Greenhouse prep

I hopefully am going to put a greenhouse where my current garden .. errrrrrr......... patch of weeds is now.
What would be the best procedure to till this up, kill and pull all the things growing there, and get it in shape so that next year I am not overrun with weeds?
Steve
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I'd mow it as close as possible and cover it with landscape cloth and mulch. Steve
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or just a couple of layers of cloth.
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"SteveB" wrote:

If you're "hopefully" going to erect a greenhouse there why would you want to till or do anything to disturb the ground... you want the ground as hard/firm as possible, in fact you want a 6" thick layer of inert porous material as would be used to construct a paver patio, to raise the area above grade and then redwood/cedar slatted decking pallets for flooring inside the greenhouse... greenhouses get wet inside, you don't want to be walking in muck so you will need good drainage. Your project is really no different from preping an area to erect a storage shed, only you want even better drainage because unlike with a storage shed you will be watering inside, and a more stable base to prevent racking or any glass/acrylic panels are apt to shatter. And be sure to install a system for lashing that greenhouse firmly to the ground or first strong wind and you'll have no greenhouse, and if it blows a distance (which it probably will) you may find yourself buying your neighbor(s) new vehicles, or have to repair their house when your greenhouse crashes through their living room picture window... I'd definitely add that greenhouse to your homeowners liability insurance. Looks like you wussed out with your vegetable garden... I'm sure when next year rolls around you'll wuss out again, by then you won't even remember any stinkin' greenhouse... seems the only gardening you do is with your keyboard and with whatever fertilizer spews out your head. LOL
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But gravel can't feed the soil ecosystem, and in any event, there isn't anything planted there yet. Even if there were, mulch is an intrinsic part of organic gardening and conserving water.
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You are talking apples and oranges billy. It is called controlled environment agriculture (CEA) for a reason, hopefully you are not growing in the ground in a green house. That is a waste of money, use a hoop tunnel for that. Imagine cleaning up blight or wilt with your soil ecosystem in a green house.
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Gunner, I'd like to hear your thoughts on a greenhouse versus a hoop tunnel, as I don't want to make this a big deal and then find out it's all wasted.
Steve
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wrote:

Wouldn't we all!!
Charlie, who can hardly wait
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wrote

Until you can tell us what your goal is Steve, any Internet advice it is a crap shoot of best intended, oft misguided information. billy and Sheldon have actually given some good advice, past and present (don't ever tell them I said that) if you can get through their BS and put into your situation. Yet, as you may have noticed you get a lot of distractive loony tough talk from the little boys in the back of the fight crowd. Ignore it as the old "don't wrestle with a pig" story.
Are you sold on using dirt?
S. Utah wasn't it? Four Cornors or Western side? High coutry or desert floor?
Ever do a soil analysis? Water tests? If you can't get soil done locally or it is costly try UofMass: http://www.umass.edu/plsoils/soiltest/services1.htm
It is important if you are running a green house to know a bit of these factors, any growing actually, but you can wing it a bit better with dirt. At the very least ask your local Ag Ext guy/gal what the ave.. composition and ave. pH is. Other things you might want to know are a bit of climatic data; monthly highs and lows, ave. rainfall, humidity, Sunlight ( PAR, length of day, etc.). http://tinyurl.com/y2bho9 many other resources, search them out!
I remember the melons, but what about tomatoes/peppers? lettuces? herbs?... Give a quick who, what, why.... It can be broad; I want to feed my family of x with x.... I can devote x time to my garden, I want to grow x... I have x $s budgeted.
Meanwhile, here is a short link on the basics of high/low http://plasticulture.cas.psu.edu/H-tunnels.html go through the left hand side to read more general info. another: http://www.noble.org/Ag/Horticulture/MiniHoopHouse/index.html
if you like that one, adapt this longer version here to your situation: http://www.noble.org/Ag/Horticulture/RaisedBedGardening/introduction.html again, the left side.
There are plenty of free plans/material lists for tunnels, GHs, cold frames etc.available. depends on the size you want or can manage
My initial recommendation for you is to try hoop on raised beds first to see if this is for you and then move up. You can easily extend the season and fix those cold desert nights but I feel the biggest problem you will face is ventilation ( GH or Hoop). Like a car, the temps inside a CEA structure can jump up real quick with a bit of sun. You will be rolling those windows up and down alot. When the hot summer sun hits you will want to switch to shade cloth and maybe misters to cool it down, then back to plastic when the Indian summer wanes.
Now lets go to "Hooked on 'ponics" Light is what you need most, you don't need much water and you don't need dirt.
Do understand the protective structure and the growing method are separate entities. Build a structure to extend your seasons and consider moving towards one of the Hydroponics methods, especially in your arid environment. Hydroponics can be simple or highly complex. Hell, I bet I can even teach Charlie to do it. A 2004 Sandia NL project has showed that Hydroponic GHs in NM could reduce 800,000 acre-feet of water to 1,000 to produce the equivalent livestock crop production and do it on 1,000 acres instead of 260, 000. 80% of water use in NM is for agriculture and over half of NM is Federal land so there is not much to grow and build on.
Being Organic is a good back to the basics concept but you can go a step further and really help the world's future with 'ponics. Let me know if you want to consider this area because you should design it first rather than retrofit it in.
Gunner
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I have two acres in SW Utah, about twenty five miles in. It is at 3700' elevation. Soil is sand and lava. Hot for a couple of months in summer, not too cold in winter, and would be a decent growing season with some structure. My neighbor built a greenhouse, and really extended his season and output.
I'm more into storable fruits and vegetables. A couple of tomato plants are enough. I like them, but don't like when so many come that you can't eat them all. Same for cukes. I do like melons, and want to have enough of them so I can have continuous melons through the season. Squash does good. Haven't had luck with beans. Grapes are good and I have some good established vines. May try wine and beer making, as Utah has dark ages liquor laws. Really just would like to have a protected environment to grow things, and then outside, I can do melons, fruit trees, squash, and things that take up a lot of room.
I like the dirt idea. My nursery lady says just to add enough amendments until you get it right, and not many problems. My garden should be there this coming spring with a few more bales and bags of this and that.
I want maximum yield with minimum digging. I know that's not possible, but I cannot go out there and do this in the heat of summer, and I'm not interested in all the tree hugger mentality of recycling everything down to tampons.
Temperature is a problem here in summer, as it gets hot. Just for a couple of months, but whoo. In the winter, it gets frosty, down in the twenties, but is nice during the days. Not a long lengthy snow or cold season.
Don't want to go totally self sustaining, or take on another full time hard job. Just want to utilize and maximize. Yes, have checked local sources, co-op, nurseries, etc. Will take soil and have it tested this next spring.
Just making a plan now.
Steve
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Nothing, absolutely nothing will grow there, forget gardening, expend your energies locating multiple wives.
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wrote

My nursery told me to add lime and bonemeal, but I got the soil analysis in first and boy, was she wrong. Lesson learned, trust science not the lady selling you stuff. get the test done soonest.
My garden should be there

Yes it is......#5 pro pots, 5 squat pots, 5 gal. buckets, gro-bags... no digging hook up drip irrigation and a timer, even better

a couple of 20" box fans and a Patio mister work well, I have panels that I can take out and put up screen.

work out passive solar... Concentrate on the roots,.. heating mats & Old christmas lights work, Need I say the new LED lights don't? try bubble wrap for xtra insulation on the inside of the house. A small weber grill and charcoal will heat up a shed size GH in a pinch.

every year I work on a new one.
good luck Steve Gunner
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