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Looking for experts in Portable Green Houses

Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:16 pm
by Chaesman
Ok I am looking for the experts in portable greenhouses. My son just Purchesed me the one shown below


I relize it is not much but it is what could be afforded at the moment it is 7 ft x 12 ft x 7ft high

I am looking for advice on the bestway to set this up and anchor and secure it so it will be able to with stand some winds. The location we have picked for it will block 90 percent of the winds and pretty much all of the heavy gusts.

I was thinking Cinderblocks around the base to keep the cover taunt and secure but am also looking for advice on how to anchor and where might be good to place tie down ropes ect. Plan on torching some rebar this weekend to make j stakes like a tent would use only about 2 ft long instead of thin and 5-6 inches.

Thanks for any advice you can provide I want this to be a success.

I will update ya'll on a firm delivery date as soon as fedex updates my tracking info

EDIT:: Oh I did go ahead and order a wireless thermometer too so we can monitor temps from inside the house instead of running out to see if vents need opened or closed.. Placement of the sensor information would be great too Ie.. Shade area Full sun Mix or whatever it needs to be set up as also hight of sensor I relize heat rises so this would surley make some diffrence.

thanks again

Jon and Carolyn

Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:53 pm
by ozark_rocks
Not an expert, just a newbie like you. My husband gave me a spring gardener 8x6x7 portable greenhouse for Christmas. We put it up new years, so I'm still learning.
I realize it is not much but it is what could be afforded at the moment it is 7 ft x 12 ft x 7ft high

Your greenhouse is really pretty cool. You will be surprised how much you can fit in it.Are your doors zippered? Mine are, and that is the only think I don't like about it. They start at the ground, and zip up, so if it snows, the zipper is going to be buried.

I tied my house down at the corners, using 2 foot long "stakes",made from old auto leaf springs, and wire clothes line. You have the right idea in making long stakes.

As for holding the sides down, I used treated 2x4s and cinder blocks for now, but by next fall I want to use square bailed hay, building it maybe 3 bails high on the north side.

After moving it around and monitoring temps I Placed my wireless thermometer where my plants will be. Also I built a small raised bed under my shelves and put one down in the dirt.

Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:42 pm
by Chaesman
Thanks for the information so far.. How does it seem to hold up in winds and snow if you have encountered any so far? also what kind of temps are you currently maintaining during the days and at night?

Still waiting on fedex to update the tracking info Ughhh (Like a kid at christmas)

Do you have any pics you can post so I can see the current tiedown configuration to give me Ideas?

also Yes the doors Zipper never even thought of the snow and zipper at the ground issue guess will have to watch forcasts and just unzip a few inches if neccessary we very seldom get more than an inch at one time

Thanks again

Posted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:16 am
by ozark_rocks
:D I bet you can't wait! If my photo posted you can see the snow on the roof. I don't know how much it will hold, so I keep knocking it off.You can't see cause of snow but the bottom of my house is much like yours.

As for the temps, they are erratic. 108 is the high, and 8 the low so far.I am working on building thermal mass inside, and have insulated the north wall. But it still starts losing heat when the sun goes down. I had cabbage and onions in a flat, before the snow fell, but brought the in the house, because I didn't know how cold it was going to get. I had these setting on the ground, surrounded by water filled jugs, to keep them warm at night.[/url][url=][img][/img][/url]

Posted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:27 am
by ozark_rocks
It does really good in wind. I have it in a some what protected spot, with the old cellar to the north on the house on the east.You probably can't see in the photo, but the tie downs are on the top corners, so its anchored from the top.

Posted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:40 am
by DoubleDogFarm

Posted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:48 am
by Chaesman
Thanks for the photo and thanks for the blowup dd I did see the one tie down from the upper corrner, Oh and that was my house in the photo that was a photo of someone elses house just to show the greenhouse I am recieving. I accually live in a single wide on 2 acer's not much but it's mine and almost paid for.

also thanks for the information on temp swings and the average temps.

So here is my next couple of questions

Can I use a small kerosene heater to maintain temps to around 50 at night?

If so Would I need to leave a vent open to vent the fumes kerosene heaters give off?

any other advice would be greatly appreciated.

I did read in another thread don't rember where at the moment that you can put a large drum of water in the greenhouse and it will heat during the day and release the heat at night to help heat..

