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My husband and I bought this hoop house about 5 years ago and FINALLY got it up yesterday! Obviously the ends still need built, we'll be running the power and water over in the next few weeks, and I'm shopping for the cover, louvers and z-wire now..

For the ends, we want to use polycarb, but we don't want to piece them together and the largest pieces I can find are only 2' wide, I'd like to have one sheet that we can cut to fit. Any ideas or alternatives?

For the beds, I intend to use "raised beds" but the sides are 2"x6" - so only 5.5" tall, which I understand is not tall enough. The issue is that the ground is new and the equipment used to build the pad, packed the soil quite well. Now it's having drainage issues and is a muddy mess.  My thought is to dig down at least a foot, mix my aged manure to the excavated dirt, then put back in. The advantage to this consideration is that I have all spring and summer to do it.  The disadvantage is that I have to dig.

I've also considered simply forking the ground, dumping new garden soil on top and planting some ground cover over the spring, summer, so that by fall, hopefully the hard soil underneath is usable.  The advantage the this option is no digging, but the disadvantage could be that it doesn't work and the soil underneath the new soil remains impermeable.
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Is there a fair clay component to your soil? You might be lacking in calcium, and you might need some larger-sized mineral particles and organic matter in there to keep the clay from sticking to itself, which is often the cause of water drainage issues. You might want to get some gypsum grit, whatever organic matter you'll be using to amend your soil, spread it all overtop of the affected area, and fork it in.

You could also till the new organic matter and gypsum grit in there, if it's just that compacted. One-time soil disturbance on soil so compacted that there's nothing really living in it isn't so bad a thing if you're working your amendments into the soil strata. It will only accelerate the changes in the soil.

There are many great things you can do in the course of keeping a garden to ameliorate your soil, including fungal slurries and oxygenated compost extracts. All the details you could possibly need, and a great deal more, besides, can be found in Dr. Redhawk's list of Epic soil Threads.

As to the ends, what is the orientation of your greenhouse? If, for instance, one end is pointed away from the sun, you might want to consider putting in an insulated wall as opposed to glazing. If there's no solar gain from that side, why use glazing?

Good stuff, though. Keep us apprised of your progress, and good luck!

-CK
 
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Here are 2 suppliers with polycarbonate panels wider than 2 feet.

http://www.farmtek.com/farm/supplies/cat1;;ft_corrugated_sheets_panels.html

https://www.greenhousemegastore.com/coverings/plastic-sheets/polycarbonate-sheets/polycarbonate-panel-8mm-clear?returnurl=%2fcoverings%2fplastic-sheets%2fpolycarbonate-sheets%2f

 
Heather Ulrich
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Chris Kott wrote:Is there a fair clay component to your soil? You might be lacking in calcium, and you might need some larger-sized mineral particles and organic matter in there to keep the clay from sticking to itself, which is often the cause of water drainage issues. You might want to get some gypsum grit, whatever organic matter you'll be using to amend your soil, spread it all overtop of the affected area, and fork it in.

You could also till the new organic matter and gypsum grit in there, if it's just that compacted. One-time soil disturbance on soil so compacted that there's nothing really living in it isn't so bad a thing if you're working your amendments into the soil strata. It will only accelerate the changes in the soil.

There are many great things you can do in the course of keeping a garden to ameliorate your soil, including fungal slurries and oxygenated compost extracts. All the details you could possibly need, and a great deal more, besides, can be found in Dr. Redhawk's list of Epic soil Threads.

As to the ends, what is the orientation of your greenhouse? If, for instance, one end is pointed away from the sun, you might want to consider putting in an insulated wall as opposed to glazing. If there's no solar gain from that side, why use glazing?

Good stuff, though. Keep us apprised of your progress, and good luck!

-CK



Thanks for the reply! I've read many of the soil threads - I think it's just overwhelming to a newbie! LOL

The soil is definitely moderately heavy clay. I have a large pile of 1 year old wood chips and a large pile of aged cow manure. I had considered tilling, but I'm afraid of creating a hardpan deeper down - but I would much rather till than shovel!

The face to end are East to West, with the long sides being North and South. There will definitely be solar gain through the winter on the ends, during morning and evenings.
 
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I'm not sure where you live but Menards has 4' twin wall poly sheets in stock by me.  

I'd be fairly tempted to loosen the soil (fork, broadfork) and add new stuff on top and maybe fork it together a bit.  A tiller will loosen it down 4-6" but it will create a hardpan as you fear.  Maybe that's fine if you get 6" from a tiller and 5.5" from the raised bed.  
 
Heather Ulrich
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Mike, I just looked and yes, Menards does have them! However, a trusted mentor used simply corrugated poly.  Do I really need twin wall?
 
Mike Jay
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Oh, gotcha, I didn't remember there was more than one kind of poly...  

It probably depends on how much season extension you want to do with your greenhouse.  If you need as much insulation as possible, the twinwall may be worth it.  If you are only going to have one layer of poly on the hoops, it isn't worth spending more on the end walls since you'll lose all your heat through the poly film anyway.
 
Heather Ulrich
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Mike Jay wrote:Oh, gotcha, I didn't remember there was more than one kind of poly...  

It probably depends on how much season extension you want to do with your greenhouse.  If you need as much insulation as possible, the twinwall may be worth it.  If you are only going to have one layer of poly on the hoops, it isn't worth spending more on the end walls since you'll lose all your heat through the poly film anyway.



Makes sense. We're going to use the corrugated poly, then. Our winters are generally pretty mild, hopefully I can get away with growing cold loving greens all winter! Then use it for starting seeds in late winter, using supplemental heat if necessary. I may regret having a GH this big! The good thing is it can be modified easily by removing hoops and cutting down the base.
 
