Weigh in...

ontheteam(5a-6 (S.Eastern, MA))November 10, 2011

getting close to getting a GH.. leaning towards Freedom Greenhouse.. Looking for your expert input....What do ya think..? The self tending is a must its for Dh who has memory/medical issues he likes to garden with me but has killed more plants with forgetfulness...to water or vent or close vents then I care to recall...

"The innovative design of our Freedom line of backyard greenhouses results in a totally self-contained, self-tending greenhouse which requires no additional power supply to maintain temperature and watering systems. The easily maintained Freedom Greenhouse is perfect for the household that does not have a gardener home at all times, but still wants to have healthy and vigorous plants.

Automatic ventilation controlled by a thermostat. One side of roof lifts off the frame drawing cooler air in, while hot air escapes through the roof peak.

A manually controlled roof option is also available.

With our automatic version no external power supply needed. A 12v battery and solar charger power the roof opening mechanism and the automatic Q-Wick watering benches.

Automatic watering benches are available.

Manufactured in Maine with eastern white cedar and triple-wall polycarbonate."

Here is a link that might be useful: http://site.mainegarden.com/MGPDocs/Freedom_Greenhouse_-_List_Price_Sheet_-_MGP.pdf

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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

I was going to recommend the Greenhouses & Garden Structures Forum, but I see you've already posted there. I have no meaningful experience to share.

"Eastern white cedar and triple-wall polycarbonate" sounds like good quality materials.

Claire

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 9:59AM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

Triple wall polycarbonate is a definite advantage. I had a greenhouse many years ago, but it was single wall fiberglass and the heating cost was ridiculous! You don't mention if you intend to use this as a year-round greenhouse or just to extend the season in spring and fall. If you plan to have it as a year-round place to grow tropicals or other non-hardy plants, such as citrus, etc. then I would suggest that you look into heating options and costs for heating. The other thing I would suggest strongly is that if you want to grow some tropicals, etc. that you buy the biggest one you can fit into your property and can afford. No matter how disciplined you are, you will always see another plant that you just have to have! Because you can.............I know I was like that. And add to that wanting room to start your annuals in the greenhouse and believe me there's never enough room. Good luck, and when you get it, I hope you both enjoy it! I used to love the smell of earth in mid-winter when I had mine. I had half of it planted right in the ground with some tropical specimens.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 10:46AM
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ontheteam(5a-6 (S.Eastern, MA))

We manily want it for seed starting . We may heat it in Feb and March to do the annuals and hanging baskets we need for the hospital plant sale we do. I'd LOVE to heat it all winter and have a nice green smelling warm place to close my eyes and pretend its spring!! But that may be beyound us.
I am lol'ing at the get as big as you can you WILl fill it LOL..Thanks for the great advice.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 1:00PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

Do you have a basement?

Basically it is much, much cheaper to add light to a heated space than it is to add heat to a lighted space. So I can run 5 sets of fluorescent lights for seed starting for a fraction of what it would take to run any sort of heater.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 2:10PM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

Mad gallica makes a good point. And even if the basement is a bit chilly for seed starting, you can put heating cables under the seed flats. It would be a much less costly alternative to heating a greenhouse, not to mention the money you'd save by not having to buy a greenhouse in the first place.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 4:50PM
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ontheteam(5a-6 (S.Eastern, MA))

Sadly the basment is more of a cellar...its only about 5ft tall. I am 5 8 Dh is 6 2 Fieldstone that needs repointing and no easy way in but an old narrow door .

The point of the wood possibly being effected is a VERY good point..Thanks for bringing it up.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 5:03PM
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NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

Just a couple of random thoughts from someone who has toyed with getting a greenhouse for years, but been dissuaded by the impracticality of unheated greenhouses for much of what I want and the expense of a heated greenhouse.

Seed starting, at least for plants like tomatoes and peppers, is more successful with consistent heat and you will probably need heat mats or cables in your greenhouse to be successful. Or start seeds inside and move the plants outside once they have reached a certain size.

Adding thermal mass (which will take up space) will help mitigate temperature swings, but won't entirely prevent them. A larger greenhouse will also help mitigate temperature extremes since there is less surface area relative to the larger air mass within it.

White cedar is rot resistant - that is why it is used. A metal frame will conduct heat if there isn't a thermal break. The steep roof on this one will help clear snow, a must in our area unless you want to be worrying every time there is a heavy wet snow like the one a couple of weeks ago. What kind of weather stripping is there around the part of the roof that moves? If there is a slight warping you could get a lot of leakage of air there.

I've seen these at flower shows, and I find them aesthetically pleasing. Is there enough head room that you and your DH will be comfortable?

Find out what this will cost you in property taxes . . . In my town, buildings less than a certain square footage aren't taxed, and temporary buildings like Elliot Coleman's moveable hoop houses aren't taxed. Also, what type of building permit will something like this require? Will it need inspecting? How will you deal with water and lights?

Get one of Eliot Coleman's books on unheated greenhouses from the library. Even though his work and greenhouses are quite different than yours, it may have information you will find useful.

Keep us updated on what you decide to do.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 8:08AM
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ontheteam(5a-6 (S.Eastern, MA))

That is a lot of good stufdf to think about nhbabs, thank you.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 3:38AM
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