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hi folks today I’m going to talk to you about various types of greenhouses this episode was brought to you by our patreon contributors and by true aquaponics com they have a lot of great things on their form and on their website about nutrient deficiencies by green life planet net serving Trinidad with all your aquaponic needs and by glass bottle outlet calm they have all kinds of really great storage bottles all made out of glass I get asked all kinds of questions about various greenhouse designs including our geodesic dome standard greenhouses hoop houses all types of energy-efficient styles so I wanted to go over a few of the pros and cons of various designs this information I’m going to give you is based off of years of observations and opinions about growing in this type of climate so we’re really dealing with a lot of the northern colder areas if you lived on the south you should definitely look into different design considerations and you’re trained humidity temperature amount of sunlight it all plays into factors about how you decide on what type of greenhouse that you want to get so just because of my opinion on a particular thing may not pertain to your area hi there just wanted to add a quick little segment into this I just finished editing the main content of the video and noticed that it was quite lengthy if you like these longer ones let me know down in the comments below also while I was filming this it was a little over 100 degrees in the greenhouse and probably shouldn’t have done it inside it was quite hot by the time I was done rambling on and I think I was getting a little delirious towards the end I edited most of that out but it does look like I am a lot grumpier than I usually am in my videos but I hope you enjoy it anyways thanks so first we’ll start off with a standard round arch greenhouse these are relatively inexpensive to purchase and assemble they’re very simple structures and typically don’t have a foundation you just take a bunch of poles and pound them into the ground and then set the framework onto those poles so because of that there’s no foundation that’s required and in some areas again you should check area you usually don’t need a building permit or have to pay taxes on that type of a structure but you definitely should make sure that you’re okay to build in your area some zoning issues may crop up on you with this style of greenhouse you can make them fairly large they can be you know hundreds of feet long if you want them to be they’re very easy to set up with lengths they just keep on going and going and they also have excellent lighting basically you get morning to evening Sun from one side the other if you have them laid from north to south and with the winter exposure here we’re at 24 degrees for our worst-case scenario for light coming in so you get light coming in to the end wall and of course through the top still and then during the summer we’re at about 72 degrees for our angle of Sun during the summer so we have a fairly large span and the style of greenhouse can accommodate all that light some of the cons with this greenhouse is typically because they’re so inexpensive they usually use a single layer or double wall film that can last for four to five years and then needs to be replaced so when you are looking into the style of greenhouse you do need to make sure you budget for replacing your plastic every few years because of the thin wall film they are fairly expensive for to heat most of the growers around here usually just shut down over the winter especially if they’re using a single wall film the double wall films usually they’re inflated so you get some insulation value out of that but you’re also running a blower to keep that film inflated I’ve seen several hoop houses that are made with PVC conduit something that I don’t recommend around here at all first that’s a UV will slowly degrade that PVC unless you take the time to paint it and during the winter especially the PVC can get extremely brittle one hit and the whole thing can shatter so typically around here the greenhouses would be made out of a galvanized steel tubing either round or square tubing so under snow loads these things are pretty poor they have very bad strength from the snow loads because they have a rounded top it’s easy for the snow to sit along the top and around here we can be anywhere over 50 pounds per cubic foot for snow and you start piling a good storm on top of your greenhouse and you get a foot of snow on your structure that’s equivalent to having a full-grown adult male standing on top of your greenhouse every three feet or so it’s a lot of weight it adds up quickly and these things will just buckle and

collapse under that kind of weight so not the greatest under a snow load so moving on to a similar style as a gothic arch greenhouse these are also fairly inexpensive to purchase and assemble usually a little bit more expensive just because of the way that the tubing has been again they don’t require a foundation so you can usually get away with not having to deal with building permits or paying taxes in the long term again they can also be very large structures to just keep adding on to the ends of them have very good lighting throughout the season and they have excellent snow removal because they come up to a point when the snow lands on them it can usually just slide right off onto the sides what you do need to be careful about is getting too much snow buildup along the sides of the greenhouse and that weight can actually buckle the structure and collapse it in from the sides so typically if you do have heavy storms it’s good to keep the area cleared