Clear Plastic

jkirk3279(Z5 SW MI)June 18, 2005


I'm about to do an upgrade on my hoophouse.

I have been noodling on making laminated plywood bows with Gorilla Glue.

With wooden bows at both ends and the middle, I can

1) use a separate piece of plastic for the ends, rather than one large sheet

2) frame in vent windows.

I'm thinking of using that same laminated bow technique to make window vent frames that match the curvature of the PVC bows.

First I'll make large vent windows and hinge them to open up like gull wings on the lower sides. Then I can get to the other side of the plants and weed and plant from the outside.

Later I'd like to add an upper pair of gull wing windows so that open, the outside air flows straight through the hoophouse without restriction.

The final goody would be framing the windows with two layers of plastic, inside and outside for better insulation.

But I don't want to lose the sunlight I have. The year-old plastic I have is sort of milky already. Two layers of that would be too dark.

So, is there a grade of greenhouse plastic that's really clear ? I could buy 12 mil clear vinyl but it's somewhat expensive and I'd have to sew together over a dozen yards of it.

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i do take the plastic cover down every spring and put it up in late fall, between time let the pumkin and squash cover the structure.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2005 at 6:21AM
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jkirk3279(Z5 SW MI)

Well, I did find something.

Too pricey for my hoophouse, but it's apparently clear.

Here is a link that might be useful: EskayLite

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 12:05AM
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Most of the greenhouse plastics ARE reasonably* clear. And it doesn't "frost up" when exposed to sunlight (like regular plastics purchased at Lowes and Home Depot). However, the greenhouse plastics DO turn yellow over time.

I've used the "two year" greenhouse plastic and it stayed reasonably* clear for the two years but it DID yellow somewhat. When I cover the greenhouse this Fall I plan on using a double layer (inflated) of 4 year plastic.

One other POSITIVE factor is that the greenhouse plastics are less prone to ripping since the plastic tends to stretch as opposed to ripping/tearing. I find that the regular plastics from Lowes and Home Depot tend to rip easily along the "grain" of the plastic if caught on anything sharp.

*"reasonably" means that the greenhouse plastics are NOT see-through but are nearly clear, allowing one to see a rather blurred view into or out of the greenhouse. This factor didn't change over the two years I used the greenhoues plastic.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 1:37AM
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I'd have to agree that all plastics seem clear when installed but the technology is improved in light transmission and light dispersion and even in how condensation forms (so types prevent dripping). All being said I would go with a greenhouse 6 mil plastic at the most reasonable price and not worry about the frills. I'm going on my 11th year on the same 3year film with no real need to replace it yet.

I would avoid allowing the plastic to overheat in the summer and try to keep chemicals off it, especially bleach. Yellowing is usually not a problem so much as loosing elasticity and eventually cracking and tearing.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 10:07AM
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Stan_5_1(z8a WA)


Just got to ask, what brand of plastic are you using???? I'm looking on recovering this fall.


    Bookmark   July 1, 2005 at 2:18AM
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