What is the best size and shape for what I want to do?

Covering the sizes we are offering and when it would be best to choose from the website for a more custom situation.

Determining the space that is required to meet your objectives will be your first consideration. This goes beyond the foot print or floor space which you would need for the plants you wish to grow.

In our Self Sufficiency packages, we are offering the convenience of 3 choices. There may be a situation where none of these choices will meet your short term objectives or long term goals. If that is the case, it would be advisable to explore our website for a more suitable package in the context of what you are learning here. The self sufficiency packages are meant as a simple starting point, but sometimes simple isn’t always the best choice

If it is your goal ultimately to have more than one greenhouse, consideration needs to be given for how the second or third building would fit on your property. As an example, if you have a total of 50’ wide available and you build 16’ now, it restricts your future options. Going a little longer now (if that fills the space) is much cheaper and simpler than doing an addition.

If it is not your intent to grow (and heat) through the winter time, it would be important to have a structure which would efficiently shed snow. Using a more snow efficient shape does not mean that the structure can be left totally unattended for extended periods of time. If that is going to be your situation, we have options for building structures to meet that requirement with closer arch spacing.

A very important reason for needing a taller building would be the need to use the vertical growing option. You will be able to grow more rows on that foot print because of the side clearance provided. If you plan to only grow short crops in the soil a lower greenhouse will work.

A point that many overlook in their consideration of the importance of side height is that they intend to work the ground with a rototiller.

A final point for the shape consideration, has to do with wind load. Wind load increases exponentially as the building is taller. Especially if your property dictates orienting the building across an extreme prevailing wind, it would be advisable to go with a lower profile.

Here is to comprehensive planning!

We hope you are finding value in this series of posts, helping you prepare for your new growing adventure! Reminder that the deadline is May 31st for Fall Delivery. We look forward to working with you for your projects!

February Features! *Winter and Your Structures*

We have a number of resources on our website to help you with taking care of our structure over winter. We have compiled a list of “Greatest Hits” below, that you can review at your leisure and please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions if you are unsure or can’t find what you’re looking for. We are always happy to help.

The best place to start is the Winter Care Pages in our instruction manual.

We also have: Winter FAQs

Video: Norm explains the situations where you would need to remove snow from a Greenhouse or Storage Building and how to do it safely

Winter Care & Maintenance
Important notes for various situations
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….

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

Winter Storm & Your Structures
Many areas have been hit with freezing rain today and even though it has generally not been enough to warrant concern for the structures, it is a good time to recap some common things when dealing with ice on buildings….

Retightening a Loose Structure Cover
Re-tightening a cover does not have to be done in one day. Taking a short cut will leave you with more wrinkles. Areas with wrinkles will flutter more and cause stress points.
This will also cause the cover to deteriorate quicker……

Temporary Fix for a Loose Cover
There are a number of instances where a cover will need to be installed in less than ideal conditions. This can be either be on a windy day or in the cold (-10C or worse) and the job simply can not wait.

Season Extension: 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…..

Happy Valentine’s Day and Family Day! We hope you and your family are staying warm, and getting excited for the upcoming spring and growing season! We look forward to working with you on your projects in 2021!

Growing Over Winter in a Greenhouse

There are quite a few ways to make a greenhouse more heat efficient to make it feasible to grow either through the winter or for a large part of it.

The first thing to determine is what crop(s) you wish to grow since a number of plant varieties would be considered cold weather crops. The heat requirement would be considerably less.

Since the majority of heat loss is through the roof, the most common method of making a greenhouse more heat efficient is by adding a layer of plastic to the outside. With the benefit of a small blower there is an air pocket created. The closer that this air pocket is to “dead air” the less heat transfer that there would be. 10 to 15 cm is considered the ideal gap. When there is more then 15cm there will start to be movement of air and greater heat transfer. It is impossible to have a perfectly uniform space because of the way the plastic goes over the ridge and is fastened around the edges.

It is important not to have any holes in the plastic. The resulting air loss with a hole would result in air movement and less heat efficiency.

It is often thought that a lower greenhouse is easier to heat since there is less surface area to lose heat. The reality is that the bigger air volume of a taller greenhouse is less likely to have the temperature fluctuate.

To make a structure more heat efficient, the north wall could be insulated. Care has to be exercised in insulating ends since it is important not to create extra shading. Insulation can be put flat on the ground around the structure as a way of slowing down the cold radiating into the structure.

Another trick that some people have used effectively to reduce heat requirements is to make small tunnels over the beds of vegetables. This works well for the night time. It is important to have this cover removed in the day time to maximize the value of the sunlight.

If your intention is to only use part of a larger structure through the winter, it is wise to hand a curtain for the length of the ridge and then only use the south facing side. This maximizes the benefit of the sun and minimizes the effect of the cold wind.

With a little creativity it is easy to get benefits from the greenhouse even in the winter.

Potential Ice Storm

We are once again in a part of the season where freezing rain is a potential threat.

The freezing rain itself is not the threat, even if there is a lot, since at a certain point, if there is enough ice, it would become self supporting

Where the potential risk comes, if the temperature would fall and the ice would really freeze to the cover, snow would not be able to slide off the structure.

To prevent this from happening, take a few minutes to gently bump the cover to remove the ice.

The critical thing to remember when bumping the cover is to ALWAYS start at the top and work down. This way the lower ice will “protect” the cover when the higher ice is sliding down.

The sooner this process is done, the smaller the job will actually be.

But PLEASE do not go in a compromised structure, you are more important

Good luck!

EBOOK now available!

Now available as an ebook!
So you want to buy a greenhouse… Your guide to planning your greenhouse purchase!

Check it out 🙂 and, there’s special savings if you’ve already purchased the paperback through Amazon.

If you’ve purchased the paperback at a trade show or from the office and want an ecopy, email us at multisheltersales@gmail.com with a pic of you and the book, and we’ll help you out.

https://amzn.to/2Xj5GY4

Winter Storm and Your Structures

Winter Storm & Your Structures

Many areas have been hit with freezing rain today and even though it has generally not been enough to warrant concern for the structures, it is a good time to recap some common things when dealing with ice on buildings.

It is important to note that the ice in itself is not an issue, even a very thick layer actually has enough strength to become self supporting. There are two potential problems though:

  • If the ice stays on the building, it usually has a rough enough texture that subsequent snow will not likely slide off. This scenario lead to major problems in previous winters when we had freezing rain, followed by a dump of snow and then we had rain. This can triple the weight on a building in very short order.
  • The other potential problem happens when you are attempting to remove the ice from the building. If the ice layer is not too significant you can gently bump the cover from the inside. ALWAYS start bumping the cover from the top. This way ice will slide over ice. Starting from the bottom creates a potential where the ice sliding down will fall back against the building and slash the cover. NEVER do all of one side and then the other. Work both sides simultaneously.

If there is the slightest doubt in your mind about the amount of weight on the building, bump the cover from the outside using something with a long handle.

If in doubt please don’t hesitate to ask.