Mike Barkley
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I may regret having a GH this big!  



Is that possible? Sort of like having too much gold isn't it?
 
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I have a friend who has been quoted as saying "you can never have have too many hose clamps, too much duct tape, or too much ice cream." I'd add "or too big of a greenhouse."  :D

If you run out of ideas of what to put in it, tell us, I have a good sized one designed but not built yet, and my list of what I want in it already has more than I will have space for.

Love your build here! Looking forward to seeing what you do with it!! :D
 
Chris Kott
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If you have trouble filling it, just add a back wall row of dark-coloured drums or barrels filled with water. You could start seeds on them. They would trap excess heat and radiate it back as the inside temperature drops.

-CK
 
Heather Ulrich
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Mike Barkley wrote:

I may regret having a GH this big!  



Is that possible? Sort of like having too much gold isn't it?



HAHA! Touche' - yes, it sort of is.
 
Heather Ulrich
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Pearl Sutton wrote:I have a friend who has been quoted as saying "you can never have have too many hose clamps, too much duct tape, or too much ice cream." I'd add "or too big of a greenhouse."  

If you run out of ideas of what to put in it, tell us, I have a good sized one designed but not built yet, and my list of what I want in it already has more than I will have space for.

Love your build here! Looking forward to seeing what you do with it!!



Thanks, Pearl! A co-op GH, maybe?   Ideally, I'd like to grow leafy greens through the winter, with no supplemental heat.
 
Heather Ulrich
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Chris Kott wrote:If you have trouble filling it, just add a back wall row of dark-coloured drums or barrels filled with water. You could start seeds on them. They would trap excess heat and radiate it back as the inside temperature drops.

-CK



Great suggestion! I had this idea years back, but hadn't thought of it lately.  Would that work on the north wall? I intend to add 2 - 150 gallon fish tanks eventually and do a few racks using aquaponics. That'll be a few years tho.

Also, how do I multi-quote on this forum???
 
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Greenhouse too big? You can also move your compost pile inside. It will compost in the middle of winter and heat the inside!
 
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Hi Heather,

I don't know where you are located, but I bought some 4 x 8 panels at Menards.  They even have 12' long by special order.

By the way if you do line the north wall with water drums, make sure to insulate between the drums and the north wall also add an outer (towards the north wall layer of aluminum radiant barrier.  This will also prevent the insulation from radiating heat in the northerly direct out of your greenhouse.  You want all your radiant heat from the drums radiating into the greenhouse.

 
Heather Ulrich
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Ralph Kettell wrote:Hi Heather,

I don't know where you are located, but I bought some 4 x 8 panels at Menards.  They even have 12' long by special order.

By the way if you do line the north wall with water drums, make sure to insulate between the drums and the north wall also add an outer (towards the north wall layer of aluminum radiant barrier.  This will also prevent the insulation from radiating heat in the northerly direct out of your greenhouse.  You want all your radiant heat from the drums radiating into the greenhouse.



I'm near Springfield.  I think we've found the panels!

Good advice. I think it would be best to put the water drums in the center, based on posts here and some minor research.
 
Chris Kott
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Only if you don't mind the shade. It might not impact your operations.

-CK
 
Mike Jay
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The only ways I know of to do multiple quotes are to either:

  • Quote the first person you want into a reply.  Then go find the next part you want to quote and highlight and copy/paste it into your message.  Then copy the "quoting" code and put it before and after the second quote (changing the name of course).
  • Hit the quote on each post with a left click and open in another window.  Then copy those quotes into one reply.
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    Ralph Kettell
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    Heather Ulrich wrote:My husband and I bought this hoop house about 5 years ago and FINALLY got it up yesterday! Obviously the ends still need built, we'll be running the power and water over in the next few weeks, and I'm shopping for the cover, louvers and z-wire now..



    I had not seen your signature which said you were in SW Missouri or I would have more firmly recommended Menards for the panels.  Glad it worked out.  

    When you bought the hoop house, what came with it beside the hoops and hardware?  How much was it?  Although I realize that a 5 year old price is totally worthless.  I am thinking of building something here in NW Arkansas.  By the way the only Menards even remotely close to us is likely the same one you use in Hollister.  We are almost neighbors!

     
    Heather Ulrich
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    Ralph Kettell wrote:

    Heather Ulrich wrote:My husband and I bought this hoop house about 5 years ago and FINALLY got it up yesterday! Obviously the ends still need built, we'll be running the power and water over in the next few weeks, and I'm shopping for the cover, louvers and z-wire now..



    I had not seen your signature which said you were in SW Missouri or I would have more firmly recommended Menards for the panels.  Glad it worked out.  

    When you bought the hoop house, what came with it beside the hoops and hardware?  How much was it?  Although I realize that a 5 year old price is totally worthless.  I am thinking of building something here in NW Arkansas.  By the way the only Menards even remotely close to us is likely the same one you use in Hollister.  We are almost neighbors!



    Hi Ralph! We are fairly close! Springfield is generally closer for us than Hollister, unless we're planning to go to Branson for something (there's a BBQ place we LOVE there).  We bought the greenhouse from a farmer in NW Arkansas - Ron Klinefelter.  He was one of the coolest people I've ever met.  I think we paid $800, or $900? It came with a book, the hoops and some of the hardware.  At the time, for what we wanted, it was the most reasonably priced. Plus we got to spend a day on Ron's property, which was priceless.  I would like to contact him soon to see how he's doing.
     
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