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80% finished GH frozen-over

Posted by nerdish11 7a (jeremy.w.dow@gmail.com) on
Sun, Mar 2, 14 at 12:58

My 8.5' x 6.5' greenhouse received it's skin yesterday just before super fridged temps. Today it's a high of 19 and low of 9F. WTF...9?!? Well I'm hoping that this is the last cold blast of the season. Here is a picture of the GH that I can't even open the doors to. It still needs a removable shelf on one side and the misters installed. Other than that (which is all I can afford for now) is done. The removable shelf is so that I can take the bench off and set it on the ground when the plants become more that 2 ft tall. The mister system will just be zip tied to the cattle panel framework on the top of both sides. I don't have a floor except the weed barrier that I stapled to the bottom. Not sure what I should do for a floor. I cannot wait for spring.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: 80% finished GH frozen-over

Fantastic work there Jeremy!!

I can't wait for spring too..What will you dod for heat?
I can't believe this winter..It's miserable and a joke..

Mike


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RE: 80% finished GH frozen-over

Great job Jeremy on a scale of 1 to 10 how difficult was that to build? Thinking this year of getting a larger greenhouse . My plants have way out grown my current greenhouse. Wood skids with plywood on top works great for a few years , that is what I use. Plastic skids would be better . Your greenhouse looks fantastic.

Brian


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RE: 80% finished GH frozen-over

One that nice just made lots of us full of envy. Great job.


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RE: 80% finished GH frozen-over

One that nice just made lots of us full of envy. Great job.


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RE: 80% finished GH frozen-over

Well do I really need one right now? I have little space heater in my bathroom but that's not gonna really do much. Any suggestions if it is truly necessary?


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RE: 80% finished GH frozen-over

  • Posted by mksmth oklahoma 7a (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 2, 14 at 19:36

you dont need one until you start using it. I assume you will be overwintering citrus in there. my greenhouse is pretty much the same only 10x12. The other night it was 21 degrees and the main natural gas heater pilot went out. My backup heat is a typical 1500 watt electric set to come on at 45. Well it kept the temp at 38. It did it job of not letting the plants freeze but it would never be able to keep the the house at 55 were I want it.

Mike


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RE: 80% finished GH frozen-over

Thank you folks. It means a lot coming from you guys and gals. To answer your question on the hardness scale, 1 being simplest to 10 being most difficult I would say it like this. First of all I had help from my GF. Secondly it needs to be broken down into segments and then rated.

So starting from the beginning which would be the base ... 2-2x4x10's and 2-2x4x8's (which I cut down to 6.5') squared up measuring from corner to corner diagonally.
(Pro tip! Make 2 "L" shapes then slide together and continue to square it up. Also measure the cattle panels side by side before screwing anything together)

Square base ( with help) 2-3 (without help) 4-5
I tried to get it within 1/4" with the proper tools it may even be easier than that. Like a framing square.

Next would be arching the 2 cattle panels inside the base and nailing them down with fencing staples.(Pro tip: the cattle panel should have horizontal bars on the inside.) Stab one end by dragging it against one side and pick up the other end to arch it and stab that side in.

Arching (without help) 1

Door and window frame are much easier than it looks if you have help. Hold 2-2x4's up as wide as you want the door frame to be get a measurement from one side and copy it for the other side. My door frame was made to be rather small width wise simply because I wanted as much shelf room as possible as well as a taller door way. (Pro Tip: use a pencil or marker to outline the curve(or at least the angle) of cut under the fencing.

Framing: (with help) 2-3 (without) 4-5

Shelving: 1-10. It's as easy or as difficult as you want to make it.

Skinning it will make you a nervous wreck if you only buy as much poly as you need for one skin. I bought a roll of 16'x55' so I would be able to skin it twice but u still didn't want to mess up the first one so as you can image I was very nervous. But it actually was nothing to worry about once I actually got it cut and started stapling it on. You will want to make sure it's square by lining up the folded lines with the vertical bars on the cattle panel and centered by draping it over and looking through the door frame to the window frame for roughly the same height.(Pro Tip: leave it folded up when draping it over the arch. This also makes it fool proof to cut it at the proper length without making measurement errors or making an angled cut.) Hind sight being 20/20... I realized this after the fact. LOL!

