Featured Product: Hanley Caterpillar Tunnels

Knight Hanley StructureWe offer these structures with 17′ wide hoops at 6′ increments. Ultimate in Low Cost, Portable Season Extending Greenhouses.

A note of caution…
At 6’ rib spacing, these structures are not intended to, or capable of handling very much snow load. This tunnel can handle greater loads by simply reducing the rib spacing and/or increasing the length of the anchor pegs.

Please see our Hanley Caterpillar Greenhouses page as well as our recently published article about Hanley Season Extension for more information and don’t hesitate to call us with any questions regarding this unique application.

Winter Care & Maintenance

These buildings are not industrial grade shelters and, as such, some caution must be exercised under some winter storm conditions….

Please see our Winter Care & Maintenance Page and  the WINTER CARE & other key points page in our installation guide for additional information

Our structures are designed in a gothic shape with a slippery cover to be lightweight and snow resistant. This encourages the snow to slide off quickly.
This is not an industrial high snow load building. We do our best to always point out applications where the capacity of the structure is being compromised. Extra hoops or thicker steel are an economical way to increase wind and snow load capacity. We take pride in the sturdy shelters we manufacture and supply, but must point out that we cannot warranty against weather conditions.

Snow removal, when occasionally required, is a simple task. DO NOT GO INSIDE A BUILDING WHERE THERE HAS BEEN OBVIOUS STRESS!

PLEASE READ MORE………

Season Extension: Hanley Caterpillar Tunnels

The third area to discuss regarding season extension are those structures that are simple enough to disassemble and relocate to another spot-primarily referring to Hanley Caterpillar Tunnels.

The real lure of these buildings is their low cost and simplicity to move. Generally the area is prepared in advance and then the tunnel is moved over the area when the planting is to be done.

Since the original design specified 6′ hoop spacing, the intent was always to remove the cover before risk of heavier snow fall. More often now, growers are going to 5′ spacing (and sometimes 4′) to allow the covers to remain on longer or even permanently.

By having a smaller hoop spacing, it allows the cover to stay on permanently, which allows for a much earlier start in the spring.

The key to the concept of the hanley working is in the rope.

  • The back and forth pattern of the rope resembles the way a person would lace up a boot.
  • Typically there is a spring loaded clip at the base where the rope passes through.
  • Once the rope is fully installed, it is important to tighten it through three passes from end to end.
  • If the rope is not tight enough, the wind will create wiggle and movement sideways.
  • When the plastic is tight enough, it also allows the grower to slide the plastic up the hoop to allow ventilation.

Generally the plastic is about 25′ longer then the tunnel.
This allows the installer to bunch up (pig tail style) the extra poly at both ends between a pair of posts.
It is important to get the plastic as tight as possible lengthwise first.
There must also be a rope from the top of the last hoop to the tie off post.

There are a couple of challenges to consider with the hanley tunnels.

  1. One of these challenges is to create a proper entrance. Typically entrance is achieved by slightly lifting the plastic and ducking underneath.
  2. The other are of challenge is the low shoulder height of the structure. This restricts the use to a couple rows of taller items in the middle and a couple rows of shorter plants along the side. The width of the tunnel does lend itself to three regular size beds.

Once you have learned about the nuances of the hanley tunnels, and asked any questions that come up, you will be better prepared to have these efficient season extenders work for you and your application.

Feel free to look at our Hanley Application page for more information and photos, and give us a call with anything else you require.

We are pleased to have many happy customers these structures are working for, and look forward to you being next!

This concludes our week long series of Season Extension. Check out our new book if you want to know more “So You Want to Buy a Greenhouse…Your Guide to Planning a Greenhouse Purchase”

Season Extension: Ventilating & Heating

To make your greenhouse more of a year round functioning entity, there are two main areas in which you have to make the structure more efficient-Heating and Ventilation.

1. Heating is your biggest expense for the winter so retaining heat is a priority.

The easiest way to retain heat in your greenhouse is to install a double poly cover with air in between. A small squirrel cage blower attached to the inside layer of plastic aids in maintaining air between layers.

The more dead air space between these layers you can create, the closer you will be to achieving a 30% reduction in heat loss. Holes will result in air movement and therefore less efficiency. 3″-5″ consistent space is ideal. It is a given that you would have less then that around the edges and over the ridge.

Double plastic will have a considerably longer life span. It is important to realize that as plastic gets older, the light transmission will be reduced which will reduce production.

Infrared plastic (IR poly) does further reduce heat loss and increase light diffusion so it can also be a consideration when looking for ways to reduce heating costs.

2. Ventilation is also one of your biggest considerations for the warmer times of the year. Ventilation can be done through forced or mechanical methods or passive through vents or roll up sides.

Vents are extremely effective since they can be placed higher up where the heat needs to be expelled. Mechanical ventilation is more costly both up front and to operate but it is easier to control since it is attached to a thermostat. For mechanical ventilation to be effective, it needs to be sized and located properly.

Roll up sides are less costly and simpler to install but are restricted by the fact that you have to be there to open and to close.

Climate control is especially challenging in the spring and the fall since most days you will have the need for both ventilating and heating.

One area that you need to be especially aware of is stagnant air. Without proper air movement, circulation and exchanging, stagnant air can cause many different types of diseases. It is important to understand what your plants require

Stay tuned for the third and final installment of our series about Season Extension and Your Greenhouse coming soon!

