Greenhouse Help

thirsty_dirt_77(3a)April 14, 2013

So if this snow ever goes away and the frost comes out of the ground the husband and I are going to build a greenhouse this year.

We are planning on something about 10' x 20' and it will more or less be a shelter structure to keep plants warmer than outside and protect them from the elements. (So no water or power will be put in.) Its primary use will be for tomatoes, peppers and herbs. (Plants will be started indoors and transferred to the greenhouse early-mid May weather depending.)

And this is where we need help or at least some input. We were planning on using corrugated plastic sheeting for the walls and roof. Has anyone used this for a greenhouse? how'd it work out? any other recommendations? any ideas where a person could buy this? (We can get it from Home Hardware but its a special order item. We don't have much choice in Grande Prairie but are always looking for an excuse to go to Edmonton. ;) )

Any input or recommendations would help. I know there's a greenhouse forum so will post there as well but thought I would try here as well so I don't have someone in Florida telling me how to build a greenhouse. :)

Thanks in advance! B.

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Thirsty I just saw a cute little greenhouse at peavey mart(GP) the other day it was made of the clear corrugated plastic. You may check home depot for the sheets.

You can also check out Speed-pro signs they advertise coroplast on the internet

This post was edited by CLBlakey on Sun, Apr 14, 13 at 20:00

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 7:56PM
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bluegoat_gw(Zone 3b)

This is an 6' x 8' structure.

Here is a link that might be useful: Greenhouse

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 8:01PM
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skip the speed pro I clicked the link and it was all wrong.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 8:03PM
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bdgardener(3 AB)

ok, so the hubby built me one years ago 8x12'. We used a shed kit from Rona, with modifications. For 3 of the walls we used recycled windows that were 4x6 turned horizontal and framed them in. The roof was hip roof style so on the peak he used corrugated plastic, again from Rona. Inside I built raised beds on three sides and the door is on the forth. They are a foot tall and filled with soil, exchanging some out but not all by a long shot and adding manure, we have lots, we have cows. No heat or water, just extra protection. It won't get you thru frost, but the extra heat in the summer makes tomatoes way earlier. And the plants are easy to cover in the spring with frost cloths. I had to replace one window with more corrugated plastic because a cow got in the yard and bumped the glass shattering it. It does the trick now I wish it was twice the size. Cheryl

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 9:10PM
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Pudge 2b

My greenhouse is made of this material over a wood framed structure. I use clear duct tape to seal all the seams - heat does have a way of escaping very quickly and cold wind can find its way into any crack! I've also in the past used a 2 ml sheet plastic 'lining' of sorts - I stapled it to the rafters and walls, then used clear duct tape over the seams. It just makes it that much more sealed.

I heat mine with a small electric heater.The plastic lining helps a great deal with that.

We used the translucent sheeting. It's not really translucent to begin with, and it will lose more translucency over time with UV exposure, but it should last at least 10 years before it starts to break down. Mine has some afternoon shade and is now 13 years old - we've been meaning to change the sheeting for 2 years now ... best laid plans and all that. It's still functional so I'm not too worried about it, but really should get it done this year.

Seal the cut ends and don't put the sheets so those channels run vertically - keep them horizontal over your structure or earth worms and moisture find their way in fairly quickly - speaking from experience here. I couldn't figure out why all the dirty streaks in the channels until I figured out they were dead earthworms.

Here's a photo of the inside, with the plastic sheeting. It does cut down a bit on the light factor but I never really noticed any harm. (Photo is not from this year - still plenty of snow to melt before I go in there.

If I had to do it over again I'd go bigger. I have plenty of room for seedlings, but no room to start the large pots on the floor and the undersides of the benches are stuffed with bags of soil additives, pots, buckets, more pots. It got full really quickly.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 9:48PM
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My father built one outside of Edmonton about 15 years ago, and it works great for tomatoes and peppers, never really tried much else. He used regular wood to frame it (lean-to style GH), and its ready to fall apart, but if he had used steel studs or treated wood it would be in better shape. The corrugated plastic really diffuses the light(he used the translucent, not white), but with our altitude, and the intensity and length of sunlight during our summer, things grow fine, no stretching or anything like that. He gets a few hundred pounds of tomatoes every summer from a 16'X14' with around 25 full size indeterminates. He does have a heater for cool nights and a fan going though.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 9:48PM
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Thanks everyone, your replies have given me a few things to think about.

One more question - for those who have used this type of material what thickness did you use?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 11:35AM
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Pudge where did you get your plastic sheets from? I know you are not in Alberta but was it a chain store --- crossing fingers.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 1:37PM
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CLB, if you are in the GP area apparently Home Hardware on 100 Street has 4 x 8 sheets in stock (apparently I was asking for the wrong thing before) and Home Depot's website also says they have them in stock here.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 1:40PM
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$29.95 per sheet at windor ply wood in stock LOL

I know I won't get to building one this year too many other $$ commitments this year been here 9 years and still no fence. Good thing the dog knows her territory. But it is nice to know it is available in town. It will definitely be cheaper to DIY than for the kit at peavey. Happy Building :D

From Sexytown

This post was edited by CLBlakey on Mon, Apr 15, 13 at 13:53

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 1:48PM
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runswithscissors(MT 4/5)

I have a lesson learned to share. My greenhouse is one of those pre-fab type with the poly-sheeting. I like it. But the heat escapes so horrible through it....I thought. One evening I was piddling around out there (as I am often want to do) and I noticed that, although the greenhouse was confortable enough for me to work with just a feet were FREEZING! So I did some internet research and found some articles that says alot more heat escapes thru the ground, more than just up, up and away. So I got that kind of insulating bubble wrap, that you see in barns alot. It's tin-foil on both sides with bubble wrap in-between, and very durable. I rolled it out under my shelving, and then stack all my stackable "stuff" right on top of it. For the walking area I got a rubber mat that people use in horse stalls, or for a bed-liner for pickups, cut it, and ran it down the center. What a difference! My heater doesn't have to work nearly as hard, and my feet don't freeze anymore. This is one thing that I wish I had done as I was constructing, so I could have done a more thorough job.

Pudge, I love your shed/greenhouse set up with plastic sheeting...but how do you keep all your lovely seedling from stretching?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 11:35PM
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I want to build a small one this year with pvc and plastic, just to start the seedlings and stretch the season. I'll put something down on the ground to insulate it. Thanks for the info!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 9:21AM
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Pudge 2b

Sorry, RWT, I missed your comment/question. I dont have any trouble with seedlings stretching...plenty of light in there. I even grow long english cucs in there in the summer in large pots, I push the blossom through the slats and the cuc hangs down growing straight.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 4:57PM
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