need help and fast

ChicagoDeli37August 8, 2012

Ok here's the issue. The season is fastly moving to the end. Its my first year so not quite sure exactly when things start to die. I thought I had more time but these last 4 months went by fast.

With that said my canaluopes need more time as well as peppers and everything else. Seems i planted ti late ( may 12th )

I was planing on turning this into a green house over the next few years but now I have the sudden urge to do it as soon as next week.

I was thinking Plexiglas but to expensive and much more work

I see alot of hothouses covered with this thick clear plastic?

Doesn't seem like much sun penetrates through..

Here's my inclosure. I don't think I could just do the roof flat. Considering winter's snow.

So the second picture is how I was thinking id make the shape.

If I could manage to get this done before winter. That will allow me to get some extra time out of this season and start much earlier next.

Does this hot house need ventilation?

And does it need to be sealed perfectly? If so how?

Any advice will help. Im about to search for some help as well.

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ChicagoDeli37

Just read not to use treated wood as raisebeds?
Only in greenhouse or in general?

HERES A FEW MORE THAT MIGHT BE THE WAY
I SHOULD DO IT. I LIKE THE FIRST ONE THE BEST

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 7:52PM
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ChicagoDeli37

Just read not to use treated wood as raisebeds?
Only in greenhouse or in general?

HERES A FEW MORE THAT MIGHT BE THE WAY
I SHOULD DO IT. I LIKE THE FIRST ONE THE BEST

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 7:59PM
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glib(5.5)

what do you plan on growing in there? You could make yourself some low tunnels inside the nice structure you already have, and do it fast and cheap.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 9:06PM
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lizbeth_pa

Wow! What a good idea! I think tthat the peaked or A-frame type of roofing would be best, as in the bottom pic! I would try to look at as many options as possible and I wouldn't use the plastic cuz of your harsh winters in Chicago area. I've been trying to figure out some sort of greenhouse plan involving my raised beds, also. You already have a nice base for the frame. Did you ever think of checking ebay or craig's list if someone is selling greenhouse siding?

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 9:13PM
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ChicagoDeli37

Plan to grow everything. Peppers. Tomatoes. Herbs.
Cucs. Eggplants. Squash. Onions. Asparagus. Cantaloupes.
Etc.

Thought about just covers for seperate boxes so
thar they only go on early season. And late. But
just still trying to figure out what I should di.
mabye it's best I don't rush it just to save this years crop
and focus more on getting it done right the first
time around.

Good idea about Craigslists. Ill search that now

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 9:30PM
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ChicagoDeli37

Plan to grow everything. Peppers. Tomatoes. Herbs.
Cucs. Eggplants. Squash. Onions. Asparagus. Cantaloupes.
Etc.

Thought about just covers for seperate boxes so
thar they only go on early season. And late. But
just still trying to figure out what I should di.
mabye it's best I don't rush it just to save this years crop
and focus more on getting it done right the first
time around.

Good idea about Craigslists. Ill search that now

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 9:39PM
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glib(5.5)

Asparagus? You don't need a green house to grow it. It does not help at all. Winter gardening and season extending are different things. Since you appear to want season extending, let me mention that I make a perimeter of sealed water buckets, I stretch a plastic sheet on top, carefully sealed with bricks, and the water thermal ballast allows tomato growing in March. It does not cost anything, and it disappears in May. I had my first tomato June 15. The GH you are looking at are out of proportion with your small garden.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 9:43PM
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ChicagoDeli37

Plan to grow everything. Peppers. Tomatoes. Herbs.
Cucs. Eggplants. Squash. Onions. Asparagus. Cantaloupes.
Etc.

Thought about just covers for seperate boxes so
thar they only go on early season. And late. But
just still trying to figure out what I should di.
mabye it's best I don't rush it just to save this years crop
and focus more on getting it done right the first
time around.

Good idea about Craigslists. Ill search that now

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 10:31PM
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foolishpleasure

I have raised bed beside my house which I made roof for it. I am planing to close the other three sides to expand my vegetable and Fig season. Nothing fancy just home made do it yourself. I am planning to use Tempshield from innovative insulation. It saves a lot of maintenance problems and half the cost of glass or wood.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 2:13AM
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planatus(6)

I think if you arrange crossboards on edge it will give you enough pitch to shed water for a plastic covering for fall. As for holding snow load, it may not be practical to cover your whole garden with plastic over wire, but maybe half? You'll need wire fencing or something else besides plastic over hoops or boards. Wind becomes a big, big factor in winter.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 7:46AM
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Edymnion(7a)

The reason you don't use treated wood is because the chemicals used to treat it are toxic. Up until just a few years ago it was commonly treated with cyanide. If the treated lumber didn't outright kill your plants, it ran the very real risk of contaminating them with stuff that might kill you instead.

