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Sherry's Greenhouse Q & A's

GREENHOUSE STRUCTURE & ENVIRONMENT

Also see Sherry's own greenhouse specifications
Choosing a site for your greenhouse
No greenhouse. Lighting suggestions?
Greenhouse floor - What Sherry prefers
Everything's gone wrong in the greenhouse!
Subarctic greenhouse in Finland
A little bit on heating your greenhouse
Greenhouse plans
Composting in a greenhouse
New Greenhouse - supplies
Lighting Plants in Winter
Condensation problem
Greenhouse glazing - What type? Possible sources
Greenhouse equipment
Cooling your greenhouse
Air circulation tip


CHOOSING A SITE FOR YOUR GREENHOUSE

Hi, my wife and I have all the materials to build a greenhouse and would like to know where it should be situated in order to get the best sun this early spring. any tips? Thanks.

One of the most important first steps in building a greenhouse is choosing the proper site. You are wise to be considering this now.

For a free standing greenhouse the ideal site is level, at least 30 feet from trees or buildings, has a primarily southern exposure, and is in a position to receive at least 6 hours of sunlight every day. Southeastern, southwestern, eastern and western exposures may be acceptable (preference in the order given) but of course are never as good as a full direct southern exposure. For an attached greenhouse, the ideal site is on the south side of your house or other structure and at least 30 feet away from trees or other buildings. (NOTE: If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, you should read "south" as "north", and you should read "north" as "south" in these descriptions.)

The sun travels from east to west in the southern sky in a gradually higher arc in late winter to summer (reaching its highest point about 21 June), and it travels in a gradually lower arc in summer and early winter (reaching its lowest point about 20 December). Any obstructions to the south of your greenhouse will have a longer shadow in winter than in summer. It's best if your greenhouse is not touched by shadows at all, but sometimes this is unavoidable. Just try to have the potential for at least 6 hours of sunlight each day during the months that you will be using your greenhouse. If you don't plan to use your greenhouse in November, December and January, then it doesn't matter if the greenhouse is shaded during that time.

Of course, the simplest way is to personally observe the pattern of sun and shadows at the time of year you are concerned about.

Another possibility is to look at the plants in the area where you are considering placing the greenhouse. If sunflowers grow well there, it should be a good spot for a greenhouse. If ferns are thriving, it isn't. What is growing there? Does that type of plant do well only in sun, or does it accept partly shady or shady conditions?

Another option is to use the sun charts that are nearly always included as a part of any "solar" greenhouse book. They help you calculate the sun's path throughout the year in relation to your greenhouse according to the distance your greenhouse is from the equator.

If you have a small lot (as I do), there aren't a lot of options as to where to place the greenhouse. Just do the best you can, and adjust the type of plant you grow and when you grow it. Of course, you can always add artificial lighting, but that can never take the place of proper sun exposure.

My own free standing greenhouse is fairly close to our house on the north side. (I live in the Northern Hemisphere.) To be sure it would receive sunlight in winter, it was sited on a ledge cut into the hill behind our house. (We have a steep back yard.) To the southwest, it is shaded by a very large Deodara cedar tree which is the neighbor's, so I cannot eliminate it (nor do I really want to, as it's a beautiful tree). That tree shades the greenhouse from about 3:30 to 4:30 pm in midsummer; then sun again touches the greenhouse from 4:30 to about 5:30 pm. In the morning, the greenhouse does not usually get any sun until about 9:30 am due to the trees in the neighbor's yard to the east. I am just managing to get about 7 hours of sun in my greenhouse during midsummer.

How you place the structure itself will also determine how much sunlight penetrates it. A rectangular free standing greenhouse placed with its length running east to west will have a greater amount of glazing facing the sun. Some plants may lean a bit, as their source of light is from one side only, but I have not noticed any particular problem with this. You can compensate for this situation (called "phototropism") by making the inside north wall of your greenhouse white or shiny and reflective.

 

More siting considerations:

Placing the greenhouse near a children's play area is not a good idea if your glazing is glass.

