Winter Project

The polycarbonate greenhouse I have had for 4 years is just about falling apart. It has cracked to the point that I am not even going to try to heat it this winter. The plan is to build a "real" one with glass windows / panels and a real door. The size will be the same, 5 x 9, because the base is already bolted into the concrete but I can go up in height. I have a 7 bucket hydroponic system that I will continue to use but there should be room for more dirt gardening as well. Ideas for me, things I haven't thought of? I will need some kind of ventalation, maybe just opening windows. I am in eastern North Carolina. What do you think? MJ
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There are devices that operate windows automatically using the heat build up for power. I'm sure you can find them at a greenhouse supply. You might also consider the double layer poly method rather than glass for the cover. The layers have air pumped between them and does insulate to some degree. There is a grower (Van Wingerden sp.) a few miles west of me that has about 20 acres of greenhouses that use that method. Apparently it's the most cost effective way. Either way best of luck, Steve
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says...

For example,
http://www.leevalley.com/en/garden/page.aspx?p543&cat=2,43224
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We are hoping we can use the ones we have in the current greenhouse but glass maybe too heavy for them.
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wrote:

How many roof vents do you have now and how well did those work for you? Are you able to cool it down with the doors closed in direct sun using just the vents? Do you have a temp gauge to verify or are your temps best guess anecdotal?
My neighbor has a small one such as you describe here @ the 47th Lat in the cool PNW maritime climate, Two vents. Fine for most of the year except in the hottest part of summer and into our midday Indian Summer heat. (These vent OK, but have no real airflow to adequately address the heat that can go from 70ish to >100 very quickly. Pretty sure your heat is much greater than here. Also, the vents can get stuck ( open and closed) from critters (rats/birds/squirrels), as well as debris in the hinges, wind, building shift, etc,plus they have been known to just fail (especially the cheap ones) , so you need to check functionality often and I still recommend circulation fans.
Mine is a small 10'x12' w/ 4 manual vents,Open all year except when the temps dip below 38-40. Late Spring, I take out 2 panels each side and replace w/ screens for cross flow and run 2x 20" box fans at the peaks tied into an adjustable attic fan thermostat set to ~80f coupled to a power strip as well as have a mist system set on a timer during hottest periods of summer, I am able to drop temps of 100+f down into in the 74-82 range with 80-85% humidity range very quickly.
It should be obvious that you need a good IPM in place for any G/H but especially in times of high humidification.
You should be able to double your 7 buckets easy enough, or consider integrating "socks" (Google: "compost grow tubes" for ideas), even sandbags or the new "green" grocery bag ( these have handles) with drip irrigation ( I'm not a fan of rock-wool), those are mostly run to waste (RTW) setups which is what your inside dirt garden would be. I have even seen holes punched in a dollar 2 ninety eight bag of compost grow some hellish toms using a drip, just don't try to start seedling in compost. These RTW setups are OK but I prefer recirculating systems. Vertical hydroponics are also a space consideration, These are proven viable with strawberries and such, (Google: Vertical Hydroponics and click on images, then preview the many systems.
Good luck
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