Greenhouses

I live in XXtreme SW Utah at 3900' elev., north of St. George. Not sure what zone, as it varies with the book. 6 I think. Gets down to about 20 in the winter, 105 in summer. Snowed last week, so spring is about April 15th.
Anyway, my neighbor built himself a greenhouse. He now has tomatos already, and we haven't planted any. He's got other stuff, too.
Now, my wife wants one. So do I.
Give me some do's and don'ts on greenhouses. We get horrible winds here sometimes. What wood would be good, redwood? And is there any visqueen material that has fibers in it that will make it stronger?
I have a Singer walking foot sewing machine, so can make up the panels, plus any shadecloth arrangements I want.
All tips appreciated, including type of wood to use for main posts, types of clear/shade materials, watering systems for inside, heating on marginal nights, etc. Should I make the wall panels somewhat of a fold out for ventilation? Good sites for plans?
TIA
Steve
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wrote:

Hi Steve
You are responding to a thread that is over two months old and a lot of people may miss it.
You might try a new post to bring it to the top of the list, so to speak. Attention spans are short on the usenet.
Sorry, as far as greenhouses go, I know squat. ;-)
Care Charlie
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Here are some posts that deal with a cold tunnel, not a green house. It is much cheaper but of less ability than a greenhouse. The posts aren't cleaned up but you may mine some helpful information from them.
C= 2?r r= C/2? r= 24'/2 x 3.14 r= 12'/3.143.81971863421= 3.82'
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Newsgroups: rec.gardens.edible Subject: Re: How many here grow food gardens inside green house year round? Date: 19 Aug 2006 11:50:27 -0700 Organization: http://groups.google.com Lines: 22
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snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:

Huh? A PVC pipe for each hoop costs $1.60. 100 feet of 12 ft poly costs $27. The clamps will cost you another $20, and you have to have some bricks to hold down the poly on windy days (concrete chunks will do as well). If treated well, the poly lasts three years and the clamps and hoops last forever. You are looking at $15 per winter harvest.
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Newsgroups: rec.gardens.edible Subject: Re: How many here grow food gardens inside green house year round? Date: 22 Aug 2006 08:41:42 -0700 Organization: http://groups.google.com Lines: 32
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simy1 wrote:

Works if you don't live in a windy area. It's easier to hold down the poly than to keep it from tearing. Hoop tunnels 2' or 3' may work better in windy areas.
Don't expect summer crops under glass. It's too expensive to heat and light. Still cheaper to air freight from the south. Winter hardy stuff like lettuce and greens can grow in unheated hoop structures or the regular cold frame..
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Newsgroups: rec.gardens.edible Subject: Re: How many here grow food gardens inside green house year round? Date: 23 Aug 2006 16:50:55 -0700 Organization: http://groups.google.com Lines: 20
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James wrote:

I live in a fairly windy area. It took me a couple winters to get the tunnels down pat. You need clamps, double clamps at the end of the tunnels, and a smooth tunnel with some poly laying on the path, wieghed down by bricks, so that no air can get inside. I never had a blowout when there is deep snow, it seals the tunnels perfectly.
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Newsgroups: rec.gardens.edible Subject: Re: How many here grow food gardens inside green house year round? Date: 27 Aug 2006 11:52:46 -0700 Organization: http://groups.google.com Lines: 109
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William L. Rose wrote:

