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Old 03-24-2016, 03:29 AM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
20,344 posts, read 20,382,082 times
Reputation: 31570

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Always wanted to get a greenhouse to extend out growing season a bit longer here in the northern reaches of Zone 4. Circumstances are right and in the midst of the "year of no winter" decided to get an early start and purchase a Palram Harmony 6' x 8' Greenhouse with Green Frame and Starter Kit ($599.99) from online Costco.

Site location was pretty much predetermined, using a little-used southern exposure next to the detached garage that would require a little bit of dirt and up goes the greenhouse.

Soon became apparent that I would need lots and lots of dirt and quickly used up what dirt I had available from some existing raised beds around the property and at this point I'm still not sure that even adding this add'l yard of black pulverized black dirt will be enough and that building a retaining wall is in my immediate future.



The base of the greenhouse is a metal frame and I elected to go with 6 X 6 treated lumber to provide a base to attach the greenhouse frame to. The base is painstakingly leveled, attached at the corners with metal joist connectors and the back and sides each had two, 3/8" - 3 ft rebar stakes driven through them into the earth below.


I didn't bother to use rebar on the front of the base as this was secured by two 3/8" 12" lag screws into the side frame and to a 3-step stringer assy bolted to two 4 X 4 posts cemented about 40" into the ground in front, which will be slightly set-back from the retaining wall which I will start on next. I will be installing additional 2 X 8 sections of gt lumber on either side of the riser to provide additional support and further contain the backfill in front of the retaining wall.

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Old 03-24-2016, 04:54 AM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
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Awesome! Nice work. I look forward to seeing the progress and results. Thank you.


Will you be having electric in there for fans or heat? Or maybe solar panels?
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Old 03-24-2016, 06:16 AM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
20,344 posts, read 20,382,082 times
Reputation: 31570
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cambium View Post
Awesome! Nice work. I look forward to seeing the progress and results. Thank you.


Will you be having electric in there for fans or heat? Or maybe solar panels?

Thanks Cambium, long appreciated your posts and pictures on here and your positive feedback is not lightly received.


Although I don't have unlimited power available in the garage, it will be relatively easy to feed a circuit into the greenhouse, enough to run a fan and/or a small heater. Would like to incorporate solar but the cost of a large enough panel to power heat is probably beyond my scope. They have some pretty interesting looking home-built, passive solar heaters on youtube that seem to work pretty well and while I'm not real crazy about the aesthetics, still worth investigating into more.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLNV...yer_detailpage


The greenhouse came with a automatic roof vent and I opted for an optional side vent that will be situated along the left side down near the ground. Will research heating and ventilating options as I go and appreciate any feedback on this from anyone out there.
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Old 03-24-2016, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
64,829 posts, read 47,179,198 times
Reputation: 10486
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghengis View Post
Thanks Cambium, long appreciated your posts and pictures on here and your positive feedback is not lightly received.


Although I don't have unlimited power available in the garage, it will be relatively easy to feed a circuit into the greenhouse, enough to run a fan and/or a small heater. Would like to incorporate solar but the cost of a large enough panel to power heat is probably beyond my scope. .
Thanks for the kind words. Interesting video. I am long overdo for a nice home project but that seems a bit over the top for me. lol I will probably use your Greenhouse project to motivate me to getting one going. I been dying for a Shed or a Greenhouse.


Whats crazy is our growing season is short, so its like one minute its so nice out, next minute its disgustingly hot and muggy next minute its time to pull up the garden and prepare for winter. LOL. Seasons change so fast here its tough motivating yourself to work on a project unless it's a fast one.
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Old 03-30-2016, 04:50 AM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
20,344 posts, read 20,382,082 times
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update from yesterday...

work progresses but with in still March in Minnesota, taking well-timed PTO is necessary to take advantage of the nice days like we had Monday and yesterday. Lots of time spent fiddling with the transition from the wood steps to the concrete blocks in order to have a reasonably tight connection to contain the back fill on either side of the steps and behind the wall.

Weather turns worse the rest of the week and I've tarped the work area to try and minimize the water infiltration from the expected rain and snow. Hopefully this weekend I can add the back-fill and start on the last prep on the greenhouse pad.

Not exactly sure how to finish the ends of the wall. The left side meets a chain-link fence and the right side will eventually run into the ground completely if I don't step it up a course or two to meet the pad in front of the garage (behind the arborvitae). I presume I will step the wall down as I approach the chain link fence on the left.

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Old 03-30-2016, 06:02 AM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
64,829 posts, read 47,179,198 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghengis View Post
Weather turns worse the rest of the week
Yes it does. Polar Vortex dropping south into Ontario and Quebec. Will feel and maybe look like winter again for the Northeast. Snow possible here Sunday now with February like temps.


An idea for you... That window.. turn into a door so you have access to the greenhouse from the inside as well.


Love the front design by the way.


I forgot it was going to be that high up off the ground. I wonder why you didn't do it at ground level and just use shelves and stuff for the plants.
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Old 03-30-2016, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
20,344 posts, read 20,382,082 times
Reputation: 31570
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cambium View Post
Yes it does. Polar Vortex dropping south into Ontario and Quebec. Will feel and maybe look like winter again for the Northeast. Snow possible here Sunday now with February like temps.


An idea for you... That window.. turn into a door so you have access to the greenhouse from the inside as well.


Love the front design by the way.


I forgot it was going to be that high up off the ground. I wonder why you didn't do it at ground level and just use shelves and stuff for the plants.

Thanks Cambium, the gh kit only comes with one entry and as the garage is detached, there's no real advantage that would be gained by entering from the garage. I wanted to take advantage of the closeness of the garage wall to mitigate potential wind issues and the footprint was in a neglected and underutilized area and it does provide a relatively easy source and path for electrical hook up.


Wonder if anyone has any suggestion for LV lighting? The two posts in front will get cut down to an appropriate height and may get a couple of solar lights for their tops. Any further lighting will just be for aesthetics and thinking of cutting in some flush mounted fixtures either in the risers or into the side walls of the steps. maybe some up/down lighting of the wall?


Mrs. G is not fond of the arborvitae off to the sides and I would like any idea of something to bookend this particular site with. Something that won't grow too high and block the sun exposure from the sides. The exposure will have almost all sun from sunrise until 2 or 3 in the afternoon, at which time it may start getting a little shade from a large willow to the left of where I've been taking the photos. In the springtime, with not much leafing, that shade will be more dappled and still get filtered sunlight most of the afternoon.

Last edited by Ghengis; 03-30-2016 at 10:03 AM..
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