Greenhouse 1

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Greenhouse Under Construction

These are pictures of our greenhouse on the left side of our home.  Southern exposure gives the greatest amount of solar heat gain during the winter.  Even without the door on (shower curtain is temporary door entering from the porch  by the front door) the inside temperature has not gone below 40 degrees with the outside temp. as low as 9 degrees during the night and early morning.  It gets up to 70 degrees inside during the day when the sun is out.  We will be able to keep winter crops going (salads, tomatoes, chard and others) while getting all our spring vegetables, herbs and flowers started early.  I can keep my three citrus trees growing all winter long.  This greenhouse also reduces the amount of sound coming from the Rail Road tracks and the amount of gas or wood needed to keep  the house warm.  After it snowed the first of December, we realized that more support would be needed for the double-walled polycarbonate to keep it from the slight bowing under the weight of the snow. 

Jan. 6, 2007 Update - We have water and electric to the greenhouse.  No more extension cords coming out of windows and no more dragging the water hose from the back yard through the garage to water the goodies in the greenhouse.

Feb. 10, 2007 Update - The extra support needed for the polycarbonate roof is halfway installed.

Spring 2005 Laying out the foundation. Almost 12' by 38'

Fall 2006 - We are finally going to do this!  Our friend Kenny is helping out part time.  These window were removed from a military installation and are in good condition.  They are dual paned, workable windows with screens.  On hot days, when opened at the bottom, air can flow into the greenhouse from the lower level and out the top of the dutch door on the end.  Kept closed on cold days, the sun warms the bricks on the side of the house and the bricks retain a lot of that heat during the night.

This is just after we put the shingles on the roof over the shop end (left side) and along the side of the house extending into the greenhouse four feet.  This gives some shade to the side of the house, in the summer, when the sun is right overhead.  The 8 mil. double walled polycarbonate was put on the greenhouse side after this picture was taken.  Eight panels took three days to install!  It didn't look that hard on paper..............................

After it snowed, we waited a couple of days for it to melt, but my patience didn't last long enough.  I noticed that the polycarbonate was sagging slightly under the weight of the snow and I was concerned that the pieces could pull out from the side runners.  I took a snow shovel and removed snow and ice from five feet of the eight foot panels.  After I took this picture, Dan came to my rescue and was able to remove 2 more feet of ice & snow because he had longer arms & a ladder (yeah, he had more patience too).  I am amazed at how much heat can build up in the greenhouse with such cold temperatures outside.  It has actually gotten to 100 degrees inside while in the upper 20's outside.  That dutch door will come into play much sooner than I thought.  With the top half of the dutch door open and a window open on the bottom, a great deal of extra heat can be released.

This is from the shop (closed in) end looking through the greenhouse to the front door(shower curtain & piece of wood on the left).  I am on the hunt for a solid wood door that I can make into a dutch door to use for ventilation in the summer.  I would like to put the polycarbonate inside the framework of the top half of the door.  We will see how that goes.

Update: 12/12/06

Our neighbor had an old door stored in his barn and it is perfect!  Pictures to come.