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Thread: Replacing greenhouse poly cover

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Staten Island, NY
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    121

    Replacing greenhouse poly cover

    I'm putting new double poly on a GH. I usually fasten the ends first, then the sides, but wondered if there was an easier, or better, way to get it nice and tight. Perhaps, doing the sides first, then the ends, or one end first, then the sides, and then the other end. Any ideas or opinions? The house I'm doing now is 17 ft. by 100 ft.
    John_NY
    USDA Zone 6/7
    Sunset Zone 34

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    443
    John
    you had it right the first time.
    just try to do it on a day when the wind is still.
    besides you dont want it to tight if you are using an inflation blower!and i assume you are. first skin tighter that the second.
    and dont forget to allow a place for air to get out.whether you vent inside or outside of the GH.
    hope that helps.
    shepp
    Last edited by shepp; 11-01-2004 at 03:58 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Staten Island, NY
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    Thanks, shepp. We are using an inflation fan. I'm using Wire lock, or Wiggle wire to fasten it. Got seven years out of the last film.

    John
    John_NY
    USDA Zone 6/7
    Sunset Zone 34

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    443
    who's brand of poly was it to get so many years out of it?
    and what have you been growing in the GH John?
    shepp zone5/6

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Staten Island, NY
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    Sorry, I can't remember what brand of poly that was, or even which supplier I bought it from. It was whatever was the best price, at the time. It could have been Armin, or Green Tec, or some other.

    As to what I'm growing in the house, the answer is anything tropical, from Acalypha to Zingiber; things like Allamanda, Anthuriun, Bougainvillea, Crinum, Dipladenia, Mandevilla, Orchids, Passioflower, Thunbergia, Tibouchina, Pineapple, Guava, Banana, Citrus, etc, etc. Here are a couple of pictures of the house we just did, ends first, then the sides. This house is an L shape, with the furnace room at the junction of the two legs.

    The first picture is the short (30') leg. It wasn't as tight, when we put it on (60 F.) The picture was taken at 45 F.





    The next picture is the long (70' ) leg.



    This is a picture of the wire lock attachment method.

    John_NY
    USDA Zone 6/7
    Sunset Zone 34

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
    Posts
    9,934
    John,

    The wire lock system looks nice! I have heard about it before, but never really understood how it works. Is it expensive? How would one go about pricing it?

    Does it allow you to remove the film without damage to it? I want to build a more permanent leanto on the south side of my patio, but because of the heat and strong wind in gulf thunderstorms, I would like to be able to remove the plastic during May thru October.

    On the way home today, I slowed down and looked very closely at the covered greenhouses of a large nursery. The sides on some were already closed, but I noticed that the ends were rolled up, and it appeared to be rolled up very neatly on some sort of piping. It could have been PVC, but I couldn't tell. I didn't have time to stop.

    I need some sort of system where I could easily open the end for ventilation and cooling. We have really cold days followed by hot ones all throughout most of the winter. The rest of the year, I would prefer to install shade cloth and allow rain to water my plants.

    Thanks!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Bolton, Ont
    Posts
    149

    Replacing greenhouse poly cover

    John, You have a sense of how its done. Just make sure the plastic doesnt stick together. How did you get 6 years using double poly. One little whole is all it takes to mess up the poly in your case. I use single poly and it lasts about 5 years. George.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Bolton, Ont
    Posts
    149
    Ann.B. The wire lock system is great. I wouldnt have a single greenhouse without it. Its about 1.00 per foot. The wire is a pain in the butt at first until the stiffness wears out.

    I just installed a hundred foot Greenhouse with wire lock. I only have poly on 20 feet. The greenhouse has a couple nice trees smack in the middle which I didnt want to dig out nor cut down. Ill remove them next year. Ill use this greenhouse for rooted cuttings.

