How do I use a Green house ?

Discussion in 'Greenhouse' started by margie12u, Oct 31, 2009.

  1. margie12u

    margie12u In Flower

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    Hi everyone, I want a green house so bad but I don't know were to start , We can get it put up, but I really don't know how to use one as far as what and when to put things in it and can I put my seeds in there to start them? As old as I am I'm kind of embarresed,to say I don't know, but I guess I have to learn some how. Thank you so much

    Margie

    moderator's note: added a more descriptive title to topic
     
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  3. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    Hiyah Margie. What a shame that no one had any suggestions for you.
    I will be glad to talk with you about this subject if you like.
    I have had a greenhouse for a number of years now and I can at least comment on the way that I use one.
    Let me know if you are interested in giving a greenhouse a try. I feel that I can't do without one.
     
  4. margie12u

    margie12u In Flower

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    Greenhouse/ Seeds

    Ithink I can't do without one now because last January I had probably had 200 little seeds growing in the house my poor poor husband probably thought he was in a greenhouse, But I loved doing it so much, but I had them in every room in the house, But you know they done so good I didn't loose but 3 out of all that. So not to badI don't think. But it needs to be outside but I don't know were to start,So any help would be appreciated,
    Thanks so much Margie
     
  5. petunia

    petunia Young Pine

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    I think I missed this one-sorry.
    I have a few grenhouses. One being a commercial size. This past summer Was my first go at that. We planted things just a little late being we did a graduation party for my son. We did get a few veges but didn't get what we wanted to can. veges just didn't the time to ripen and we didn't have hardly any warm weather.
    I'm certainly not the expert but I'll try & help also.
     



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  6. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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  7. glendann

    glendann Official Garden Angel

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    It would be hard for me to tell you how as I live in Texas.I keep mine warm with 100 watt light bulbs.I am leaving the 17 th for Montana.I will put them in the greenhouse with no heat and what lives lives and what doesn't doesn't.Linda Kevins girlfriend and Kevin will water them for me.
     
  8. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    Well Margie,

    --First choose the place where you want to place the green house.
    Select a location in your yard that is in the full sun all day long with little or no shade from nearby trees.

    --The next thing to do is prepare the ground.
    Now, there are several choices as to how to go about this. If you plan to use some or all of the existing soil, get a soil testing kit and test the pH and mineral content of that patch of ground. This will help you to know what things to add to your soil, if any.
    Another thing that you look at is the structure of the soil. Like is it sandy, loamy, clayish...
    You will then need to create structure in that soil in order to mak it free-draining to a degree, but it should be able to hold a little water.

    --Once you have checked the soil and you have a clear idea of what you want to do to the soil, you can then decide if you want to install some sort of water-drip system or not. If not, then you will be feeding and watering by hand, which is no big deal if you do not have a big greenhouse.

    ** Here I will tell you what I do so that you can get an idea to use as a guideline.
    I have a stone path down the center of the greenhouse going almost to the wall at the back. This means that I have a planting area in the shape of a "U".
    I dig this ground out each year about two spade depths deep and replace the old soil with a combination of well-rotted compost, comercial compost, manure and a bit of soil from another place in the garden. I add a bit of seaweed calcium to curb the natural acidity of the compost. It also holds moisture a bit. I also mix some bone meal evenly throughout.
    I let the ground stand open to the elements and rain 4-6 weeks before putting the glass in. At this point, I add plenty of rainwater so that the soil is good and soaked. I put the glass back in and let the soil warm-up and then it is time to plant the seeds and plantlets.

    OUTSIDE
    --Water collection: You can put water drums and little drain pipes to catch and store water that rains onto the roof of the greenhouse. Rain water is always handy, as some plants do not like city water with it's chlorine, etc.
    --There is a type of whitewash that you can paint outside on the glass. It is white so long as the sun is shining and it is dry, but when it rains it becomes transparent so that more light can come in on a cloudy day.

    INSIDE
    --Arrange a plank/"table" on which you can germinate seeds.
    --Think of what plants you intend to grow in there and place supporting sticks and string sturdy wire up high for things like cukes, for instance.
    --Consider a drip system. There are pro's and cons'.
    --Have some whitewash or something similar to paint the windows with, because eventually the sun and heat will become too intense.
    --Consider some sort of heating for during the winter. This will give you more choice in terms of winter crops/flowers and germinating seeds, plants and root cuttings.

    Most people use their greenhouse all year round. If you do, then the choices of what all you can do are almost endless, but you really do need to replace your soil at least once a year. The soil that you remove from your greenhouse you can just use elsewhere in your garden, like around shrubs or in flower beds.

