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Bubble Wrap the Greenhouse for Insulation

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

I've looked on the internet and there are a number of people in cold climates that put a layer of bubble wrap on the inside (not to damage the UV protective exterior coating) of the greenhouse. Anyone have any pointers or advice. I'm going to pick up a roll of 1" bubble. Thought the bigger the bubble the better?

What's your experience? The greenhouse got down to 7C/45F last night with the low of -20C/ -4F. Sunday thru Tuesday morning doesn't look good and I jumped the gun with putting 12 flats of 72 cell trays out there. They (seedlings) look fine, but the next few days may mean doom. There is a chance that we may get down to -30C/-22F Monday night. Don't think the propane heater will provide enough heat in that temp. 12'X8' greenhouse. 9000 BTU propane heater

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Have no experience with this, but this is what it looks like so far. Need to do the top, but I need to figure out how I will secure it so it doesn't fall

Thumbnail by joannabanana
Palmer, AK(Zone 2a)

Looks good! For the top, could you just go straight across and have a flat ceiling? (Resting on wire or string if it sags too much). Just an idea. I'm not really good at that type of thing. (Obviously).

Have you noticed a difference in the temperature yet?

(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

I don't have any answers for you, Joanna, but I'm hoping you post your results, I'd love to hear your experience.

St. Louis County, MO(Zone 5a)

I'm anxious to hear your results, too, as I hope to get through the winter next year. Are you using any solar water heating?

Dacula, GA(Zone 7b)

I have used the 1 inch bubble wrap on the inside of my small greenhouse (6x8) for 2 years now. I have a small space heater in the GH and even when the outside temp is in the 20s it stays in the low 50s inside. Before adding the bubble wrap, the heater couldn't keep up and the temp would drop to low 40s,sometimes high 30s. Yours looks about what mine does. Its hard to keep the BW in place. I'll need to replace mine for this coming winter as the humidity has it all mildewed.

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Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

A little off topic... OK, a lot, but I'm wondering what you're using to mark your ID tags. I got the special magic pen and it writes way to thick to read. The sharpie works nice, but the ink fades.

Hope your little greenies make it...
Jay

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

I got one marker that is called a Nursery Marking Pen by The John Henry Company. Says it is Permanent, Waterproof & Non Smear. The other is a paint pen from a craft store that also works great.

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

Thanks, I'll look into it. =0)

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Jayryunen, the paint marker brand is DecoColor extra fine opaque black

Well, here's how it turned out. The extreme cold air is due to arrive tomorrow & stay until Wednesday. So far it is a huge difference with heat retention.


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St. Louis County, MO(Zone 5a)

Joanna, Are your greenhouse walls double glazed or single?

St. Louis County, MO(Zone 5a)

Very nice, and a good price. It has the double pane, that is what I bought, too. I'm hoping to be able to keep mine warm enough to use year round.

Frankfort, KY(Zone 6a)

I bought a 4'x96' roll of large BW and taped and stapled it to my walls, and built wood frames for the roof , don't have any temp readings.
I do have 3, 55 gal barrels that collect heat in the day, I get about 15 change from 5pm to 10am, so they are working.
As for plant markers, I found an aluminum, 1" wide window shade, cut it into 6" markers and use a black marker outside but inside I mark with a pencil and cover with tape, then I can reuse them.

SIDE

Thumbnail by rentman
Frankfort, KY(Zone 6a)

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Thumbnail by rentman
Frankfort, KY(Zone 6a)

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(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

I'm sorry, Rentman - do you mean the water barrels are working for you, the bubble wrap or the combo? Fifteen degrees isn't bad at all - it would sure help me.

Frankfort, KY(Zone 6a)

I got the Fifteen degrees from the barrels before I had all the bubble wrap up,
so I'm not sure.
The barrels were free from a print shop, had ink in them so I will not use them for water.
I have my peppers, tomatoes, lettuce (for the rabbits, and their poo for the garden) some flowers are all up, waiting for the herbs to show.

Thumbnail by rentman
Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

Nice! =0)

Palmer, AK(Zone 2a)

Love the pictures, Rentman. It looks like you cut each BW roof panel separately. Very neat job.

(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

Is that you, Rentman? You look like you are concentrating on those sprouts: "grow, grow, grow, grow..."

Did you paint your barrels black?

Frankfort, KY(Zone 6a)

You gota talk to them don't you ? ? ^_^
The barrels are black soo...here a pic.

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(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

Gotcha - thanks for answering my questions, I appreciate it!

North of Heber, AZ(Zone 6b)

My 6x8 greenhouse is made of corrugated polycarbonate sheets from HD, lined with bubble wrap from Staples (free delivery). The frame is steel, from a DIY camper an old-timer was trying to make but he passed away. My son brought the frame out to me and helped me turn it into a nifty little gh. The north side & north slope of the roof are plywood, insulated with rigid foam. Because the frame is metal, I couldn't use tacks or nails to secure the bubble wrap, so used clear packaging tape and duct tape. The duct tape came off after about 5 weeks, but the clear tape is still holding. I bought a roll of super heat/cold resistant duct tape and have used that but also bought rolls of clear tape in case the h/c duct tape doesn't hold. Anyway, I started out using a 12Vdc auto blanket (connected to old solar panels & batteries) but the blanket died! I have been filling milk & fruit juice bottles with water and so far it seems to be working perfectly even without the blanket. We have had temps down to 10 or 15 outside but inside the gh, it hasn't been below 45. This is since about mid January, when the gh was completed. I have my geraniums out there, a dwarf fig tree, and two grow-tubs with lettuce (big enough to start picking now) and some tomatoes that will be big enough to set out in the garden in a month or so. I am delighted with the whole thing. I guess the combination of the bubble wrap and the water bottles are doing their job.

