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Thread: New greenhouse . . .

  1. #1
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    Default New greenhouse . . .

    Thought some of you might be interested in the new greenhouse we're having erected. It has an earth floor since my wife wants to plant directly in the ground for the most part, is covered with greenhouse poly-film, and is 20' wide by 36' long. The unit is from Alaska Greenhouse out of Ninilchik—made right here in Alaska—their medium-sized unit cut in half with an 18' straight section between. The unit will be finished today.

    I'm building the door because I wanted wood rather than the aluminum that comes with the model. The greenhouse has several windows that open automatically on heat-sensitive arms, and the ridge is vented through the cupolas. I'll also install gutters, piped into barrels on the inside. If all works well, the unit will vent and water itself passively, no electricity or water needed.

    Will post more photos when the unit is done and will let you know how it works out.


    Attachment 60373

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    Member mudbuddy's Avatar
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    JUST AWESOME!!!!
    Hurry, it's time to plant LOL

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    Member Hunt'N'Photos's Avatar
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    Wow! That is a heck of a nice looking greenhouse! I am hoping to build something soon, but I am not so sure it will be that nice!
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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Hope it works out for you. The only thing I can think of is that if relying only on venting, it still may get pretty hot in there. The greenhouses we have built all have fans. But I guess if you are only planting in the ground it may stay cool enough down there. Good Luck....sure is a beautiful thing...!!!
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  5. #5

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    I am sure that in time you will find that raised beds or containers will be much more productive. Good luck with the new building.

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    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    Wow, that's a nice one.
    My last greenhouse was a dirt floor. I think the ground was too cold. Digging down and installing some blue board would have helped me. I had better luck in containers. It's a tricky thing, regulating temps. The air gets too hot (I recommend an exhaust fan along with your vents) and the ground is too cool. Shade coverings help keep the temps down a lot.

    Be interested to see your watering system. That sounds like a great idea.

    Oh, and if your like me, you'll plant way too much stuff. And enjoy every minute of it.

    Have fun, you have a nice one.
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    Smile Ongoing education . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by bullbuster View Post
    My last greenhouse was a dirt floor. I think the ground was too cold. . . I had better luck in containers. It's a tricky thing, regulating temps. The air gets too hot (I recommend an exhaust fan along with your vents) and the ground is too cool. Shade coverings help keep the temps down a lot.

    Be interested to see your watering system. That sounds like a great idea. . .
    Well, it's an ongoing, learning experience. I built our current greenhouse, 9' X 12', some years ago. It is watered as noted above . . gutters feeding an in-house tank . . no need for a hose, etc. It is vented with a fan on a thermostat . . temp goes up, fan comes on. At the opposite end of the greenhouse, there's a panel in the front door that opens and closes with a passive, heat-activated arm as below:
    Attachment 60391
    Vent openers do not require electricity. The opener has a metal cylinder containing a mineral which expands when heated. This pushes a piston that opens the vent. As the temperature cools, the mineral shrinks and a spring closes the vent and resets the piston. The opening and closing of the vent is gradual allowing just the right amount of air flow for cooling.
    The system works good . . the only drawback is the need for electricity. We're hoping the new greenhouse will self-vent as well as self-water. There are four windows in the new greenhouse, two at each end, and the entire ridge-cap between the cupolas that all open and close with the arms pictured above. It is hoped that when temps rise, the windows and the ridge cap will open, and ventilation accomplished by means of convection. Time will tell.

    Though planting in the ground, planting will be in beds defined by boards and thus raised to some small degree with the addition of mulch and other organic material. Moreover, it's hoped that the sheer size of the unit—20' wide by 36' long—will heat the ground much quicker in the spring. It is essentially the same principle used by high-tunnel greenhouses.

    But whatever . . we'll see how it goes . . cheap entertainment for a couple old folks if nothing else. We're not particularly inclined to travel . . makes staying home much more fun.

    Will post some more photos when I get the door hung . . hopefully later today.

