Greenhouses in the Midwest

Effingham, SC(Zone 8a)

I would eventually like to have a year-round greenhouse, possibly lean-to style, for Orchids. Has anyone done this in the past? Another though was having a sunroom build with a separate heating unit to keep it a cool house (around 55 degrees) during the winter. Not sure if this is a pipedream or doable in this area of the country. I gave away 60+ orchids that I used to keep in the oaks outside out bedroom window when we moved from Florida last September, bringing a dozen smaller (4" pot growable), but the bug hasn't gone away.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Stu; Might try here , you might get more answers , ideas . etc

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Nah, it's not a pipedream. I'm in a colder zone that you and I have one. I keep it at 58 with the auxiliary heater set at 50 if the main one develops a "problem". It's large.......30x64, a bit bigger than you'd need for 60 orchids. :>)

Hobart, IN

Stu - sorry I didn't see your thread earlier. I have a 6 x 10 lean-to kit greenhouse on the south side of my garage, with additional door going into it from garage. (I can go out there in my pjs if I wanted.) I have a wall-mounted natural gas heater (non-vented but with sensor) or I can use an electric space heater. I have two roof vents plus a side wall vent, all automatic. DH ran electric out there so I have a 4 ft fluorescent light fixture. I have a wall-mounted dual thermostat (can use it to turn on fans in the summer but also can be used to control a propane heater. It does get hot in there in the summer even with shade cloth hung from the ceiling and fans going. Last week during heat spell it was 106 but with a shady back yard, I wanted all of the winter sun I could get. Only thing I don't have out there is running water. I do insulate it in the winter with rigid styrofoam and bubble wrap and I keep the temp at about 50 degrees minimum. I also have fluorescent shop lights hung under a 4 ft bench so that I can put seedlings or cuttings under the lights.

Effingham, SC(Zone 8a)

Thanks all. I do have a GH on the long range plans for Orchids and maybe to start seeds.I may try to do it as a 'Florida room' with a block base around the bottom of the structure or possibly on the decking, extending the original deck.

Hobart, IN

Hmmm - if you put the GH on decking, won't it be too cold in the winter? I think your idea of a "Florida" room (or small conservatory?) is wonderful. I wish mine was big enough to put a chair in to sit in sunshine in January.

Effingham, SC(Zone 8a)

I've read about deck GHs in the GH form. They insulate the floor of the GH and it's usually a lean-tu type so it probably can get some radiant heat from the house. However, right now, our deck has a roof so will probably need to put it on the extended deck as a free-standing.

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