We spent the weekend assembling this greenhouse. I'm so excited to have the extra space & climate control. The greenhouse is 6X8. It was not very easy to put together though. A zillion parts with limited instructions. The snow/rain mix didn't help with the assembly. Oh well, done now, plants spent the 1st night last night, which we had a low of -5 Celcius. Everything is fine. Now I can repot everything into bigger pots, since they are still in the seeding trays. YEAH
This is wonderful to have the greenhouse. I started to transplant the seedlings into bigger pots, so they should be huge for May container planting. The hardest thing with the greenhouse assembly was pushing in the rubber seal along the perimeter of each panel. My hand still hurts. I found the handles of the sissors helped, but it was still hard. Even used soapy water, hoping it would just slip in, but it needed quite a bit of force.
We had terrible weather the last few days..blizzard conditions. It was about 5F or -15C. I picked up a Mr.Heater Portable Buddy heater with 2 outputs. 4000BTU & 9000BTU. Friday, the darn thing shut off about 11PM. Started it & set my alarm every hour to check. It shut of @ 4AM & again @ 6AM. These "new" appliance have so many added safety features, they end up being an annoyance. I knew it had to do with the low-oxygen sensor. It was very humid & so cold that the fresh air ventilation was frozen solid. I stuck a fan inside, near the door & it did the trick. No problems since then. Wish I would have thought of it Friday night. It is forecasted to be way below average temps for the next week, so I'm glad I got the new heater.
Joanna-I am really wanting a greenhouse these days but am a little concerned about heating. Your greenhouse looks great! Are you planning to keep stuff in it year round? I would love to be able to keep more cold tolerant plants (down to 45-50 degrees F) all winter, but wonder if that's reasonable with such cold winter temps (we can spend days at a time below 0*F). I was looking at Solexx greenhouses but they are a little pricey. Anyway, I'm very interested in hearing more about your greenhouse and where in your yard it's located-I have lots of deciduos trees but that's really only a problem in the summer time.
My GH is 6 feet X 8 Feet, so fairly small. The door is pointing North & there is a 6 foot fence on the South side. There is a Maple tree sorta behind & East of it. I'm not sure if that was a good location, but it seemed to fit in the yard in that location. If you want all year, you may need to consider a a gas/propane furnace. A RV furnace would probably do well, as long as you got a direct vent. You would probably need to put some sort of custom exterior wall in the spot where the furnace would vent...it will be a hot exhaust. Electric heaters would probably be expensive to run, plus are a bit iffy with an environment with water. There is a fellow in this area that has a few bigger greenhouses in his yard & he has large rainbarrels in the greenhouses lined up along the north wall, creating a heatsink. I guess it would depend on what size GH you get. It is amaing how much heat is generated from the sun...but once the sun sets it cools off fast.
Thanks for the information, Joanna-I'm really torn between getting the greenhouse (which I have AWLAYS wanted) and rigging up more lights in the basement for growing. Things just grow better in a greenhouse . . .
It was awesome. In August, Costco had another sale, so I sold the 6'X8' and bought a 12'X8'. I put a base of double layer landscape fabric. I plan to use pea gravel, with small stepping stones down the middle. We made a frame out of pressure treated wood and anchored the frame with heavy duty auger style anchors intended for big tent type carports. I plan to get auto vent openers for the roof vents. Will use the propane heater as before. I'm hoping to get the new one completed within the next few weeks.
Nothing from November to Mid March. There isn't enough daylight hours and it would cost a fortune to heat it. Also, the freezing temps for weeks/months will kill most of the bugs that are in the GH. We will get 12+ hours of daylight around March 20th. For us # of Daylight hours (around mid month) is as follows: Nov: 8-1/2hr, Dec 8hr, Jan 8-1/2hr, Feb 10-1/2hr, Mar 12hr, Apr 14hr, May 16hr, Jun 16-1/2hr, July 16hr, Aug 14hr, Sep 12hr, Oct 10-1/2hr
In mid-June sunrise is 5:20AM & sunset is 10PM
In mid-Dec sunrise is 8:40AM & sunset is 4:30PM
Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan & Feb just don't have long enough days. Dec, Jan, Feb can get as cold as -40 C or F for a spell.
GREAT PICS. CAN REALLY SEE HOW IT GOES TOGETHER. DOES THE POLYCARB COME WITHIN THE GREEN FRAMES OR DO YOU SLIP IT IN SOMEHOW? I'VE READ LOTS OF HORROR STORIES ABOUT HOW HARD IT IS TO GE IT IN. THANKS AGAIN
"Everything" is in pieces but very well labeled. If you follow the destructions exactly, it is very easy to put together...just a zillion parts to work with. It may be a bit overwhelming when you first start, but honestly, it is not difficult. It will take a couple of days to assemble if you take your time and well worth it.