snow plower or snow blower these snow away from the structure again the film can only last four to five years usually to cover them so typically they are just covered with the single or double wall film again fairly expensive to heat because of the poor r-value of that film and they do have a slightly better structural strength than a standard round arch mainly because of keeping that snow off of it one thing that a lot of growers with round or gothic-style hoop houses will do will either add a post in the center during the winter and that’s used just to support the structure from snow load it works great it’s very simple however you do start losing some of that floor space that you have by putting that pole in the middle of your structure and if you are dealing with people out our culture beds people usually aren’t big fans of sticking poles in the middle of their beds another option which usually comes to the greenhouses is just a crossbar that connects one side to the other this works really well for distributing some of the weight load in the greenhouse and then as you start getting into larger structures they’ll usually start putting trusses into these greenhouses and that’s excellent for distributing the weight across that structure so moving on to our next greenhouse it’s just a traditional-style greenhouse most people have seen these one of the nice things about these is they are typically an engineered structure can become quite large you’ll see these a lot at educational facilities mainly because of the engineered designs they have been calculated out and proven to be able to withstand certain snow loads so the schools can easily get their insurance covered with that so usually the schools have a little bit more money to spend on a greenhouse through grants and whatnot so they will definitely invest in that as being a standard grower a lot of people can’t afford to do an engineered greenhouse they aren’t all engineered but typically when you get into these larger structures with trusses in them they typically are again this type of building has excellent lighting through the end walls and overhead they have fairly good snow removal because of the pitch of the roof it just drops off again I would recommend clearing any snow away from the edges and it is a really an excellent long-term structure so if you’re planning on a family farm that is going to have multi generations these buildings can last for many many years typically with this style building because all the walls and the ceilings have straight lines it’s easy to add vents into them with the Gothic art style because of the curvature of the building it can be tricky to get a vent to close properly against the structure I’ve seen these covered in single layer poly double poly rigid plastics such as the polycarbonate Solex and even glass my grandfather’s greenhouses since they were so old they were built in the 50s and 60s they were all covered in glass some of the cons with these greenhouses they can be slightly less expensive the heat if they’re covered in a polycarbonate or Solex but if you cover them in a plastic it’s usually a fairly large span to have to cover with a single layer plastic these buildings usually need a foundation there are very few that I’ve seen that don’t have foundations so once the foundation kicks in typically the building permits and other taxes start in a derivative of this structure is gutter connect greenhouses and these are really good if you’re doing a really large operation where you just want to make one single large building and the end walls are essentially connected the slope of the roof connects in the center and all the water goes in through there and then drains out out at the end so very very good for doing large operations however with this style of greenhouse up in the north the snow

likes to collect in that gutter area and can add a lot of weight into these greenhouses going back to my grandfather’s greenhouses being glass he had gutter connect greenhouses and he would have to heat his greenhouses extra over the winter when there’s going to be a storm and basically melt the snow off through the glass back in the 70s that was no big deal because fuel oil was really cheap but nowadays it’s usually not in people’s budget to just burn fuel to help melt snow so you do have to watch the snow removal on these onto our next aisle a greenhouse is the Gothic / traditional it’s very difficult to find a true name for this style a lot of manufacturers have their own trade names for these but essentially it’s sort of a Gothic style mixed with a traditional style greenhouse where it’s made with bent tubing so you still have rounded corners on it but it still has straight lines on it – they’re relatively inexpensive to purchase because it’s still sort of like a I tunnel type greenhouse but they usually will have some type of a trust mechanism built into it to deal with the weight distribution from the snow I’ve seen these both with and without foundations of course foundations usually will need a building permit you can usually make these fairly large structures with nice spans you have accent lighting coming in overhead and through the end walls and are pretty good with the snow removal since you have that nice pitch roof it can slide right off with this style because of the flat areas it is fairly easy to add Ridge vents or roll-up sides to help deal with some passive cooling so if you want to try to save some money on electricity you can usually spend a little bit more on different types of venting and whatnot again some of the cons with these usually they’re covered in single or double walled film another four or five years to replace but many of