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New greenhouse - some help please

Discussion in 'Greenhouse Growing' started by CarolineL, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. CarolineL

    CarolineL Super Gardener

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    Before Christmas I am moving to a new home which (as yet) has no greenhouse. As I currently have a polytunnel, cold greenhouse and heated greenhouse, I clearly need to get one soon after I arrive! Do any of you have any recommendations please (apart from the obvious one of getting the biggest greenhouse I can afford)? I normally grow mostly pot plants - do you think it sensible to get a greenhouse built with half height brick walls to improve heat retention?
     
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    • Zigs

      Zigs Ginger Admin Staff Member

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      I'd build a masonry back wall on the north side to absorb heat during the day :)
       
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      • CarolineL

        CarolineL Super Gardener

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        Not a bad idea... Thanks @Zigs
         
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        • Mike Allen

          Mike Allen Gardener

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          Hi Caroline. You say that you mainly grow pot plants. So despite the pots varying in size, O imagine your pots will be say waist high on a bench/staging. I would go for a bricked based GH. Should you at some future time decide to install a hot water heating system, this will be great. Also of course your plants will have good protection from frosts.
           
        • silu

          silu gardening easy...hmmm

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          Can't help with the brick situation as have no experience of those but maybe if I had had the time to wait and knew a good bricky then perhaps I would have gone down that route. They certainly look nice.
          I have a Rhino greenhouse which is 8x20. I am extremely pleased with it. Very strong and loads of headroom. Been up now for nearly 5 years and only had 1 small triangular pane break this year after horror gale. I live in the hills in Scotland and the greenhouse is quite exposed yet it is as sound as the day it was erected. Maybe have a look at them. Company I found good to deal with.
          www.greenhousesdirect.co.uk/
          Friend has a Robinson greenhouse. Yes a bit fancier but definitely not as solidly built and about double the price I paid!
           
        • CarolineL

          CarolineL Super Gardener

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          Hi @Mike Allen yes, I'd prefer things at waist height - as I get older, bending down for pots will get harder :snorky:
          However a hot water heating system would probably be overkill - I only need to keep a small(ish) region at a cool level for cymbidiums. I suspect I will stick to electric convection heaters.
          @silu - thank you very much for the info about Rhino - I don't care about 'fancy', as long as it is robust!
           
        • ricky101

          ricky101 Super Gardener

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          Hi,

          Can also vouch for the Elite Kensington lean to greenhouses if you have a wall to place them against, or if somewhere where it does not stand out, to build a backwall for it, could be wood as well as brick /concrete blocks etc?

          The advantage over the typical apex roof is that the lowest roof height is 6ft , 8ft at the back so you really do have full use of all the floor space, ideal for hanging baskets of cyms.

          Find having some 40ltr tugs full of water under the benches acts as a heat source, plus it preheats and allows the chlorine to come out of the water, better for watering the plants partic orchs/cyms.

          Thought Cyms were generally quiet hardy, though probably a small electric Fan heater with a frost setting or a proper thermostat set at 4c is all you need ..?

          It you do not know of it already have you seen this Orchid forum and Cricketerrys Cyms, he has some beautiful plants /photos over the years.
          The Orchid Forum, for the UK and Europe

          Some I used to grow - but just got too big, did not have the space to keep them all so sent some to him.

          001196.jpg001198.jpg
           
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          • CarolineL

            CarolineL Super Gardener

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            Thanks for the recommendation @ricky101. Yes, I don't need to keep it too warm for cymbs - currently I have a small section of my main greenhouse separated off and heated to 7 ish degrees (all of it lined in big bubble plastic, with builders 2 cm polystyrene sheet all the way round the bottom half in lieu of brick walls). Cyms are rather big, but I first started growing them around age 13-14, so I have a soft spot for them.
             
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            • ricky101

              ricky101 Super Gardener

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              Hi,

              I used to keep a variety of orchids and had constructed a double glazed section within the greenhouse using bubble wrap but then some kids put their football through the glass so I replaced most of the glazing with 10mm twinwall polycarbonate which turned out to be a really good move; it just fits into the glazing bars with the existing clips on my Elite.

