Author Topic: What do you do with a greenhouse?  (Read 291 times)

Lilburner

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What do you do with a greenhouse?
« on: May 07, 2021, 02:41:47 PM »
Sounds like a stupid question, I know.

I know the obvious - starting seeds and getting plants going.

So that's say February to April. What about the rest of the year? Can you grow summer crops in it all year? I assume it doesn't do anything for cool weather plants.

What are the uses for it throughout the year?

I assume anything you want to grow out of season has to be started from seed, because where would you get seedlings?
A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures.
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RWS

Re: What do you do with a greenhouse?
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2021, 03:17:41 PM »
In the Southern part of the state, I grow cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, leaf lettuce & spinach out doors.  Some finally sucome to the cold.  If I lived in the Norther part of the state, then I would grow these in a green house.  I eat from my garden year round.

Ravenwood1950

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Re: What do you do with a greenhouse?
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2021, 06:12:21 PM »
With a greenhouse you can keep growing all year even during the winter. Cool weather crops will keep growing and if it gets really cold you can cover them with Agro cloth and it will protect them without having to heat the green house.
Check out this book, he gardens all year in his greenhouse and he lives in Conn.
https://www.amazon.com/Four-Season-Harvest-Organic-Vegetables-Garden/dp/1890132276/ref=sr_1_18?dchild=1&keywords=gardening+year+round&qid=1620425422&s=books&sr=1-18
Ravenwood

RWS

Re: What do you do with a greenhouse?
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2021, 06:31:49 PM »
The house plan my wife picked out had a screened in back porch.  I changed it to a glassed in "Sun Room" and oriented the house so the porch is on the South side.  To me a Sun Room with a heated concrete floor is a greenhouse.  Now if I can choose building materials for the non glass walls that won't be effected by the humidity, things will be good.  I don't want the North wall to mildew & rot.  Now I need to work on ventilation so it does not get too hot.  It needs to be automated to work unatended.

Abigayle

Re: What do you do with a greenhouse?
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2021, 10:05:15 PM »
One additional use is when I start more plants for the garden than I know what to do with, I plant a few of then in the greenhouse.  With the door and two windows open, things like tomatoes, eggplant, peppers and cucumber can grow all summer long.  We we have storms, with high winds or hail, some of my plants are protected.  In fall, I will dig up a few volunteers and plant them inside.  Some grows sell seeds that do exceptionally well when grown inside and they do not taste "greenhousy"
One side of my greenhouse consists of a deep planter box all the way down the wall. I can sit seedling there or use it to grow.  The other end had dirt next to the walkway, where I can grow lettuce most of the year.  I love the savings of starting my own plants and have been able to try so many more varieties this way.  I don't know of anyone who ever regretted having one and they don't have to be huge to be a blessing.  They also are cheaper than a therapist.
Ariel

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Re: What do you do with a greenhouse?
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2021, 12:53:55 PM »
I looked up my ZIP code and found this.

Last Frost Date: March 24
First Frost Date: November 13

So say that is the range where it never goes below 32. Is there some kind of rule of thumb with a greenhouse of how low it can go? Like can you maintain above 32 including overnight if the overnight low is 20?

February always seems to be the worst month. Starting 30 days early on February 24th seems like a real challenge.

I can see putting black barrels full of water along the South Wall for heat, but I don't want to spend energy actively heating. Maybe a couple buddy heaters for a surprise cold snap, but I don't want regular energy consumption to be part of the plan.

In the case of greens, you pretty much just grow them as long as you can, and then when they die they die?

Conversely, I assume you need fans in the summer. I'm not too worried about that, because a couple of solar panels should make it self-sufficient.
A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures.
~ Daniel Webster

8greenbeans

Re: What do you do with a greenhouse?
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2021, 05:38:22 PM »
I do not use a fan in summer but mine is only 10x12. I just keep it completely open. I keep a banana plant in there year round and my fig tree until the deck reno gets complete, then it will go outside. I start seeds in January (my last frost is supposedly April 15 but we had yet another late one this year). I have bricks, hot compost, mulch, and water jugs/barrels/bottles in my greenhouse. This past winter was the best one yet concerning temps in the greenhouse. (I have an additional plan for this coming fall to add more warmth). However once the temp hit around 27ish degrees then the greenhouse would hit 32 and then within a few degreeslower outside and there was only a degree or 2 difference inside the greenhouse. However, I have done mini-greenhouses inside the greenhouse which gives an additional degree and if those can fit in plastic ziplockbags, another degree or 2 additional to that.

Since I do not have power to the greenhouse, I did something different this year in an attempt to speed up germination. I started the seeds in the sunroom on a heating pad. After they broke through the soil, I moved them to the greenhouse inside plastic bags with a small opening. Worked great. Definite time saver. If the extra solar panel will power heating pads or electric blanket then I will start out in the greenhouse next winter instead of the sunroom.

My caution is this: make sure no critters are trapped inside the greenhouse once you start seeds. Unfortunately all that hard, fruitful work I did was undone by a hungry bird after I opened the bags on a warm day in March.

As for the rest of the year. I have large pots and an old fishrank full of soil. I can grow lettuce, spinaches, and brassicas in the cool of the fall and start of winter. Maybe if the new plan works then I'll grow year round finally.

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8greenbeans

Re: What do you do with a greenhouse?
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2021, 05:40:48 PM »
I forgot to mention the underground heat source.... Geothermal ground to air transfer or earth battery. If you dig below the frost line (not deep here in Georgia at all) then you can utilize the earth's steady temperature to both heat and cool (partially) your greenhouse.
You can do any type of internet search on it and find multiple resources. Eventually I would like to do this now that we have a tractor but I don't foresee MrBeans being eager to get to it until I'm way more successful at utilizing the greenhouse.

USMC Veteran, USAF Mama
Army National Guard MIL
Army Daughter, Navy Niece
8 Beans
7 GrandBeans
3 Beans-in-law
1 MrBeans

Abigayle

Re: What do you do with a greenhouse?
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2021, 03:32:17 PM »
We ran electric and water to ours.  While it is not large, the fan that can be set to any temp does come on and move the air.  With this, I get stronger stems, as the plants harden gently.  I also open the two window and the door when it is not too windy or cold.
If you have tomatoes growing and they touch the glass on a 32 degree day, they will die (just the part that touched the glass).  I try to keep my in the high forties at night, again, for hardening.  If you keep it too warm and comfortable all the time, they get shocked when you set them out in the real world.  Last week, I started some squash, cucumbers and tomatoes for a second crop.  Forgot eggplant and peppers....  The are up already and should do well with all this sun if I water twice daily. After re-reading what I wrote, if it is above 40, more power to it.  Cold snaps are part of nature so I try to replicate it the best I can.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2021, 12:16:04 PM by Abigayle »
Ariel

ProGeek

Re: What do you do with a greenhouse?
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2021, 11:17:39 AM »
You can keep tropical plants like bananas, citrus, and coffee plants in it during the winter. You may needs a small heater to make sure it doesn't get below 40.
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