Greenhouses

Kathy Somers SomersFarm at kingcon.com
Sun Sep 24 20:22:14 EDT 2000


Thanks for the info.  I think at this point we are opting to build our own
greenhouse. The small one we currently have is a PVC wood combo and has held
up really well, but not good on heat!!!  We would like to build something
with a little more heat holding ability as by the time March comes we can
still get really cold weather.  My goal is to get tomatoes and possibly
peppers along with greens started early enough and out in the greenhouse to
have sellable tomatoes toward the middle of June.  To do that we will need a
good four months of growing from seed to plant.  What would you reccommend
for coverings.  I have searched the internet and found many different types.
Polyfilm in a single layer is not a good choice.

Thanks Kathy Somers

From: William McKay <bmckay55 at hotmail.com>
To: market farming <market-farming at franklin.oit.unc.edu>
Date: Sunday, September 24, 2000 1:57 PM
Subject: Re: Greenhouses


>
>A couple of thoughts regarding greenhouses.  If you are going to build one
>and heat it, you probably want one at least fifty feet long.  You can get
>them 17x50.  If it turns out that initially you do not need that much space
>(but you think you will in the future) you could block off part of the
house
>in the winter with plastic to reduce heating costs.
>
>An alternative is to build your own unheated house.  I have one which is
>extremely useful to (1) extend the season three or four weeks on each end
>and (2) provide space for transplants to grow on.  The transplants can not
>be started in the unheated greenhouse, of course;  I start mine under
lights
>in the basement, get them large enough to transplant and then move them to
>the unheated house.  Here in Eastern Massachusetts I can put tomato
>transplants out at the last week of April & hardier stuff even earlier.  In
>fact, I have wintered over lettuce & other cold hardy plants even with
>temperatures of -5.
>
>You can build your own with pvc pipe (1 or 1 1/2 inch), regular greenhouse
>plastic & plenty of ventilation on the end walls.  Even buying everything
>new, you could build a 12x24 house for three or four hundred dollars.  The
>trick with these is to keep the length no more than two or two and a half
>times the width so they will self ventilate.  No matter what you do, even
>rolling up the sides, they become pretty hot by the end of May.  Elliot
>Coleman has a couple of useful examples in his books, especially Four
Season
>Gardening.  Somewhere I have a description of how I built mine and could
dig
>it out and send it.
>
>The upside of one of these unheated houses is (1) they are cheap & reliable
>(2) you can extend the season two months (3) if you do greens, you can have
>marketable produce by the beginning of April (here in Mass) and you can
have
>good produce through the middle of December or even later.  Baby salad
>greens will last even longer.
>
>The downside is that, especially in the spring, you are somewhat at the
>mercy of the weather.  For example, this spring was consistently cloudy &
>very cool.  My tomatoes took another week or so than normal to mature and I
>had to be very careful with fungal disease problems.  Nevertheless, in a
>very small house I managed to grow out 800 or so tomato plants, lots of
>lettuce, broccoli, kale, squash, etc.
>
>Bill McKay
>
>The advantage of
>
>
>
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