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Almost a Greenhouse!

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Almost a Greenhouse!

Post  Hoggar on 4/16/2012, 12:02 pm

Well I got the base setup on Sunday the 8th then the rain started.
and it sat till yesterday the 15th, well 100+ nuts and bolts later and
a very long Sunday it is now almost a greenhouse.

This is the Harborfreight 10' x 12' Greenhouse item#93358.
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Re: Almost a Greenhouse!

Post  Turan on 4/16/2012, 1:43 pm

O MY! cheers That looks like my dream greenhouse.... and at a real good price.

Please keep us updated I want to know how easy/hard it is to assemble and then how it goes growing stuff in it. What are your plans for how you grow in it?
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Re: Almost a Greenhouse!

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 4/16/2012, 3:25 pm

Great looking greenhouse frame! It'as a great size for a home greenhouse. Can I ask questions: Are the vents at the top, or sides? Are you thinking of adding a heater? Do the vents have an automatic opening device for hot weather? How do you add the glass/plastic sheets?

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Re: Almost a Greenhouse!

Post  Hoggar on 4/16/2012, 3:28 pm

The instructions say three people to assemble I did as much as I could
by my self then a friend came over and helped me get as far as the
picture shows. Ill be working on it more after I get home from work to
day with some extra hands to help Its fairly easy to assemble so far.

Are the vents at the top, or sides? Are you thinking of adding a
heater? Do the vents have an automatic opening device for hot weather?
How do you add the glass/plastic sheets?

There are 4 vents on the roof I bought two Greenhouse Window Vent Openers.

The plastic panels clip in to the frame with little wire clips, I plan on caulking
them in because the reviews say the clips don't hold the panels in when it
gets windy.

As for heating I plan on building a soda can solar heater. I have solar
panels that I will run a 12volt fan with to push the heat in to the Greenhouse.
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Re: Almost a Greenhouse!

Post  Josh on 4/16/2012, 4:51 pm

Another new greenhouse person! Looks good! I helped put my mom's together but it was just a 6 x 8, she's got it packed full of little plants.

I can't wait to see your soda can solar heater, I seen something similar made out of the plastic 2 liter soda bottles.
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Re: Almost a Greenhouse!

Post  Hoggar on 4/16/2012, 5:11 pm

Hi Josh,
I can't see the plastic bottles holding up to the kind of heat they claim
this thing can put out. I intend to set it up so that it draws its air from
the Greenhouse then pumps it back in as it heats up. If it gets too hot
the vents will open and let out the excess heat.
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Re: Almost a Greenhouse!

Post  plantoid on 4/16/2012, 5:27 pm

Hoggar wrote:Hi Josh,
I can't see the plastic bottles holding up to the kind of heat they claim
this thing can put out. I intend to set it up so that it draws its air from
the Greenhouse then pumps it back in as it heats up. If it gets too hot
the vents will open and let out the excess heat.

Do that and you'll like as not introduce / develop fungal infections because the warm moist air in the glasshouse will just be recycled. The normal fungi , moulds & infections found in the air will multiply in warm moist recycled air .

Bring in clean dry warmed air by all means in at gound level if you have to , but in practice you may find you need to bring in cool fresh air at ground level and as the solar rays heat it let it out the top via vents or auto vents before it cooks everything .

My glasshouse ( not plastic glazing ) heats up in minutes once it gets day light , the heat follows the appearance of the sun in about 30 secoinds and the auto vents are set to keep the temp below 90 oF

i have a ground level auto vent that opens at 85 of on the north side of the glasshouse to thermally convect /draw in cool fresh air when the top vents auto open . if it stil gets toohot it gets a fine misting sptray on the floor to drop the temp a quickly 5 or 6 oF .

At beginning of the last week of May I'll have to use a purpose made commercial white wash that is UV tollerant to reflect unwanted heat . because of my chosen orientation I only need to put it on the sides and roof slope that face the sun ie not on the north ridge face or north wall . Once September is done it gets washed off by me.

There are some great coke / beer can solar heaters that get very hot on " youtube " & a quick google will give you links to many more.
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Re: Almost a Greenhouse!

Post  trukrebew on 4/16/2012, 9:55 pm

Wow, Plantoid, it sounds like you've got yours running on autopilot! Razz Thanks for sharing all of your hard earned info.

I really like the solar can water heater idea, too, so I'm very curious to see how it works out for you, Hoggar. Keep us posted.
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Re: Almost a Greenhouse!

Post  Hoggar on 4/17/2012, 10:30 pm

Thank you for the info Plantoid I will keep it in mind when I get
things setup. My Green house has an east west orientation.
So the side you are looking at in the picture is facing east and
is the front door of the house, the south side gets full sun all
year around.

And I am more than happy to take any advice I can get on the
proper care and feeding of my Greenhouse.
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It's a Greenhouse!