  8. #8
    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    Marcus, it sounds like you have a good idea of the issues. I don't have the venting options that you do. A lot of cross venting might just do the trick.
    I started with a solar powered exhaust fan. It works great, just didn't move enough air without any cross ventilation. If things are a still bit warm for growing, look around for a solar powered one. I paid about $300 for mine. Installed in about 30 minutes. Maybe even a couple of solar circulating fans would be handy.
    Now I spend a LOT of time watering. I have been brainstorming for a self watering system. I was even considering a rain gutter fed tank with a toilet valve on a timed controller. Flush the water to the plants twice a day. Sometimes I tend to over think things....
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    Lightbulb Learning as we go . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by bullbuster View Post
    I have been brainstorming for a self watering system. I was even considering a rain gutter fed tank with a toilet valve on a timed controller. Flush the water to the plants twice a day. Sometimes I tend to over think things....
    BB, the plastic tank in the little greenhouse, fed from gutters on each side, is big . . 25-30 gallons at least and frequently overflows. In the new greenhouse, we want to put such a tank on each side and are toying with the idea of placing them on a slight platform for elevation, installing a hose on/off valve near the bottom, and running drip irrigation into the beds from the valves . . if the tanks fill as easily as we hope, it might make better use of the water than letting them overflow.

    As I say, it's an ongoing, learning experience . . .

    Attachment 60393

    Our old greenhouse . . . you can see the gutters . .

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    Default Coming along . . .

    Here's an update . . made and installed the door . . gutters up on one side . .

    Attachment 60482

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    Default Update . . inside . .

    Got five beds built inside today . . more tomorrow . . my wife is as happy as a woodchuck in clover . .

    Attachment 60483

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    Member AKluvr95's Avatar
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    Envious ~ be sure to keep us posted.

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    Member KelvinG's Avatar
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    Marcus,
    What brand vent opener did you use? Mine lasted one season.

    Kelvin

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    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by KelvinG View Post
    Marcus,
    What brand vent opener did you use? Mine lasted one season.

    Kelvin
    I believe it was Univent, and that is the brand Alaska Greenhouse uses. Did you remember to bring in the piston before freeze-up?

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    Member KelvinG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    I believe it was Univent, and that is the brand Alaska Greenhouse uses. Did you remember to bring in the piston before freeze-up?
    No. Why do you ask?

    However now that you mentioned it I think I do remember reading about it.

  16. #16
    Member SkinnyD's Avatar
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    Some rigid plastic will keep the rain/hail/limbs from messing up the top. It's not perfect, but for about $150 and a bit of sweat equity, one can have a decent spot to grow tomatoes, beans, and peppers. I just framed in a screen window for cross-ventillation... now that it's hitting 80 in the afternoons. I couldn't get it airtight enough in April, and now I want more air....

    DSCN4811.jpgDSCN4812.jpg
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    Default Convection . .

    Quote Originally Posted by SkinnyD View Post
    . . I just framed in a screen window for cross-ventillation... now that it's hitting 80 in the afternoons. I couldn't get it airtight enough in April, and now I want more air....
    Eighty degrees is good . . tomatoes love heat. Have you considered two screen windows on opposite walls, one high and one low so that convection can move the interior air?

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    Member SkinnyD's Avatar
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    The door is opposite the window so I figure I'll just leave it open. Harvested my first snap peas yesterday - got a baker's dozen, or just enough to toss into a salad. Salad greens are ready to pick, and I'm going to have a fancy meal of baby greens when I thin my beets and chard
    Passing up shots on mergansers since 1992.


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    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by SkinnyD View Post
    The door is opposite the window so I figure I'll just leave it open. Harvested my first snap peas yesterday - got a baker's dozen, or just enough to toss into a salad. Salad greens are ready to pick, and I'm going to have a fancy meal of baby greens when I thin my beets and chard
    You're ahead of us, Skinny . . love snap peas in a salad . . I usually blanch them for a couple minutes first.

  20. #20
    Member 907pride's Avatar
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    Very nice greenhouse.

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