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New guy to greenhouse gardening

Vineland, NJ

Hello all....I'm from the garden state of NJ.I'm wrapping up things in the greenhouse I started on around the 5th of April 2012
It's been an expensive project for someone who lives on a pension!!! But something I wanted to do for the past 30 years!!

I'm growing primarily vegtables from seed in starter cubes and transfering them to 3"sq. peat pots....from there I'm putting them in Bags....3,5,7 gallon....some of my vegs are going in "troughs" I've constructed out of 3/8" steel rod with a wooden end on either end of the trough.
The troughs are 18"wide 12 inches deep and 8 foot long....they will be wrapped with 6 mil poly with a hole pattern on the bottom for drainage.
I'm using pro-mix BX and I'd like to use fish emulsion or compost tea(vermiculture water) to fertilize my plants.
I'm probobly going to run 3/4"black plastic tubing down the lenght of my benches with "spaghetti" tubing going directly to the base,stem of the individual plants.....for the exception of smaller plants which I may use soaker hose.

This is my first attempt at growing plants in a controlled environment....My greenhouse is 20 by 40 feet with a 12 foot peak it will have a high efficiency propane 100,000 BTU heater for the winter months....pricey little bugger!!!

I have lots of questions,lookin forward to chattin with you all!......................Dave.

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Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

>> 20 by 40 feet
>> propane 100,000 BTU heater for the winter months...

That sounds big! Great!

Does the propane burner have a thermostat? For example, can you set it to come on only ikf the temperature in some spot goes below X degrees? I wonder if a small fan near the peak would save money, if it mixed cold air near the floor with warmer air near the roof?

BTW, when the weather is almost warm enough to do without the heater, consider putting a second layer of heat protection INSIDE the greenhouse. Something like a floating row cover or even some small hoops covered with plastic film. That could give you an extra 5-10 degrees of warmth in some spots without paying for as much propane.

If there is a way to keep the warmth from the burner near the most tender plants or seedlings, that might also save money. Maybe you could heat only the area that is currently full, or keep the heat from rising away from the plants and going up to the roof.

Or insulate a shelf underneath some trays, and put a plastic film dome over it, then put one heating pad under 1-2 trays. With enough insulation under and over, you can start seeds earlier wikthout running the burner. Or start them MUCH earlier, and only run the burner when extra-cold nights are forecast.

If your drip wateirng scheme has a big rerservoir, like a 55 gallon drum, paint it black, sit it where the sun is storng in winter, and cover it. That's a pretty good heat reservoir.


>> pro-mix BX

If you decide that you want it to drain faster and be cheaper, cut it with screened, shredded pine bark. If you buy pine bark mulch, it will be $3-8 per 2 cubic feet, depending on how well screend it is, how clean, and especially whether it was stored wet in big stacks. Buy medium mulch (not fine). Screen with 1/2" hardware cloth, and use what does NOT pass through. You can use some of what does pass through 1/2" mesh, if you discard anything that passes thorugh 1/4" mesh (but you start to lose the fast drainage and aeration advantage if you use much that passes "easily" through 1/2" mesh).

The fine part can be turned into outside soil, where it is at least as helpful as peat moss and breaks down slower than wood chips. No detectable nitrogen deficiet. . Big chunks or wood chips make good mulch.


Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Hi, Dave :) I can't give you any advise on greenhouse gardening 'cause I've never used one, but I wish you luck in your new endeavor. Looks like you've made a great start.

Keep us updated! ^_^

Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

To give extra heat to sensitive plants I used to use a heat mat and hoops covered with plastic. Saved on the gas bill.
Now I live in a more tropical climate, no heat necessary. Do you have a way to cool it in the summer? Fans? Shade cloth?

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

Very nice! And welcome to Dave's.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Welcome, and we get to follow along with in the greenhouse with Dave, we get fun!!

Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

What an wonderful size greenhouse you have there. You are going to have so much fun. When I went to hort school, they couldn't get me out of the greenhouses, I just love them. I love starting seeds and transplanting to the next size pot and the doing it again, over and over, I also loved the watering, what I didn't love was growing that poinsetta's, oh I didn't like them much before and now I really don't like them....LOL

Wishing you the best with your new GH.

Jan

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