Greenhouse Floor?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Gayle in KY, Jul 22, 2005.

  1. Gayle in KY

    Gayle in KY Gadabout

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    Within the next few months, I will be building a free-standing greenhouse. I have my plans drawn out, but don't know what to do with the floor. Should I leave it dirt, make it concrete, wood, or what?
     
  2. mulliganbush

    mulliganbush Well-Known Member

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    Not wood. Too much moisture, rots even if protected, too hard to get rid of infestations of things, chemicals will soak in.

    I have concrete--good mainly because it can be hosed down and it helps keep critters out, it gives you a solid base for tables, but it's rough on back and legs if you're planning to do a lot of standing and walking on it and there is that money thing--in one greenhouse, but it was already built when I got it. I have dirt, with graveled walkways and carpet placed face down. If I were building another, I'd keep dirt. Needs good drainage, you have to be aware of chemicals, but I'd choose dirt. But then I like the dirt.

    Ray
     

  3. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    I have two small greenhouse. Not commercial by any means. I put in wood 2 X flooring. It isn't in contact with ground, though and has air spaces between planks. It hasn't rotted anyplace in over 10 years so far. It's pressure treated wood, and I made slat tables of white cedar that have never shown signs of rot. Wood is expensive though for a large greenhouse.

    The commercial nursery up the road have 4 of the large greenhouses. The base is leveled and is simply pit run gravel. The clay base you would want to push aside down to about 2 ft. before filling with the gravel for drainage. It might also be a good idea to have tile drainage under that, so there isn't any puddling.
     
  4. mulliganbush

    mulliganbush Well-Known Member

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    Do you have to deal with termites, Moonwolf? They're a real problem here and spraying the insecticide to control makes for issues with food crops. It never occurred to me to wonder how far north the little scutters live.

    The wood we used wasn't pressure treated and it was in contact with the ground. It was also subjected to quite a bit of water. It wasn't a big deal for us that it damaged; it had been free and we got the good out of it.

    I forgot to say, I like working in the greenhouses with the dirt floors because I like the way they smell.

    It's probably a good thing most people don't know that.

    Ray
     
  5. Gayle in KY

    Gayle in KY Gadabout

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    I had to laugh at that, Ray, even while agreeing with you! Nothing wrong with being aware of your senses! Makes things just that much more enjoyable.

    I should have mentioned, this won't be a huge, commercial greenhouse. It's just for our own use- starting plants for the garden, propagating some of our existing plants, and growing a few things to eat in the winter.

    I'm glad you mentioned termites. They ARE a concern around here and, since I garden organically, I wouldn't want the chemicals around my food, either.
     
  6. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've been in some large commercial houses around here this spring. 3 of them used a black plastic weed stop sheeting on the floor. It lets water through, but plants won't come through it. They must have put sand under it because the water from the sprinklers soaked right through it, and the floor was dry to walk on. We have used the rolls of the stuff Wallyworld sells, but it is nowhere nearly as tough as what the greenhouses used. Their sheets were 5 or 6 feet wide.
     
  7. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Ray, no. Termites aren't a problem here. If they were, I might consider pouring a slab of concrete instead. That also would add thermal mass to hold in heat over the night, but would be good for watering on hot day as it would evaporate up to cool. Concrete might actually be cheaper than deck wood (pressure treated) for a small greenhouse.
     
  8. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

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    Ours is dirt floor as termites are a real problem. Wood is also expensive, as is concrete. No problem with dirt. You will absolutely love your greenhouse. Ours is 12 x 12 ft.
     
  9. lacyj

    lacyj Well-Known Member

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    We used drainage rock, and then the black weed blocker material and then a thin layer of pea gravel, on top of that. It works real well.
     
  10. ponyexpress

    ponyexpress Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to freecycle, I have a brick floor. I put ground covering underneath the bricks, and so far its working. Only drawback is that in the summer the bricks hold SO much heat, its about 120 degrees in there. The tomatoes love it, but I have to take breaks when I'm watering!