It is helpful to place your greenhouse in easy reach of utilities such as water and electricity (or even gas, for more economical heating of the greenhouse.

Placing your greenhouse at the bottom of a hill may mean that cold air will accumulate near your greenhouse. (That's why you see grapevines planted in rows running downhill, so the cold air runs down and is not held against the vines.) A wall or hedge behind your greenhouse (as wide or wider than your greenhouse) will deflect cold air to each side and around the greenhouse instead of allowing it to flow directly toward the greenhouse.

Placing your greenhouse close enough to your house so that you have easy access to it during the months it is used is important.

Consider your neighbors. If you live in an urban area particularly, and will be placing your greenhouse where it can be seen by others, consider their view of it and how it will look to them. Try to build something that fits into your neighborhood instead of making an eyesore. If you can't do that, be sure to grow lots of produce and flowers and share with your neighbors. Then they will probably feel more lenient toward your new structure.

NO GREENHOUSE - LIGHTING SUGGESTIONS?

Hi Sherry- I do not have the space for a greenhouse but found your site fascinating. I was wondering if you might be able to provide any resources for plans on an indoor growing area. I do have a garden and have tried growing my own seedlings with no luck. I guess window light just doesn't cut it.

I would like to have some sort of indoor light setup which would also be warm enough to grow a variety of vegetable plant types. The nursery only carry so many varieties. Any suggestions? Plans on the Net would be great.

Thank you- Mark R., Cincinnati, OH

You're right. Window light isn't enough to grow good seedlings. You need to get some of those inexpensive "shop lights" that hold 2 fluorescent bulbs. The bulbs that come with the fixtures are "cool" whites. They will work fine, or you can go one step further and replace one bulb in each fixture with a "warm" white (which cost a little more). There is no need to get the really expensive "grow" bulbs (or whatever they're called).

I grow a lot of seedlings indoors with no natural light up to 4 inch pot size with just 4 of the above light fixtures. The light fixtures are suspended over a couple of tables in pairs. Under one pair I have a germination mat (a big rubber heating pad). You can do without it, but heat under the seeds helps them germinate faster. I grow the seedlings up a little in that area, then transplant them to larger pots and put them under the other pair of light fixtures. The bulbs of the light fixtures are kept just 2 to 3 inches above the plants at all times.

[This year, I am going to set the lights up in a different way. I have a plastic heavy duty utility 4 shelf unit. The plan is to suspend one fixture from the bottom of each shelf. I still have to work out the details (like adjusting the distance of the light from the plants). If nothing else, I can prop the plant up with boards or boxes to get them closer to the light while they're tiny. This whole setup will take up MUCH less floor space. I could set up TWO of these and still save space. I'll let you know how this works out.]

The lights are run on inexpensive timers. I have them on for 18 hours. The plants rest for 6 hours. As the larger plants grow out of their space, they are moved either to the outside garden or on to a bigger pot in the greenhouse. Watch my website. I will put up the section on how I plant seeds and you can read that for further help.


GREENHOUSE FLOOR

Hi Sherry, I'm Robert, and I live in Santa Rosa California (an hour north of San Francisco). My greenhouse is 12'x24',unheated, and has a dirt floor. I am tired of the dirt floor. What material would you use for a greenhouse floor? I enjoyed your site.

Best Regards, Robert G.

I am very happy with the floor in my greenhouse. It's gravel (1/2 inch minus, crushed) about 5 inches thick over a layer of weed barrier cloth (heavy duty nonwoven manmade fiber--NOT that plastic punched full of tiny holes). Over the top of that down the center of the greenhouse I laid out 2 rows of those exposed aggregate concrete squares for a 2-foot-wide path.

You could also use brick--for the path or the whole floor, but the gravel is much less expensive and looks just fine. Not much of the floor will be seen anyway--your greenhouse is supposed to be full of plants! It's been no trouble to keep clean. No sweeping is required (as with a concrete floor). What I don't pick up just works its way down through the gravel and cloth. The gravel gets hosed off in the natural course of things often enough to always look clean.

