greenhouse

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by BlessedMom, Oct 9, 2004.

  1. BlessedMom

    BlessedMom Well-Known Member

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    We have a greenhouse that I would like to use this year. We moved this past spring and now want to get going on finally doing something! We had a small garden that did not do too well this year. By the time we got moved and settled we planted too late.

    The nursery up the road said that if we grew herbs and veg. plants that they would buy them from me. Soo...with that said..besides tomatoes what should I plant and when should I plant them in the greenhouse? I would love any tips that you might have.

    Thanks!

    BlessedMom
     
  2. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    This is actually something I'm very interested in, as well. I have a small greenhouse which I have never utilized to the best of its abilities -- ? -- but I would like to this year.

    Because I haven't yet figured out how to build shelves in it ( ::blushing:: ), one thing I was considering was laying straw, etc., on the floor and a pathway, then trying some winter crops in it.

    I'd love to know if anyone thinks this would actually work. :)
     

  3. PonderosaQ

    PonderosaQ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A common thread but with some shared questions..lets see if I can help at all.

    Do either of you plan on using any heat? Do either of you have any greenhouse growing experience? Original poster (sorry forgot your name) what kind of price are you being offered for these plants? Just cos someone will buy them doesn't mean you can produce them at a profit...or may mean you need to choose varieties whose seeds are cheaper and that need less heat. Packs, soil, fertilizers, light, fans etc etc all cost money as well as the seeds. Not to mention your time. I'm sure we can help you figure out a planting schedule etc but first a business plan would be in order. I'll try and look up some info on how you figure this all out. I know I have it here.

    Countrygirrrrrrrl ( gave you a few extra r's I know you like them). Any heat in this greenhouse. Can you incorporate manure into your beds to create some warmth...or run soil heating cables? You can grow in a cold frame within a greenhouse so to speak in order to keep ground beds warmer. Mother Earth News Archives has a great article on this subject that might be of interest to you both . If they can do that profitably in VT those in warmer climes should be able to do the same.

    I worked in a GH. I also have owned one for years and the only way I can do so is to make enough money selling plants to be able to pay for heat in the winter so I can PLAY! I'm not a professinal of any kind but I'll help you both in any way I can.

    PQ
     
  4. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I am envious, but someday I will have one as well. Your northern location will limit what you can plant and when, unless you can supplement light and heat. Timing is everything. Most of the seedlings here in Denver come from the southern states, but there are a lot of greenhouses that also start them. I believe the big producers here add lots of heat. Perhaps the nursery will give you some information on timing and selection. As for winter growth, there are some things that do well and you can get results through the winter. Row covers inside the greenhouse will help. I think the straw idea is also a good one. I bought a book called the "four season harvest" by Elliot someone (lent out the book and forgot the last name) He grows edibles year round in Maine. Good luck.
     
  5. BlessedMom

    BlessedMom Well-Known Member

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    We do have to use heat. We have a small ceramic heater with a thermastat that we use. We did this a few years ago before we moved. (We moved the greenhouse with us since it's portable.) Our challenges have been:

    1. Water - keeping the plants wet enough.
    2. Too Hot - as spring gets closer it starts to warm up and we have a vent that is thermatically controlled - but it still gets too hot. So we put a box fan in there which causes the plants to dry out quicker.

    I think that both of these problems may be solved with a misting system that might be on a timer?? *rolling eyes* The thought scares me - electrical and water!

    I have grown for years outside..my dh has a green thumb and seems to be able to grow anything.

    I should state that plants in our area are scarce. Most people either start their own or have neighbors do it for them or drive about an hour to get the plants. We had several people come over after we moved in that had seen the greenhouse, and begged us to sell to them. So we'll see.

    We want to grow our own plants and it would be nice to sell the extras. If we were growing for our own use would it be any more costly to grow some extra to sell?? I figure if I am already using the heat and water there might not be much of a increase?

    At some point I would love to be able to grow plants in it year round for our own use. Nice fresh tomatoes in January would be great!!

    Thanks,
    BlessedMom
     
  6. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    I won't have heat, but: 1. I'm not planning a commercial operation (although I don't mind selling some extras :D ); 2. our winters are relatively mild --- we do get freezes and cold weather, but I've been wintering over plants in the greenhouse without heat, and they've done just fine.

    I love the suggestion of a coldframe. I think maybe what I should do is build a coldframe on one side and shelves on the other. And yes, there's plenty of manure --- horses pasture here and do a lot of pooping around. :p
     
  7. PonderosaQ

    PonderosaQ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    BlessedMom,

    You could grow your own plants in beds and bury the drip type hose under the ground, mulch the top and that would help with watering. You could use a mechanical timer to turn the water on and off. You could place pots on top of the fabric type stuff they sell that allows the water to wick up into the pots. You could place your pots on a bed of pebbles in a tray and then fill the bottom of the tray with water (not up to the pots) that would increase your humidity. None of these things mix electricity and water. You could also put down a cement or paver walk way which you could hose down several times a day to help.

