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My HFGH - insulated north wall with pictures

17 years ago

About a year ago I saw an ad for a HFGH. I wndered if they were any good so I did some searching on the web to see if I could find some experiences. I found this forum and learned a lot from your experiences. I bought one and set it up. A few days ago I was going through my browser bookmarks and remembered this forum. I thought I would contribute back my experiences.

Someone suggested that the greenhouse be raised, what a great suggestion. I built a redwood 2x12 frame. I attached a redwood 2x4 to the bottom of the frame to create a lip. I drilled holes through this lip and drove 3 foot sections of rebar through them to anchor the greenhouse. I put the lip to the outside. If I were to do it again I would put the lip to the inside and dig a 2 foot trench around the permiter of the GH frame and put blue insulation board down to try to isolate the GH from the frozen soil outside the GH in the winter. I put about 3 inches of pea gravel in the bottom of this frame for my GH floor. Here are some pictures of the frame. I placed it into a leveled trench and then dug out the center and put in pea gravel.



I built the greenhouse frame in my garage where it was not as cold. After the frame was completed I layed a layer of calk on the redwood and sat the assembled frame on the base, drilled holes and screwed it down.



I added additional captive bolts to the frame while I was putting the greenhouse together. Thanks to who ever passed that idea along. I used these bolts to attach lights, shelves, electrical fixtures and insulation. I used 1 in foil covered polyurathane insulation on the north wall, 1/3 of the north ceiling and east and west walls. I put a 1 inch spacer on the bolts, then a washer then the shelf and then a nut to attach it. I also used aluminum tape from FarmTec to to tape the sections together. I didn't initially paint the exposed foam edges but you should either paint the edges or cover them with tape. Initially I put the unlettered foil side to the inside thinking that I would get a lot of good reflected light from the foil. What I did was create a great reflector oven - it melted my bedding plant trays. I ended up painting over the foil with white paint. Now I wish I had put the blue lettered side of the insulation on the inside where it would be painted over so the plain side would face outside and it would look better.


Here is a picture from the inside


I built my greenhouse primarily to grow bedding plants for my garden and flower beds. I am trying to learn how to use Elliot Coleman's Four Season Harvest philosophy of gardening and needed to be able to get vegetable starts at times when they were not comercially available. I used closet wire shelving for the shelves in my greenhouse. I ran two shelves down each side of the greenhouse. At the east end I placed a potting bench with a storage shelf above it.


I ran electricity into the greenhouse. The 4 outlets on the left are regular outlets that are hot all of the time. The right group of outlets are connected to thermostats. The left two are connected to the heat thermostat and the right two are connected to the thermostat that controls seed starting heat mats. I plug the clock into one of the heat outlets so that I know how long the heater runs each day. This allows me to know how much it is costing me to run the greenhouse. Under the potting bench I have 2 bins where I store my soil mix.


The cable for the heat thermostat goes along the top of the GH over and drops down one frame from the door.


There is a chain by the door that I can loop over the thermostat to hook it out of the way when I am working in the greenhouse.


Here is a view of the finished GH. This area is now where my garden is and the grass is now gone. I ran electricity to the post on the right. There is a GFI outlet in the box and the greenhouse is behind that GFI. In the future I plan to built some cold frames to the right of the GH and this will provide electricity for them in case I have a really cold night. I also have a weather station for my garden. A weather station is a wonderful garden tool. You can see the main sensor pack on the left and the additional sensors on the post on the right side of the greenhouse. I posted the details of my weather station to the "Anyone Have A Weather Station" thread. Last year I started over 50 varieties of vegatbles and flowers. I grew enough for myself and plenty to give away to the neighbors. I my area I start my greenhouse up again early March. I'm getting really anxious and ordering seed!


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