I have a drainage ditch dug underneath all of the above which is filled with a cloth-covered drainage pipe and gravel, to be sure that water doesn't back up into the greenhouse during the winter rains.


EVERYTHING'S GONE WRONG IN THE GREENHOUSE!

Hi, Sherry! I just got a greenhouse this year and boy am I disappointed!!! I like to think of myself as a fairly competent gardener but this new environment has me beat. First I fried my plants in late fall since I didn't have shading, next I underwatered my rosemary and almost killed it, next I overwatered everything and killed off half my new plants, and now I don't know WHAT is going on! (Sorry for yelling, but I am so frustrated.

I live in Kalamazoo, MI, zone 5, keep my temperature at 65, and am trying to grow moderate temperature plants. Some do absoulutely nothing, others have leaves that turn yellow and gradually fall off. Still others just fall off without showing any changes. There is no sign of bugs. Any advice?

Where to start? You have many problems and you've mentioned no successes. No worries, though. You've just had a typical first year with your greenhouse, at least it is typical of MY first year. I fried and drowned plants too! Your surname appears to be Dutch. The Dutch really have greenhouse gardening figured out. You should have some of those genes. Use them. (Ok, my maiden name is "Van Leer", and that didn't help me, either.) On to the next thing.

First, do some reading about my greenhouse and equipment and how I use it. To get there is a bit tedious right now but worth it because that page is full of information. Go to the old greenhouse website at this address: http://www.teleport.com/~earth/oldgreenhouse.shtml Go to the contents page of the old website. Click on "Q & A - Greenhouse Structures and Environment." On that page go to "Sherry's Greenhouse Specifications." Read.

Also, be sure to check out the part of this website featuring Scott's Indiana greenhouse. He gives an extensive account of the restoration, setup, and operation of his home greenhouse.

From your description, it still sounds like overwatering or underwatering is taking place. Rule Number One! (or one of the rules) is always keep a fan running to circulate air in the greenhouse. This definitely helps keep your plants healthy. Of course, you have to already have healthy plants for that to work. It's still good advice.

Except for rosemary, you don't mention specifically what other plants you are trying to grow. Another common problem with greenhouse gardeners (definitely including me) is trying to grow a little of *everything* in the greenhouse. This involves having plants together that have different light, temperature, humidity, fertilizer, and water requirements. At most, you will only be able to provide 2 different environments, one sunny, one shady, both with the pretty much the same temperature and humidity. Of course, you can adjust water and fertilizer, but those other conditions will be the real indicators of just what plants will be happy in your greenhouse.

The summary of that is: When you have many different types of plants with many different requirements in your greenhouse, some will thrive, some will limp along, and some will struggle and die.

PS: Here is a great mailorder source for greenhouse gardening supplies and equipment. Call for a catalog. Charley's Greenhouse Supply, 1569 Memorial Hwy, Mount Vernon, WA 98273-9721, telephone 1-800-322-4707, fax 1-800-233-3078.


SUBARCTIC GREENHOUSE

Hello Sherry, Great site! I live in Finland and am closing off a south facing porch (2.5 meters wide,3m deep and 8m high) with glass. These proportions are odd for a green house....is it even posssible to heat?

Any advice for subartic greenhouse conditions? My dream is to grow a tree, one day. I think we could manage to keep it above 0 degrees Celcius in the winter, but the worst part is the lack of sunlight (about 3 hours a day in December).What could survive these conditions?

Also, do you know of any arctic links for gardening on the Web? My husband thinks I'm crazy to grow anything in this country, but I've managed to grow 2m high date palms in our living room(also 8mhigh), so maybe there is hope for other tropical plants if there was a glassed in porch. What do you think? Thanks, and once again, great site! Sincerely, Bridget

Hopefully you are using double-paned glass for your porch. That would help some. It is always expensive to heat a fully glazed area. You have an advantage in that your glass room is attached to your house so should gain a little heat there. You say you think you can keep it above freezing, so you should have quite a few options in the way of plants to grow.

