[Market-farming] Cold Frames vs Greenhouse

Robert Schuler sunnfarm at verizon.net
Thu Nov 29 09:28:54 EST 2007

Hello Brenton. I found the 20 Ft wide house to be the best all around greenhouse width. Taller houses hold heat longer with less heater cycling in the winter. My 9ft tall houses can be covered with  32ft wide poly with a foot left over. If you go with a taller frame be sure a 32 ft sheet will fit. I like 30% shade especially during long cloudy periods often plants stop growing under the 50% shade commonly used by most growers. I used hot water bottom heating tubes in one of my houses and will expand it to all in the future. Many local transplant growers around here bury heating tubes in sterile sand beds and direct seed into the beds in winter... Bob.
Sunny Meadow Farm
Bridgeton, NJ.

I am currently looking at purchasing a cold frame and/or greenhouse
structure primarily for use in producing transplants.  I would like to
be able to purchase both but we don't have the money.  I would like
input from the group what manufacturers they would recommend and also
would like opinions on what would met my needs the best.  Our 20 acre
vegetable farm is located in Austin, TX, Zone 8b, and we grow year round
on about 6-7 acres at a time in diversified vegetables for our CSA. 

I am considering purchasing an Agra Tech, In 20X96 foot cold frame with
5' sides and purlins every 6 feet.  On this structure I would use single
wall poly, roll up sides and 30% shade cloth for the summer.  I am not
sure if the 8'6" of 9'6" height would be better.  I was considering
starting with this to start spring and fall transplants as well as
possibly in ground use in the future.  Seems like the cost of this was
around $2,500.  I was hoping maybe to get by with a hot-water heater or
used water bed mattresses for bottom heat to germinate the plants in the
cold frame.  In the past on freezing nights I have covered the plants
with heavy row cover and they have done fine.

Although I would like to have a greenhouse with double poly, heat, and
evaporation pad and ventilation fans the cost to operate is a factor. 
Any feed back is appreciated.

Brenton Johnson
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