This Winter,I will have Tomatoes...hopefully

westhamutdOctober 14, 2011

Just finished putting this greenhouse together.My plan is to use it to overwinter my container citrus,orchids & basil.I am also going to plant a few tomatoes/squash in the beds I've created & use the shelves for getting Spring seedlings off to a good start.We hit 15 degs a few nights here the last couple of winters,so if this greenhouse is a success,I will add another beside it next year.My "supervisors" oversaw the entire project(although the other 3 had already seen enough & wanted back into the house)

My "Supervisors"

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marcia_m(5 and 9)

Very cute! You probably know that you will need a heat source if the temps go below freezing. In my similar greenhouse in PA, when the sun isn't shining, the temp inside = temp outside!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 4:05PM
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I'm going to try & do without a heat source,but I have an electrical supply within a few feet.This is made of twin wall polycarbonate,which is a good insulator(basically works like double glazing).I added the gravel(& will probably add more)to also act as a heat sink & will probably end up storing a couple of 5 gallon buckets of water(painted black)for the same reason.This winter will be a trial run.I have one of those dual indoor/outdoor digital thermometers,so I will be able to log the temperatures when we start to get our cold spells.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 4:16PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

We use an old electric heater and a small fan in ours. Yours is alot nice than ours. I still think it might get too cold. Glad you have the indoor outdoor thermometer thingey. Good luck! Love your supervisors!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 4:34PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Very nice addition to your already beautiful garden, wish you all the luck with the tomatoes. I am also going to grow them in the greenhouse this winter. Love the supervisors! I have three of my own.:)


    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 4:42PM
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Many thanks.The rest of the gang decided to take a look at the completed project,but don't seem too impressed.I forgot how hard it is to try & take a picture of this lot :)

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 6:09PM
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Now that's a lap full.......

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 6:52PM
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marcia_m(5 and 9)

Definitely keep track of the temperatures, but even with twin wall panels and gravel base, you will need to add heat if we have a winter like the last two :-)

My DH built my greenhouse in Pennsylvania in 2003 (also twin wall polycarbonate) and we didn't add a heat source, so I never used it in late fall, the winter or early spring. And getting rid of excess heat when the sun shines is a problem, too. I did enjoy having the GH but could have made better use of it. (We are currently trying to get rid of the second ground hog in three years that's burrowed under the gravel base of the greenhouse--what a mess!)

I'm sure you'll have fun with yours.

When it was brand new!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 8:02PM
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Yme405(10b SW Fla)

Very nice! Will be very interesting to hear how your project comes along in the cool season.

And your supervisors are adorable, too.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 11:14PM
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Marcia,I've seen pictures from a lot of northern gardeners that totally insulate the North wall of their greenhouses with rigid insulation,which seems to buy them a few more degs of heat.The most difficult thing with a greenhouse(as you've stated with trying to vent off excess heat),is not capturing heat,but trying absorb it & then let it passively radiate out overnight.I really wanted to build a lean-to style G/H on the south side of the house for this very reason.The stucco/wall would radiate out so much heat in an enclosed setting,that I wouldn't need another heat source at night,but a single 8ft panel of polycarbonate cost almost 1/3 the price of this greenhouse,so that wasn't even an option.I might end up adding a few 2ft concrete pavers above the gravel,as they will absorb more heat & maybe try using Christmas tree lights for the coldest nights.
As for Our "supervisors",We have to remind them that even though they are all rescues,that doesn't give them automatic rights to looking "cute" or taking up all the sofas :)

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 12:09AM
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marcia_m(5 and 9)

I actually had two 55 gallon plastic drums that I planned to fill with water to use for heat sinks, but I never got around to using them. (They are now rain barrels in our Florida yard.) I considered the foam panels but didn't want to obstruct the light. I suppose I wasn't serious enough about using the GH to its maximum potential. Perhaps the next owner will enjoy it more.

You've done your research and have planned for colder winter temps, so I think you'll like having your greenhouse. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 9:40AM
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Thanks Marcia,it will be interesting to see what I can achieve.I'll keep You posted when We start getting our cold spells.At $240,I figured it was worth a gamble...

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 11:17AM
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johnjsr(9A DeLand)

I will say $240 looks like a great buy. I built my GH with 8mm twin wall lexan. (polycarbonate) Just the glazing cost $800. It's probably bigger, but not much. 12x10, 1000cu ft. I can heat it with one 1500 kw space heater turned to 1/2 power. The more pots the easier it is to heat.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 6:47PM
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John,When I said it cost $240,I should of also added that it probably took 5 years off my life.The plans,if You can call them that,were a nightmare.I spent a day setting the foundation,just to find that their plans are off by about 5/8"...but at least if I add a second GH,I'll know what I'm in for.
I looked into building also,but the polycarbonate costs just made it not practical...the shipping was also about $200 because the panels are oversize.I know the big box stores used to carry the polycarbonate as hurricane panels,but they don't carry it anymore(at least not in my area).What did You use for framing,as I was considering using the extruded aluminium(I'm English & still can't spell/say it the American way after 16 years...I apologise)framing,that is used for building screened-in patios.This was when I wanted to construct a lean-to style on the South side of the house & make it match the screened in patio I built.Could You post a few pics of Your GH here,as it might give me a few ideas.Do You think running Christmas lights or just a regular 60wt bulb will give Me minimum heat on Our coldest nights?Thanks for Your info

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 11:58PM
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Jealous! looks like you did a great job on it.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 4:33PM
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Beautiful. Westhamutd: You are an engineer at heart:-) And the dogs are darling. My son keeps begging for one but with a 1,000 sq ft yard and no time.. I don't think it would be good for the dog or us.

Wishes for many good tomatoes this winter. That green house reminds me of my great-uncle. He spent all his winters in the Northeast in it gardening after he retired. He would joke that he did not need heat in the house since he was always in the green house.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 6:28AM
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Many thanks.It is supposed to get down into the high 40's here tonight,so it should be a good excuse to work in the greenhouse first thing tomorrow morning.I've decided I'm going to install some drip irrigation in there,so might be the perfect time to do it.We could get our first decent frosts in about 6 weeks,so I want to have it all ready to go by then.Alexcortez,I used to have a greenhouse in my back yard when I lived up in Scotland,before I came to the US.It was a great place to hang out on a sunny winter's day,because the house was like an igloo even with the heating on full...I don't miss that weather :)

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 9:23AM
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keiki(10 FL)

Very nice! What plants will you be housing in there? I would love a winter space for all my orchids and tomatos. I use the same river rock in my orchid room as a drainage floor, works great.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 9:30AM
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I will be overwintering some lemon & lime trees,that I keep in containers;orchids & a small staghorn,that spend most of the year hanging under a small oak tree.I will also pot up some Basil,before it gets hit by the first frosts.Then I will be planting a couple of tomatoes in one bed & some squash & cukes in the other.It will also be a great place to start the spring tomatoes,peppers etc

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 12:10PM
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