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Thread: Greenhouse help

  1. #9
    cp-connection's Avatar
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    You won't be able to keep it above freezing with a heater on an extension cord (1500 watts). Look into small propane heaters. The smallest ones are not vented and might not be suitable for some kinds of plants. A good option for you is to heat your greenhouse minimally and just bring your tropicals in the house for the coldest 4 months of the year. That's what I do!

    PVC frame works if you build the greenhouse in an area protected from wind. Build next to little hills, banks, privacy fence, edge of woods. A PVC frame might last 5 years before it gets too brittle. It also can't withstand more than a few inches of snow and has a tendency to negatively react with plastic sheeting. At best the chemical reaction will make an opaque stripe on the sheeting, worst case scenario is that it makes the sheeting brittle.

    A very sturdy cheap frame option is "black pipe" with cast aluminum fittings. I built my first greenhouse from black pipe I got for free. Its fairly easy to attach a board to the base to anchor the plastic and to integrate with wood endwalls.

    "Construction plastic" is not UV stabilized, and only lasts a few months in the sun. "Greenhouse film" is the only option.

    To cool during the spring I use an exhaust fan and motorized vent. To cool during the summer I use removable end walls and shade cloth.


    Quote Originally Posted by I am Bob View Post
    I am planning on keeping some lowland neps and some other tropicals in it. I visited Lowe's today and I think that I am going to build it out of PVC pipes with a 6 mil heavy duty plastic sheeting. I might try running an electric heater as I might be able to run electricity out to where it is going to be. Does this sound like it might work?

  2. #10
    Not really I am Bob's Avatar
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    then how do you grow lowland neps in the winter (without a terrarium?)
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    To clear things up, what zone are you?

    I think we live in similar climates. I have 1 1500watt hot water heater and 1 5000watt heater for the air, plus about 1gallon of water/ square foot of greenhouse. My greenhouse is 800 square feet, 2 sheets of plastic with a little inflation fan. I can keep it above 30F, but its a stretch during the coldest part of the winter. My heating bill is $200-$300.

    Don Schnell has an 8x12. I think he has 3-4 1500 watt electric heaters under his benches. He keeps it at 40F, but I believe he brings his neps inside for the winter. He's in zone 5.

    Quote Originally Posted by I am Bob View Post
    then how do you grow lowland neps in the winter (without a terrarium?)

  4. #12
    Not really I am Bob's Avatar
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    my concern was that it gets very dry (almost no humidity) in my house, and I wanted to be able to keep certain lowlanders alive in winter (bicalcarta, ampurilla, rafflesiana, just to name a few.)
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  5. #13
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    I am sorry cp-connection, I am in zone 6 I believe. I am trying to think if it might be possible to insulate it, but then that adds too much, and I am trying to stay under 200 dollars including a heater. I did find a decent deal on a 10000 BTU propane heater, but like any other heater, this coulf probaly become expensive really quick. I may just try to bring them inside, and make sure I leave my heater on.

    Does anybody have any advice on how to keep lowlanders alive inside (something tells me I might have to scrap the greenhouse idea.) I have a small vaporizer humidifier that I could keep in my room, but I think that that may not be enough. My room should be big enough to hold a bical for a few years...

    Thanks again to everyone who has posted so far. I really appreciate it.
    my growlist
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    Man who run in front of car get tired; man who run behind car get exhausted.

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