    Ann.B you mentioned that you'll rather buy shade cloth instead of poly. Ann.B the shade cloth is way much expensive. I paid 500.00 (1995 price) for Shadecloth for 24 x 50 Eave to eave leaving 4' on the bottom sides open. Ann hopes this helps. George.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Staten Island, NY
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    121
    Hi,
    I guess most of the questions about the wire lock were answered, and yes, you can remove the poly.
    I had bouht the wire and channels on several different occasions, and possibly, from different suppliers. They, in turn, might have gotten the material from different manufacturers, as I notice, now, that some of the channels are galvanized, and some are aluminum. I would try to get the aluminum ones, if I were you. I also have heard about the system where the sides could be rolled up, but I don't know how it is clamped down tight, when it is all the way down. There must be some way, to keep the air from the inflation fan from escaping too rapidly. Maybe they are using the poly that comes in the form of a great big tube, where both layers are put on at one time, and there is no opening between the layers at the bottoms.
    The inflation fan keeps the layers from sticking together.
    As for getting the 7 years out of the last film, I will have to admit it was getting pretty dark, and dirty, towards the end. It also had a few patches on it. The area where I have the houses has several large deciduous trees nearby, which provide automatic shading, without the cloth. The one drawback is that, occasionally, a branch might come down and put a hole in the cover.
    John_NY
    USDA Zone 6/7
    Sunset Zone 34

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    SE PA, zone 6b
    Posts
    217
    I have had a larger hoop house in another area and now have a smaller one here--10x45'. I attached boards where the curve straightens out to vertical. The plastic size is from ground to ground. I put the channels and wiggle wire on the boards, attaching thetwo layers of plastic there, and letting the sides hang down.

    I got 3/4" poly pipe, using joiners, made one long pipe for each side. I had some clips to attach it, but you could just use duct tape, or whatever. This can be left as is, rolled up or down manually, and secure it with boards or bricks. Mine is tacked down permanently at the moment (not so good). Come spring, I will put a large staple on the board outside, and staple a rope on the inside. When the side is rolled up, I will thread the rope thru the outside staple, and tie the rope into a bow to secure the side in the open position.

    I have a number of 90 degree joiners and will fashion a handle for one end of the pipe to enable the roll-up to be easier. To secure it while closed, I will make a stop out of poly pipe, using 90 deg joiners and attaching to the hoop house. I will have to post pictures in the spring to illustrate this, as I cannot find a way to describe it with words only. I wish you could see my hands waving around as I try to describe this piece.

    I have two large doors at the ends that are hinged and able to open on warm winter days, but are removable for summer. Then, after the last frost, both sides will be rolled up, and both doors removed and left that way for the summer. I will get one 50% shade cloth and the maples will all be leafed out, so heat should not be a huge problem. I expect to be fully functional by next fall.

    I have so much to do on this property and have to wait for someone to be available to help. I am fencing and cross-fencing about 1 1/4 acre, putting in permanent raised beds in the veggie/flower garden, building chicken and rabbit facilities, none of which I can do alone. SIGH

    Oh, well, I will try to get some pix up this weekend to illustrate what I have done so far on the gh. Hope this helps a little.

    Best wishes,
    Sandi
    SE PA, zone 6b

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
    Posts
    9,934
    I received a flyer from Atlas, and on the back, they list wire lock and base for sale through December. Their regular price is $0.68 per linear foot and the sales price is $0.63 plf.

    I also noted that their 16' X 96' coldframes, now regularly $645 are on sales for $593.

    Thanks, John and George! I had no idea what that was until you explained it.

    John, I have never seen any greenhouses here that use the double poly with a blower. I know that some must use it because BWI has the blowers on stock, and they explained them to me.

    I need to check with BWI to see if they sell the wire lock system.

    Sandi, your life sounds a lot like mine right about now. Too much to do and too little help available.

    Thanks, all!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Staten Island, NY
    Posts
    121
    That sounds like a very good price for the wire lock.

    The inflation fan runs continuously, but it is very small, only a couple of inches across, so it's not expensive to run, and inflated double poly provides better insulation than glass.
    John_NY
    USDA Zone 6/7
    Sunset Zone 34

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