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Thread: Greenhouse Question

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    NW Oregon
    Posts
    30
    Jim, think about using 2 layers of poly with a blower to keep them inflated. This not only creates a "dead air" space for insulation, but the inflation keeps the plastic tight. The electricity needed to keep it going is minimal, and you probably are going to run electric for lights, or a heat mat, no? The inflated poly stands up to wind far better than a single sheet, and the gentle curve of the inflation also helps shed snow, if that's ever an issue. If you want to get fancy, you can even order poly for the inside layer that is condensation-resistant! Good-by wallet! Susan

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    NW Oregon
    Posts
    30

    Cool

    Jim, another thought or two. You ask about overhang on your rafters. I know that building this project out of lumber is much easier and possibly cheaper than buying actual greenhouse hoops, but for the poly to last for any length of time, it needs to be installed over a completely smooth framework. i.e., not only no overhang, but no sharp angles where the roof meets the sides. My husband and I are building a greenhouse at our farm to accomodate my hobby-gone-second-income, and we ordered up a 30' x 85' semi-gable from the business I mentioned previously. The hoops for their 30' wide kit actually come in two sections that are attached to each other at the center purlin, so if you were clever, you could order half a greenhouse and make a lean-to out of it. OVG shows specific kits on their website, but will actually sell however many hoops or whatever that you need. Not to complicate your plans, mind you! I know this particular greenhouse manufacturer pretty well because they are in the neighborhood and we do a lot of business with them. They can customize almost anything to meet your needs, and it's not as expensive as you may think. You might be able to find a similar business nearer to where you live that can produce half-hoops, too. My original greenhouse area at home is a wooden lean-to with fiberglass, and even the treated wood is pretty icky after a few years.
    Isn't it amazing how other people can spend your money for you?!! Susan

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Bolton, Ont
    Posts
    149

    greenhouse question

    jim, sorry but I cant visualize what your trying to do with the over leanto and overhang. If this is a project to last many years then I certainly dont recommend wood, its kind of tacky, unproffessional. Specially if your spending a lot of time therte. No finish touch to it., even pressure treated as it eventually will rot. Wirelock can be attached to round hoops.

    Jim, if this is a heated room then I would go with a double poly with air in between.

    Jim, you may have to spend some time with the manufacturer and discuss what you want to do. They might have a different less agrivating way without having a mortgage.

    George, still trying to help.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Tex .. near Dallas
    Posts
    280

    greenhouse

    George,

    Was thinking of wood ... I do a lot of woodwork ... it is what I know but beginning to think it is not a good idea in this case. I want to come off the garage about 8' and have most/all of it be 6-7' tall. I don't know if this would be "half" a hoop or not but am going to do more reading. Have no idea how I would do the ends or windows/vent or doors because I haven't read about that with the hoops but u probably are doing it ..so I know it can be done. Ususally, I am smarter than I look.

    Thanks for hanging in with me ...

    Jim

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Bolton, Ont
    Posts
    149

    Greenhouse question.

    Jim, No one on this board or in the bussiness understands everything. Unless Its my Dad, he's a perfectionist.

    The big shots just sign a check and its over.

    Jim the wood idea I wouldnt use even if your a Carpenter. The arch is too much for wood to handle, NO STRENGHTH. Not only is it not going to last long, but I dont want to see Jim under there if it does come down. You just cant compare wood to steel.
    Jim I used Pressure treated wood for the ends and the door. Sorry no vents or windows, I just open the doors. You could easily cut a hole at the ends to install the windiws. I didnt need to spend big bucks on plexiglass for a greenhouse that is used for over wintering plants.
    I'll try to post a picture of mine.

    Jim some members are doing it by using PVC tubing. Where I am I need something much stronger for our Canadian climate. Scared that the PVC will crack over the winter. Certainly not worth the risk. I dont like throwing my money on an idea that doesnt feel right.
    Jim all the idea are there except the vent, Sorry. I think it will be too complicated to put the poly around the vent, unless you cut the poly and use polylock around the vent. I personally dont find the vent that important. More work than necessary.

    Ill try to post a shot of mine. You just have to modify a full size to a half size.
    George, take care.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    NW Oregon
    Posts
    30
    Jim, be patient just a day or two, and I'll post some pictures! However, tonight the kids are taking us out to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary, and I'm due in clean clothes in 20 minutes. We worked on our new hoops all day yesterday and most of the day today. This house is so big that it's hard to get everything level and flush, and then drill through everything with self-tapping screws. It's coming along proud, but slow. I personally would recommend vents attached to a thermostat, because you can screen over the vents to prevent insects and weed seed and varmints from entering. Some growers around here have two sets of wire lock on the greenhouse sides, so the bottom can be released and rolled up in the summer. But I recently heard a speaker from Carlton Plants, which is owned by Gordon Bailey SR. of Bailey's Nurseries (thousands of acres of stock) who emphasized that exclusion is by far the best way to protect your plants from problems. Of course, it costs electricity, but that's your choice. No judgementalism here, I can be equally swayed between using electricity to be strictly clean, or being kind to ma nature while I pull a few weeds and spray a little summer oil. Just depends on the scale of the project, I guess! Susan

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
    Posts
    9,934
    Susan!

    How wonderful! Get yourself ready for that BIG Event!