I think its also important to point out that a greenhouse like you're thinking of will not protect against winter cold by itself. It will help heat up more during a cold day, but soon as the sun goes down it will be just as cold inside your greenhouse as out by the middle of the night.

If you want to try to keep growing in the middle of winter you will have to actively heat the greenhouse, and that can get expensive.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 9:05AM
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ChicagoDeli37

Please tell me that treated wood is only toxic Indide greenhouse? And not as I have it now??????

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 9:53AM
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planatus(6)

It appears that you painted or applied a stain/sealer to your treated wood. That step will greatly reduce the leaching of chemicals from your treated studs. But if you have treated wood coming into contact with damp soil in your beds, then yes, you can have leaching that could be of concern. It is usually limited to the 3 inches closest to the wood. Not good, but a much better scenario than it would have been ten years ago in the age of copper chromium arsenates.

We used treated wood for footers for a garden deck structure, but otherwise we keep it out of the garden.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 10:33AM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

My advice would be plastic this year, something you can do for right now without putting a lot of money into it. Then, I would spend a lot of time researching the possibilities for your climate, budget and preferred plants. Greenhouse gardening is a different animal than even raised bed gardening and to save yourself some headaches, you need more information and experience under your belt. A good book to begin studying this winter is Eliot Coleman's Winter Harvest. Admittedly this advice is much less fun than jumping in right away but it is heartbreaking to spend a lot of money on something and not get the results hoped for due to lack of information.

Here is a link that might be useful: Eliot Coleman's Winter Harvest

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 12:29PM
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ltilton

One thing to consider is that a greenhouse isn't going to give you more sunlight, only more heat. One reason plants start to fade around this time of year is that we're 6 weeks past the solstice and the daylight is fading.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 12:44PM
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ChicagoDeli37

That's horrible news. I did NOT stain the inside of the boxes. How concerned should I be that treated wood will seep into soil? I figured there is no other wood that will hold up outside? What should I do?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 2:35PM
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IAmSupernova(SE Texas 9A)

I'm going to start by saying I'm by no means an expert. People tend to make mountains out of mole hills when it comes to subjects like this.

I don't think it really poses that much of a problem. Doing preliminary work on pricing what it would cost me to build raised beds next year I did a lot of reading, and as someone above said, if it were 10 years ago, then you'd have something to worry about.

I wouldn't worry about it. You're probably more at risk just by breathing the air in a congested city than by eating vegetables grown in treated lumber raised beds.

Here is a link that might be useful: Does Pressure-Treated Wood Belong in Your Garden?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 3:15PM
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ltilton

Chicago - the treated wood sold nowadays isn't the same as the wood that raised such an alarm. I wouldn't be concerned.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 3:43PM
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mandolls(4)

Cedar is the way to go for any new construction. I have also heard of people lining the interiors of treated wood beds with heavy duty plastic.

I suggest you do some reading in the Four Season Gardening forum. Jumping into spending thousands of dollars to turn your structure in to a greenhouse during your first year of gardening could be a realy expensive mistake.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 4:30PM
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zackey(GA 8b)

We bought old windows at a yard sale for next to nothing. I wouldn't advise using plastic up north in the winter time. You will get alot more light into it having glass windows. Maybe a store going out of business that has a bunch of windows or glass for sale? We had a glass store go out of business in town awhile back. One man used glass table tops in his greenhouse. You have to think outside of the box if you need to save money. We used greenhouse plastic in Florida on the big greenhouses and we had to punch holes in the top to let the water drain. We ran propane and kerosene heaters down there. I can't imagine how high your fuel bill would be. I know how anxious you are to grow stuff all year round. I feel the same way down here. Sometimes you just have to take the winter off. I don't mean to discourage you, it just sounds like it will cost alot to run the heater all winter long.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 6:58PM
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ltilton

What you can do in zone 5 is have a cold frame effect, extending the season and overwintering some of the most hardy crops. Melons in January - not.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 8:01PM
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ChicagoDeli37

Thanks for all the advice. Im going to
Research more before I rush a greenhousr.
My main concern now is whether or.not to
dig out soil In boxes and line boxes with plastic.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 3:53PM
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zackey(GA 8b)

Why would you do that? You would still need drainage holes in them.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 5:20PM
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