Garden Projects and Ideas - Gardening Forums

New greenhouse requirements

Need advice about building a raised garden bed, double-digging or installing an irrigation system? This is the place to find the help you need!

New greenhouse requirements

Postby ColleenatStar » Jan 18, 2009 9:21 am

We have decided to turn our single car garage into a year round greenhouse. I use it as a potting shed now. We are going to use solar and wind to provide the power for the cooling and heating with panels and a windmill. Does someone know the minimum temp that a) seedlings have to be b) plants have to be?
My hubby is going to put water lines in the concrete floor, run solar panels on the metal roof of the next closest barn, install an entire south facing wall with glass windows (we have them on hand) and install a windmill since it always seem to be blowing around here(central Alberta). What would you recommend for insulation as well?
Also since he is using this as a pet project to work out the bugs for supplying his barns with heat and power, he is working on how to set it up for automatically heating and exhausting depending on the temp. You just can't take the geek out of the boy.
Yes it is going to be a big project this summer but with the food prices keep going up,$5.99 lb for peppers, we think it will be worth it. I figure we spend at least $100 a week on fresh vegetables. So the project would pay for itself in the first 6 months.
Thanks to anybody that has some ideas about this. The more minds the better and yes I will keep you posted on the progress once we start.
User avatar
ColleenatStar
 
Posts: 52
Joined: May 22, 2008 7:22 am

Re: New greenhouse requirements

Postby Countryboy » Jan 19, 2009 9:42 am

Wow Colleen. U've got a big project here! I hope yr DH has some building experience. Easier to handle if u break it down into it's separate components IMO.

Replacing a wall with windows is really the easiest part. U simply support the roof temporarily, remove the wall *interior sheeting, insulation, studs and siding*, install the proper headers and pop yr windows in.

There is no such thing as 'the proper' insulation. Whatever works best for u. Styrofoam would be the best R value but extremely fussy to work with. Fiberglass batts are the most forgiving and easier for a homeowner to install. Maybe even try some of the 'sprayed-on' foam . . depending on yr budget. It's expensive but gives u the best coverage.

The heating system can also be looked at as a separate entity. Solar panels to warm the fluid, well insulated pipes to transport it to the greenhouse, and an 'in-floor' distribution network are all parts of one heating system. Make sure to allow yrself the pipes to hook up a boiler or some kind of heating unit in this system. U probably cannot rely on solar power alone.

Automatic heating is easy . . . thermostats do that. But windmills?? . . . automatic cooling with exhaust fans??? . . . waaay over my head. That's what Mechanical Contractors are for! :wink: lol
Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience.
.....Ralph Waldo Emmerson....

Frank . . ON5a
User avatar
Countryboy
 
Posts: 887
Joined: Nov 14, 2008 11:29 am

Re: New greenhouse requirements

Postby beeman » Jan 19, 2009 10:53 am

ColleenatStar wrote: Does someone know the minimum temp that a) seedlings have to be b) plants have to be?
So the project would pay for itself in the first 6 months.
Thanks to anybody that has some ideas about this. The more minds the better and yes I will keep you posted on the progress once we start.

I have done some research on this to use in my new greenhouse.
'Soil temp' should be in the 70F range. I use an in ground soil heater cable, complete with a sensing probe which can be placed in the pot soil.
'Air' temp needs to be around 45F. Provided it never falls below that temp then the plants will be safe. Too much heat makes them leggy. I have an air probe thermostat and a very small heater and even at -26C I managed to maintain that temp.
You might look into this company, the only place I could find the necessary thermostats.
http://www.littlegreenhouse.com/accessory/heaters3.shtml
They're a good company to deal with, just watch out they use UPS and brokerage can be hair raising.
Not sure it will pay in the first year, but certainly in the long term, plus the convenience of selecting your own varieties.
You might have a look at http://www.canadiangardening.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=14985 the covering I used might help with your insulation question.
Good luck, it's lots of hard work, but well worth it.
Join the Beekeeping forum
www.beeworks.com/forum
User avatar
beeman
 
Posts: 289
Joined: May 11, 2007 9:37 am
Location: Orillia, Ontario

Re: New greenhouse requirements

Postby ColleenatStar » Jan 19, 2009 11:05 am

I am extremely lucky that DH has done renovations for over 20 years, is a journeyman carpenter and an electronics wizard. We design production systems for a living so this is right up our alley. Also he has been dabbling with the idea of making our outbuildings totally self sufficient for power.
What would be the best material for lining the beds with? What would the ideal depth be?
Never ending questions as always.
Thanks so much Beeman and Countryboy! I will get him to look at those sites. Maybe he can write a program to take care of what we want the heaters and exhaust to do.
This is even better than the last flowerbed I put in!
User avatar
ColleenatStar
 
Posts: 52
Joined: May 22, 2008 7:22 am

Re: New greenhouse requirements

Postby beeman » Jan 19, 2009 6:54 pm

ColleenatStar wrote:What would be the best material for lining the beds with? What would the ideal depth be?
Never ending questions as always.
Thanks so much Beeman and Countryboy! I will get him to look at those sites. Maybe he can write a program to take care of what we want the heaters and exhaust to do.


I didn't 'line' my beds, all I did was to 'edge' the soil and make lots of soil amendments. Unless you need to make a raised bed in the greenhouse, to avoid bending over. Suggest you 'Google' for that as there are lots of ideas. But would suggest you have an area for potting plants, perhaps some shelves?
Heating and cooling can both be taken care of with thermostats. They have them now to open at the top range (cooling) to open vents and turn on fans. The lower range ones would be for heating. All with probes of some sort or another.
Join the Beekeeping forum
www.beeworks.com/forum
User avatar
beeman
 
Posts: 289
Joined: May 11, 2007 9:37 am
Location: Orillia, Ontario


Return to Garden Projects and Ideas

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

Follow Style At Home Online

Facebook Activity

Contests

Latest Contests

more contests