Kathy Somers SomersFarm at
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>
To: market farming <market-farming at>
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
>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
>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
>Gardening.  Somewhere I have a description of how I built mine and could
>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
>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
>Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at
>Share information about yourself, create your own public profile at
>You are currently subscribed to market-farming as: SomersFarm at
>To unsubscribe send a blank email to
>To subscribe send email to lyris at
>with message text containing: subscribe market-farming <your name>

More information about the Market-farming mailing list