Just an update I ordered this Friday and it shipped out today and to my supprise once fedex got thier tracking system back on line it will be delivered tommorow. Now what to do about the white stuff that fell on the ground today (Just my luck)

Posted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:10 am
by bonsaiboy
I have had one of these before, and they can withstand very high winds. I would not use a kerosene heater, as that is not only potentially hazardous (and keeping it open would waste energy) but a high-quality electric heater. A simple fan heater should do you nice, that's what I've used in mine. Be sure it is a metal one though; plastic will damage in the exposure to UV light.

Posted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:45 pm
by ozark_rocks
Thank you DD for the blow up :oops: , wouldn't you know my very first photo would be to small to see? :D
Can I use a small kerosene heater to maintain temps to around 50 at night?
You will have to experiment to see. One night when it was 20 we placed a small camping heater in the center of mine , and it kept it above freezing. between 38 and 42 degrees. I will only use it when I have to many plants to bring in the house at night.

Posted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 4:13 pm
by Chaesman
Thanks for the warning bonsaiboy and thanks for the tip Ozark Rocks

Well Today is the day the Greenhouse is to be delivered. I guess I will just inventory it and review the instructions (Still White stuff on the ground, with a little more predicted for later today) Tommorow I may just break out the shovel and clear the area after all we are only talking a 15 x 8 area to be safe with less than half an inch on it at the moment.

It will for sure be up by sunday if the weather predictions hold (above freezing friday,40's saturday and then 50s for sunday and monday)

On to my next Newbie Question

In the Summer How hot do I allow it to get before opening the vents

and should the Fan be posistioned to blow air out one of the vents or to suck air in from on of the vents? 8)

Posted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 4:13 pm
by Chaesman
Ops my putter double submitted same post PLEASE DELETE THIS ONE thanks

Posted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:04 pm
by ozark_rocks
You are welcome Chaesman.Doubt I'm being all that helpful, and am waiting for an expert to join in to give us both ideas :!:

I just came in from my greenhouse, and there was ice in my 55 gallon barrel.My raised bed had a soil temp of 50, and radishes just starting to sprout. There is snow and very cold temps coming my way tonight, so I'm wondering how to keep the radishes alive. Just can't justify running a heater for 2 square feet of radishes :cry:

My newbie question is how long does it take for a barrel of water to heat up enough not to freeze and give off heat? It's only been in there two weeks, and we've had very cold weather.I'm also wondering how long my cover will last, if I should just take it off after all danger of frost has past?


Posted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:24 pm
by DoubleDogFarm
and should the Fan be positioned to blow air out one of the vents or to suck air in from on of the vents?
I like the intake low and exhaust high.

You could build a little tent over your radishes and maybe just heat this area.


Posted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:35 pm
by Chaesman
Eric from your explanation you are recomending running 2 fans if I understood correctly one for intake and one for exaust?

also at what temp do I open vents and start fan(s)


and Ozark rocks after hearing of how much your temp swings it gave me the thought of possibly adding a couple small cold frames in my GH for added protection in cold weather

Posted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:08 pm
by DoubleDogFarm
I'm using one of my low tunnels in the greenhouse. On one end, I have a 750w electric heater. It's set on the lowest setting, just to keep things from freezing.

I don't use two fans, but one fairly large fan. The squirrel cage fan pulls the air in low as it exhaust high. It would be nice to keep the temps around 75-80 degrees. I've seen it over 110 +


Posted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:10 pm
by Chaesman
Just a little confused on the fan thing not trying to be thick headed.

are you saying some times you draw air in and some times you move it and exhaust air out and just run at 2 diffrent speeds based on the situation?

80 would be a dream our average summer temps are in the 90s can't immagine what it may get to in the green house


Posted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:49 pm
by DoubleDogFarm

I am far from being an expert on greenhouses.

If the temps are 90 outside it will be at least 90 inside. Unless you use some cooling equipment.

On the fan, I'm saying 1 fan fixed high and on the opposite end a intake low. Exhaust the hot air up at the ceiling. With a small greenhouse, the exhaust fan, should be able to open a louvered intake.