Skinning: 1-2 (with help pulling it tight) 3-4 (without)

Here is the video that I based my design off of apart from window, door, and shelving/support. It's a bit dated on the price and he lies about the amount of time it takes to build but pretty descent instructions.

Here is a link that might be useful: Texas Preppers Greenhouse Design


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RE: 80% finished GH frozen-over

Great info Jeremy thanks. It was the front I was concerned with . The making of the door I thought that might be difficult to do . Skids do make geat flooring keeps the plants off the cold ground.

Brian


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RE: 80% finished GH frozen-over

To make the front and back you could like I said just space two 2x4's apart the way you want them measure from one side to the door frame then measure the width between them. The panels horizontal bars could potentially get in the way but you can simply make notches if you want a door frame larger in width than mine. My door frame is just inside 2 of the bars spaced equally between them. In the video he has his door frame inside the base I set mine on top of the 2x4's so that my door opens outward instead of inward. Which actually made it easier because it will let the 2x4's stand up straighter and use slightly less material. Once I got the markings from the underside of the panels I simply cut them as close as I could to the line (not perfect but close and then just made sure that the cross bar between them made the door frame square. This was all done in my garage built in an upside down "U" shape and taken outside tone installed. Door was made to the dimensions of the door frame using 1x2's. It's a breeze if you have 2 sets of eyes and a second set of hands. I'll take a picture of the inside of the door after the ice melts.


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I will try to list the materials I used so you can get an idea of the cost it will take to build one but I can tell you that I bought all fresh straight pieces of lumber (which I wish I had looked to see if discounted lumber was available first) cost me approximately $500. That Includes a few tools I didn't have until half way through building it. Instead of wasting time of digging through all the receipts and posting another long list, let me know if you want the list first.


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RE: 80% finished GH frozen-over

Here's is a picture of what I'll be filling this GH up with along with my ever so slow lemon growing lemon tree. How long does it take for the lemons to get noticeably larger? They seem to be the exact same size as they were when it bloomed a month and a half ago. Although in the trees defense I hadn't fertilized it since I bought it but it was gracious enough to give me a few lemon blossoms. Now that it's producing I decided to buy both a granular feed (ferti-lome 19-10-5 and a liquid feed ( mircle-gro all purpose 12-4-8). The nursery where I bought the granular feed said to use a cup but it seemed like a lot to use in my lil 3 gallon pot so I went with only a half cup.


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I have 3 more pallets/skids not currently in use and my GF suggested the same thing Brian. Great minds think alike! I planed on using them for my other shelf but they are thicker and a little better built than the ones I broke down for the other side for my removable shelf. So maybe they would be better suited for a floor. What I really wanted to do is buy/find some pavers and crushed brick or gravel for under the shelves. The removable shelf was designed to be taken off and set on the ground so having a floor of the same basic shape would look more uniform just not as professional. As I'm typing thing it has been confirmed by the "Boss" that gravel will NOT be going inside the greenhouse :( and that we will not be buying pavers. At least she isn't apposed to the idea :P So maybe later on down the road unless excess heat from the bricks will be a problem like in summer time.


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RE: 80% finished GH frozen-over

  • Posted by mksmth oklahoma 7a (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 3, 14 at 10:50

Jeremy

Looks great! one other thing I wanted to mention. Which way is your greenhouse oriented? I ask because mine is north/south. I actually framed and sided the north wall with plywood. In the northern hemisphere You get virtually no benefit from having a transparent north wall. By siding it and painting the inside white you get protection from the cold north winds plus you reflect more sun back into the house. Just an idea. it seems to work well for me.

last night our low was 9 degrees. It took both my 18k btu Natural gas and 1500 watt electric heater to maintain 53 degrees this morning.

Mike


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RE: 80% finished GH frozen-over

Mike, the GH is oriented north and south as well. While I didn't take that into consideration that maybe something I do later if my 2 bulldogs decide to get curious about what's inside this giant "dog house" and scratch through the plastic. I took the day off today to see what it's like inside here when it's freezing out side with not much wind and a bright sun shiny day. The temp has been slowly climbing and at 10:15am it shows to be 81.5 with outside temp at a very chilly 9! No heaters just good ole sun. I decided it would probably okay to bring the plants out but I'll be taking them back in before sun down.


