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Old 11-30-2016, 02:04 AM   #1
rb.
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Default Planning my greenhouse

So, I mentioned this in the "good news" thread. DH is on board with building me a greenhouse at the lake. When is dependent upon how much money it will cost, and how much we spend finishing the house. Pretty much the lower the cost, the sooner I get it.

Site: found a good website that allows you to enter coordinates (or touch on Google maps). It will display the sun's path and rays on any given date. Need this to know where to put it, where to clear. The property slopes uphill from the lake and house to the road, so the hill runs from east to south. This is challenging, as the trees are VERY tall. The lot is oriented NW (lake) to SE. Lot is only 100' wide, with the driveway on the northern edge of the property, and the neighbour's trees are south of us. Trees are mostly spruce, so they grow tall. Currently 20-30'. . I'd like to attach it to the house, but it's oriented the same as the lot, and too many windows, furnace air in and out, etc.

Design: I'm currently researching best design for my Canadian climate, with year-round growing. At this point, a right angled triangle may be best due to heavy snow loads and low winter sun. Solid wall to the north, insulated with rock heat sink. I have read that a straight southern wall may be better, but not yet sure on that. It would mean more growing space, but a peaked roof. Maybe steel on north slope, polycarbonate panels on south slope. Going to dig down as far as rock will allow, so it is sunken when walking in. Porch entry first, to avoid prevailing NW winds off the lake from blasting in cold air. Foundation walls will be sandstone from the dig. Thinking of experimenting with solar screen heaters, made ourselves. Also have the electric water heater removed from the house, might try rigging up a heating system with that. I'm not fond of lighting a fire daily, especially with no fire fighting service available. Size? Not sure, but DH was thinking 20 x something. Will, I guess, depend on site, ground, etc. And money. Water line has already been run to garage, close to likely site. What's a little more trenching. We've already trenched half the lot anyway.

Materials: Limbed, debarked spruce trees from clearing. Sandstone from digging. Wood exterior door, and glass, screened storm door from house demo. Possibly windows on property when we bought it. Might have enough steel roof panels left over from the house to do the north side of a roof. To purchase: Maybe, probably polycarbonate, twinned or multi-walled panels, 4x8. Not cheap, shipping even worse. Rigid foam insulation. Down the road, possibly a few 240 watt LED grow lights to supplement for cloudy days. Solar panel kit to run LEDs.

What to grow: Everything! Would like to grow most of our plant-based needs, from potatoes to garlic to basil. Would even like to try those banana plants, avocado, some citrus. A nice, hot, humid place to spend the winter.

Don't tell DH, but I'm wondering if the north side should be a chicken coop so we can have eggs.

Last edited by rb.; 11-30-2016 at 02:11 AM.
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Old 11-30-2016, 01:38 PM   #2
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I have zilch experience with greenhouses so can't really help out save to say, make sure you allow for plenty of ventilation for summer heat as well as sir circulation to prevent mold based plant illnesses. My uncle had a greenhouse & the few people I know who've had them mention the same issues - ventilation to prevent overheating in summer & air movement year round.
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Old 11-30-2016, 02:32 PM   #3
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Yup, been looking at auto venting ideas, and a fan or two for circulation. Most of the warmer months I can just open a door and maybe window. That's the benefit of living somewhere windy enough that they install windmills everywhere.
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