Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Building A Greenhouse Part #1

So once you've chosen to build a greenhouse you think.. Well ok... Now what?  

That's what I'm here to help you with.  

First things first... You need to assess your property, treelines, sun hours of your locations, and your townships permitting process for location.  I built mine with no sun obstruction, and as close to my property line as possible, as to minimize the aesthetics. 

Once you've determined "location"  You have a few other choices to make.  Let's start with size. Let me be the first to tell you, write a number down on a piece of paper sizewise on what you think you need.  Good, look at it.  Now THROW THAT PIECE OF PAPER AWAY.  Double what you wrote down. 

You will be amazed at how fast all that space will get filled up. 

For my greenhouse I started with a 13 x 20 Greenhouse plan, But I bought and planned for expansion (more on that later) 

Number 2. Utilities... This is often the hardest part of choosing to build a greenhouse. When choosing to build a greenhouse, You need a minimum of a power source, I couldn't imagine this without power.  So this is where things can get difficult, and/or expensive.  I would say a 120v 20 amp line out to the Greenhouse would be enough, but it won't give you much room for anything but bare essentials.  ( I ran a 20 amp 240 volt line out to my greenhouse ) 

Next... Water...  Ok this even makes it harder.. But unless you feel like lugging hoses out to the greenhouse in winter, this is a very crucial part. And again.. Could be costly. I highly suggest you assess this need, It could be done without but a year round greenhouse will need water year round. 

Personally I did all the work myself, and this was the cheapest method, Granted, I am extremely handy with construction but I am by no means a contractor... everything I do here can be done DIY. I will break down this process further along. 

Number 3. 4 seasons? Or just season extender?  Here's the big choice you need to make...  Do you want to grow year round or just get a jump on spring and extend fall out till december ( In zone 6b ).  Personally I choose year round, and as such... I need way more equipment then if I choose to use it as a season extender.  

Items needed for four season Greenhouse

1. Good Shadecloth
2.Good Ventilation
3. Well Insulated Greenhouse walls
4. Heater (Non electric) 
5. Cooling (swamp cooler, mist system)
6. Temperature warning system, Aka freeze warning
7. Redundant Systems (Specifically heat) 

Thats A-lot right?  Yeah, It sure is.. That entry level priced greenhouse is no longer a cheap thing anymore.

I will go into more indepth information on all of this later. 

Number 4...  What style greenhouse do you buy?  Well this is a tough one, and cost being the biggest consideration, among other items.   Personally, expandability is quite possibly the biggest factor for me. Be aware that cheap "hobby" grade greenhouses will not stand the test of time and will slowly cost you more over time. This is the part where you dont cheap out. 

You can go with a a glass greenhouse, polycarbonate single wall, double, triple and even 5 wall panels, you can go with a hoop style with 2 plastic covers and an air inflator between them. Straight style sides with round top and roll up sides... The choices are almost unlimited here. 

My choice?  Aluminum Framed, 10mm triple wall polycarbonate paneled, high quality expandable system. I will showcase my choice later on.

What else??

Well there are some other choices you need to make, such as the floor base concrete or gravel? 

Shelving inside? 

Pest management?

Rust Management?

Dry storage (everything gets wet in a Greenhouse) 

So now what?  Well I will start explaining my choices, and start showing you the construction of my greenhouse In the next part!  

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