My 6x8 greenhouse is an Easy2Build. My s-i-l did it by himself in two days. The base is a frame of treated 4x4x8 with bolts drilled through and set in concrete. The floor is covered with weed block and eventually pea gravel. Then there is cedar sitting on the 4x4 to protect the aluminum. The covering is heavy poly plastic. I have had to use it three times now to protect plants from freeze. I use a Mr. Heater Buddy connected to a 20lb propane tank. I set it on low and it keeps the gh 20 degrees warmer than the out side air. The slight gaps between the wood and aluminum frame seem to allow enough fresh air to the heater. We also drilled a hole through the 4x4 to allow the hose from the tank to the heater. This also lets enough air for the heater.
I have been very pleased with my GH. I bought it off of e-bay for $300.00 including delivery. I have outgrown it already and am planning on tearing the sides and roof off of an old shed and putting corrugated clear panels for greenhouses on it. It is much bigger and would be able to hold my larger plants. But I say again, the propane heater is a blessing. I keep track of the amount of hours used so I can be sure that I don't run out in the middle of the night. BTW, Joanna was the one who confirmed for me that the propane heater would work. Thanks again Joanna.
I won't be putting anything in it until Mid March...so by April 1, it should be full. I'll start the early stuff, petunias and such, indoors under lights & move them in the GH then. It (GH) seems huge compared to the 6X8 one.
I bet it does seem huge. I love petunias. I have the surfinias and calibrochoas. First time with them this year. They have been beautiful producers. The surfinias have a great scent. The purples do better in the heat than the pinks. They are self cleaning and constantly fill in from the top to bottom. No need to deadhead or prune back leggy stems. Mine got 3 ft long hanging from the pot. The calibrochoas, or mini pets, are also self cleaning and get very full. I got the Terra Cotta. I highly recommend them to petunia lovers.
Sheryl, I'm not sure about the calibrochoa seeds. I think you propagate by stem cuttings. If I find seeds, I will harvest them and send you some. I don't see seeds on them like I do the petunias. But I will check today and see what I find OK?
They make the most beautiful full round potted plant. I put three small plants to a 12 in pot and it just exploded.
Stokes has the best description for the different types of petunias. I start all mine from seed. I like the Waves, Tidal Waves, Shockwaves, Ramblin', Avalanche, Opera supreme. All are Multiflora, and don't require diligent deadheading. I'm the worst deadheader. All that I mentioned are great performers & full of bloom until the killing frost. I like the Supertunia Vista series, but they are not avaiable by seed. I hate buying bedding plants, since all the growers use those terrible peat plugs with the mesh lining. The lining restricks the roots, becomes a wick and is a problem. I usually slice the lining or pull it right off. The plants do much better without it. The Calibrochoa are not available in see form. Probably a few year until the plant police will allow seeds on the market. Bacopa was just allowed to be sold in seed form last year for the 1st time.
I have a petunia that self sowed from a light pink mother plant. It has grown and is blooming the deepest pink. I love it. It was a nice surprise. I have seedlings popping up in the pots of my petunias and pink surfinia. I haven't had to buy any bedding plants since harvesting the seedlings. I have successfully gotten cuttings to root off the purple surfinia. The pink is self sowing.
I have heard of the Waves but not the others. I am constantly amazed how many varieties there are of one plant.
I will try cuttings. I cut the top of a stem off and take off the bottom leaves and stick in rooting hormone. Then plop it into the soil and see what happens. I got my purple surfinias that way. I don't know if the seeds of the calibrochoa are sterile or not. Some site said the surfinias were sterile, yet I have little surfinias growing in the pot of pinks. So I harvested some seeds from the purple and pink and peat potted them. WE'll see if they germinate. I'll let you know if I find calibrochoas. I will check tomorrow. I forgot today. Sorry.
there are some good sales at Lowes in the garden dept. Trying to get rid of their summer and fall stock before it freezes. I got a plumbago last spring that was leftover from the previous year. It cost a dollar. It is so big and pretty now. Pansies are out by the hundreds at Wally World and Lowes. My calibrochoas, surfinias, petunias, geraniums, encore azaleas, clematis, lantana and butterfly bushes are all still blooming. The butterflies and bees are eating away.