The lack of light is obviously a big problem. I recommend that you get a 1000 watt metal halide light. I have one for my greenhouse, and it supplements the sun very well. Metal halide lights are full spectrum (as is natural light). They don't cast that odd-looking light that high pressure sodium lights do. (In the USA, high pressure sodium lamps are often used for street lighting and have a sort of orangish glow.) Metal halide lights also have a side benefit--they give off heat! They benefit the plants even if the light is 4 ft above them. (Fluorescent lights must be inches away from the plants to be useful to them.) I am not sure how much they cost to operate though. Might be a significant power draw. I don't know what electric power costs in Finland, but I suspect it's expensive. Investigate before buying, if you consider this option.

I don't know how else you could expect to grow tropical plants--they need lots of light. That's what "tropical" is, in addition to heat. I do not know of any arctic gardening sites on the web, but I will do some looking and definitely keep your situation in mind. If I find anything, I will write to you.

I have some website visitors who have written to me from Alaska. Would you be interested in corresponding with them? One guy is growing GOURDS in a greenhouse up there. They might have conditions similar to yours and have some ideas for you. I would have to ask their permission to give their email address to you. Let me know if you would like that.


HEATING YOUR GREENHOUSE

Sherry, do you know what the approximate costs of heating and cooling a 24 X 48 ft greenhouse in this region (Montana)?

I have no idea how much it would cost to heat your greenhouse. The reason for this is that there are so many variables involved, such as:

1. Size of greenhouse (ok, you gave me that)

2. Type of glazing (e.g. glass, polycarbonate, single- or double-walled)

3. Greenhouse location (protected or windy location?)

4. Whether or not greenhouse is free standing or attached to a warm house

5. Whether or not you have a fan to circulate air in the greenhouse

6. What type of heating you use (e.g. gas or electric).

Ideally, you would use the above information to calculate your particular greenhouse's heat loss. Then you would decide how much heat lift is required (Do you need only frost protection, or do you need more warmth?). Then you would design your heating system around that. It can be simple or complicated.

There is an excellent chapter on the subject of heating greenhouses (with detailed information on calculating heat loss) in the book, "The Complete Book of the Greenhouse" by Ian G Walls, publisher Ward Lock Limited. (The latest copyright date on my copy is 1993.) I recommend that book if you are serious about greenhouses. If not available locally, you should be able to get it via the Web from Amazon Books at http://www.amazon.com.


GREENHOUSE PLANS

Where can I obtain plans for constructing a small greenhouse. --Ann N.

For greenhouse plans get the book, "Greenhouses - Planning, Installing & Using" by Ortho books. It should be available locally at a nursery, or you can get it from Charley's Greenhouse Supply, 1569 Memorial Hwy, Mount Vernon, WA 98273-9721, telephone 1-800-322-4707. There are at least 9 plans in the book and a lot of ideas that you can adapt to your particular situation.


COMPOSTING IN A GREENHOUSE

"Hi Sherry. I live in Roseburg OR and want to build an attached solar greenhouse. I compost and it just seemed logical that composting inside a greenhouse would add the extra heat needed during the winter. Do you know of any draw backs?"

The only drawbacks I can think of is that composting can take up quite a bit of space, and that if your pile is not working properly, your greenhouse could start smelling bad.

There a lots of benefits:

1. The generation of heat (that you mentioned).

2. Providing habitat for soil microbes that are beneficial to plant growth. (They decompose the organic matter into more basic compounds.) The presence of microbial life seems to decrease the liklihood of diseased plants. I use compost as part of my greenhouse potting mix.

3. It is (as you know) a great way to deal with plant wastes, and turn to condition soil inside and outside the greenhouse.

4. Compost creates carbon dioxide, which helps plants grow.

One warning: Break possible disease cycles by using greenhouse waste compost OUTSIDE the greenhouse, and outside garden compost INSIDE the greenhouse.