    I hope this posting will give you some food for thought so that you can make your dream a reality. There are all sorts of ways of approaching how to 'do' a greenhouse and most are just fine. My suggestions are not the only way to do it. After you've had the greenhouse for a while you will probably develop your own way of using it, a way the feels comfortable for you.
    I honestly do not believe you will ever be sorry that you got one. A greenhouse is sort of like a microwave---You may or may not want one, but once you've had one for a year, you will ask yourself--"Why didn't I do this earlier", and you will not want to be without one again. At least that is my impression.

    Good luck with your greenhouse. Feel free to contact me should you ever have more questions or if you require explanations for clarity.
     
  9. bunkie

    bunkie Young Pine

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    sjoerd, why do you have to remove/rotate the soil in the greenhouse every year?

    margie, we bought a large greenhouse that had two plastic walls and a little fan that blew air between them about 4 years ago. it collapsed the year before last from the snow. we had very unusual heavy snowstorms, and couldn't keep up with the snow.

    this year we have just finished fixing it as best we can, rebent the pipes, and have put a solid plastic covering over it. so far i really like it! readying to put a lot of cole crops in and hoping to grow them throughout the winter. this is a big test. oh, and also getting a snowblower!!!

    i have never put plants in the ground in this greenhouse. i have tables and pallettes that i use to set containers and flats full of seedlings that i start and that i will transplant to the garden come spring. i notcied that any time i have a pot with a plant sitting in the sand (we layered the bottom with sand) little ants take over the pot. i am not sure i could put plants in the floor and deal with those ants...tho, i'm thinking about it.

    i use a long hose or two with a sprayer for watering every one, and i have a small kiddie swinmming pool that i use to put water in and containers with plants that need watering. even large flats will fit in it.

    like sjoerd says, it can get very hot in there, even on cloudy days. i use
    little bamboo sticks to make canopies over the tables and use clothespins to hold reemay or shade cloth over the plants for the hottest part of the day. anything in a pinch! i put shade loving plants like cukes and lettuce and such on a table, under a table that has peppers, tom, sun-loving plants on it. i also have an umbrella that i hook up to my potting table so i too can be in the shade on those hot days.

    i have pics, but have to learn how to set them up. just got a new-to-me used computer.

    you'll love your greenhouse margie!
     
  10. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    Hiyah Bunkie--
    I remove the soil in the greenhouse every year because the plants in there take so much out of it.
    You know that when one grows crops outside a greenhouse in plots they must practice crop rotation to avoid illness and mineral depletion, right? Well this is the same principle, except it isn't the crops that get rotated...it's the soil.
    I also do this same thing at the racks where I grow peas and runnerbeans every year. It's less work than digging up the poles and moving them and the wire to another place.
     
  11. bunkie

    bunkie Young Pine

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    hey sjoerd! that's a great idea. i suppose that's what we do when we replenish the layer of sand every year? we loose a lot of it when we have unwelcomed weeds pop up and have to pull them out.
     
  12. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    Well Bunkie, it works well with small plots or localized spots, but it isn't a viable technique for large tracts.
    In my lotties, all I have are small plots of land. :D hahaha
     
  13. Martina09

    Martina09 New Seed

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    it opens up the opportunity for the gardener to grow a much wider range of plants - and earlier - but it is not of course, unique in this respect. Cloches, cold frames, conservatories and old-fashioned sun-porches all share this, to a greater or lesser degree, though none of these offers quite the same amount of dedicated growing space as the true greenhouse.
     
  14. mibus2

    mibus2 Seedling

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    I had a small portable green house my folks got me the first year we were in Texas and I used it for plants that needed warmth like plumerias and citrus tress during the winter months and started other plants and seeds in it but it died this year from dry rot being in the Texas sun year round.

    This Christmas my folks sent me money to help buy the needed wood and such for making a permanent one ...it is up and covered wtih plastic and as my pay checks allow I will buy fiberglass roofing to cover it with

    [​IMG]
    New Green house 12-09 ( photo / image / picture from mibus2's Garden )
     
  15. beck5711

    beck5711 Seedling

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    margie.. I too have a green house, and i don't know what I did before i got it! I also keep tropicals in there, and start my seeds. I have only had it for 2 winters so i am still learning, but I have found that during the day the temps rise dramatically.. say if the the outside temps are 70.. it will be 100 degrees inside from the suns warmth. But at night there isn't much temperature change inside the green house, and that is why you need the supplemental heat during the winter. In the summer here, it's almost impossible to leave any plant inside, even though i have 2 exhaust fans running 24 hours a day! You might not experience all the things i have said, but i imagine they would be similar. Hope this helps
     
  16. jeri11

    jeri11 New Seed

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    Hi!!! I've had a modified HF 10X12 GH for 3 years and all has gone pretty well with it. I crammed it to the rafters the 1st 2 years and didn't enjoy it as much. Now it's just my hoya house and I put everything else into a lend to that we devised implementing the awning to our old guest house.

    Here is a picture of the 10X12
     

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