Posted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:24 pm
by Chaesman
thanks for the clarification Eric.. I am by no means anywhere near an expert. Thus all the questions lots to learn and a am sure a lot of trial and error will go into this project as well.

Anyways here is where we are at the moment. Greenhouse just arrived we will be performing a full inventory late tonight to ensure all pieces are accounted for and no dammaged pieces. We plan on setting it up in the next few days. I contacted everyone I know that usually has scrap rebar laying around and no one has any.. (The stakes that came with it as expected are a Joke) We came up with a great alternative to staking the greenhouse We are going to dig a few holes and tie our tiedown lines to cinder blocks and burry the blocks.( this should be a lot harder to pull up than most stakes)

I called my friend who does appliance repair and he is going to help me hook some fans up to thermostats around april so that I don't have to constantly turn the fans on and off but they will be automatic.

As soon as the ground is thawed enough to trenches will be dug one to bring electric to the green house and one to install a water facet in the green house.

The Remote thermometer that I ordered has an estimated arrival date of march 1 so I will be doing temps the old fashion way for a bit.

As far as interior set up no decisions have been made although Eric my wife likes the idea of an herb box with a small row cover for winter.

I will make sure I have an empty memory card and fresh batteries for the camera so I can photo document the whole set up process as we perform it that way If anyone else sets up a simular GH they will have the photos to give them Ideas.

Sorry so Long Winded thats all till later

Thanks for the advice so far

Jon :P

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:46 pm
by Chaesman
Did not get inventory done last night but do have 2 new questions :roll:

1. Back to the floor would a large Piece of WeedBarrier work for the floor :?: (Realy don't want to weed or mow inside the green house) :!:

2. Not real please with the metal frame diameter. Is it safe to use Presure Treated Lumber in a GreenHouse :?: (considering adding once warmer 4 - 4x4 posts to strenghten corners and a 2x6 at the top connecting them to add Strength and to give me a place for Hanging Plants

Thanks 8)

ok I am learning colors today LOL

Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:30 pm
by Chaesman
Just an update with 2 pics.

Like I mentioned it has arrived YEA (Some one has been being lazy it is still in the box waiting on inventory)

Well I woke up this morning and checked the weather it said 22 degrees with a windchill of 14... So I did what any sensible gardener would do I went OUTSIDE and worked decided The snow might not melt by tommorow so I will lend a hand :)


Our mobile home is just to the right and foward of the cleared area.

The little wood structure on the left is a Dog House (But no dog) just havent moved it yet

anyways I am now officially started!! Oh excuse the mess I normally don't go outside in the winter unless neccesary due to a health issue.


Posted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:32 am
by ozark_rocks
I think weed barrier would work. Never thought about mowing inside :lol: .I have worried about mowing outside and throwing derbies on the walls and was planning on putting weed barrier around the outside to keep the mower or weed eater a foot or two away. I've decided to stay bare earth, just a path down the middle with small raised beds under shelves.At six feet wide I want to use all I can for plants.

Posted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:04 am
by Chaesman
Weed Barrier is our current choice we are hoping to get it by Monday Did some PC work for a piece that will fit the bottom with out laying strips so no seams to trip on..

Well The inventory Is offically Complete.

All Parts where accounted for.

One Broken Connecter (But I is only for the optional shelves we got with it)

Hope they will just send me one because I am not paying shipping to send everything back and then wait for another greenhouse to arrive over a connecter I can probably locate for under 10 bucks shipping would be more than that.

Yes I took pictures of everything layed out and I took a pictuer of the cracked connecter in front of the pieces all layed out. (This was done Indoors)

Well it is now midnight here in Missouri and tommorow is going to be a long day putting the jigsaw together.

instructions where pretty much a picture with a few parts marked (No text)

But it is enough to get the job done

just hope there are no supprises with the Cover Didn't want to un pack it and strech it out because it would never fit back in the box till set up time.


Posted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:41 am
by Chaesman
Just an update We managed to get the greenhouse basicly up today

Below freezing temp windchill in the mid twentys but it is up

My 13 year old grand son helped then My son came over and helped

My wife built the shelving unit and we wrapped up around 4:30

Over the next several days we will seal the bottom edge put in permant tie downs to replace the temps, and clean and start setting everything up for use.

I took several pictures of the process and will be taking more as we finish up over the next few days.