Most people do not have the luxury of enough space to compost inside their greenhouse, and they also wish to avoid odor problems. All benefits (except heat) can be enjoyed by working compost into your greenhouse potting soil or directly into the greenhouse planting beds--one inch every 6 months at least.



NEW GREENHOUSE - SUPPLIES

"I just finished building my first greenhouse for home/hobby use in New England. Are there catalogs for garden supplies for myminitial stocking of the house. Thanks."

Here is a short list of catalogs that you might want:

1. Charley's Greenhouse Supply, 1569 Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon, WA 98273, telephone 1-800-322-4707, fax 1-800-233-3078 (My very favorite greenhouse catalog--if you get only one catalog, get this one.)

2. Pinetree Garden Seeds, Box 300, New Gloucester, ME 04260, telephone 207-926-3400, fax 207-926-3886 (a good suppy section plus very reasonably priced packets of seeds).

3. Territorial Seed Company, PO Box 157, Cottage Grove, OR 97424, telephone 541-942-9547, fax 541-942-9881 (excellent customer service, great seeds, soil blockers, propagation mats, and lots of organic fertilizers).

4. A.M. Leonard, Inc, 241 Fox Drive, PO Box 816, Piqua, OH 45356, telephone 1-800-543-8955, fax 1-800-433-0633 (very extensive selection of tools).



LIGHTING PLANTS IN WINTER

"I have recently moved my plants from the patio and screen porch to the basement for the winter - I live in Atlanta, GA. Do you have any suggestions for artificial lights? ( Iím looking for a low to medium cost solution). The basement does have a sliding glass door that lets in a very small amount of light. Thanks, Bill."

The solution is to use those commonly available, inexpensive, 4 ft. "shop light" fluorescent light fixtures. (These are what I use for starting seeds.) If you can, get a "warm white" bulb to replace one of the "cool white" bulbs on each fixture. Otherwise, just use the cool white bulbs they come with. You could also use "Grow Lights", which provide full spectrum light, but they are much more expensive.

To use the fluorescent light, your plants must be just a few inches from it. That means prop up the small plants so that they are at the same level as the larger plants. Then hang the light fixtures just a few inches above them all.

To know how much light you need, just remember that the bulbs should be no more than 6 inches apart for good coverage. Also be sure to take advantage of any NATURAL light available (the sliding glass door).



CONDENSATION PROBLEM

"Hi Sherry. Great site. I live in southern British Columbia. We get a lot of rain. We built an 8 x 10 foot greenhouse this summer. It is covered with two sheets of plastic film about 3 inches of air space inbetween. My question is: How do I prevent condensation on the inside plastic from forming or dripping on my plants? The humidity is 100 or more % in this rainy season. It is not heated. I was building it mainly to prevent all my pots from filling with water then freezing, thawing and rotting. I lost a lot of plants last year. Now I'm losing plants to mold. I've started spraying an antifungal spray. Anything else I can do? Thanks for your time and help."Hello!

Here are some suggestions:

1. Be sure to keep a fan running to keep the air moving. You should not have to be using antifungal sprays. Control of fungus on the plants begins with improving the greenhouse environment. Air movement helps plants also by getting any available carbon dioxide to their leaves. It's usually in short supply when greenhouses are closed up for winter. You may also need to let in some drier air from outside to help balance things. The closed system in winter is a problem.

2. You may be watering more than you need to. All that water has to go somewhere! You should not need to water on cloudy cool days--especially in your unheated greenhouse. If a plant is wilting, it may just be cold and trying to protect itself. Check the soil of each container before watering.

Water deeply when you water, but water less often. Don't use an automatic watering system. Plants grow more slowly in winter and need less water.

3. There is a spray (one brand name is Sun Clear) that changes the droplets that form so that they run down the side walls in a sheet instead of dripping on the plants. You spray it on the inside glazing of your greenhouse. It will also allow more light to enter your greenhouse. Sun Clear is available from Charley's Greenhouse Supply, 1569 Memorial Hwy, Mount Vernon, WA 98273-9721, telephone 1-800-322-4707. (I have not personally tried this. My double-walled polycarbonate glazing does not encourage condensation.)



