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A handful of greenhouse questions.

 
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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forest garden trees urban
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I needed to rebuild my greenhouse/shed.
It had started out as a Coop N' Run/Greenhouse, but the city made me evict the hens.
Long story, for another time.

The new design will have a 16' stretch of glazing.
Its about 16' x 10'.
Only 6" or so is under "glass", the back 4" feet of roof is opaque,and soon to be green.
I'm not sure how to use the space.
I don't expect to keep this greenhouse above freezing, it's a season extender.
I was considering the following ideas:

-Six to eight sub irrigated planters. Each would be a full 55 gallons in size. I already have two of these built and  in use, one with a grape vine another with a blueberry bush. Half barrel planters are an option.
Annuals or a mix of annuals and perennials are an option. These take up a lot of space, but they also hold a lot of water or thermal mass.

-Two tiers of shelves and a series of hooks , sized for 5 gallon buckets. 5 gallon sub irrigated planters need more attention, or an irrigation system, but they take up far less space. Not great for over wintering most plants, but very portable.

-Gutters, or more likely downspouts with holes for net cups. This holds a lot of appeal for starts, but nothing will over winter in these.

-Some combination of these things.

I'm leaning towards a counter top with space for barrels underneath. These could be wet or dry storage, compost tea, or whatever.
If I can score enough some shower doors, I might use them for the counter, allowing me use the barrels like cold frames.
Above the counter, shelves. These would be used for starts.
I'll hang shower curtains to further protect the plants from the cold and from the chickens, as this will be their winter hang out, as well as mine.
I will probably dig out the walking path and use it as cold sink, or fill it with woody bits and pee on it(might be a bad idea, not sure), or put a series of worm towers under stepping stones, or runcorrigated black drain pipe and  pump steam from a propane clothes dryer through it, or..
I will probably leave the pathway for latter,it's not crucial, and I have too many goofy ideas.

I should be able to fit 4 to 6 more barrels in on the other side of the walkway, but any deeper and they would be in constant shadow.
I think the blueberry bush should move next door to my in-laws very sunny yard.
It really doesn't need to be associated with a green house, and right now its sitting right in front of it, blocking light.
I want the grape vine inside, as it will be providing my summer shade as it crawls across the underside of the clear section roof.
I have one hardy kiwi that might like it as well, and it needs a partner, as it has yet to produce.
Any ideas on other vines that would do well in this space?
Anything that makes edible leaves is preferred.
Nothing I have planted in with the grape vine or blueberry has done very well, but maybe winter greens will.
Siberian snow peas are tasty and very robust, I might try those.

The back 2" x 16"  of the green house will hold tools and materials, and a rocket stove at some point, even if its only a tiny one.

Sounds crowded, I know, and my plans for the barrels under the counter are supper hazy.
A cold frame with a counter top height lid,makes more sense.
I could put anything in that.
5 gallon buckets would have some head space.
Every layer of cover pushes the zone by one, right?
Maybe I will just enclose the top foil faced insulation, and do the same for the rear, but include access doors.
This would mean only one glazed side,low to the ground, so good protection against cold but very low light.
Worth considering.




Feedback is appreciated.




 
 
William Bronson
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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Quick picture:
IMG_20191011_135255.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20191011_135255.jpg]
My bootleg greenhouse
 
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Neat project, it'll be cool to see what you can grow in there.  The only initial feedback I have is that a hardy kiwi will engulf that greenhouse so I'd keep them outside.

You could also have the grape outside and let it climb on top of the greenhouse for summer shade...
 
William Bronson
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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forest garden trees urban
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Thanks for the warning on the kiwi.
It has struggled in the spot where it is, but that might be due to competition from the grapes, blackberries and mulberry
Actually only the grapes and mulberry seem able to compete with one another.
The green house snuggles up to a row of rose of Sharon, separated from the fence-line by a by a narrow path.
I might put the kiwi in one of the 55 gallon sub irrigated containers and tuck it back there.
Lots of places to climb, and if it covers the outside of the greenhouse with vines, so be it, I will be needing the shade anyway.

I have gotten some glazing up recently.
Two storm door sized pieces of glass on the front vertical face, plastic sheeting on the pitched roof.
I think I will imitate some of the  hoop house I have seen and use rope or cord to hold the plastic firmly in place without penetrations.



The plastic is from a roll of  ~20"  tube.
Plenty thick, probably not UV stablib but who knows?
Not me, I cant remember where I got the stuff.
I have slit it down one side to get lengths ~40" wide, and overlapped it to cover the building out past the eaves.
If I find that the overlapping joint is leaking air or water, I'm going to try something like this:



I have an dumpster dove(doven?) container of the stuff, and I think it should stick and dry clear.

My crazy, expansive ideas have all been rolled back to fit materials that are either on hand, free to acquire or at least cheasy(cheap'n easy) to come by.

I have high hopes for this first iteration, but I need to get this "dried in" before it gets much colder, so refinement will wait for when repairs and revisions are needed, as they always are.
Right now I'm figuring out where to put my door(s?), and how to close in the ends.
I think the ends might be built all opaque and insulated, with one door on the left for certain.
That's the end nearest to the house.
A second door on the right end would facilitate cleaning and materials handling.
I have a lot of cheap hollow wall doors that once made up the sheds roof structure.
They  survive well out doors, as long as they kept dry, so I think I will try to build end walls with them.


Ill post some more pic's when I can.
 
Mike Haasl
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I think kiwis provide a bunch of shade when their leaves are off as well.  So you'd potentially get 100% shade in the summer and 50% shade in the winter.  And I just heard that they bear on 3 year old wood.  Not sure if that's really the case but it could mean that hacking it back in the fall could greatly impact fruit the following summer.
 
William Bronson
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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forest garden trees urban
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Here are some photos from today.
I was working on the 18"or so of wall that is beneath he glazing.
I cut (salvaged) plastic wood boards to 16" or so to make the front stem walls.
I heaped soil against them on a 45 degree slope, then put a layer of plastic sheeting, then more soil.
The resulting beds will protect the stem wall from wind and sun.
Another layer of plastic sheeting on the inside will go from wall to floor at below grade.
I plan on stacking cardboard on top of that, about 6 inches of it, followed by more plastic.
I might put an adhesive between the layers.
Borox infused wheat paste has crossed my mind.
I have texture sprayer I want to try so I might use that.
Id like to finish the floor with layers of mortar and burlap coffee bags.
Using burlap/cement on a floor is untested,  but I have reason to be optimistic.
Should be cheap to try.

This "petrified Hessian " will also be what I use as a final outer layer on the outside of the walls.
I plan to stretch it over some very rough furring strips.
The strips will go over plastic sheeting.
I want to pile soil against the back wall in much the same way I did the front wall, except the wall is right up against the rose of Sharon hedge, so there isn't much room for raised beds.



I hope to insulate the wall cavities at my leisure.
Waxed cardboard shreds, borox and clay soil is what I'm thinking.
Soil baked in a  rocket oven would start out super dry and
biologically dead, kind of ideal for thermal mass/insulation.
I wish rice hulls where a local waste stream, but alas.

Except for this layers of plastic,  and the carpet on the roof,  I hope to have a structure that can be dismantled and burned safely.
IMG_20191024_201113.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20191024_201113.jpg]
Night view
IMG_20191024_201125.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20191024_201125.jpg]
A raised bed in front of the stem wall
IMG_20191024_201136.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20191024_201136.jpg]
Inside view of the stem wall, needs insulation.
IMG_20191024_201148.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20191024_201148.jpg]
Intirior view of rear wall
IMG_20191024_201141.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20191024_201141.jpg]
Miter saw work station
 
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