New Greenhouse

Discuss greenhouse related topics and outside weather protection methods.

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wxman
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New Greenhouse

Post by wxman » Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:50 pm

I'm in the process of building a new greenhouse that's 8'x10'. I went with 8' because that is the maximum width I have to work with and I went with 10' because 12' wide x 100' long poly is what I have to work with... that gives me a little on each side to seam over.
I've put down a 2x6 base and a 3/4" PVC frame. I'm framing the end walls in with lumber and running a 4x6 beam down the ridge which will keep the PVC from collapsing. End walls will be poly or plywood -- haven't decided yet. Poly will be stretched over the "A" frame and fastened to the 2x6 base. Floor is going to be pea gravel.

Here is a picture of my progress thus far:

Image

Now for the hard part ... I want to heat with a wood stove because I have unlimited access to wood. I'm not paying $200-$400 a month for propane to heat this thing. I'm interested in using a Vogelzang cast iron wood stove. The problem is -- they are 32" long by 21" wide. Add in the clearances and I think most of my greenhouse would be unusable either due to the wood stove being in the way or the air would be too hot near the wood stove for plants.

Is there anyway I can install this outside the greenhouse and use the heat inside? Something simple? Someone has had to have this idea before.

I could add another "room" on in front of the greenhouse to put this thing in, but I'm trying to keep costs down as much as possible. More room = more lumber = more pea gravel, etc.

I thought of putting it outside and running the flue pipe through the greenhouse as sort of a radiant heater -- but I think that will be wasting a lot of heat?

Thanks for the suggestions.
Last edited by wxman on Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:05 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Post by canadianplant » Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:40 pm

Can ou get the stove to do double duty? Mayve build a smoking shed behind the greenhouse to get multi usage out of it? At elast the extra money is worth it.

You could jsut get a single panel solar kit. They sell em here for 200 bucks, but not 100% on the power it produces
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Post by lucky1 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:49 am

Tim,
Good work on the GH construction.

We have an airtight wood stove in the basement, so I know a bit.

I think if you install woodstove outside the GH, you're wasting a lot of the radiant heat, but you could run waterlines from the stove to the GH, i.e. hot water heat which would help with humidity. Woodstoves are such dry heat otherwise.
You'd still have to use flashing around the wood/metal entry point.

Could you install it indoors WITH A THERMOSTAT to regulate how hot it gets?
A ridge vent would be handy too.

Where's GH-builder Bill when we need him?

Barb
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Post by wxman » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:07 am

New pics ... took this quick this morning with my phone. I enlarged the footprint of the greenhouse to 8x12 from 8x10. I'm building a concrete room behind the greenhouse where I will install a Vogelzang barrel wood stove. I have endless free wood from work and plan on using that to keep the greenhouse no lower than 60F all winter. Here is the progress so far.... the concrete room has another 5 courses to go.

Image

Image
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Post by canadianplant » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:09 am

You going to use a pipe in the floor to keep it warm, or use the sand to hold the radiant heat?
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Post by lucky1 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:00 pm

Hey good idea wxman.

It's still not a big enough GH for your 700 seedlings :lol: :lol:

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Post by Cameron_z6a_N.S. » Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:39 pm

Great work so far, wxman! Are you planning on having it finished before this winter?
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Post by KrisK » Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:07 pm

Looks good I bet that stove will run you out! I'm also building one, but mines more of a hoophouse like your other one. I'm gonna use water barrels this winter and see how low it goes. Some of the big greenhouses here don't heat all winter, and have potted cold hardy palms/ tropicals survive. I know that sounds crazy, but it's true, I've seen it. We"ll see how mine does sans heat.

Are you gonna use double poly and a blower to inflate or single layer?

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Post by TerdalFarm » Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:27 am

Kris, be sure to let us know how yours is coming along.

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Post by wxman » Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:52 pm

I'm working my way up building the block wall. I'll be glad when its over -- I hate masonry. I plan on using a fan to direct the heat through the rest of the greenhouse. Floor will just be gravel with no extra insulation. I'm thinking about bumping it out another 6 feet or so yet for a total size of 18x8, but I don't know if the wood stove would be able to keep up with a greenhouse that big. Stumped at what to do ...
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Post by andym » Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:03 pm

Have you thought of insulating your Greenhouse with bubblewrap. I use it on my small greenhouse and as it gets very little winter sun and is essential in keeping artificial heat in. It also cuts down on condensation as well
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Post by wxman » Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:10 pm

Enlarged the greenhouse another 8 feet. It's now 18x8. Up to 7 courses of block on the wood stove room. 2 more to go. Progress is being made, albeit slowly.