GREENHOUSE GLAZING

"What is the best type, thickness, etc. of plastic covering for greenhouse and where might it be obtained?"

I consider double-walled polycarbonate to be the very best rigid plastic glazing available. It is very strong, lightweight, diffuses light very well, has some insulating qualities due to the double thickness, and is resistant to impact and fire. It can be used on curved areas. Be sure that the type you get is ultraviolet-resistant. Its one drawback is that it is expensive.

Film plastic is very much less expensive, but also less permanent. The newer types are now designed to last several years and allow up to 89 percent light transmission. Thicknesses from 1 mil (.002 inch) to 15 mil (.015 inch) are available. The thicker the film is, the more expensive (and more durable) it is. Don't get anything thinner than 4 mil (.004 inch). Be sure to get film that is resistant to ultraviolet rays.

Film plastic with an infrared inhibitor is available; it can cut heat loss inside the greenhouse by up to 20 percent on a cloudless night. You can also reduce heat loss by installing the plastic in a double layer. Leave aspace between layers of 1 to 4 inches. Can maintain this airspace by blowing air inbetween the plastic film layers. This will reduce your heating costs significantly.

Also available is film additive that causes any moisture buildup to run down the sides of the film instead of onto the plants. This allows more light into the greenhouse, and it prevents spread of disease by keeping contaminated moisture from dripping onto the plants.

Here are 11 possible GREENHOUSE GLAZING SOURCES for you:

1. Charley's Greenhouse Supply, 1569 Memorial Hwy, Mount Vernon, WA 98273-9721, telephone 1-800-322-4707, fax 1-800-233-3078

Scrimweve brand rip-stop poly covering, greenhouse polyethylene w/UVI protection, clear vinyl, fiberglass, and double-walled polycarbonate glazing, plus various glazing tapes, clips, etc.

2. A T Plastics Inc, Rob Murphy, 34405 NW Mountaindale Road, Cornelius, OR 97113, telephone503-647-5428, fax 503-647-5420

"Dura-film 1, 2, 3 and Duratherm: High PAR light, strength and performance."

3. Armin Plastics, Dennis Peoples, 18901 E Railroad Street, City of Industry, CA 91748, telephone 209-221-7211, fax 209-227-9644

"Tufflite brand greenhouse coverings: Tufflite I, IV, Drip-Less and Infrared, Co-Poly."

4. C T Film, Tom Gipson, 1355 Terrell Mill Road, Bldg 1474 #250, Marietta, GA 30067, telephone 404-953-2210 fax 404-953-2404

"Greenhouse films: 701, 703, Cloud Nine, 401 white and mulch films."

5. Conley's Mfg & Sales, Gary L Baze, 4434 E Mission Blvd, Pomona, CA 91766, telephone 800-377-8441, fax 909-628-3774

"Greenhouse structure and equipment: coverings, ventilation, heat and shade systems."

6. DuraGreen Marketing USA Inc, Gary Hale, PO Box 1486, Mount Dora, FL 32757, telephone 352-383-8811, fax 352-735-2688

"DuraGreen polyethylene films, AquaCel Plus cooling systems, Durascreen insect screen."

7. Farm Wholesale Greenhouses by Plas-Tech, Rachel Carlson, 2396 Perkins Drive NE, Salem, OR 97303, telephone 800-825-1925 or 503-393-3973, fax 503-393-3119, email: plastec@teleport.com

"Corrugated plastic greenhouse panels, hobby kits, tree wraps, coco fiber."

8. Flex-O-Glass Greenhouse Films, John Olson, 10800 Lyndale Avenue S, Suite 238, Bloomington, IN 47403, 800-621-1078, fax 612-888-7224

"A full line of four-year greenhouse films, including white"

9. Klerk's Plastic Products Mfg Inc, Jan-Paul Heemskerk or Jim Ralles, PO Box 368, Richburg, SC 29729, 803-789-4000, fax 803-789-4001

"A variety of greenhouse films that makes growing more profitable."

