay with it being part of your landscape..if it's visible... and how will it fare in bad weather...in my case, hurricanes.

Notice the rain barrel in the back.  I put this in here for convenience but after researching on the web on how to heat greenhouses,  people put black drums of water in their greenhouse for heating them.  Evidently, it warms the water during the day and radiates at night.  I, also, run a fan in here almost  constantly and leave the doors open unless it gets too cold.  At the top, you will notice lamps..they have full spectrum lighting in them, and are on a timer...on cold nights I run the lamps a lot ..however, full spectrum lighting is supposed to mimic the sun...good for the "winter blues" too.  You can find the bulbs at Walmart, Lowes, etc.  This LINK is for Target.   The only thing that concerns me about using this is "Am I confusing the plants?"  Do they think it's summer with all the light?

I added work benches and tables.. I went on to add shelves for more room.  Evidently visqueen is good to use it diffuses light.  I could be wrong on this.  This LINK is another great one for greenhouse structures.

I have timers for the lamps and the fan.   I, also, have a space heater that I run but not while I am  asleep...I am too cautious about that one.  I, also, have a radio....highly recommended.

I store soil and mulch in here but the problem with that is when I water they get wet.

I don't recommend this flooring.  My husband put in a heavy  paper-like tarp (per my request) but when I water it pools on the floor.  After spring, I will probably change the flooring.  Either leaving it as ground or gravel..  The flooring is easier to sweep though.

There a ton of videos on YouTube about constructing greenhouse....I have a Link to You TUBE search results on greenhouse building.

I doubt I will use the greenhouse past March.  In the fall it got over a hundred degrees.  In the summer....I think it will melt...:)




5 comments:

Janie Jurkiewicz said...

I am taking suggestions on augers...

HolleyGarden said...

First, I am very impressed with your greenhouse. I can imagine how wonderful it must be just to smell that moist soil. And add on top of that all the plants you can put in it during the winter, and you have a dream turned into reality!
As for augers - we have a post hole driller that attaches to the back of our tractor. It has a three point hook up. It came from Tractor Supply. See a little bit of it here:
http://dreamingofroses.blogspot.com/2011/10/evolution-from-dream-to-reality.html
If your tractor can't get back there, I recommend a manual post hole digger, and a strong teenager! ;)

Nell Jean said...

Oh, I do love peeking into someone else's greenhouse. Yours is more than twice the size of mine, wonderful!

I use a manual post hole digger, an old, heavy one with wooden handles. I let the digger do the work; it takes practice. As Holley says, a strong teenager would be nice but we don't have any teens around.

Janie Jurkiewicz said...

I broke down and got an auger...I do have a strong teenager..who is about to go to college

Janie Jurkiewicz said...

:(