Looking for large greenhouse ideas- for heavy snow

dirtslinger2(6)November 2, 2012

I'm hoping for some guidance from anyone that can recommend a high tunnel/ greenhouse that can withstand significant heavy snowfall and wind. I want to grow veggies right in the ground..

I spent last winter researching what sort of greenhouse to get- I'm looking for 'aprox' 20' x 30', more or less. I wanted to get it in this fall but it didn't happen- so spring 2013 it is!!

What I really want is to get food growing in Feb/March and extend summer into December if possible (without electricity).

I've mainly been looking at steel tube with poly- seems two layer of poly with a small fan (solar is feasible) can really work great.

Have looked at Slip Tube, Paul Boers, and even Growing Spaces geodesic domes (nice but likely too expensive for me plus a huge project to build).

I see all the reasonably cheap polycarbonate type GH's, you can double the length. But it sounds like windows pop out, leak (or lose heat through roof) etc etc.

Any ideas appreciated!

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hmacflower(Z4 Ont.)

I have a greenhouse made from wood and old windows attached to the side of the barn...works great. I'm not
sure plastic would be warm enough to extend the season to Dec...but I guess it depends on where you live.
good luck...show us a pic when finished
Heather

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 1:08PM
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hmacflower(Z4 Ont.)

Here's a pic of my greenhouse
Heather

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 1:15PM
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dirtslinger2(6)

That is incredible, nice work!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 10:59AM
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ninamarie(4Ont.)

Paul Boers sells a good product and they are easy to erect. I know nothing about the others.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 10:01AM
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cdnfruit(1)

Northern Greenhouse is in Manitoba. The owner Bob Davis is very helpful. Also look into heating with 55 gal drums painted black, they release heat overnight. You still might need some additional heat, though.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 11:12PM
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stupidlegs13

It sounds like we share similar dreams. I have seen a few on craigs list. If you don't already you should check it regularly for them.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 9:45AM
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leenamark

A greenhouse with a steep roof pitch will allow the snow to slide off more easily.
Keeping the greenhouse slightly heated in winter will also help the snow slide off.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 8:08AM
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leenamark

A greenhouse with a steep roof pitch will allow the snow to slide off more easily.
Keeping the greenhouse slightly heated in winter will also help the snow slide off.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 8:09AM
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dowlinggram

Having a small 4'x6'greenhouse in northern Ontario. I don't know how you plan to keep it warm at night in Dec. and Feb. without supplimental heat. I start mine up in April and still have to heat at night on quite a few nights to keep the plants from freezing. I have polycarbonite covering mine and it only keeps the temperature about 2 degrees warmer than the outside temperature

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 11:55PM
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pghgardengirl(6b SW PA)

For what it's worth, I noticed you are zone 6, also. Eliot Coleman (from Maine) has some great books on Winter Harvest..maybe check the library. Notice it is "harvest" not "grow" in winter. I have had success sowing lettuce on March 1st and could harvest it by April under plastic when outside it was still freezing at night. It is amazing how warm it can get in there if the sun is shining, but you loose that heat overnight.

My night time temps fall to below zero regularly over the winter and I still have edible leeks, green onions, garlic shoots, kale, carrots, parsley, and lettuce under plastic. My strawberry plant leaves are still green and alive, though not producing fruit right now. It's not so much the temps, but protection from the wind and elements I have found that make the difference. Also, selecting cold hardy lettuces and knowing when to plant them for winter use..similar to planning a fall garden. The trick is to pull the plastic really tight so the snow slides off. If it sags anywhere, then it spells trouble. My frame is made from PVC, using an up-cycled old deck as a "floor" on one section.

This post was edited by pghgardengirl on Fri, Feb 15, 13 at 18:27

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 6:17PM
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livelydirt(Zn 4, Lively, ON)

I agree with pghgardengirl re Coleman's material. Excellent guides, especially The Winter Harvest Handbook. Also search Eliot Coleman on YouTube. Lots of great videos on GH construction and use.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lively Dirt - The Garden Blog

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 10:56AM
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