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?
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,
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
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