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weather forecast are predicting a low of 0 F Monday night-Tuesday morning. My double layer glass green house will not be enough to keep out damaging cold. Saturday the green house sat at 85 degrees with the soil at about 70 F. The soil will take a long time to cool off, but will not be enough. I put down a 3 inch thick insulating blanket over top. I think this will do since most of the heat goes up. Flat roof green have tremendous advantages over the traditional hoop. Also to add the north wall is insulating foam board painted white to reflect the light back onto the plants

Steve

This post was edited by poncirusguy on Mon, Mar 3, 14 at 14:38


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RE: 80% finished GH frozen-over

Jeremy you are definetly headed in the right direction of being able to squeeze some nice home made lemonade. I would highly recommend you also attain a lime tree for those ice cold beverages in the summer, a real people pleaser.Are you planning on heating your greenhouse in the winter? Your citrus will do much better outside in the spring and summer and inside in the GH in the winter. They will grow much more rapidly this way. You will see in the GH that you will get a nice head start to spring they will start to grow and blossom at this time in March. My citrus have already started to bloom and I live in the far north it is amazing. Thanks for all your great posts on the building of the GH . PS I do have an extra set of hands if I could only find the smarts and the patience now .

Brian


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RE: 80% finished GH frozen-over

Thanks Brian, I really think that this build is so simple that ANYONE can do it. All it took for me was the motivation and a lil dough out of the savings account. The motivation came from the lemon tree blossoming. I'm going to try to locate the post where my lemon tree first started pushing blossoms. It hasn't been growing but I can see that there are 1 or 2 that have almost filled up the sepals?/calyx?/shell? where the flower bloomed from before dropping the petals. Sorry if this doesn't make since. My green thumb is still a lil yellow. The rest haven't shown signs of growing. I'm hoping that the bright light it's getting during the day is helping because in the house it's not getting much at all. I would like another tree I'm thinking of a Key Lime next. One of our nurseries here carry citrus trees but to me they look horrible. The trunk looks really stretched and has to be staked because the 5' tall tree with 5' leaf span? Is held up by only an 1" diameter trunk :( it's sad they look mostly healthy though. I would rather have a short stubbing lil guy with stronger trunk and branches personally.


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RE: 80% finished GH frozen-over

nerdish11 That 5 by 5 ft tree will fill out so quickly you won't know what happened. , go for it.

In all seriousness you only need to insulate the to 1/3 over the top to get maximum benefit

Steve


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RE: 80% finished GH frozen-over

Jeremy my clementine tree looked exactly like the lime tree you are talking about . The trunk was so skinny I thought if we got a good breeze it would snap it in half but that never happened. Here is a picture of it . It is on the right hand of the stairway going up to the pool. The tree was grafted according to the tag in April 2010. The GH helps by extending your growing season which gives you the valuable time to grow and ripen your fruit. It also gets things going a lot earlier , February , March is like spring in the GH . Trees will begin to flower at this time and you will not likely get any bloom drop or very little , blooms will actually open.

Brian


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My greenhouse is only about 6.5' at the tallest point. The trunk worries me. I don't want to pay an arm and a leg for a tree like the prices I hear that 4 winds charge but I would like a younger tree. Plus there are obvious signs of spider mites and swirl marks on some of the leaves from some other pest and mostly I just want a younger tree. Nurseries scare me. I don't want to bring home an army of pests. Currently the only bug I've ever had a problem with is grasshoppers/locusts during summer. I've seen a couple gnat looking bugs flying around but they are staying in very low numbers at the moment and I try to kill them in the air when I see them flying around.


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RE: 80% finished GH frozen-over

Jeremy a picture of what my Meyer tree looks like in the GH .

Brian


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RE: 80% finished GH frozen-over

Mike, OMG! Your yard is freaking beautiful! And your tree looks great! I am so jealous. I have a yard the size of a post-it note. I know I need to heat it but with how cold it gets here and how early I've got to get up to go to work in the morning leaves that option of the table and leaving them outside in the GH would be expensive to heat as well as buying the heaters to heat it. Maybe next year I can work out the outside heating problem.

