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Year Round Greenhouse in Texas??

 
pollinator
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I'm new to all things growies, so tell me... is it worth the hassle to build a permanent greenhouse in Texas? I can see how the temporary caterpillar hoops can be a huge benefit in the winter months, but what does a permanent structure do to your plants when it's continuously 100F outside in July and August?

I see these structures as being a great way to grow tropical fruit without having to baby it in the winter months, but will it fry these same tropical fruits to smithereens in the summer?

Or maybe I'm wrong about the tropical fruit... is it easy to grow tropical fruits in zone 8b, Texas without a greenhouse?

Please, help this greenhouse noobie out!
 
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I would look into a high tunnel (hoop house).  That way the covering can be removed in the hotter months.
 
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You can certainly design it to handle hot summer weather- sun screens to reduce incoming light/heat, large windows high and low to allow good air flow, water tanks that are along the north wall so that the roof blocks summer sun from heating it up and can act as a heat sink. If you use masonry material to make planter beds, you can growing hanging plants that grow over the rocks/bricks in the summer, but in the winter as they die back, the rocks/bricks can absorb winter light. You could also install ducts under an earth berm to cool incoming air (and warm it in the winter).
 
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The only tropical fruit I ever saw thriving around there is key lime. Most of the greenhouses I know of around there have huge ventilation systems for summer. Plus the costs associated with that. Not everything will grow all year long there but many things do great over winter. Broccoli, chard, kale, cilantro, onions, garlic, asparagus, even peas unless it gets very cold. I think the best use for a home green house there would be a tiny one to start hot weather crops a little earlier than normal & to extend the fall season a bit.  
 
Rebecca Blake
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Mike Barkley wrote:The only tropical fruit I ever saw thriving around there is key lime. Most of the greenhouses I know of around there have huge ventilation systems for summer. Plus the costs associated with that. Not everything will grow all year long there but many things do great over winter. Broccoli, chard, kale, cilantro, onions, garlic, asparagus, even peas unless it gets very cold. I think the best use for a home green house there would be a tiny one to start hot weather crops a little earlier than normal & to extend the fall season a bit.  



Very insightful, as always Mike. Thank you!

You also solved my lime mystery: Someone gave a friend and I limes and we were both puzzled as to whether they actually were limes or not because they turned yellow and tasted different. Turns out- they must be key limes!
 
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Key limes are like soft lemons. Love thier taste. Meyer lemon is supposed to be more frost tolerant.

It likely depends on what growies you want to grow.

If you plant the trees or bushes near a wall, then the radiant heat and wind block maybe enough.

In phoenix, slightly higher growing zone of 13. We'd heavily mulch bananas with straw in the winter. It worked well. I miss all the citrus and figs....we know live  n zone 6b.
 
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I'm in South East New Mexico, so fairly close to Texas and with the same 100F plus Summer temps.
I recently built a gambrel roof greenhouse (Thank you Ana White) which is covered in a 50% shade cloth all the time, and in the Winter I cover the shade cloth with 6mil greenhouse plastic film.
So I have shade from the summer sun and insulation in the Winter.
So far it seems to work.
 
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A friend of mine grew up in San Diego and told me that ripe limes are yellow.
https://www.twistedcitrus.co.nz/blog/post/33-Are-limes-best-when-they-are-green-or-yellow
 
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