greenhouses in ne ohio...testimonials? help help!!

hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)August 24, 2005

I spend a lot of time over on the Greenhouse forum. I'm still in the dream/design phase, alternating between 12 X 16 or larger...glass vs. polycarbonate. However, many on that forum are from Western or Southern states so they just don't understand one thing:

JUST HOW CLOUDY AND DARK OUR WINTERS ACTUALLY ARE!

Maybe some one here can be more sympathetic!

I live in Akron, OH and while we don't get the heavy lake-effect snows that the counties further east and north do, we do get the cloudiness. Two weeks can go by without a lick of sunshine in winter.

I plan to grow citrus in my greenhouse. Citrus ripens in winter and needs sunshine for sweet fruit. Glass allows 90% light transmission, with no diffusion and costs an arm and a leg for double-paned insulated (which with an R value of 2 is the only way to go)!

Polycarbonate allows 75% light transmission, (with 10mm twinwall) and insulates as well as glass (R value 1.9-close enough). It also diffuses light which on a sunny summer day is great.

What I worry about is winter. With the exception of the few sunny winter days we get, we're lucky to register 400 foot-candles of light midday in January. Which with even a glass greenouse will be diminished to 370 or so and polycarb even less.

I'm convinced that either way, I'll NEED HID lights if I ever want to actually pick more than a single orange off my trees!!! I have looked at daylight intesity charts and Cleveland in May has the same light levels as Miami in DECEMBER! Which means that Seattle is about the only cloudier place in the nation in winter than here!

Anyone have experience here??

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grannymarsh(z4-5 U.P. MICH)

Perhaps it would be helpful to talk with your County Extension agent. If they don't have an answer for you, they might be able to recommend someone who does. Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2005 at 10:02AM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

Problem is nobody here does greenhousing for anything other than starting tomatos and peppers in March-by which time we're at least getting some sun even if it's still chilly.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2005 at 10:07AM
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diggerb2(z5oh)

your info about sun light seems on the mark. yes the pacific northwest is just about a cloudy as we are. they have green houses at stan hwyet (akron), rockerfeller park
& the cleveland botanical garden (cleveland) where you could talk with the staff for info. Jan Becker at Beckers
Herbs on Killian rd in green(?) can be amazingly free with
information-- but she doewsn't have many exotics.

going to OSU at Wooster might not help as they don't have as much grey as we do. You might try so of the growers
up in lake county. But they may just be starter plant people.
diggerb

    Bookmark   September 3, 2005 at 4:45PM
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SandhillZ6aOntario(z6aON)

Try this site at www.ontariogreenhouse.com this will get you to the Ontario Greenhouse Growers Association. From the website click onto "our team" and you will get a contact situated in Leamington Ontario which is right across the lake from Ohio and the conditions similar to yours. There is a huge greenhouse industry here with an incredible variety of produce grown under a number of different materials. I am sure you can get some answers here.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 1:07AM
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eleanor_rigby(z5 OH)

Contact Pandy's Garden Center in Elyria. I have seen many citrus plants of various kinds in their greenhouse. They both bloom and set fruit. Also, the Rockefeller Park Greenhouse in Cleveland has standard size mature trees that set fruit. The last time I was there, the Ponderosa lemon was loaded with fruit. Pandy's phone number: 440-324-4314.

I think that more of a concern than light is heat! I don't know how low you could let temperatures go in order to have growing citrus be successful. And, you know what has happened to our energy costs this winter!

Eleanor

    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 6:57AM
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