Steve how long would the heat stay in with insulating the top? I can't see that keeping the place warm all night long and I'm scared of letting it drop too low because I don't know how cold tolerant my tree is seeing as how I don't know what kind of lemon tree it is.


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RE: 80% finished GH frozen-over

Jeremy I apologize the clementine is on the left hand side of the stairs. Thank you for your nice compliments . I only use a 1500 watt heater that shuts off when the sun is on the GH. So the heater is on during the night and off during the day if it is sunny.When you get good results well worth the cost.

Brian


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RE: 80% finished GH frozen-over

Brian
What an amazing tree you have! Okay I'm convinced. I HAVE to find a reasonable way of keeping this puppy warm. I've read a somewhere that using plastic barrels either black or painted black filled with water helps to keep the heat from dissipating so quickly. This along with some blankets at after sundown maybe keep most of the heat in? I looked at heaters but if I have my numbers correct I would need 11000 BTU to keep the temps at 55 degrees if it's 15 degrees outside that's 2 of the heaters in the link I posted. The measure measurements are 8.5x6.5x 6.5 tall/ or 16' long arch for those who wanna check my math. The poly is 6mil greenhouse plastic single layer. Anyone else have any ideas for keeping this warm that is cheap and/or cost effective?

Here is a link that might be useful: Little greenhouse heater


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RE: 80% finished GH frozen-over

I am not sure how close you looked at my insulation blanket. It is the snow that fell last night. It will keep my plants safe. the snow gives me an R 6 to add to the R 2 from the glass. That is a 4 fold increase. I don't know if it will stay above freezing, but I do know that there will a significant advantage to the plant not being exposed to dry cold air. The humidity will run a 100% as the water vaporizes from the wet soil and condenses to the inside glass layer and should remain at the freezing point. until the soil ices up. I am hoping the soil does not freeze. If the soil freezes the plants inside should be safe down to 15 F. No citrus trees. Any green house with enough open containers of liquid water will not drop below 32 F until the water skins over with ice. The water evaporates then condenses on the glass locking it at 32 F.

No heaters are needed but you have to have a significant surface area and volume of water. Snow has been my biggest insulation material all winter all my crops survived 5 days of -6 F one at -2 F and several -1 F and 0 F.

Steve


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RE: 80% finished GH frozen-over

Jeremy I don't think you will need all that heat. You are a lot further south than I am and I use a 1500 watt heater for a 6x8 GH. My temperature is never above or at 55 at night, sometimes the temperature in the GH is 35f like this morning. As long as your temperature is above freezing at night in the GH you will be fine because the temperature will go up in the daylight hours normally not very often not. Most days in the winter my greenhouse will range in temperature 55 to 65 f depending on sunshine. I think the contrast in temperature probably does them good. I sometimes throw a sleeping bag over the GH on really cold nights it really does help to keep some of the heat in. Buckets of water I have never tried probably because I have zero room. A fan is a must to circulate the air in there . The fan draws down the warm air that's hovering in the top of the GH and circulation is good for the plants.

Brian


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nerdish, that's a nice GH. Reading everone's comments about ways to heat the GH, I can't help but wonder if a spacer and a second layer of plastic would save you some heat costs. I know good plasic isn't cheap so it would cost a bit more for materials.
I have thought of building a GH even here in Texas to help protect fruit ripening into the winter. Also to keep birds and squirrels out of some things I want to grow.


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I have another piece of poly to make an Air barrier but then I'm in trouble should something happen to the current one I have. I went out yesterday with every intension of coming home with an oil filled radiant heater but to no avail :( Every and I mean EVERY store I went to in the OKC metroplex was completely sold out of EVERY type of heater!!! No electric, natural gas, propane, or even kerosene nothing. So I'm sad. I don't believe that the one I have has enough oomph I may try it tonight. But currently I've been busy looking at craigslist, eBay, shop google, trying to find a reasonable deal while felling comfortable about not buying a hunk of junk or (should I say it...) a lemon :P All jokes aside if someone has a spare that would be perfect for the size of my greenhouse and safe ( I say safe because it tends to "rain" inside ) then I'm all ears.


