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I'm finally a greenhouse grower

Discussion in 'Growing Areas' started by goods, Mar 17, 2016.

  1. goods

    goods Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Those of you who somewhat know me know that I have grown outdoors with winter protection for a number of years and also have had various glass enclosures indoors for less heat tolerant plants or those with more exacting humidity requirements.

    I can finally say that I've set up a hobby greenhouse! It isn't a ton compared to the wonderful growing space some on here have, but it is a start and will serve its purpose for the time being.

    The house is a Palram 6'x8' kit with twin wall polycarbonate walls. It is currently situated in the yard with partial cover from a porch overhang. In addition to the partial shade provided by the overhang, I have 50% shade cloth over the top. Since cooling is a major issue with our summers, one of the back panels was replaced, and a drip wall evaporative cooler was made from scratch to fit. There is a hefty exhaust fan pulling air across the greenhouse that vents on the door side. This fan runs fairly constantly at this point and creates a strong breeze inside the house, so it also doubles as the air circulation at least for now. I will eventually install hardware cloth on the vertical lengths of the wall above the benches for mounted plants. The goal of this greenhouse is twofold: 1) to better cultivate my orchids and 2) to provide a larger propagation space for terrarium plants so that I can create more dense initial terrarium plantings and also sell more established terrarium plants (to fund more orchids of course :) ).

    Below are just a few pictures of the overall structure, a couple empty inside shots and a picture of the wet wall both inside and out...

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  2. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Congratulations. Nice job on the wet wall. I'll be interested to hear how it does for you in the summer heat. Thanks for the post.
     
  3. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That's great news! It looks wonderful and almost empty.
     
  4. scruffy

    scruffy Member

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    It looks wonderful!
    How did you make drip wall evaporative cooler? Is there any fan installed behind the drip wall(I do not see in photos)?
    I am very curious to know because, there is no swamp cooler comes with a hose connecter for a small 6X8 green house that I am also looking for.

    Congratulations!
     
  5. goods

    goods Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks!

    We followed this video pretty closely to create the actual unit:

    There is no fan on the outside blowing air into the greenhouse, but the exhaust fan on the opposite side does a good job of pulling air through the entire length.
     
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  6. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Scruffy, it is standard installation to have an exhaust fan on the opposite side of the greenhouse from a wet wall. If you are looking for a swamp cooler, you want to move the air much more than the calculations for normal use with a room. If you get the smallest swamp cooler you can find and maybe run it on low, that should work. All of the swamp coolers that I have seen use a connection via 1/4 tubing. It is a simple task to plumb this in.
     
  7. sam1147

    sam1147 sam1147

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    Well done:clap::clap:
     
  8. scruffy

    scruffy Member

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    Thank you Goods.

    That's cool.
     
  9. scruffy

    scruffy Member

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    Marni,
    My husband has just completed building my cool growing green house, and now I need a swamp cooler, and some misting (irrigation) system from a rain barrow to be installed. I am currently working on the tubing for the misting system.
    But, I have issues with finding a right swamp cooler of the size of the greenhouse which is less than 6X8.
    I called an online greenhouse supplier and was told I need a swamp cooler around 500cfms. He told me regular 2800cfm window units will create too much wind for my little area.
    I thought I can adjust the fan speed but it sounds like it might be too powerful.
    I am hoping to post my new greenhouse shortly.
    Do you have any suggestion to cool a small greenhouse? Any products?
    Which ultrasonic humidifier do you use?
    Any suggestions will be appreciated.
     
  10. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Scruffy, with the small size you are cooling a wet wall would probably be ideal. However, a small swamp cooler would be a lot easier. You could always block off part of the outlet vents (blowing into the greenhouse) with something that is waterproof and wouldn't rattle. You could adjust the size of the baffles to fit your needs. You should be able to find a small swamp cooler at Lowe's, Home Depot, etc for $350 or less. I have bought 2 of them from my local Ace Hardware when they are on sale for less than $300.

    In my opinion, the coolers sold by greenhouse supply stores are grossly over priced.
     
  11. scruffy

    scruffy Member

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    Hello Kelly,
    How small is small? Is 2800cfm small? I have seen it and it has two speed. I am hoping it means 1400 and 2800 cfm but I am not sure.
    I do not want to have a portable one because there is no much space inside.

    Can we use AirCon with some misting to add humidity?
     
  12. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yes, small is 2800 CFM. I looked at some specifications online and couldn't find what the cfm for low speed was on any of them.

    As for air conditioners with misters ... I don't know.

    It would be good for you to open your own post in "Growing Areas" section and ask these questions. I'll bet someone has some good answers.
     
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  13. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Scruffy, you will need to figure the cubic feet of your greenhouse (square feet of the floor multiplied by the height). The highest possible cfm is given when talking about a cooler. On a two speed, the other speed will be significantly less. For home use they recommend enough volume of air to change the air in the space every 2 minutes. But for a greenhouse, you want more than that. I would guess at least once a minute.

    The evaporative cooler is going to add quite a bit of humidity in the process of cooling. I use the MHS Series Ultrasonic Humidifiers from this website. It goes outside of the greenhouse and really needs RO or other very good water to work well over time. I don't know what "AirCon" is. You might consider under bench misters on a timer or humidistat.
     
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  14. scruffy

    scruffy Member

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    Sorry Goods,
    I started asking questions. I should open a new thread.

    Kelly, Thank you for looking into it.

    Marni, I meant AirCon supposed to be Air conditioners.
     
  15. goods

    goods Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    No need to apologize! Discussion is good. Also, just to give you an idea, my greenhouse is ~312 cu ft (if my midnight math is correct). The exhaust fan that is being used moves roughly 3x that volume per minute. I have no idea how this will go long term, but when I'm enclosed within the greenhouse, there is a significant, cool, humid breeze.
     
  16. scruffy

    scruffy Member

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    Thank you.
    1000cfm?
    If your plants are happy with the breeze, that all we care about.
    I admire what you have made by yourself.
    I am searching for cooling solution.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2016