It did stay upright with 22 mile gusts even with it only being temp tied down

Took about 5 hours but accual time spent working was about 2 hours we had to keep comeing in to warm up and drink coffee. Ground was to hard to put the permant tie down in today so they will go in sunday or monday when the snow is gone and the temps are in the 50's

Here is a quick sneak peak at one if the pics
Thanks for all your advice so far and I will be looking for more as time goes on ya'll r great.

Posted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:54 am
by DoubleDogFarm

Looks good. Earlier season, longer season. :D

One question on orientation. Could the long side face south instead of the end wall?


Posted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:00 am
by Chaesman
The location and orientation where based on a few factors DDF.

1 Ability to add permanant water and Electric Hook ups easily and cost effectively.

This pretty much gave us 2 locations to choose from

2. Protection from the wind (Coming from normal direction for us) since this is portable.

3. Of the 2 areas another factor was amount of sun recieved.

The location we choose offered Easy water and electric addition for under 30 bucks. Protection from about 80% of winds and gusts and a large amount of sun. (Only about 1/4 of it recieves shade during the day and that is for about 3-4 hours this time of year) otherwise it is full sun from sun up to sundown.

Ok onto orentation.

This came down to 2 factors.

factor 1 Where my wife wanted the door located.

and 2 (since the wind was steady yesterday 6-12 with gusts to 22 mph) we angled rotated shifted side to side) and picked the orientation that the GH stood most stable in the wind with out tie downs.

The wall with the shelves against it in the picture is the end wall. The vents lower right and left of pictures are on the 12 ft wall. Shelf is on 7ft wall. So what I just described as the end wall is in a east-northeast orientatin mostly east.

If it helps explain any I am no good with shadows the picture was taken between 4:30 and 5:00 pm yesterday and if you look at it closely you can see my shadow being cast past the shelves.

Now my question what does Orientation with n-s-e-w have to do with anything? I am still learning


Posted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:34 pm
by DoubleDogFarm

My name is Eric, nice to meet you. :wink:

It all sounds good. With your greenhouse being mostly square, orientation is no factor. I like the idea of facing the end wall into the severe winds. Our severe winds are nor'easter or northeaster.

On larger permanent greenhouses, I believe most prefer the broad side to face south. The north wall is solid and insulated.

I may have this wrong, looking at your shadow, I'd say your door is south.


Posted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:29 pm
by Chaesman
Well winds predicted for Wendsday night/ thursday.

So we put in the permant tie downs today other wise just been gathering everything up to start transplanting and moving plants into the greenhouse

Guess which tie down we choose



Posted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:04 pm
by DoubleDogFarm
I'm guessing the little irrigation tubing hold down? :lol:

How is that spade looking thing suppose to work?


Posted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:13 am
by Chaesman

It is about 10 inches wide and about 8 to ten inches long wieghs about 5 lbs 1/4 plate steel has a hole for your tie down line then you drive it in with a big hammer so that when the wind blows in its normal direction the pulling force is on the wide flat side. My son had them from his previous job where they would set up shade canopies


Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:10 pm
by Chaesman
AhDisaster struck. I landed myself in the hospital for a week after several bad storms I arrived home to find the green house standing. did not think twice about it and went in the house. well that night we had a sever thunderstorm for hours and gust up to 70 miles per hour. needless to say the green house collapsed but at least it is all in one spot and not scattered thanks the cinder blocks around the bottom. *this storm was stronger than the normal storm it took the roof off our niegbors shop and collapsed an older barn down the road.**

Well in the next few days (Hopping for one in the 60s with no or low wind I will go out and try to get it back up right and evaluate the dammage) I do have a handfull of spare connectors and am hoping they are the ones I need if any I will let you know how it pans out. (Can't cry about it considering the dammage that was done to permanant structures in the area.)

I will up date when I get a chance.

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 5:22 pm
by DoubleDogFarm

Sorry to hear about the health issues. :( Hope you are feeling better.

Post some pictures and we can brainstorm (sorry about the storm part)and make it upright again. :D


Posted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:50 pm
by Chaesman
Will post some pics and Thanks Yes I am feeling much better now suppose to hit 60-65 today so we are gonna try to upright it this afternoon wind permitting. I think the biggest issue is we had a couple storms while I was in the hospital and when I got home I should have checked and tightened any loose tie down lines but who knows for sure I just wasn't up to it at that point on the plus side I only loss about a half dozen seedlings from being untended to and the ones that survived are nice and thick and doing great.