    I have a special event in my life today, and I will be creating a thread to announce it later.

    Enjoy, and hugs and kisses to your family on this Wonderful Day!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  8. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    443

    jim look at the thread with my first greenhouse

    i built it from wood . its a lean-to
    i covered it with polycarbonate.
    its 3 years old and it had lots of snow on which i dont think you will ever have to contend with !
    ask Ann to bump it for you.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Tex .. near Dallas
    Posts
    280

    Thumbs up Thanks Shepp

    Thanks Shepp,

    Big verticals look like 4"X6" .. about 8' wide .. is that correct?

    Rafters look to be 2"X6" but can't decide on spacing .. how far apart?

    Also ... what is purpose of the wood on the front.? Looks to be between 2'-3' tall ... is that correct?

    This is what I was thinking about ... don't guess u have the plans do u?

    Thanks again,

    Jim

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    443

    yes and no

    yes 4x6 on 8 ft centers ( posts)
    yes rafters 2x6 and they are on the width of the polycarbonate.
    with 2x4's for purlins.
    the purpose of the T111 knee wall is i didnt need poly to go to the ground , it is at bench height !
    on the inside those walls are insulated with blue foam, inch and a half thick.
    no plans, i have built enuf stuff i dont need them.
    simple straight forward construction. pole barn style you may call it. and its holding up well.
    only regret is , i wish it was bigger.
    shepp zone5/6

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Tex .. near Dallas
    Posts
    280

    Ok .. got u

    thanks for the info ... one more question .. I looked up the polly and the page I pulled up had 2 ply up to 5 ply ... is that what u used and if so ... any special handling ... nail or drill hole and use screws??? Did u attach direct to the rafters... looks like it?

    Like the idea about stopping at bench height ...

    I am making it smaller than I would like but am limited on room and figure it is better than using my garage. However, my wife is starting to like hostas .. and succulents ..... beieve my garage will be tied up every winter no matter what.

    Thanks again .... will take pictures when it is finished if it looks good enough ... if it doesn't will just be quiet!

    Jim

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
    Posts
    9,934
    I see this post visited a lot (most in printable form), and I don't have the time it takes to figure out where the visitors are coming from.

    In any event, there seems to be some interests.

    I did the leanto thing rather cheaply, and it was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan.

    So, I did it agan with wood in the form of a wooden roof and 4X4 posts. It has survived more hurricanes. I used cheap plastic last year, and I won't do that again. It split, just like it always does.

    This year, I am using the greenhouse plastic from BWI. Since this area is mostly shaded, I will use clear plastic just like what I used on the patio.

    I have really enjoyed this little porch that is soon to be a leanto...
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  13. #28
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    SE PA, zone 6b
    Posts
    217
    Okay, time to hear from my expereience. I had a 30 x 72' hoop house in WA state. It was covered in 2 layers of UV protected 6 mil poly film. which was secured with wiggle wire. I used a small squirrel-cage fan to separate the two layers and kept it running all the time. It was more rigid and did not flap around which would age the plastic too soon. It also shed the wet heavy snow typical of the area. It withstood 70 - 80 mph winds across the Skagit Flats that blew my chicken tractors all over the place and completely "disappeared" the 4x8 sheets of 3/4" plywood bungeed on the tractors. I have a vision of those sheets of plywood sailing around the countryside.

    I also had a wood framed 15 x 24' lean-to gh topped with polycarbonate panels and "sided" in the 6 mil UV poly. Doors on each end and roll-up sides on both gh's. Both gh's were unheated. Polycarbonate is by far the most stable and longest lasting of gh covers. Also, by far, the most expensive. It's guaranteed for 10 years, I believe.

    So far as I know, the same plastic is still on the hoophouse. There is a lady in Morton, WA, that was still using her original poly after 11 years. It holds up quite well, but is only guaranteed for 3-5 years. For people who want blooms, etc., it does film over and lose some of its light conductivity over the years.

    I have a gh here in PA made of two canopies from Costco, covered in the same UV 6mil poly. I have another gh of 20'x40' I bought used from a defunct nursery, and not yet put up. It will also be covered in UV 6mil poly. Instead of roll-up sides which were a bit difficult for me, I had "the boys" build fold down windows all covered in 6mil UV poly. The are closed by pully and rope so that I can adjust the amount of ventilation I want.

    I recommend Four Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman to see how to manage the gh year-round. Where you are, you should manage quite nicely with some row-cover over your plants duriing the blue northers. You shouldn't have to heat your gh at all. None of my gh are on rails, but if I made my living supplying greens to restaurants year round, I would surely use them.

    If you will Google greenhouse supplies, you will find all kinds of places from which to get this stuff. I'm pretty sure there is a greenhouse supplier in Texas. Yes, there is a bit of expenditure, but if you wish to be sure your stuff will survive all that winter can bring, I would avoid the 3 mil no UV, altogether. One last bit of advice: get as much gh space as you can afford.
    Sandi
    SE PA, zone 6b

  14. #29
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    SE PA, zone 6b
    Posts
    217
    Good grief, I just noted the dates on these posts. --SIGH-- What can I say? It's my habit to see the big picture and pay no attention to the details. Anyway, maybe my post will help someone.
    Sandi
    SE PA, zone 6b

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