Post  Hoggar on 4/23/2012, 3:21 pm

It's a Greenhouse! 2, 12Hr days makes for a very long weekend and
a finished Greenhouse. I still need to go get the mulch to fill in the
floor but the assembly is finished.

There were comments in the reviews on Harborfreight.com about the
panels popping out when it got windy. After assembling it I can say
there is some bad engineering. The panels are held in by little clips
but there is nothing to keep the panels from bowing out in the middle
which allows them to pull out from under the clips. I will be making
aluminum bars to mount across the center of my panels to keep them
from bowing out.
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Re: Almost a Greenhouse!

Post  plantoid on 4/23/2012, 3:55 pm

I take it that it the picture was take in the evening ( long shadows ) . Is that open vent on an auto opener or still on manual .

You look like you have loads of shade in the picture.. is that likely to affect your crops .. I'm lucky from early March to late October I don't get shadow on mine till just before the sun says good night .

I have a cast concrete floor that had black concrete colouring added to it when the concrete was mixed . This helps make a heat sink to give back warmth into the night .

What are you busing for racking / shelving / glasshouse staging ?

I fell lucky and purchased off ebay ( cheaply ) five brand new commercial works canteen / restaurant dish clearing / service trollies with rubber wheels that can be locked if needed. Each trolley has two stainless steel shelves 24 inches by 36 inches & a full stainles frame ( self assembly kits ) .

They reflect light fantastically but to help my early plants along I've covered each used shelf with some cut to size soft black pond liner membrane to collect heat and put it into the stainless steel shelf under the plants in the day time . It seems to work well as I can easily get 75 oF on the shelf for most of each day if there is even the slightest bit of sun peeking through the clouds. It also radiates this head downwards to things below .

That light reflection 7 heat I speak of is good enough to bring on 40 odd second stage potted geraniums that are on the lower shelves awaiting my frost free days ( mid may for me here in the UK )
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Re: Almost a Greenhouse!

Post  Hoggar on 4/23/2012, 4:27 pm

Actually that picture was taken at a little after 7am this morning about
20 min later and it would have been in full sun. During the summer
our yard gets full sun well over 8 hours and in the winter as soon
as the sun clears the neighbors house it has full sun till around 5:pm

The open vent was just propped open I do have two auto opening
vents but one appears to not be working I plan on contacting HF
to exchange the control cylinder some time this week.

I am also thinking of putting in 2inch PVC pipe under the mulch to run
the air from the solar heater through to heat up the mulch in the
winter for a slow release heat sync in the evenings.

As for racking and shelving I haven't gotten that far but I do plan
on building this bench I found online here,> Potting Bench < there is
a downloadable PDF with all the measurements.
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Re: Almost a Greenhouse!

Post  plantoid on 4/23/2012, 4:34 pm

Thats good I was abit concerned you were going to try and grow in the shade

Wood benching ... tends to hold bugs , disease & mould over the years .



Perhaps varnish it or use a similar sealer .

Be prepared to fumigate the greenhouse with a sulphur candle once a year , when it is empty in early spring if possible & wash everything down with a garden / greenhouse disinfectant .

Was the piped air your original intention or a development since reading my earlier post??
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Re: Almost a Greenhouse!

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 4/23/2012, 5:04 pm

Congratulations, Hogger, it looks wonderful. Several years ago, we bought a Sunglo greenhouse, and it has been a bit of a disappointment. Your idea of caulking the seams is a good one. I've had insects and even slugs make their way into the spaces in the panels. Not a pretty sight. Vents on the top of the greenhouse are much better than Sunglo's, which are on the side. Have you looked at a solar opener/closer for your vents? They sound like a good idea to me.

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Re: Almost a Greenhouse!

Post  Hoggar on 4/23/2012, 6:23 pm

Thanks Nonna. I have two vents that have the automatic openers
and will probably invest in two more when Ive got every thing setup.

Plantoid I had just planned to fill with Mulch but as I was thinking
about my Solar heater I thought if I run it through the floor it would
heat up the mulch on its way through. and then the heat would linger
into the night.

My neighbors across the street have a small 6" X 8' greenhouse
and they dug a huge pit and lined it with foam board then filled it
in with stones with a vented tube at the bottom they pump hot air
from the top of there greenhouse down under the stones to heat
them up then it heats the greenhouse at night.

Here is the Video they posted.
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Re: Almost a Greenhouse!

Post  Hoggar on 4/30/2012, 2:12 pm

Got the floor Leveled this weekend I ended up using sifted topsoil $65 for one and a half tons or 1.5 cubic yards which filled the 10' x 12' greenhouse to 4" deep. I used a 8lb sledge hammer and a 2' x 3' chunk of ply wood to pack the soil and I will be laying in pavers to cover that.

I also had the opportunity to do some temperature checking and when it was 52° out side it was 98° in the greenhouse or hotter depending where you moved the thermometer, I definitely need some fans to mix the air around.
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Re: Almost a Greenhouse!

