Bubble Wrap the Greenhouse for Insulation - PART 2

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

We came from here. http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/959872/

That thread was getting pretty long as mentioned, so here we go.

2010 bubble wrap almost ready for startup. March 1st is the magic day for me

Thumbnail by joannabanana
Lake, MI

I am normaly not a envious person but I have to say I am green with envie today.

Way to go Joanna!

Is it a Rion? What size? How did you end up doing your bw? and how are you going to heat it now?

Sorry for all the questions but I would love to know.

Amos

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Hi Amos,

My GH is a Easy Grow 8'X12' from Costco

I use 2 heaters. One Little Buddy Mr. Heater (propane) http://www.mrheater.com/product.aspx?catid=41&id=24 and one Caframo True North http://www.caframo.com/hearth/hearth_products_acspaceheaters.php electric heat. I have a 30 lbs propane tank outside the GH with a hose running to the heater. I need the combination for our climate. Last year we had several days with high temps of -25C (-13F) and night lows of -30C (-22F). I also have a small fan up high for heat/air circulation It is difficult to control the heatloss with those temperatures. On extreme cold nights I cover the GH with bedspreads. Your panel materials, & outside "low temperatures are vital in determining the size (BTU) of heater that you will require.

This is the best resource to figure out the BTU heater you would need for your area. http://www.littlegreenhouse.com/heat-calc.shtml

Bubblewrap: I called a few shipping supply wholesalers and bought a 250' roll of 1" bubbles for $44. I cut it to fit the panels and used shipping tape to attach it to the GH. Bubbles facing the panels. I reused the BW from last year.

This message was edited Feb 24, 2010 12:32 PM

Thumbnail by joannabanana
Caneyville, KY(Zone 6b)

Wow! Beautiful! You really have to do some manipulating to get that many blooms in your zone! Couldn't do all that without your greenhouse, could you?

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

That's right. I start a zillion petunias and tomatoes early. Here's a pic of my petunia fetish

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Oops, was on the wrong computer, here we go

Thumbnail by joannabanana
Caneyville, KY(Zone 6b)

Joanna, that is absolutely beautiful! Are the Petunias fairly easy to start from seed?

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Yes, they are. I usually buy pelleted seeds so they are easier to sow. surface sow and provide bottom heat until they germinate. As soon as they germinate remove the clear domes. water with warm water and use chamomile tea to prevent damping off. I posted some info this morning regarding planting petunias in containers here: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1072169/

Thumbnail by joannabanana
St. Louis County, MO(Zone 5a)

Robin, get your petunias started right away for blooms by mid to late May. I use the little peat circles that you add water to for starting them, then move to larger pots as the roots start to show around the edges.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Just me, but I don't like those peat jiffy pellet things with the mesh. It's much better to start them in a seed tray with seed starting soil mix. Those mesh things really restrict the roots. Once planted in a container arrangement, guaranteed that the soil will settle & that darn mesh will be sticking out above the soil line and it will wick the moisture away from the roots. I have found during fall cleanup that all the plants that were started in those mesh things had a puny root system and the plant never really grew that well. Yes now is about the time to start petunias, but the Tidal Waves I start in Mid March. They bolt fast and will need to be in 6" pots at the end of April.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

I found the perfect shelves to add to the far end of the greenhouse. It's actually a mini greenhouse and was on sale for $25. I bought 2 and they fit great. Whole bunch more space for plants.

Thumbnail by joannabanana
Dacula, GA(Zone 7b)

Joanna, thanks for the new thread. And that greenhouse is fantastic. I had been looking at the costco one, but had no idea is was so sturdy looking. Can't really tell from their ads. Your petunias are beautiful. I may have to start some with my tomatoes next week. Really great info on your other thread.

Lake, MI

Joanna,

What a wonderful looking greenhouse.

You are a good grower. The plant's are beautiful.

I started my patunias in cell pks, with the heat under and the dome on top.
They came up and when I cracked the top to let some air in and checked them the next morning they were all lying down flat. That was an expensive oopppsss.

What did I do wrong?

I just love patunias and buy them evey year. looks like I will be buying them again this year.

