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Greenhouse design

Discussion in 'Greenhouse - Shade house.' started by livinontop, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. livinontop

    livinontop Guest

    Still trying to figure out how to make this, for the area I live. Just visited a neighbor with a couple greenhouses. They said we get way too hot here to use a greenhouse. I was worried about winters! I guess that won't be a problem. But our 100+ degree summer days "within" a greenhouse WILL BE~

    It seems to me to be almost an oxymoron to have a greenhouse to hold in the heat, and magnify the sun, when we're already too hot to handle without one? So.....how about rollup sides or something? Then I don't have to "cool" (except still the fish tank???) Also, do they make a "cooler/heater" for the FishTank water if it gets too hot in 105 degree days, and too cold for winters in the 20's?? Thank you!!!
     
  2. trout

    trout New Member

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    Hi livinontop

    It's difficult to answer this question without knowing your temp range.
    ie. What's the Max/Min/Average temps for each month.

    But from what you've said you may need a shade house rather than
    a greenhouse.

    My Shadehouse becomes a greenhouse over winter by fixing solarweave
    around the walls and then after the last frosts they are removed.

    The actual frame whether it's a greenhouse or shadehouse is the same.

    cheers Lou
     
  3. Todd61

    Todd61 New Member

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    Livinontop

    You can get a chiller for the fish tank water. They don't come cheap! There is a 1/2 hp one on ebay for 400.00. Lowest price I've seen for a new one.
    I live in central CA and used to grow orchids. Think about a swamp cooler and shade cloth for the summertime. Our greenhouse was 8' x 16' and we used a "window mount" swamp cooler. Worked great and coolers are cheap to run. If you use shade cloth keep it 1 foot above the top of the greenhouse. That's the optimum distance for shading and air flow.
    Heating was what killed us, it ran on electricity and doubled our bill in the winter.

    Todd
     
  4. livinontop

    livinontop Guest

    Thank you both! Todd....we'll go to the Swamper if we have to. Would like to see if we could incorporate something into the design like what Trout's talking about.

    Trout....tell me more. Or where do I go to learn more about "solarweave"? Thanks you two!! I so appreciate this forum!
     
  5. trout

    trout New Member

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  6. livinontop

    livinontop Guest

    So Lou (sorry, I called you Trout) do you actually change the covering every spring and fall? How do you work this? I want to build a 16x 20 structure to accommodate two complete IBC systems. Two FT, and 6GB (2sumps). WE get as cold as 20's more like 30's in winter and 95-105 in summer.
     
  7. trout

    trout New Member

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    Yes, the roof remains but the walls are changed.
    In winter= solarweave walls plastic roof
    in summer= shadecloth roof and walls


    My structure is 5x5 metre [16.5x16.5 ft], I have one 1500 litre fishtank
    3x growbeds and one sump and I couldn't fit anything else in.
    I can't see you putting all you've listed into your structure and still be able to
    walk around comfortably.


    Our summers can get a bit warmer and our winter occassionally get down
    to 30 F overnight but very rarely. [never during the day].My system seems to cope well enough. The trick is to plant the correct crop.

    I've included some photos of my setup.


    List of mistakes I made building my greenhouse.

    1/ Used round tubing, should have used square tubing.
    2/Made my own hoop roof. Should have bought these REALLY.
    3/Dug a huge sump, should have used a minisump system where each
    growbed has its own sump which are in turn connected to a pumpsump.
    4/Fish tank should not be in greenhouse.

    Good things I did

    1/ drainage channel at greenhouse entrance
    2/ used the aluminium clipping system for shadecloth/plastic.

    hope this helps
    Please feel free to ask any questions before you make the structure
    I wish I had.

    cheers Lou.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. kellenw

    kellenw Member

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    I've mentioned this in another one of your threads, but I really think you should look into an earth sheltered greenhouse. It is a great solution for your climate. Earth sheltering helps to bring the min and max temps more to the middle of your range. This will drastically improve winter growth as well as summer growth for you.
     
  9. livinontop

    livinontop Guest

    WOW...thanks you guys. Kellen, it scares the pie outa me, but I will do more research. We've got two HUGE boulders in my drive/parking areas that just had to stay put they're so large. One's probably easily the size of TWO VW beetles. I have one spot we could do the earth-sheltered one at, and it would sure be slick. My husbands worried about expense of supporting the dirt walls...but we need to "know" more. If someone says something more than once to me, I listen.

    Lou, thanks for all your wonderful suggestions and listing the good and mistakes you've made! I love it. AND your photos. You guys are the best! I do appreciate you. My hubby and our kids are really excited about doing this, so we want to get it as "right" as possible, as we know there's lots of room "still" for mistakes. haha
     
  10. livinontop

    livinontop Guest

  11. kellenw

    kellenw Member

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    It's a great book! I have it right next to me in fact.

    I also started selling it on my website fairly recently because so many people have asked me about it in the past.
     
  12. silkcom

    silkcom New Member

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    doesn't the thermal mass of the water help the temperature in the greenhouse to stay lower in the summer and higher in the winter? Or is it not enough?
     
  13. kellenw

    kellenw Member

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    Yes, it helps to keep things more consistent to an extent, but only if there's a lot of water. The ground around the structure has the same effect too. This is why earth sheltering works well in a lot of climates/locations.
     
  14. fishstick

    fishstick New Member

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    Country:
    Australia
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    NSW
    City:
    Seaham
     
  15. oceansgreen

    oceansgreen New Member

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    this is good advise imo, look into WALIPINI greenhouses, very effecient( the LDS church funded the development of the greenhouses recently, started about 20yrs ago and about 10yrs ago adopted it into their worldwide welfare program and by spending just 300-500 dollars they were able to build a 70x40 greenhouse that fed families YEAR ROUND, even in cold climates, with no additional heating and in some cases raised enough money through produce to pull the family out of poverty and put children through school) and with one, a banana tree has been grown at 14K feet in the Andes mountain range

    so with all of that to their name, i think these may be your solution, though you gotta have some space for em

    if in a swampy area or maybe even workable in a smaller area, build a wall of tire's tamped with dirt or ICF walls and fill around the greenhouse with earth to insulate etc
     
  16. trout

    trout New Member

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