Image

Image
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Post by wxman » Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:24 pm

Another update. Framing is done. Metal roof over the wood stove room is done. Wood stove is made and installed. All the gravel is laid. Next up is siding, plastic installation and the front door! :) :)

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
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Post by Cameron_z6a_N.S. » Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:53 pm

Great work so far!
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Post by hardyjim » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:44 am

Looks really nice Tim.

you watching the weather up there(over there),
it looks like a 30F in the forecast-a little early for that ********
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Post by wxman » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:23 am

hardyjim wrote:Looks really nice Tim.

you watching the weather up there(over there),
it looks like a 30F in the forecast-a little early for that ********
Thanks.

I should be safe here. I'm 3 miles from Lake Michigan which is still 70 degrees. My average frost date is October 20th.
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Post by hardyjim » Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:16 am

wxman wrote:
hardyjim wrote:Looks really nice Tim.

you watching the weather up there(over there),
it looks like a 30F in the forecast-a little early for that ********
Thanks.

I should be safe here. I'm 3 miles from Lake Michigan which is still 70 degrees. My average frost date is October 20th.


O.K. but that forecast was for where you live and as I am sure you know.....
the lake ain't going to help if the wind is out of the west....good luck Tim.
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Post by KrisK » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:03 pm

Top notch work!

Looks very professional, better than some commercial kits even. Can't wait to see it thru!

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Post by wxman » Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:58 pm

Anyone who has been following my greenhouse progress -- it's done! Started it in early August and just finished it last week. Here are some pics.

The front.

Image

Right side -- wood stove pipe in back.

Image

The left side.

Image

Opening the door and looking inside.

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Lighting. I run this for several hours after sundown and should help keep plants moving.

Image

Plant benches - need plants! :)

Image

Windmill palm seedlings on a bench.

Image

More windmill palm seedlings. Barrels have water in them.

Image

Some plants.

Image

Wood stove and fan.

Image

Hoping to fill it all up soon!
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Post by lucky1 » Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:50 pm

Wow, Tim, is that EVER impressive! :compress:
Question about last pic...does the bottom pipe on stove feed it fresh air?

What a great job you did in such a short time (it would've taken "us" a year to do that :lol: )
Must've been fun moving all the plants inside...nice job on the benches too.

Do you have a remote thermometer in there?
To know from the house in winter what the GH temp is?

And your Trachy seedlings are beautifully grown...great color,nice and healthy.

Barb
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Post by seedscanada » Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:57 pm

That is so impressive.
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Post by DesertZone » Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:52 pm

Job well done! 8)
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Post by TimMAz6 » Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:00 pm

looks great Tim........how hot is the temp inside vs outside?
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Post by wxman » Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:19 pm

Thanks guys.

Tim,

Today it was 55F outside for a high and my greenhouse hit 82F with a dewpoint of 70F. At night it has been staying almost 10F warmer in there than outside. Soon I will fire the wood stove up for the winter and it won't fall below 50F at night.

I've been busy.

Picked this load of wood up.

Image

And split it into this.

Image

Getting the other half the guy has for me this week.
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Post by lucky1 » Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:29 pm

Yup, you have been busy, Tim.
But you forgot the two big pieces at each end. :bootyshake:

Any sawmills near you? planer trim ends are often free.
And no splitting needed.

When do the palm huts go up?
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Post by wxman » Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:06 pm

Barb,

Forgot to answer your question. Yes, the bottom pipe is the air intake. I have a valve on it that I can control how fast the wood burns and thus how much heat is put out...kind of like a manual stone age thermostat of some sort. LOL. I also have a remote thermostat in there that uploads the temperature and humidity of the greenhouse every 5 minutes to a website where I can then view from the house or even from my phone when I'm out and about.

Thanks for the comment about the trachy seedlings. I will be starting a new batch in about a month. Wondering how long it takes from germination to first divided leaf. Next spring maybe?
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Post by Okanagan desert-palms » Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:27 pm

All pro. Looks great.