them are covered in more rigid plastic like polycarbonate or the Solex and the heating cost varies a little bit depending on the type of coverage that you’re putting on this greenhouse so these are very popular greenhouses and if you’re just going to plan on building one style of greenhouse this is usually a good one that most people choose if they need to buy one from a commercial operation okay moving on to some of our more non-traditional greenhouses of course I have to mention the geodesic dome that’s what we have here currently they are moderately too expensive in price per square foot the problem with these is that they are so unique it can be difficult to get any approval from your building official to put them up without engineered designs they just aren’t familiar enough with how the strengths of these are they have excellent lighting we get great lighting in here from east to west morning tonight and through the different seasons with low to a higher pitch light we have excellent strength we’ve had some pretty good snow on top of this building but it also slides off very easily to it because it’s such a steep pitch we just usually get a little bit snow added at the top these are usually covered in polycarbonate just because it’s easy to cut it and have them individual pieces so that will help add to the cost of it and this one has very good passive cooling so the vents open up with a higher roof in it it the heat comes right out through the top of the building so they are fairly good with keeping cool some of the cons with this structure it’s a round shape so it’s difficult to have an efficient bed layout I used for commercial use it’s one of the primary reasons why I wouldn’t build one if I was going to do a commercial operation it’s just too hard to do assembly line type growing with long deep water culture bids it’s not too bad to heat but it does have to be heated it’s not a highly energy efficient building and it does require here a foundation once we got into this size I have seen some smaller ones we’ll just pound posts into the ground or put sonic tubes into the ground and anchor to that but for the most part once you get into these larger structures it needs a building permit and need the foundation this domes 33 feet across so it’s roughly 850 square feet you can get some larger ones like the 42 foot dome that’s about 1,300 square feet so from going from a 33 to 42 foot dome you’re gaining about 500 square feet which is pretty insignificant when you’re trying to do a larger commercial operation plus when you go to these larger domes they have much higher head height so you’re now eating a lot of extra head space or trying to recover some of that heat up above which is really unnecessary to have that much volume inside the building next up is the wall apini or pit greenhouse these are a pretty neat greenhouse relatively inexpensive to build however for us it would be fairly expensive to build typically you’ll see some of these

online where they’re using sandbags on the walls or cinder blocks or something like that because we’re going down on the ground here we a lot of excavation work has to be done so first we’re getting through a lot of rock and secondly because technically it’s a foundation you need the building permit you’re now down underground so it usually is a little bit thicker concrete wall because you’re going to have people inside of that so it has to be a reinforced concrete wall so economically for us these buildings don’t make sense so one of the nice features about these greenhouses is them being underground is during the summer you have that cool thermal mask coming into the walls to help keep the structure cool but again it’s difficult to deal with these on a commercial size because once you make them large enough you still are going to have a huge amount of roof space in your proportions of roof to walls helping the keep of structure cold just becomes disproportionate and it becomes ineffective at that point these units also have fairly poor morning and evening light in the morning the Sun is coming up in the east side so you get a lot of shadowing from your concrete walls and it takes a couple hours to start getting some better light into there and also one of the biggest problems I have with these types of structure is that because you’re down on the ground it’s very easy to get onto the roof of these things so you can get livestock or people walking right onto that roof and if it’s just a standard film they’re going to fall right through this thing so I’m not a huge fan of these in our particular area I’ve seen people using them all winter long without any heat usually down in the south so they don’t have quite as cold weather as we do but for around here personally I can’t recommend the style of a greenhouse all right next up is our passive solar greenhouse now these started becoming really popular in the 70s you’ll see a lot of them attached onto houses for the Hobby growers they are extremely energy efficient the they get fairly good lighting coming through usually they’re covered at polycarbonate or glass they have excellent snow removal especially around here because the pitch to the south-facing is supposed to be at the winter solstice dangle so you are really at about 24 degrees on that pitch so everything slides right off of these usually the north side of the wall is well insulated or is berm doors attached to a house so you get some good insulated properties from that north side of the wall usually they need a building permit because they have to sit on a foundation they get fairly poor morning and evening light from the east or the west typically these have insulated walls on those sides so