Post  Turan on 3/24/2013, 6:11 pm

Hoggar, how did you anchor your greenhouse foundation?
I see you used a wood foundation, is that anchored in any way to the ground?

It looks like I am building a greenhouse this spring. First concern is how to keep it from flying away.

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Re: Almost a Greenhouse!

Post  plantoid on 3/24/2013, 9:39 pm

Just incase you need different input.

Mine is a 8 x 12 glass glazed glasshouse with aluminium framework sitting onto a folded galv base frame and bolted on to a cast concrete floor slab that has black mortar dye added to themuix to make a dark heat sink of the whole floor.

At each corner of the base frame there was an option & preformed holes in the corners to slip an 18 inch long galv angle iron down into a 2 foot long x 6 inch internal dia tube of concrete set in a pre dug hole in the soil and bolt it in place , using lumps of timber to get it the base level and true before it set then after three days of settting the hole was back filled and lightly tamped down then the frame of the glasshouse was to be built and bolted onto the anchored galv base.


I chose a different method ...

I cast the floor in five inches of concrete into a fullly leveled and squared timber form work frame then smoothed it off .

whilst the concrete was setting ( 5 days ? ) I cut & drilled some 1/2 thick aluminium bars 2 " long @ 3/4 " from one end with 12 mm holes .( I had no flat bar steel to hand )
I set the galve base to square and marked the interm]nal line gently with a big thick carpenters pencil so I could keep it square at all times and rechecked it was corrrect before drilling the slab .
With a hammer drill on slow speed I drilled 10 mm holes 3 " deep in to the slab concrete slab ...three on each side as close to the galv base as I could get . The outer ones being a foot from each corner and one midway . Into these 10 mm holes I inserted a glue in anchor stud capsule , broke the glass glue phial in the bottom of the hole with a stud anchor & hammer and twizzzled it in the hole to distribute and mix the concrete glue , left it to set for the recommended time ( 5 hrs at that temp or so ) and then slipped the aluminium bar over the stud and put a washer & nut on the stud . Then tighterned everything down to finger tight and left it over night ready for the frame build & glazing the nest day .
Once fully errected and bolted to the base it was glazed up and door etc fitted I gently nipped the nuts a further 3/4 turn tight , so in effect I ended up with 12 glued in stud anchors 10 mm in size holding down the whole shebang.

These glue in stud anchors are not cheap, but they do have the massive advantage of being bonded into a stress free joint which is far better than using screws and plastic expansion plugs as it is a much stronger fix by far & will not split the " green concrete " base . Plus being high grade high tensile stainless steel the stud anchors , nuts & washers won't rust too much , so should I move from here it will be easy to undo the nuts and take it all away .
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Re: Almost a Greenhouse!

Post  Turan on 3/25/2013, 11:41 am

Thanks Plantoid. I can use all the different inputs available.

We have been discussing everything from laying a perimeter foundation with cement blocks filled with cement and J bolts to attach too....... to wood posts set in the corners and screwed to redwood base that would have the greenhouse lag screwed on to it. My stipulation is that I got to be able to dig in the dirt and I need to protect the perimeter from sneaky quake grass as best I can. DH's stipulation is that it not blow away nor rot out so that he has to redo it.

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Re: Almost a Greenhouse!

Post  plantoid on 3/25/2013, 8:12 pm

Turan , the soil, beds in the glass house are a thing of the past over here and in lots of places. For each year you'll need to dig the soil out as it will be housing " hot housed " disease forms that will usually build up to kill or cripple crops in the second or third year.

One way I've seen of over coming it a bit is to make a double walled U shape round the sides and back wall with a concrete base about two feet deep and 2 feet wide then use that as the beds . Heck you could easily use MM in it and then cycle that to the composting system at the end of each year & hot compost it.
It will also deter rodents and other pests burrowing in the the bed under a shallow foundation base/wall .

My little greenhouse book also suggests use wooden boxes , plastic tubs or bins on the floor and growing your crops in that .
If you used the double wall idea you could take the greenhouse to an interesting seven feet high at the side walls thus giving you plenty of head room
My glasshouse has a level access from the garden pathways at almost four feet wide , it then slopes down into it so that I can take the wheel barrow in and out easily .
It's much better than having to cock your leg over a low wall or sill to try and leave the glasshouse when you have a bucket of ripe toms and aubergenes in one hand I can tel you
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Re: Almost a Greenhouse!

Post  Turan on 3/26/2013, 12:50 pm

Thanks Plantoid.
Your U bed idea is pretty much what I have in mind.
Here we do a lot of growing under greenhouses, giant cold frames really. You can see this described and explained and practiced really well by Elliot Coleman over in Maine. My old greenhouse (6x8, hoop house made from cattle panels and greenhouse film) has done very well this way for the last 4 growing seasons. I use a rotation of only 2 years for the tomatoes, but add lots of compost each year. I do let the house rest in the winter though and that probably helps.

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