I'm gonna have to write myself a note to check the calibrochoas for seeds. Was out all day with the hubby and forgot when we got home. Tomorrow I will be bringing them out of the GH and watering them. I will try to stick anote to the GH door. If I had all my brain working I'd be dangerous. :)
That's beautiful, really. I saw your calibrochoas. It looks like you have Terra Cotta. I hope to have that look around the deck we build next spring. My acre is too big to try it all over. You can be proud. You've done a good job, me lady.
Did you just not see any seeds? I may have to go the stem cutting route. But that doesn't get Sheryl any calibrochoas.
I didn't notice any seeds, but I never really looked for them. They probably froze before they had time to set seeds. The blooms lasted right thru until a hard frost in Oct.
I hope to have the backyard project done early next spring. The seed catalogs are starting to arrive and I have already made a ridiculously expensive and long list AND I haven't even looked at the vegetable seeds yet. I will have lots of time to trim the wish list. I start a few things indoors in Feb, but most in March.
I have already gotten some seeds. I need to plant my blue bonnets now. I just haven't had the time. I love zinnias too. I have plenty of those. We always have projects don't we? It's a good thing we have cold winters. I need that much time to fine tune my plans.
The main complaint is that the polycarbonate panels pop out of their frames? What has been your experience?
What did you do about the flooring in the Greenhouse? One of the big complaints is that if the Greenhouse is not even, panels will pop, which may be the problem with the 6X10 unit. How did your Greenhouse do during the Canadian winter? Are there any problems with the aluminum frames rotting near the ground?
I love it & no problems. If you have a level base & the rubber seal installed, the panels will not pop out. It is important to put the rubber seal in...which is the hardest job. Last March we had an extreme cold spell -30C, which is -22F. Lined the inside with bubble wrap, propane heater and it was good
I was tempted to order the same 8’x12’ Greenhouse you have but I have size issues and the 8’x8’ Greenhouse fits nicely into the available space with an excellent southern exposure.
After reading your commentary and the Costco provided owners manual (http://www.costco.com/images/content/misc/pdf/276717.pdf) I have a better understanding of what the potential problems are. The Costco customer reviews fall into two categories: love it or hate it! The key mistake in the product description is this line: “No base necessary, anchoring stakes provided, build wooden base if you wish”. I will follow your plan for the building the base which is simple and inexpensive but very critical to a successful construction.
How were you able to stabilize the temperature with the Mr. Heater Buddy? It doesn’t appear to have a thermostat and there are reports of the flam going out. Did you use batteries or an external power source? Interesting observations you made about the low oxygen safety features. Extra CO2 is good for plants but un-combusted propane is a “bit” of an explosive hazard.
The instructions are very easy to follow and if you do everything in the proper order you will have no problems. I bought a heavy duty auger anchor kit from Princess Auto. Those anchors are made for the tent style garage etc and there is no way that they will come out. The kit was about $20. I bolted the greenhouse to the pressure treated wood base frame and used a metal band around the wood frame & anchored it in place.
The Mr. Heater works well. It has a standing pilot and 2 temperature selections 4000 BTU & 9000 BTU. Yes, you need to provide fresh air or have a fan to circulate the air. I found an electric heater with a thermostat control which I use in combination with the propane heater. The smaller greenhouse had a fresh air pipe, but the larger GH had the electric fan/heater & propane heater.
I had no power, so that's why I went with the propane heater at 1st. Last spring I ran an extension cord for the fan/heater. True North Caframo which can handle a splash of water. The thing with electric heaters is 1st you need a good extension cord (no less than 12 gauge or 10 gauge - the smaller the #, the bigger the wire). Also the cord shouldn't be any longer than it needs to be. All of this will add resistance and the heater will not have the power to perform.
This heater has 1500 watts with a 12.8 amp draw on high. The high setting ( 5000 BTU)is not intended to be run full time and if you only have it off a 15 amp breaker, shared with some other plug, you risk the breaker overloading. 900 watts gives about 3000 BTU, not enough to heat that space in the middle of the night in March & April. the propane & electric combo works well together.
Within the next month I will be running 20 amps to the greenhouse. Need to dig the trench and have the electrician run the power. I will still use the propane in combination.
We had an unusual cold snap last March where it went down to -30ºC or -22ºF. Even with both heaters ice had formed on the inside of the GH. I bought a roll of 1" bubble wrap and lined the the inside of the GH. I also found that I could keep the GH 10ºC or 32ºF warmer by putting a bed comforter on the roof for the night.
I don't put anything in the GH until March 1st. Most years I would not have to go thru the extremes, but Spring of 09 was really whacky for weather.