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Matt Harrison
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Newbie looking to rebuild a 100' x 20' greenhouse and having trouble deciding what setup to go with. The greenhouse will serve the aquaponic and worm systems.
We want to heat the space as economical as possible and feel geothermal is the way to go, but haven't found a lot of resources.

We are also confused by all the options i.e. 1 or 2 layers, side curtains etc.

Cost is always a factor but we want a system that will work well.

Our questions to the community are:
What is necessary?
What systems have you worked with?
What systems do you like?
What local vendors do you recommend?

Any and all help is greatly appreciated.

V/R
Matt
 
Landon Sunrich
pollinator
Posts: 1703
Location: Western Washington
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Matt Harrison wrote:Newbie looking to rebuild a 100' x 20' greenhouse and having trouble deciding what setup to go with. The greenhouse will serve the aquaponic and worm systems.
We want to heat the space as economical as possible and feel geothermal is the way to go, but haven't found a lot of resources.

We are also confused by all the options i.e. 1 or 2 layers, side curtains etc.

Cost is always a factor but we want a system that will work well.

Our questions to the community are:
What is necessary?
What systems have you worked with?
What systems do you like?
What local vendors do you recommend?

Any and all help is greatly appreciated.

V/R
Matt


So whats local? I've never bought greenhouse supplies - but I sure have put a bunch of them up and worked in a good many of them.

Single vs double layer - basically a double walled greenhouse with a 4 inch air gap will extend your climate zone further. Here in the PNW a double walled greenhouse has been the only way thus far I've had much success growing melons and eggplants.

Really any configuration will work to extend season - from houses to tunnels. Tunnels are way easier to set up tear down and move. You can set up a pretty epic tunnel by pounding rebar stakes at intervals, using 3/4 inch flexible pvc pipe to make an arch between your two spaced rebar anchors and on down the line as long as you want. Hold the tension with 3 good ropes running lengthwise (perpendicular to your arches) and anchor them at the ends. I like these tunnels because they go up and come down in less than 30 minutes once you get the hang of it.

For an aquaponics set up you might want something more permanent like a standard wood or metal pipe framed house. I would recommend the pipe because its easier to tie ropes on at intervals to allow you to raise your sides to control ventilation and temperature. Just slide up the siding and tie a hitch to hold it up, untie and pull it back down at night.

I've worked in some pretty massive high hoop tunnels (20 foot ceiling? 15 at least) which are supper wide - you could grow an orchard in them if you wanted. I think these would be great for a set up where you can hold way lots thermal mass in water and allow you to create any sort of ecosystem you can imagine. They're also expensive - the particular one I'm thinking of was at an institution not a private home or business. They also can collapse due to snow. This is a big problem with most fixed greenhouse - which is another reason I like the easy up tunnels.

I don't know if that was clear or not since I have a good mental image and I'm not sure if I conveyed it well or not.
 
Landon Sunrich
pollinator
Posts: 1703
Location: Western Washington
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In Western Washington Steubers is pretty much the option. Put cascadia is a big place

http://steuberdistributing.org/

I really should be getting paid for the blatant plug :/ maybe if I wrote the company that makes my boots....
 
A Tabor
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What is the property like?

Personally I am a big fan of the trench/pit/(some germanic or slavic word that I forget) style of greenhouse where the north side and ends of the greenhouse are made of earth (either by digging a trench and piling the dirt up, or digging into the side of a hill). While it can take more physical effort to set up they can prove far easier to heat.

I have seen a few set up with multiple heat sources (bulk compost pile, solar hot water, rocket mass heaters burning scrap material, and backup automated propane in one case) which kept over heating in the middle of winter days from their passive systems.

I'm a big fan of redundant designs in basically everything, even if they're usually 'overkill' every now and then something will go wrong and make you very happy that you had already installed that wood stove or something.
 
Landon Sunrich
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Location: Western Washington
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A Tabor wrote:What is the property like?

Personally I am a big fan of the trench/pit/(some germanic or slavic word that I forget) style of greenhouse where the north side and ends of the greenhouse are made of earth (either by digging a trench and piling the dirt up, or digging into the side of a hill). While it can take more physical effort to set up they can prove far easier to heat.


I have a west facing slope which I'd like to try something like this on. It seems totally compatible with the rebar/pvc/slackline method I mentioned above - which does not have to be on level ground.

I've also seen plenty of greenhouse with wood heat - at least as far north as I am I still doubt I'd be able to grow much other than kale and brussels during the cold part of winter due to light.

OP - Do you have photos of the hot house you're looking to restore?
 
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Rocket mass heaters in greenhouses can be tricky - these plans make them easy: Wet Tolerant Rocket Mass Heater in a Greenhouse Plans
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