Try to post some pictures this eveing..


Posted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:28 pm
by ozark_rocks
:cry: Sorry to hear about your bad luck. I hope you get the greenhouse back up and going soon.

Posted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:11 am
by Chaesman
Sorry about the delay on the pictures. We are going to try to upright it tomorow and have decided to turn it 90 degrees to help the wind roll over the curved side as opposed to hitting a flat wall we allso decided to move it directly behind the mobile home to provide better protection from the wind. Had a bunch of windy days this week but tommorow is looking good so far and suppose to hit the 70's anyways onto the pics

GH Arrived

Inventory of GH


Assembled roof to allow it to be lifted on lower frame

assembled lower frame

completed frame work **The mobile home in the back ground we are considering moving and droping the axle to set it directly on the ground and convert it to a large green hous

Cover on and temporary tie downs

Completed greenhouse lined with cynder block to hold cover tight and permant tie downs in and dog house moved ***note: If you look you can see how the wind is pushing at the door

I will try to rember to take a picture of the collapse and of course the reset up


Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:20 pm
by Chaesman
Well it was a gorgous morning 65 to 70 and no wind.

Spent a few hours sorting out the GH remains and start to reassemble it in its new location well 3 replaced connectors 6 duct taped connectors a bottom frame rod a half inch shorter and a bit of thread to repair 2 blown out seams and we once again have a GH. YEAH!!! it has been turned and placed directly behind our mobile home as mentioned earlier. Tried to take pictures but my grandson hid my camera.

well that is the latest updates I will post pics once the camera is located.

*** test of new location thunderstorms rolling in and wind up to about 20 mph*** guess the morning will tell the story.


Posted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 2:09 am
by Chaesman
Found the Camera Finally Thunderstorms ended for awhile so I snuck out to check how The GH Faired. The new location seams better for wind protections tiedowns didn't loosen.

here is a quick peak at the reconstructed Portable GH it is a night time shot but My camera plus the light in the GH came out pretty good



Posted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:49 pm
by ozark_rocks
With your greenhouse, back up be sure to watch your temps. My greenhouse briefly hit 106 yesterday, with all 4 windows open, and 1 door. Nothing was hurt, but I was not expecting that high a temp with everything open :roll: .

Posted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:25 pm
by Chaesman
Thank you for the warning ozark rocks Temp was 89 at 10 am today went to work with the door open still maintain 83 with the out side temp being mid 60's closed up now will check the temp before the sun goes down.

Now on to the update As mentioned I spent the day in the green house

Took the day time pics I promised there are only 3 this time honest.


The Duct tape on the seams is just to reinforce where we had to restich the seams.

Any sugjestions as to stability in wind improvements will be greatly appreciated.

Last pic is what I accomplished today.


450+ seeds started in the gh today about 38 varieties.. I am a little behind due to the unplaned hospital stay and the collapse but I am on my to getting back on track. My wife also direct sowed about 700-800 seeds today in the garden so today was very productive

If you notice in the last pic I don't have the water trays and no automatic irrigation so my 2nd question of the day is how often so I need to water the old fashion way?

Thanks for all your support and advice


Posted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:57 pm
by DoubleDogFarm
how often do I need to water the old fashion way?
as often as needed. :roll: :lol: Sorry.

I don't have much experience with 50 cell trays. The soil type, temperature and air circulation all factor in. They maybe twice a day, where my 4" pots are twice a week. Not sure.


Posted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:01 am
by Chaesman
Thanks for the input Eric.

I have been watering once a day at the moment but as it gets a little warmer I think it will move to twice a day.

Initial observations Started seeds in house last friday still no sprouts :(

Started seeds in GH sat afternoon today is tuesday and I allready have several lettuce sprouts showing :) I am impressed with the GH performance so far

also noticed the area under the shelfs now has lush green grass which before watering started it was brown and thin.

Temp hit 103 yesterday opened 2 vents and it droped to about 87 in an hour.

I want a permant GH and I think My Better half will be pushing for it once some more results come in.