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Author Topic: Winter green house?  (Read 629 times)

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Offline Firewoodjoe

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Winter green house?
« on: October 31, 2021, 04:00:07 PM »
I知 talking full blown snow wind negative temps year round growing. Anyone do it? I知 going to build some raised beds in the spring so I have something outside my cow pasture growing. Well why not take it a step further and have a small year round growing bed. Just wondering what others have done. 

Offline newoodguy78

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Re: Winter green house?
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2021, 04:29:31 PM »
It can be done  root type /cool season crops will be the biggest bang for your buck. Lights are almost always necessary as well.

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Winter green house?
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2021, 06:45:41 PM »
What will the heat source be?
We had a green house business, would start to around Feb heating the green house. We had a 250 gallon oil tank. Gauge would move a シ some nights.  :o
Need green house poly, if going that route.
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Re: Winter green house?
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2021, 06:58:21 PM »
Talk to your local cannabis grower.  
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Online Southside

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Re: Winter green house?
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2021, 07:39:56 PM »
There is a guy in Nebraska that grows citrus in a greenhouse year round. Partially buried for geo thermal help. I think the article was in Farm Show a couple of times. 
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Online Don P

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Re: Winter green house?
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2021, 07:57:02 PM »
I've debated growing lettuce and spinach under lights in old rain gutters on sawhorses in the living room in winter. We pretty much do that in flats on 4' wide shelves with lights. The high tunnel, (one layer of plastic, no lights or heat) can maintain some things through the winter with double row covers and a fair amount of work for whatcha get. That is a subject of debate here, I'll only say there is a rational point of view in that discussion but that isn't necessarily what matters in a debate. It would take more light and heat to really grow through the winter, and at that point light is cheaper than heating a big crappy building that is at best R2.
Something that is being done in a few places is racks of stacked trays with LED lights in very tight warehouse style greens growing factories
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Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: Winter green house?
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2021, 08:15:12 PM »
I知 thinking very small. And something like green beans or I don稚 know. But I grow lots of corn and potatoes then I can them. That痴 what I eat 90% of, beef, potatoes and corn but I壇 like green beans and maybe carrots. I could heat with wood. Gramps did that. But in a large scale. I知 thinking 8x12. Half or more buried (ground heat) with a clear roof. (Sunlight) 

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: Winter green house?
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2021, 08:19:36 PM »
I guess I could do it in my house. I virtually live in a green house 😆 

Online Don P

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Re: Winter green house?
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2021, 08:46:00 PM »
Carrots keep and green beans can, the only thing worthwhile IMO, maybe, is greens that are eaten fresh.

After digging a bunch of holes and working in them, that whole notion of ground heat in a hole is hooey, that's where the cold sinks to as the ground heat simply retreats however far beneath the level you just created. 
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Offline 21incher

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Re: Winter green house?
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2021, 08:51:53 PM »
I have a 3 x 3 grow tent in my basement that I use to grow fresh  lettuce all winter.  I use a 100 watt full spectrum grow light made for cannibis and a fan to keep air circulating.  It loves the cooler air in the basement and supplies us with  fresh lettuce, bok choy, and kale  most of the winter.  I just use potting  soil now. Tried  hydroponics but it took to much effort.  Then in March I switch over to starting all my tomatoes and peppers for the garden. 
I put a meter on it first  year and the electric cost was about $7.00 a month at 13 cents a kw. A grow tent let's you control humidity and temp that's required  in the winter.  They come up to about 10 ft x 10 ft if you have the room. Another  option  would  be just build an insulated room lined with reflective foil. Lettuce does not take a lot of light to grow but things like beans may need different  light spacing and cycles once they hit the flowering and fruiting stage. It's  a easy way to get started.  Setting up a second tent this winter to try some root crops.
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Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: Winter green house?
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2021, 08:52:37 PM »
Well I have half buried insulated cattle water tanks that work awesome. Never more than a 1/4 of ice and there a weighted tire tube floating they can just bump and bust the ice. Ground heat works but yes you must stop the cold from sinking down. It may not work for a green house though I知 not sure. 

Offline 69bronco

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Re: Winter green house?
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2021, 07:48:27 AM »
I'm hoping to build a GH on the southside of my new shop. I set the shop with full south exposure for that reason. Plan is to bury perf drain tile in the floor and blow the heated daytime air into the ground and hopefully release at night. I heat the shop with wood so it wouldn't be a big deal to blow some shop ceiling air to the GH floor at night. Planning to use triple poly carb panels on roof, thermopane windows on the south wall and insulated east and west walls. We've had a conventional GH for years, so not to delusional about the capabilities. Greens, lettuce, chard etc. in winter(with supplemental LEDs) and veggie starts in spring. 

