My question is
can I have a greenhouse that produces fresh produce all year.
It is defiantly possible to have a
greenhouse that produces all year, although you may decide it is more
economical to freeze or buy produce in deep winter. Mid Dec.-Feb (in the
northern hemisphere) is going to be the most difficult for vegetable production
due to low light and cold temps. However with enough supplemental light and
heat anything is possible
Next to which
side of a house should we build a greenhouse?
The choice of which side of a building to
put an attached greenhouse depends on how much light you want and need. The
north is usually a bad choice, unless you are growing very low light plants.
For hobby greenhouses the west or the east, with the west being bit better
(because it gets the afternoon sun) offer enough light to grow most plants. The
south provides the most light but also the most heat, this may be what you want
if you are building in Alaska. Of course all this advise is based on building a
greenhouse in the northern hemisphere :-).
I want to grow
flowers and houseplants in my greenhouse. What is the temperature the
greenhouse should stay at?
The temperature you need to keep a
greenhouse is entirely dependant on the type of plants you are growing. Some
flowers such as roses can take high temperatures up to the low 90's, if they
are well watered. Others like tulips and ferns need a cooler, shadier climate
to thrive, say no higher than the mid to upper 70's. If you live in a warmer
climate you may have a hard time with the plants that need relatively cool
temperatures like the tulips.
One other thing to keep in mind, the
combination of a dry plant and a high temperature equals a dead plant. If your
plants have to survive a couple days of high temps make sure they are well
We live in the
Wet Mountains of Colorado and have some concerns about the type and design of a
hobby greenhouse. Two factors are altitude and seasonal winds from time to
time, gusts as high as 60mph, with sustained winds of 25-35mph. Our snowfall
can be from inches to two or more feet in a single storm, so that load factor
must be taken into account. Our question would be what is the best design
(free-standing) and what type of materials do we need to consider with the
above factors in mind?
I would suggest a quonset style
greenhouse with an gothic arch that comes down to the ground (no straight
sidewalls) You will want to keep this greenhouse away from other buildings so
the snow can slide off to the ground (the snow doesn't let a lot of light in
;-) As for glazing materials, I would suggest either polycarbonate, or
polyethylene with the preference being polycarbonate. The polyethylene is
cheaper and will most likely last 3-4 years in your location. It does tend to
flap in the wind more. Polycarbonate is very tough and will take the wind
better plus it just looks better. Most polycarbonate comes with a 10 year
warrantee against yellowing, and would be valid for your location. When you
size heaters for your greenhouse, make sure that you derate them for your
altitude. The combustion just isn't as efficient in a gas heater at 7,000 ft.