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lucky1
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Post by lucky1 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:15 am

can control how fast the wood burns
Excellent idea Tim, otherwise you'd be cooking the plants in the GH.
Wondering how long it takes from germination to first divided leaf
No hard and fast rule.
I started a few Waggies and Princeps last winter, 1 Waggie is dividing its third leaf.
Didn't expect it that soon.

Barb
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Post by kcpalms » Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:38 pm

That's freaking awesome! First time I've seen this post. Nice work man.

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Post by canadianplant » Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:07 am

Wow it turned out gorgeous!

Im wondering if you ever thought about using a rocket stove opposed to the general wood burning one? Apparently you use way less wood, it burns cleaner and it also creates more efficiant heat (I know sounds too good to be true!).
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Post by oppalm » Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:26 am

thats impressive. somebody has some serious constructions skills. nice work Tim. keep us updated.
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and hot in summer (usually)
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Greenhouse

Post by hasty22 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:45 pm

Hey Tim the greenhouse looks great. I am also thinking about doing a greenhouse next year. The other thing I am interested in is the windmill palm seedlings. They look great! would you mind letting me know what you do to germinate the seedlings. I am new at this so any help would be appreciated! thanks
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Post by wxman » Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:31 pm

Hey all sorry for the late reply. I thought about a rocket stove, but the barrel stove just seemed to fit better with my greenhouse.

As for germinating windmill palm seeds, I place them in a tupperware bin, place a small amount of soil on top and just keep them moist at room temperature.
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Post by wxman » Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:05 pm

Phase 2 of the greenhouse is now complete. I installed shelves 7' off the ground between the poles. This allows me to germinate seeds and put small plants up there and still be able to easily walk underneath. Got to make use off ALL space, right?

Also installed a motorized intake shutter and exhaust fan. Kicks on when the greenhouse hits 85F and pulls 100% outside air in. Tested it out today -- cooled the greenhouse from 77F to 70F in 6 minutes. Under normal operation it would cool from 85F to 83F and then shutoff. This will mostly be needed from March-May when the sun gets strong. I don't want it getting up to 100F in there.

Pics to come shortly.
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Post by wxman » Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:27 pm

Here's the additions. Looking into the greenhouse. You can see the shelves.

Image

4500 windmill palm seeds up on the shelf.

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Exhaust fan.

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Intake on right side. I built a sheet metal fitting so the air blows in toward the center of the greenhouse to mix with the fan. Otherwise it would blow directly on my plant table.

Image

Closeup.

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Last year's windmill crop.

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Musa basjoo.

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Meyer lemon still blooming.

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Banana pups that I separated in fall. Not doing much, hoping they pull through. Note to self -- never separate pups in fall!! Daylight sucks for new growth!

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Closeup.

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Fresh strawberries still? Oh yeah!

Image
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Post by canadianplant » Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:35 pm

Wow dude... what kind of temps you see in there? Im assuming you got warm the other day, and then it went cold as hell? Did the temps stay stable in the greenhouse?
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Post by wxman » Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:47 pm

canadianplant wrote:Wow dude... what kind of temps you see in there? Im assuming you got warm the other day, and then it went cold as hell? Did the temps stay stable in the greenhouse?
The temps range from 50 to about 85. I have electric heaters set at 50F to keep that as a minimum. My wood stove or the sunlight does the rest of the heating. I have another thermostat set at 85F to make sure it doesn't get warmer than that. When it does, the exhaust fan kicks on and the cooler air rushes in through the intake!
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Post by lucky1 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:17 pm

I'm bloody well impressed!
Mechanical AND construction know-how.
Now there's a valuable combination.

Bet you can't sing... :lol: :lol:

All joking aside, congratulations on a well-executed project, Tim.

Barb
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If you drink, don't drive. Don't even putt.

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TimMAz6
Palm Grove
Posts: 2789
Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2010 2:15 am
Location: Massachusetts USDA 6b

Post by TimMAz6 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:29 pm

nice strawberries!
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sidpook
Clumping Palm
Posts: 1545
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:35 pm
Location: Zone 7b: Southern New Jersey (Philly region)

Post by sidpook » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:48 am

Great greenhouse! I wouldn't know where to begin. Did you buy some if it as a kit or just all from scratch?
Mike Trautner

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