10. Nexus Greenhouse System, Steve Krug, 26348 Clover Creek Street, Redding, CA 96001, telephone 916-221-2880, fax 916-221-3088

"Greenhouse structures, glazing, and equipment."

11. Oregon Valley Greenhouses, Ivon & Lynne Schuening, 20357 Highway 99 E, Aurora, OR 97002, telephone 503-678-2700, fax 503-678-2789

"Greenhouses, shade structure, poly, shade cloth, Wire Lock, heating and cooling."



GREENHOUSE EQUIPMENT

"I have been researching greenhouse equipment for 3 months without much success. Yours is a welcome find. I am attempting to design and fabricate a backyard greenhouse kit that is usable, efficient, and inexpensive. I have a design for the frame and now I am researching coverings and equipment and I would appreciate any recommendations that you could send my way. so far we have an 8'x 8'x8'high cathedral style frame with butterfly type vents over the door. The frame is 1"square tube and we are planning on shipping the unit assembled. I have never even worked in a greenhouse and now I am trying to manufacture them. The reason for this quest is the prices that are advertised natonwide, there has to be a less expensive alternative.

Thank you for your time!

Jerry Clason"

 

Many of the companies listed as glazing sources listed elsewhere on this page will also have other greenhouse materials and equipment, and here are a couple of others:

12. Quietaire Corporation, Darrell D Dolson III, 505 N Hutcheson, Houston, TX 77003, telephone 713-228-9421, fax 713-228-9425

"Aluminum greenhouse fans, stainless steel and aluminum evaporating and cooling systems, aluminum tube ventilation."

13. Radiant Systems, Drew Huggins, PO Box 33666, Raleigh, NC 27636, telephone800-542-7221 fax 919-834-4526

"Infrared heat is an energy saving heat sytem designed specifically for greenhouses."

Hope this helps you, Jerry. Do you have venting only over the door? You should have low venting opposite for good air circulation.

Please let me know when you have a product ready for sale. I'm sure many would be interested.

COOLING YOUR GREENHOUSE

Craig B. shares some cool info:

last time I mailed you was about the man trying to put styrofome underground well this time i have a discovery that could help others, I have had lots of trouble with my greenhouse overheating. I bought one of these roof turbines and installed it in my greenhouse. Not only does it keep my house cooler it cost nothing to operate. I have checked out thousands of greenhouses never have I seen them used. Is there something I`m missing or is this a breakthrough discovery. HAHA Well it dosent matter the important thing is that it works for me.Always looking for cheeper ways of doing things I love my hobby but am not a rich man. Spring is off to a great start hope this letter finds you well.

Keep up the good work and good gardening.:)

[I then asked Craig for some confirmation, which he kindly supplied as follows.]

yes you are 100 percent right it is the thing that twirls around and lets the heat out. It was 80 degrees here the other day and my green house stay at 85 the is the best I have ever been able to do even with shade cloth. I would normally have temp up in the 100s on a day with 85 temp. They are so easy to install only took me fifthteen minuets. They sell in any hardware store for about 30 dollars a real bargen compared to what I`ve spent trying to cool the house.

Hope this is a help to your other readers. One other thing i made a small door on the inside so i could close it off when it gets cold. Always a pleasure to here from you . good gardening Craig

[Thanks, Craig! --- Sherry]

 

air circulation
This from a visitor to the site:

Nice site, good primer for those seeking to purchase hobby greenhouse and do it right the first time. I have a couple of things to add from a growers conference I attended today here in Massachusetts (zone 6), the presenter on organic greenhouse growing stressed air circulation (as you have) but took it even one step further...using bidirectional (oscillating) ceiling fans to really get the air circulating. They felt that only with this sifting air movement do you get the maximum CO2 uptake. The fan should be positioned just above plant growing levels. [Thanks for sharing... Sherry.]


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