Thanks for the pictures and the information

Amos

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Sounds like a fungal disease Damping Off. Petunias are susceptible to it. As soon as they germinate, you should remove the dome. There are chemical that you can add too the water to prevent damping off, but an easy alternative is top water or mist with a strong brew (room temp) of chamomile tea. Do this until the seedlings develop their true set of leaves

St. Louis County, MO(Zone 5a)

I've had good success using peroxide in my water, here is the site that shows quantities: http://www.using-hydrogen-peroxide.com/gardening-with-hydrogen-peroxide.html

(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

Or.... they simply got too dry, perhaps?

It's cheaper to try again than have to buy them all!

Lake, MI

Here they are, how sad....

I feel like I am setting my self up for a chewing, let her rip

The house is very dry not hot 62 degrees.

Oh how I wish the greenhouse was up and running. I have worked at several and I am ashamed of myself.

What am I doing wrong? HELP!!!!!

Amos

Thumbnail by Amos55
(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

I would try warming them up a little bit - I know you should grow them on at a lower temp, but just to start out, they might like it a bit warmer. And the only time I raised them it was in a Southern window - how long are you leaving your lights on?

Joanna? Save this poor girl before I lead her astray, lol....

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Hi,

Amos, I think you need them closer to the light. That house temperature should be ok for growing. Also run a fan (start off on low). The fan will strengthen them as well.

This message was edited Feb 28, 2010 4:16 PM

Lake, MI

I have the light on for 14 hours is that enough?

I have a small fan and will put that in the room. I don't want the fan facing the seedlings do I ?

Thanks for helping me out as you can see by the picture I needed it LOL

Amos

this is my heater I am going to use in GH 20 thousand BTUs I tried to look at how many BTUs the buddy was and couldn't find it.
How long does your tank last? I have a thiry gallon tank and I am not sure how long they last.
I have a small electric heater that came with my GH but I have no electic hooked up yet so I will have to rely on propane. It says it does not have to be vented on my box, do you vent yours?




I am hoping to get the bubble wrap up and the GH going in a couple of weeks.

This message was edited Mar 1, 2010 1:49 PM

Lake, MI

I tried to edit with this pic on my post and you can't add a picture oooppppssss

Thumbnail by Amos55
Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

I have my lights on for 15 hours, 6AM until 9PM. You either need to lower the light to 2 inches above the plants or raise the tray so that the plants are about 2" from the light. Yes blow the fan at the seedlings, just like the wind outside. I like to use an oscillating fan and start out on low 'cause your seedlings are a bit stretched.

RE: heater

Since your heater has a pilot light, you will need to provide fresh air for the low oxygen sensor. So if you are not running a fan, then the easiest thing would be to run a 2 inch pipe thru the GH wall with a elbow and leave the inside end open-ended near your heater to provide continuous fresh air. Other wise your heater will go out in the middle of the night.

This pipe thing would be similar to a combustion pot in your house for a gas furnace. I will find the other thread that I posted pictures of what I mean.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Here's the link with the fresh air pipe. about 1/4 down the page
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/827836/

Lake, MI

Thanks for all your help I really do appriciate it:)

I lowered the lights and the fan is on low on them.

Amos

Fenton, MI(Zone 5b)

Joanna,
I see you have a green house! Congrads!
If i remember correctly you are the lady with the most innovative ways to make things into a green house!

I seem to remember some great innovative pictures of swing sets etc.?
Is that you?
I love to follow you around here you are so wonderful to share your knowledge.
Julie

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Yup, that's me. Had the swing set GH in 2007, then I got the 6'X8' for 2008 which was too small. Now I have an 8'X12' - 2009

there are a few threads on my dealings with extreme cold temps with the GH (bubble wrap) and heating trial. This year everything has been great since a lot of trial & error has taken place in past years.



(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

I have to get the bubble wrap - we're still below freezing every night and I have tomato and pepper starts that are dying for some sunshine - not quite literally, but close! But they're looking kind of rough.