    I don't know how big your GH is but maybe some solar operated vents would help without adding to your electric bill.

    For years I used large household type humidifiers. I just bought a fan that sprays out a mist. Haven't tried it yet.

    If you are heating and growing for yourself anyway no it shouldn't cost you that much to grow more. Just in case you get overwhelmed with buyers and demand though do try and price at a normal market level or you may find you suddenly need lots more pots and other supplies and can't replicate your pricing next season. Especially if you start out with pots etc that are "just laying around".

    Have fun!

    PQ
     
  8. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    CQ, why don't you build some raised beds in your greenhouse?
     
  9. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Cyngbaeld, that is kind of what I'm considering, with one difference --- I'll build the raised beds in the gh so they can easily be converted to cold frames.

    Of course, I'm plotting on something similar for all the raised beds --- making structures which can easily enclose them and protect them, should we end up having an especially bad winter or should next spring and summer be as cool as it was this year. The raised beds outside of the gh, however, will be used strictly as raised beds.

    I think I can possibly start on this next weekend. :) This is exciting! I'm so glad BlessedMom started this thread. :D
     
  10. BlessedMom

    BlessedMom Well-Known Member

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    Our greenhouse is currently 8'X12'. Our vent is solar powered. but it is small and just not enough. I do have a vent on the door that I can open and shut.
    I guess our other thing is that we don't have a lot of money..so it's gotta be an el cheapo kinda thing.

    Here is a picture of our greenhouse..I hope this works. If not just go to my website and look under "pictures"
    [​IMG]

    I have one side of shelves and a sink already..it's just not plumbed yet.

    Raised beds are probably not an option. We have lava rock in the bottom that is spread over a pondliner to keep out weeds and help with drainage. We actually used the greenhouse to help with processing the meat chickens we raised this year.

    So It looks like containers are going to be my solution.

    Thanks,
    BlessedMom
     
  11. BlessedMom

    BlessedMom Well-Known Member

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    Obviously I don't know how to post a picture...so just follow the link!

    Thanks,
    BlessedMom
     
  12. PonderosaQ

    PonderosaQ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You've got a nice house there to work with BlessedMom.

    I wonder if hanging your box fan would help with the drying out problem. I've always hung mine. That is also good cos they can be adjusted to blow the warm air down in winter.

    You can put a heat tape in your containers and cover that with plastic or row cover. The bigger the body of soil the more it holds onto the heat.

    You could insulate the north wall and cover it foil to reflect the light back into the GH. Some people even do parts of the east and west walls to save on heat and then supplement with lights. They find that cheaper than extra heat. Removing the insulation as the spring warms up. Of course those statements only hold true if your GH is oreinted west to east so the long side gets the most sun available. YOu can insulate any of the GH with plastic bubble wrap.Know anyone who works where they receive things wrapped in that stuff?


    Now you folks are getting me thinking. I have moved since last winter and my new greenhouse won't up and running for at least another week.
    Even then it won't be "finished" with built in venting, heat, water, any insulation, bubble wrap etc etc. Still time to sneak some ideas in there.

    It's so nice to see things growing in the winter. To see the plants responding to the increasing daylight when we are thinking we are stuck in the middle of winter. Have fun,

    PQ
     
  13. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    I agree --- pretty little greenhouse! :)
     
  14. BlessedMom

    BlessedMom Well-Known Member

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    I'm thinking it will help with my winter depression if I can grow some stuff in the greenhouse. LOL!

    My greenhouse is actual long sides towards north to south. The south is to the left and north to the right. The back is the west and the door faces the east.
    It's actually the only way we could situate it due to some drainage and some leveling problems. Also access was key!! LOL!

    BlessedMom
     
  15. Al. Countryboy

    Al. Countryboy Well-Known Member

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    Our greenhouse is attached to the back of our house which is facing the south. We have very little heat in there. We alot of times up to about Jan. open windows that open into the greenhouse and let the warn air flow into the house. Here in the south, it can be in the forties out side on a sunny day and be a hundred degree in the greenhouse. The sun heats up all the concrete floors and wall that is part of the house which gives off heat during the night. I have never seen the temp. go under fifty degrees on our coldest nights.
     
  16. BlessedMom

    BlessedMom Well-Known Member

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    I think it will be a bit different for us up here in the north. I live near St. Helens in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. It gets quite cold up here in the mountains!!

    :)

    BlessedMom