Yes, the tunnels are low enough that you can crawl under. The beds are about 25 ft long, and 4ft wide, so one sheet, cut into three, covers them all with a few feet of waste. You need the sheets to be several feet longer than the beds to tuck the ends properly.
You buy the PVC pipes at Home Depot that are, from memory, 3/4" thick. You also buy the 100X12 rolls of clear plastic from the Paint section. I prefer 4mils, but 6 or even 2 will usually do (I have tried all three). The PVC pipes are 12 ft long. You cut them at an angle at the tips, bend them, and stick them one foot into the ground on either side. Total hoop length: 10 feet.
You can either put a hoop every four feet, which makes it a bit difficult to maneuver a wheelbarrow, or every 7 feet, like I do, and them put an extra pipe on top of the hoops for extra strength, secured to the hoops with cable ties and a screw to avoid slipping. The top pipes are connected to one another with PVC cement and a connector, exactly as if you were building your plumbing.
Once you have all the hoops in place, and I leave them there, summer and winter, you garden the beds normally until it is time to cover them. The clamps can be found at Territorial Seeds and are half cylinder that clamp onto the pipes tigthly, grabbing the plastic. They are excellent. The one foot of plastic on either side (12-10=2) can be held down with bricks. The ends, too, can be held down with bricks. The secret to keep the tunnels going in windy weather is to make sure as little air as possible comes in. Specially the ends, I put down a continuous line of bricks to eliminate air leaks. If there is snow on the ground, no air comes in and the seal is perfect.
The plastic I am suggesting is not UV-treated and is not indicated for summer use. In my case, I use it for about 3-4 years, and typically I toss it due to various mechanical tears, like when I try to get ice off of it. There is negligible UV degradation in the winter. I cover on the Thanksgiving weekend and uncover on April 1.

It will be a bit harder for you to crawl under for winter harvest. Undoing a tunnel is a chore, so in the winter I harvest once a week, filling a couple of buckets of greens. I undo only a section, on one side, then get under the plastic on my knees. You should, like I do, get organized and have the greens laid out so you harvest one section at a time. That is, if you have carrots, beets, radicchio, and collard, you should have one row of each, so you only need to uncover that section for a complete harvest. Then there is no need for crawling up and down the bed, and no need to uncover more than one section. Opening a section means removing the clamps on two consecutive hoops on one side only. The plastic will have enough slack to let you knee under it.
Tunnels are much better than greenhouses. They are cheaper, much warmer for the same insulation, the thermal ballast is the soil itself (you must not mulch), and they never run out of CO2, as greenhouses do, because soil with high organic content will give off plenty of it. In Michigan, the soil under the tunnels freezes for time periods of order one or two days, but one sunny day is enough to unfreeze it. Outside the tunnels, the soil freezes for about 10 weeks straight. I have two hoophouses as well, but for a starter, tunnels are the best. Also, if you seed under the tunnels in march, stuff will come up much earlier.

--

- Billy
"For the first time in the history of the world, every human being
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<Charlie> wrote in message > wrote:

Well, Charlie, thanks for the helpful response.
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wrote:

I would have a greenhouse too, but the kids and cops would want to constantly peek inside. Would be fun to build, though.
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.......> All tips appreciated
I'd say the best thing to do would be to seek out some knowledgable, local resources specific to your area. Contrary to popular belief the innerweb is not your only path to enlightenment.
USU has a wonderful County Extension Service. You pay taxes for their research and the use of their vast knowledge is generally FREE. The information from Washington County Extension Service would even be specific to YOUR location. http://extension.usu.edu/washington/ I found quite a few resources on their site pertaining to building greenhouses just for your area. The people at this agency are eager to help you; it's their job and most of the agents even like their job. I looked at the 'contact us' link and there's a picture of a nice, friendly looking man with his name, Rick Hefelbower, and phone number. Apparently you could even call him and have a little personal chat about the greenhouses that might work for you. I'll bet he could even give you information on where to find materials. He'd probably also mail you a shit load of information to help you make a well informed decision if you asked nice.
Have you gone to the library to see what they have in the way of books on building greenhouses for your location? Books are great, they have pictures and diagrams and all kinds of stuff like that. Here's a handy little map incase you have no idea where your closest libraries are located in Washington County, Utah. http://tiny.cc/aEmfb The books are free to borrow if you have a library card. Library cards are free too! The very nice, well trained librarians will even lead you to the section where these books are kept and point them out to you. They generally also have a file full of the pamphlets and published material from your County Extension Service...just ask the nice librarian, they are there to help you. If you don't have a Library Card you are still welcomed to look at the books and magazines and other stuff right there in the library. They even have chairs and tables for your convenience while browsing.
Val
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<shitload of relevant information for my area snipped>
Thanks a lot. That should keep me busy till fall.
Steve
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