Season Extension: Moving Your Structure

A significant part of season extension involves moving an intact structure.

This basically allows you to get two (or possibly three) plots of production from one investment.

The idea is to start a relatively cold tolerant crop very early in the season (the timing will be different in different locations).

  1. Once the crop is firmly established in location A, (and it has warmed up) you will move the structure to location B and start another crop.
  2. You will harvest the crop in location A and then after working the soil, plant another crop in location A which is intended for fall harvesting.
  3. After location B is harvested and before frost you will move the structure back to A.
  4. Instead of doing twice in location A you could also choose location C.

A structure can be equipped with wheels which will run over the soil. There is quite a bit of flexibility where you go and the terrain you navigate.

The structure can be equipped with rollers on a track. This will determine where you go and this is usually intended for moving a bigger structure with fewer people.

The most common method of moving is sliding the structure on the soil. The base rail can be wood or steel.

It is critically import to understand the logistics of moving on a structure before you start. It is not hard to move a structure but it is also not hard to do damage.

Having a plan for proper anchoring is very important for a moveable structure. Your structure is at a vulnerable state when you release the anchors. Once you start, the job must be completed quickly. You have to be aware that the anchors may not come out or go back in easily so you may need to give yourself some extra time.

One other area of consideration on a moveable structure is the ends. There must be some sort of a flap or vent along the bottom so that when a structure is being moved, the ends will not uproot plant material. Generally speaking to have this ability in the ends takes away from the structural integrity, so some extra anchoring may be required.

You can see more information and photos on our movable information page. Please don’t hesitate to call us with ANY questions you may have. This can be a very useful addition to your structure, but must be understood correctly.

Stay tuned for part two and three of our season extension series later this week!

Winter Storms and Maintenance 

With the upcoming storms in both Ontario and the east coast forecasted, we wanted to remind everyone: it’s okay, and even preferred that the buildings have some snow around them. 

This prevents the wind from getting under them and it also means that the height above the ground is less. This significantly decreases the aerodynamic lift.

As we’ve stated in our winter care articles and in the installation guide, there are things you can do to prepare your building to withstand the storms as best as possible. Taking extra steps during the ‘worst case scenario’ situations can often make all the difference and help your building stay standing.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about any of these situations. Good luck and stay warm! 

Merry Christmas and happy new year!! 

Please note Multi Shelter Solutions is now closed for the holidays and will reopen for business January 3rd 2018

We wish you and your family a very happy and joyous holiday season from the entire Multi Shelters team, Norm, Carson, Gwen, Terry, Doug, Jeff, Heather and Andrea

We are grateful to all our new and repeat customers in 2017 and everyone who showed interest and are still working on their planning and we are looking forward to making 2018 even better!

Please stop by Magical Lights of Milton and donate to a great cause for the hospital a day see some spectacular lights. And don’t forget your local foodbank this time of year. 

We wish you all the happiness and abundance and look forward to speaking with you in the new year! 

Featured Product: Igloo Round Structures

We have a unique structure that we have started offering more often. It is a round dome structure, with our standard hoops around a circular ridge piece. We have taken to calling this our “Canadian Igloo” Structure. Plastic is put on in separate pieces so it’s not for the new greenhouse assembler. We have them being used for everything from seminar areas to storage, whatever you would like a unique application for!

Please see our Igloo Round Application Page for more info, and call for your custom quote and with any additional questions you may have.

December Promotions

Helping more families enjoy and abundant Christmas

For every structure purchased in December, we will donate $50 from each purchase to the local food bank to help more families be able to enjoy an abundant Christmas this year

Gift a Greenhouse, Share a Shelter

We offer gift certificates for you to Gift a Greenhouse or Share a Shelter with your loved one under the tree, for spring delivery
Contact us today to find out details and make arrangements

Magical Lights of Milton

876 Willow Ave, Milton, ON L9T 3E7 Check out a great Christmas Light display and donate to help fund the Milton Hospital expansion.

Thank you for your interest in Multi Shelter Solutions

Giving Back to Our Community

Every year at Multi Shelter Solutions we try to collaborate with non profit organizations and other volunteer opportunities to provide a shelter at low or no cost.

We have done shelters for Haiti after the earthquake, a shelter for an eye clinic in the Dominican Republic, arches for Magical Lights of Milton that donates back to the Milton Hospital at Christmas, greenhouse to Aroland First Nations in Northern Ontario to provide food for their community and learning opportunities for the students, and work with Food Bank projects out on the east coast to help provide fresh, healthy vegetables to those most in need, and the list continues to grow. See photos on our “giving back” page.

This is something we believe whole heartedly in and would very much like to work with more causes to help in whatever way we can.  We also want to express gratitude for the various opportunities we’ve had to help out non-profit and not-for-profit groups.

If you know of a project that could use our help, or are involved with something you’d like to see us put some help behind, please don’t hesitate to contact us and let us know about it. This is an ongoing initiative of Multi Shelter Solutions, and as a company, and all our staff, would love to see this continue. Please join us in taking some time to give back, and Pay It Forward. A little smile goes a long way.

Here’s an article written about our east coast project
And check out our Giving Back page for more info and pictures!