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RE: 80% finished GH frozen-over

  • Posted by mksmth oklahoma 7a (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 5, 14 at 20:32

Jeremy. I didn't know you were in OKC. I'm in Tulsa. That's cool! Even though it may seem like winter won't end you'll be able to get yours outside in a month and a half with maybe just a few iffy nights. The stores must have sold out this last weekend when we had those ridiculous lows. I doubt they restock now. There is a place here called Mikes liquidation that sells Walmart and other store returns and they always have heaters. Not really worth the gas to drive here but I can check on them for you.

I prefer a fan powered heater. Oil filled ones are nice but they take up to 10-15 minutes to get fully warm. Radiant ones are nice too but they are very directional. Fan powered heat the air more uniformly which in turn heat all the plants better.

Mike


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RE: 80% finished GH frozen-over

I was worried about water dripping on the heater and shorting it out if it was open like a fan type. Also I've heard that hot air blown arias the leaves could dry them out although that's not really necessary because I don't have need enough plants to fill up my GH yet. I say yet because one day that puppy will be full of citrus and the neighbors down the street will be wondering where that lovely scent is coming from :P I think its cool that to live in Tulsa... Yeah it's a bit of a drive but when you get ready to prune please let me know. Shoot me an email or post a message on the forums because I'd live to test my skill at grating and rooting cuttings. Plus I need more variety and that's a lot cheaper to drive your way and collect your trash sort-to-speak. Maybe you can even give me a few pointers on what to do "In case of...'s" ! :)


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RE: 80% finished GH frozen-over

So I decided to bite the bullet and leave the plants outside tonight. I brought in a heater. It's not suppose to get below freezing tonight but it's already pushing the envelope. Thermometer says 37! D= <--- that's my scared face lol. I'll check it one more time before bed.


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RE: 80% finished GH frozen-over

  • Posted by mksmth oklahoma 7a (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 7, 14 at 16:55

hey Jeremy. 37 inside or out?

Dont lose too much sleep over the heater getting wet. The condensation dripping is so minimal that it shouldnt be a problem at all. Be sure your heater and anything else electrical is plugged into a GFCI protected outlet.

I really dont prune mine. They are 3-4 feet tall but I havent really had to. My varieties are very common but if you need some bud wood I can clip a few pieces. i do have about 40 Trifoliate seedlings growing that I plan to plant around the yard for their look. My Parents neighbors tree has been winter hardy here for 5 or 6 years now. I need to check and
see how it did with the single digit lows we had.

Mike


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RE: 80% finished GH frozen-over

It was 37 inside the greenhouse the other night but I cranked up the heat and just let it run. I checked it this morning before work and it was 50 so no worries.

Do you really need 40 trifoliate seedlings. I would like a few to grow for rootstock. You say that your varieties are pretty basic but what does that mean. Basic isn't always a bad thing. I would love to have a tree that produces 3 different types of citrus. Which is why I wanna take a crack at grafting. So what types of citrus so you have other than trifoliate?


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LOL No i dont need them all but trifoliate fruit is pretty much all seeds so I just germinated all i had. My dad wants a few to line his back fence, He hopes the thorns will snag a few stray cats that use his yard as a potty, haha. Ill probably plant 4 or 5 around as ornamental plants. They are only about 4 inches tall but when they get to grafting size Ill let you know if you want a few. Im going to try my luck with grafting also.
I just meant that mine are the most common that you will likely find at the stores this summer. Meyer lemon, key lime, washington navel, bearrs lime, fukushu kumquat and Armstrong satsuma.
I also have another unknown orange that was gifted to me, 2 4 year old lemon seedlings(one flowered this year) grapefruit seedling and a mango seedling. These are just for fun to see what happens.

i also have 30 or so plumeria, hand full of bananas, some brugmansia, a couple adenium and a few other tropicals. Yeah my new greenhouse im building this summer needs to be big, LOL.

Mike


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That is a really cool design!

Josh


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RE: 80% finished GH frozen-over

Mike if you lived by I would love for you to hook me up with an outlet!

I have extension thick cords running to mine and I know it's not good...I am hoping to get someone with electrical knowledge to hook me up..Great advice pal..