Thumbnail by AZgrammie
Frankfort, KY(Zone 6a)

grammie, you and I are on the same page, I bought the shelf from an auction for $47, sold 1/4 of them for $95 and have many more left to use, sell.
My GH was 6x8 and this fall my son in law helped me extend it 16' (can't have enough room) with 2x4's from another auction.
I used old wood windows picked out of trash piles for the sides.
The roof is the corrugated polycarbonate sheets as yours. I have gravel on the floor.
I don't get the heat exchange from my barrels as you do but they help.
Last year I grew 60 tomatoes plants to transplant to the garden in the little 6x8 house.
This year not so many.

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Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

AZ... am I seeing this right... you've got the shelving sitting right on top of the bottles, so they are supporting it?

I love the resourcefulness these GH show. Very inspirational! No if the wind would just quit so I could start with mine! ;)

Jay

St. Louis County, MO(Zone 5a)

I use white buckets with water in them for my shelves. They have lids so I don't get mosquitos breeding.

North of Heber, AZ(Zone 6b)

Yes, Jay, that's right. Works for me! The bottom layer of bottles are on a shelf placed on the steel frame of my former BBQ! Since I took that picture, I have added probably another 60 gallon bottles and now have them almost everywhere. According to the books, I should have 200 gallons for a 6x8 greenhouse. Rentman, I know my greenhouse looks like "Loving Hands from Home" compared to yours and so many others on this forum! I had been saving old discarded windows, too, but when I got that steel frame I decided to spring for the new polycarbonate. The plywood & styrofoam & roofing materials, and 8x8x16 concrete blocks for the stemwall, are all leftovers from other projects. I figure I have about $200 in new store-bought materials. The door is from my former tack room but with poly and bubblewrap on it instead of whatever I built the door out of. I took a solar greenhouse design & construction class 2 weeks ago, and the only thing I have not done according to what I learned in the class, is to insulate the outside of the stemwall but I figure the worst of the winter is past so I will get it done this summer for next year. The floor is dirt & flagstone so when I water I don't have to worry about where the drips go. Here's a picture of the south wall. Plants are bigger now! BTW, it gets VERY hot inside in the daytime unless I open the window. I won't be using it in the summer. The wife of the teacher of the class uses her greenhouse to dry peaches & apricots in in the summer!

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Frankfort, KY(Zone 6a)

"The plywood & styrofoam & roofing materials, and 8x8x16 concrete blocks for the stemwall, are all leftovers from other projects."

I love it...that's the way to go

(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

That's terrific, Grammie - nothing like using what you have on hand. Great job!

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Well so far so good. The cold weather has arrived and the next few nights are going to be very cold. Right now it's minus 20C, which is minus 4F and the greenhouse inside temp is 12C/54F. I put a couple of bedspreads on top & that seems to really help keep the heat in. My concern is Monday & Tuesday nights. -30C or -22F. The sun really heats the greenhouse up, but a soon as it's dark, it is very cold. It is a bit unusual to have this cold temps this time of year, but the entire winter season has been a little whacky. Cold & Snow cover since Dec. We didn't get the chinooks that we normally get.

(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

Hoping it works for you, Joanna!

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

AZ... that's really cool, I'll have to start saving bottles! =0) I'm a leftover user, too.

Good luck with the temps, JoBa. Keeping my fingers crossed for you!
Jay

North of Heber, AZ(Zone 6b)

Brrrrrrr. Good luck, Joanna! Hope everything makes it okay. The bedspreads are a good idea if it isn't raining or snowing. If it is, maybe you could tuck them over the trays of plants? Not too close to the propane heater, though!

Lois

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

It's snowing, but bitterly cold. I left the bedspreads on...hopefully not too heavy with the snow. Tonight is going to be the coldest. I may run an extension cord & put a little ceramic heater at the other end. -30C is cold. Most of the plants have their 2nd & 3rd set of leaves, so it will be a shame if they don't make it.

(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

Ugh, I hear you.

And here I'm worried about my cabbage/broccoli/cauliflower as the temps teeter on the edge of freezing the next couple of nights....

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Everything worked out great. On the very cold nights I put some blankets on top & that really made a huge difference holding in the heat at night. took the blankets off after sunrise.

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North of Heber, AZ(Zone 6b)

Jo, your gh looks neat! Glad the bedspreads worked out for you. Pagancat, I wanted to plant my cabbage/broccoli/cauliflower seeds in my gh, but don't have enough potting soil -- meanwhile, it is warming up here (temporarily, may still get some freezing) so I thought I'd go ahead and plant them outside in the Big Garden. One of my gardening books says they can handle a little freeze. Do you know for sure?

North of Heber, AZ(Zone 6b)

My Little Greenhouse is doing great but my plans to turn my former stable into a Big Greenhouse have hit a snag. My son (professional chef and expert carpenter) came over to help me strip off the exterior siding & roofing, but didn't think much of my carpentry skills. (I built the stable myself, 5 years ago, with a little help with the roof.) He says all the walls need to be reinforced before he will go up on the roof -- says we can't even strip off the old stuff until we get it stabilised. So now we are looking for used 4x4s on craig's list and so forth. Buying new would be too spendy. 8^(

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

Oh bummer... don't you just hate how one thing becomes another, then another, then another... darn near till you forgot where the whole thing started. And then one day you wake up wondering why you never finished X, Y, or Z.

Jay

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