Going to rebuild a commercial greenhouse

jcatblum(7)July 30, 2012

I was able to purchase a used 30ft x 96ft greenhouse. The seller also threw in some exrta hoops. It came with 3 fans & a pair of heaters. I am going to send the heaters & fans to auction because they are HUGE & I am only after season ext not greenhouse production.

My current thoughts are to break this into 2 hoop houses. I will use one for cold weather production & one for warm weather crops using Kool Lite film if possible. I hope to use raised bed I already have a bulging disc in my back, so the less bending the better IMO.

I plan to apply for a local grant to outfit the 2 houses. I am trying to spend no more than $7k, this will also include a washing & packing station (I am thinking about those carport kits that are sold around here for about $600-$700 installed) & produce crates.

My main question is for input on what items I should include on my list. Is there anything you would love to have or can't live without?

So far the list is

plastic produce crates

shelter and countertops for washing station (I have a 3 compartment steal sink & a single tub deep sink)

materials to assemble frames, build end walls & raised bed (to include fill material being trucked in)

plastic to cover houses

farm tek roll up door assembly

I would like to get a nice fridge, but I know those are easy to find used, so I doubt I will include that in my wish list.

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landscape fabric for the floor that isn't planted. Really saves time weeding. Choose the heavy duty variety. We used it this year in the garden between the rows. Without any rain since 5/7 (local big town received 1.63 officially), our tomatoes are still producing. We watered very little for the first 2-3 weeks. The only way they've survived and produced is the landscape fabric, is what I've figured out.

We have no grass left due to the drought, and our corn/bean crops are practically non-existent. I'm just glad that we have tomatoes, at least.

My son has the fabric in his greenhouse, except the raised beds and it has definitely helped control all weeds except in bed.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 5:44PM
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My husband & I were talking about weed fabric last night. If we go with raised beds I imagine we will fill the paths with a deep gravel bed, I considered patio bricks -- I know they would help retain heat -- good in winter, bad in the summer.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 6:15PM
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i would keep the fans and any shutters. you will need them for ventilation.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 6:22PM
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We will build the end walls so they open almost completely-- Steve Upson with the noble foundation has posted his design at the noble centers website I believe. In Oklahoma he is considered the pioneer & expert on hoop houses. Many don't use fans in their hoop houses. Our wind speed is 15-25 mph daily, never are we without a breeze. Mother nature should be able to vent the house with the sides raised & ends open. The biggest challenge I see in keeping the fans is the 220 needed to run them & man they are heavy. The peak of the house is 12ft in center-- installing those fans would be a challenge! My husband isn't opposed to installing them, but I know most are using there houses with no electric. We did consider keeping the fans for use in our barn. We already have one fan (smaller than these) installed in our barn.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 6:45PM
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ordairygirl(6a eastern OR)

I put in a hoop house this Spring and am using it just for season extension. Some things that cost me more than I was expecting or had left completely off the list-
Anchors for hoops, ended up using 3'U-posts that slid into each hoop nicely..but 36 of them was spendy.
More anchors- with your continuous breeze you may need this too. Put 3' long ground anchors on all 4 corners with air craft cable attached to hoops. Survived all the bid wind storms this Spring.
Ground leveling- luckily we have a farm and tractor but leveling a spot 30x96 by hand is probably not an option.
End walls- use more lumber than you think
Hinges, handles and fasteners for windows and doors in endwall.
Seemed like endless $80 trips to Home Depot the whole time I was building. But, I have beautiful tomatoes about 3 weeks before any are available at market and 10' tall trellised cucumbers producing up a storm.
Best of luck!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 8:17PM
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Wiggle wire will help you change that plastic out much faster. If it's there, guard it with your life. After replacing the plastic a few times, you will definitely want it.

On the landscape fabric, don't buy just 'weed mat', get the professional fabric, it will hold up much longer and still allow moisture to go thru. You can put the landscaping blocks on top, without the worry about weeds coming thru. The cheap 'weed mat' doesn't have the life span versus the professional landscape fabric.

I have a 22x45 and usually have a breeze, but I still have a fan in the middle. It helps with ventilation within the house, it helps keep molds and mildews down. 12' isn't hard, actually it is better, just hang on down from top. I have a box fan in the middle and a heater/fan at one end. That heater/fan will blow the entire length.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 7:38AM
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We used top-rail from chain-link fence for our ground anchors went in the 1 1/2 inch hoops easily. Then we bolted through band-board and hoop this worked very well for my houses. Then I put another 2x4 at four feet high for my raised sides when and if I ever install them I had four tables I built last year that we added eight foot in between with joist hangers to make twenty-four foot tables for our plants. We used conduit straps on the side of the tables to bend 1/2 plastic conduit for hoops to support frost blanket for the colder nights. I believe it worked very well for our aging bodies. I also am building raised beds along the sides. I have another 20x25 greenhouse that if it gets installed will be all raised beds for season extension.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 1:29PM
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