Nerdish...Wonderful job and explanations..Thanks


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RE: 80% finished GH frozen-over

Thank you Mike.

New progress: Installation of misting system. I'm at work at the moment and all I have is a video that is too large to upload but I'll take a pic or 2 when I get home. So I guess that makes the production 90% complete. All I really need now is another bench. I was thinking about painting the bench white. What do you guys think about painting the shelves? Some people say black to absorb extra heat others say white to reflect more light. Some people don't even paint them! To paint or not to paint that is the question.


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RE: 80% finished GH frozen-over

  • Posted by mksmth oklahoma 7a (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 10, 14 at 12:34

Hey mike

thanks for the compliments. I would help you out no problem if we were closer. Extension cords are just fine as long as you use a heavy duty one and keep it in good shape and out of harms way.

Jeremy
For sure white. you want as much light bouncing around as possible. the only time people paint things black is when it is a good source of storing the heat. things like water buckets and barrels or rock/cement walls are another thing that you could paint black. The shelves could help things get warmer during the day but they wont hold then release that heat for more than a few minutes after the sun goes away.

The greenhouse forum here is a good source of info also.

What is your plan for ventilation? My house can get to 100+ in a matter of minutes on a strong sunny spring day. without my vent fan that will toast anything in there.

Mike


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Mike,
The nurseries here either don't have them, can't get them, or if they do they look slightly unhealthy. You have all the plants I would want. I'd be willing to pay for the PT seedlings. How long does it take to get to grafting size approximately?


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RE: 80% finished GH frozen-over

  • Posted by mksmth oklahoma 7a (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 10, 14 at 16:08

You know the year I got most of my trees was 2010. Lowes actually had gotten in some 5 gallon trees and some very young budded trees. I bought one of each variety. Since then there was only one year 2011 that they got citrus and that was mostly Kumquat.Very frustrating that they havent since. I bet they changed purchasers. However I really think people are getting more interested because last year at both Walmart and Reaser grocery store they carried small one gallon citrus. Walmart actually had a Pink Variegated lemon that I have been kicking myself ever since for not buying one. I will this year for sure if they do. I actually did get one from walmart, a Bearrs lime on clearance for $5. Keep an eye out this spring. I bet you will find some around. My plumeria collection has mostly come from Southwood Nursery here in Tulsa. That and a guy in California sent me a bunch of cuttings. If I do add another citrus it will be a Dekopon or another mandarin.

I understand PT grows very slow and these are no different. I started mine late november and as of last week they werent more than 3-4 inches tall. Now granted over the winter I didnt expect a lot so I cant use that as a guage. i would say that by the end of the summer they might be but next spring would probably be better. Ill keep you updated. Also if you want I can get you some seeds but that will be in fall when my parents neighbors tree is ready.

Nice set up but be careful. It is already too small, LOL.

Mike


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This thing is quickly becoming a money sink.

Mike you where right it was 110 inside the GH today. I've got to something about that quickly. It cooked all of my vegetable seedlings that I started in the seed starter dome. My gf is gonna be upset. She called them her lil babies. The onions seem like they might make it but all the tomatoes, peppers, and some if the weaker cucumbers are completely dried out. So from what I've gathered on the GH forums is that an attic fan and louvers are the cheapest way to go. I too am only running a heavy duty extension cord out there for power and I assume it's only a 110 breaker. I don't know how to check what it actually is. I'm a bit of a dummy when it comes to electricity. How am I suppose to run everything I need off of that? This topic belongs in the GH forums my apologizes. Can this topic be moved?


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RE: 80% finished GH frozen-over

mksmth-----"I understand PT grows very slow and these are no different"

I got over 5 feet of growth out of mine in one spring-fall, Feed them well and NO animal product. It can be deadly to PT

Steve


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RE: 80% finished GH frozen-over

  • Posted by mksmth oklahoma 7a (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 10, 14 at 20:46

Jeremy. If you can leave the door open and push air out with a cheap box fan that will help. I have an attic fan with thermostat. That is the best way to go. Are you plugging it into an outlet on the outside of your house? Is so they are typically on their own 20 amp circuit but not always. Either way you probably won't overload it.

Steve.

Thanks. I'll see how well they do this summer.
Mike


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