This has just been one heck of a winter.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

In the 8'X12' GH : With a little circulation fan up high blowing at a downward angle, and the little 3000 BTU electric heat & 5000 BTU (low settings) propane heat, the night temp is about 15.5C, which is 60F ( outdoor ambient temperature is -6C, which is 21F). This is with the bubble wrap. Without the bubble wrap, it would probably be about 8C or 46F

Fenton, MI(Zone 5b)

Hello Joanna,
Glad to read your greenhouse "escapades" I learn something new all the time!
Julie

Raleigh, NC(Zone 8a)

JoannaBanana said: "...then I got the 6'X8' for 2008 which was too small. Now I have an 8'X12' - 2009".

What are you gonna do next? Because I seem to be following in your footsteps (just a year slow), and I'd rather skip a mistake and save some $$$ if you have a new theory/idea in the works that you're gonna share! LOL

(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

I think the theory might have been "I need more room!"

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Other than always planting too much, this is the biggest GH that will fit in this yard. The GH was equipped with 2 roof vents, one with an auto roof vent opener and also a fresh air vent. !6 feet of shelving. Added extra shelves that are actually a mini GH

I think I have it set up pretty good, propane heater with a hose that runs under the GH and hooked up to a 30 LBS tank outside for easy tank swap.

Now with the electricity to the GH , a temperature controlled electric heater/fan with different heat & fan speeds. The heater is designed for the boat industry so it can take a splash of water. An overhead electric fan for heat & air circulation.

Bubble wrap for insulation. 4" of small smooth gravel base, heavy duty landscape fabric under that. Pressure treated wood base frame and 4 heavy duty anchors that are made for big tent style car ports.

There are two more things that I'm considering. I cram everything in, so not a whole lot of extra space. Once it is warm enough, I have going to run a water hose under the frame of the GH and hook a little spiral hose for inside watering. I would just click connect the main yard water hose to the feeder hose into the GH. Until then, I just had water out of 5-gallon pails

The other thing I am considering is a few planting boxes call maxicaps. I will find the link and post. These would be for tomatoes & cucumbers & peppers that will remain in the GH thru the summer.

Here's what I'm talking about for the self watering planter. I would not get a decorative wood box for the GH, just the styrofoam containers
http://www.buyagreenhouse.com/greenhouse_accessories_maxikap.php


This message was edited Mar 5, 2010 2:11 PM

Carson City, NV(Zone 6b)

I was thinking about this thread while DH and I were building our greenhouse this spring. I couldn't get the double wall polycarbonate panels that I wanted for the roof (the shipping was more than the panels cost.) I bought corrugated polycarbonate panels and added a layer of bubble wrap between them. That way they won't get damaged or dirty.

http://picasaweb.google.com/janelj54/Greenhouse#

St. Louis County, MO(Zone 5a)

Wow, that is a beauty. I love the idea of bubble between the layers.

St. Louis County, MO(Zone 5a)

Joanna, I'm wondering if I could put two big white buckets with holes in the bottom in a low plastic bin I have for the same effect. Sometimes I'm not able to get out to water, it would be a great help if it worked.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Cathy4,

Not sure how that would work out, but I guess it is worth a try.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Cathy4 ~ do a google search for e buckets. DGr Gymgirl has a good tutorial on building them and growing vegies in them although she is in Houston so no GH trials yet. You could be her first.

St. Louis County, MO(Zone 5a)

Podster, thank you, thank you! I've been trying to think of a way to use all my buckets in the winter. Gymgirl's solution is so much better than anything I came up with, I'll be hitting the dollar store tomorrow. I'm rooting cuttings of my tomato plants already, so I can get them in the buckets next week. Our night temps are starting to drop.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Will you please keep us posted on how it does for you?

Greeley, CO(Zone 5b)

Thanks for all this information. I just finished doing the north wall w/ the small bubbles (it was 1/2 the cost of the large) and I will be doing the remaining walls w/ the 1/2" bubbles this weekend. After that I am going to use window shrink wrap over the top. It is crystal clear so I am not too concerned about the amount of sun that will come in. I thought about using the reflective bubble wrap on the north wall, but decided not to do it this year. Has anyone tried that?

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