              Apart from the breakage aspect, it really does insulate very well and still lets enough light in for the orchids and even toms etc.
              The only down side is if you want to view the greenhouse contents from outside you do get a somewhat blurred view.

              Yes, using something like the polystyrene is a much easier and better way to insulate than a dwarf wall, you can even put a layer under the flooring flags as they say a lot of cold comes in that way. Think a dwarf wall is really more for a wooden greenhouse needing to keep the timbers off the ground, plus a lot of hard work with foundations and accurate bricklaying.

              Decided on what kind of greenhouse you are going for ? this time of year its always worth looking on gumtree etc as there are often many real bargains if you are able to disassemble and take away, though a new one can be easier..
               
            • CarolineL

              CarolineL Super Gardener

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              Good point about gumtree @ricky101 - although I quite like the idea of a lean-to with a back wall to hold heat. Putting up a second hand greenhouse can be tricky though. I moved one from a previous house and putting it up after a bit of a gap was quite hard work - things twist, bolts seize etc.
              And I must complain about you pointing me at the orchid forum and Crick Terry's posts. I spent ages on there last night!:snorky: There are now even more plants on my wishlist...
              Don't you keep orchids any more?
               
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              • ricky101

                ricky101 Super Gardener

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                Hi,

                Yes, nothing better than putting up a new greenhouse and getting it as you want it.

                A lean-to will give you lots more usable space , but suppose you need to be able to hide a not too attractive 8ft high back wall if freestanding ?

                Not too sure how heat effective a freestanding brick/block wall would be as its outer face will be exposed, unlike mine which is up against the insulated house cavity wall.

                An 8ft block or brick wall would need strong foundations and piers to ensure it stayed up long term.

                Think I would probably go for 4" timber posts and wood planks or sheets with some insulation.

                Because the lean-to roof is 8ft high you will need auto vents, even too high for 6ft me to reach.

                Yes, Cricketerry has some lovely posts and pictures, the one I remember most from some years ago, might be in the old forum section, was loads of cyms in outdoor hanging baskets but covered in a few inches of unexpected snow , yet nearly all survived !

                I gave up the bigger orchid section a few years ago, it was mainly stocked with rescue orchids that the local garden centers would sell off out of flower for a £1 or two, though they do not seem to have much of a selection these days.

                Made up a small 4x2 bench enclosure last year from some begged and borrowed glass and poly sheeting, stocking with the supermarkets £5 mini phals which now in their second year are giving some really nice blooms for the house year round.:)

                IMG_0679.JPG001199.jpg
                 
              • JWK

                JWK Gardener

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                Another vote for Rhino from me. I got mine secondhand off ebay for about 1/3 of it's new price. But I guess you don't have the luxury of waiting for one to come up then going and dismantling etc. In your new house will you have enough space indoors for temporarily keeping your plants going?
                 
              • CarolineL

                CarolineL Super Gardener

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                Hi @ricky101 - yes, the wall is a bit of a problem to hide thinking about it - I have nowhere existing in the new house for it to lean onto... Your setup for the small orchids looks great - and rather robust too. Supermarket and IKEA are very tempting for NOIDs!
                @JWK - thank you, I will have to look at the Rhino and Elite and compare. At the moment, my cyms have all gone to live temporarily with my mother in the garden room attached to my childhood bedroom, which is where I first started growing them! (It wasn't really light enough though because it had a solid roof). The bigger problem is all my windowsill orchids - cattleya, oncidium, phals etc. My new place has fewer windowsills...
                 
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                • ricky101

                  ricky101 Super Gardener

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                  Its hard to judge without knowing the size of your new garden or what it looks like as to what greenhouse/s would be suitable.

                  Also if you currently have 3 , what size and how many are you looking for in the new one/s ?

                  Perhaps look at one where you can add an extension to it in the future

                  Is a similar garden room or conservatory an option for the new house ?
                   
                • CarolineL

                  CarolineL Super Gardener

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                  Hi @ricky101 - yes, the basic garden is not very big but I can extend it out into the woodland (20 acres:snorky:) that comes with it. Unfortunately the house has nowhere to add a garden room. When I move in I will start measuring everything in more detail. Here are some pictures to explain. Bear in mind that estate agents have a magic enlarging camera and obviously take their photos at sock level...
                   

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