it takes a few hours for that Sun to come around similar to the Pitt greenhouses so I have seen a few of these where they do put glass or plastic on the east and west sides however then you start losing some of that insulated value that you had with this type of building one of the biggest problems I have with this type of structure is trying to make them large enough for a commercial operation because of the angle of that south-facing window to make the building wider for more square footage your wall height gets really high so it’s difficult to scale these to fit for a commercial operation also with these they work really well but typically people will put 55-gallon drums filled with water up against the north wall so as the Sun is coming in during the winter months it hits those barrels and helps them warm them up and then they radiate their heat into the building during the night with during the summer when the Sun is high basically the way that the roof structure works on these those barrels are shaded so they aren’t retaining any extra heat however I think every greenhouse of this style that I’ve seen that has barrels in it there are usually so many plants inside that greenhouse that the barrels never even see any sunlight so they’re sort of being defeated by the plant and not retaining any heat over the winter and now you’re wasting square footage in your building for holding barrels that are essentially useless so you have to decide either keep those barrels clear or not put barrels in and use that space for growing extra food probably one of my favorite style of greenhouses is the Chinese greenhouse basically they are south-facing have a lot of glazing on them and then there’s a north wall that is well insulated or bermed to help retain some of that heat usually they’re covered in a polycarbonate or some type of a plastic film and in some areas they’ll actually use an insulated cloth like a roll of cloth that comes down overnight with that for me it’s not something that I’d be willing to do having to deal with snow and trying to get snow off of an insulated cover and then spending every day rolling and unrolling that that’s not something that I would want to have to deal with they have fairly good snow removal about half

of it is sloped enough to get most of snow off and the other in the upper area where the roofline isn’t quite as steep a roof rake is easy enough to pull that snow off so they’re fairly good with snow removal you just have a large pile of snow at the end that you have to remove most of these especially the well engineered ones have very good cooling in them usually that South Side front has some vents that open up a couple vents up at the top and you get really good cross ventilation right through it they’re fairly moderate in price if you do a small one they’re fairly easy to build the biggest problem with these that I have is when you start getting into a commercial size where you want them to span 26 or 36 feet that span is quite large and usually needs to be supported with some type of a beam system or each run up there needs to be trellis somehow so that can start getting into odd engineered calculations and whatnot so typically that’s why we don’t see these on really large structures this again just like some of the other larger greenhouses usually need the foundation again building permits and all that fun stuff and it is sort of difficult to make these large enough for commercial operations I have seen greenhouses like this they’re just lined up one after another but they are still individual buildings so I still would lean towards more of a gutter style greenhouse to connect if you wanted everything all within one space and with these because typically the end walls are insulated and that’s where your doors and some of the fans might be located the end walls usually don’t have any light coming in so you’re having to wait for some of that solar for later in the day I’ve mentioned a couple times about poor light in the morning and it’s fairly important at least in our area to try to get light into that green house as soon as possible because at night you get a lot of moisture condensating on to the plants and it increases your risk of getting various diseases so a lot of growers around here will usually try to get those plants dried off it’s as possible so that’s why a lot of these green houses I almost immediately rule out just because I can’t get enough light until them early in the morning one way to get around that is instead of running your green house it’s north and south directly you can cocci them a little bit so that you can try to get some earlier morning light into them of course our last option for doing a setup is doing no greenhouse at all just using the great outdoors obviously it doesn’t cost you anything to do that and has excellent lighting all day long and of course you don’t need any permits or taxes foundations and not a whole lot of site work just level off a site for your your grow beds however that’s very seasonal especially around here it’s no different than growing in a regular garden or field at that point and you also run the risk of animals getting into your food fairly easily I even note with our greenhouse here I leave the doors open all summer long we don’t get any woodchucks or anything like that wandering in here once again I want to thank all my patreon subscribers for helping to sponsor this video and our future greenhouse expansion plans the diagrams and some of the notes for this video are posted on our premium website so head on over to our site or to patreon to see details on how you can access that thanks for watching

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