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Winter green house?
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2021, 09:35:31 AM »
Kale, lettuce, turnip, rutabega, radish, brocolli, cabbage, carrot, leeks, onions and garlic i think will be the most frost hardy.  Kale has been the absolute hardiness champ for me.  Swiss chard and turnip green about even behind that.


  I just read of a year rounder in maine with no supplemental heat.  It took a plastic high tunnel hoop and then raised beds inside that and cloth over the tops of stuff using bent wire frames to prevent frost kill, and the crops were more overwintered stuff that goes dormant and pops in spring like garlic and onion.



You can collect old free glass windows, large ones, then build raised beds to match the window size. fairly tall beds so the crop doesnt grow out taller than the top.  Keep the windows over the bed like a tabletop to shield from harsh climate.  cover with plastic, tarps, old blankets etc for deep cold nights, uncover for sunny days.  With ductwork or drainpiping and a forced air inline duct fan, one could blow woodstove air into ducting to beds located behind a shop.. Or build beds with a rocket mass heater under them and just feed it limby stuff. I would incorporate a water heating coil if i were gonna bother with feeding that.  A thermal siphoning water loop would work better than forced air ductwork.. Water is 800x more dense than air so it has higher BTU capacity.  Plus dead ended ventilation pipes dont really flow, they need inlet and outlet.



I have a nice shed with a clear ridge strip for genuine sunlight.  Im gonna frame the useless rafter space and staple up mylar sheeting ive got in order to make it my seed starter location.   100W halogen bulb on a timer for night time frost prevention.  Seedlings will hopefully compel me to light the stove more and be more productive in there.


I know some new yorkers down here who grow an impressive pile of greens under a low tunnel all year, opening every few days to get food and add water.  Ive got mine planted and will be rigging up some kinda wire and plastic frame soon.
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Online Don P

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Re: Winter green house?
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2021, 09:54:08 AM »
Your description of the one in ME is pretty much ours. Inside the single layer of poly high tunnel we put hoops of black poly pipe over each row, not raising the bed appreciably is warmer. Ours is just 6" board dividers really to keep the sawdust in the aisles and the dirt in the beds, the air is colder than the soil, raising the bed doesn't buy you anything here. Then one or two layers of remay depending on crops and temp. Uncover in the morning, recover at night. It pretty much idles through winter, there is some. The high tunnel warms the soil and slows the heat loss so it buys more shoulder season but it doesn't really buy a winter crop. That needs revisiting if you have heat input. A row of icemelt cable in sawdust bed insulated gutters would warm the soil and the air temp could be quite cool. To everything there is a season. It can be done but takes an increasing and continuing investment of money and time to get really out of season.
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Winter green house?
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2021, 10:11:13 AM »
yeah, youll notice that dole and del monte arent in wisconsin.  

;D
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Offline wisconsitom

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Re: Winter green house?
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2021, 10:24:31 AM »
yeah, youll notice that dole and del monte arent in wisconsin.  said Mike, to which I would reply, yeah, but they are in southern Ontario!  
Far as I can tell, it's 6 of one, half a dozen of the other...

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Winter green house?
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2021, 11:10:59 AM »
are they really?  learn something new every day. what do they grow there?  

(reallly small pineapples?  ;D)
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Offline wisconsitom

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Re: Winter green house?
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2021, 11:20:42 AM »
Up on N shore of Lake Erie-that part of Ontario-is basically covered in glass.  Huge tomato grows I believe.  I think Hunt's, Del Montes, et al are in business in a big way around there.  Whoever has merged with whoever basically.
Far as I can tell, it's 6 of one, half a dozen of the other...

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Winter green house?
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2021, 12:04:38 PM »
i have seen some big greenhouse operations in middle tennessee that i think are commercial lettuce.  i wonder what made them chose that location. market potential i guess ?
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Offline newoodguy78

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Re: Winter green house?
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2021, 01:18:45 PM »
Massive amounts of greenhouse certain field grown produce come out of Canada. Learned that this summer dealing with a local wholesale produce distributor. Stuff can be grown, processed, packed, trucked and delivered to central Connecticut from Canada cheaper than we can 45 miles away from the wholesaler. I suspect subsidies play a large role 


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