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greenhouses in COLD climates, suggestions

This is a discussion on greenhouses in COLD climates, suggestions within the Semi Hydro / Lights / Greenhouses / Accessories forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I have been wanting to build a greenhouse for years and I finally want to ...

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    jungleorchids13's Avatar
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    Default greenhouses in COLD climates, suggestions

    I have been wanting to build a greenhouse for years and I finally want to do so this summer, my big question is: What is the best way to build a year round greenhouse where it gets 40 degrees BELOW zero and we get tons of snow? I assume it would need to be partially attached to the house... Is there anyone on here that has a greenhouse in similar conditions? Any help would be appreciated! And we are thinking like 8x12

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    Iowa does not get much below -20 in the winter so you have my area beat. I work at Iowa State University and was in the Horticulture building, where they are currently building new greenhouses, and overheard the consultant say should be at least 16 feet high for proper air circulation, and underground heating with pex tubing is the most economically efficient way to heat the greenhouses. Of course, the University heats with steam, so radiant heating would fit right in. Iniital cost for you may be high if you have to install a boiler to heat the tubing.

  3. #3
    jungleorchids13's Avatar
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    That makes sense they are heating a lot of new houses around here that way, actually I think our neighbors new garage is heated through the floor I just never thought of that... Thanks for the idea!

    ---------- Auto-Merged DoublePost - Post added at 11:45 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:11 PM ----------

    What side of our house should the greenhouse be on if I attach it to the house? Our house faces south east but we have no room for a greenhouse on that side, it would either have to be on the NE, NW or SW side of the house, the NW side has lots of trees to that side is kinda out as well. The original plan was to put it on the entire north east side of the house, there are no trees or buildings to block any sun on that end of the house. This would be 8' x 25', but it would be divided so I would only heat like 1/3 - 1/2 of it in the winter. Most of it would get really good morning sun but be shaded after like 1 or 2 pm by the house, but the north west facing end would get sun all day in the summer but in the winter would be shaded in the afternoon as well. Is that good? We were also going to make it so it is about 3 feet in the ground like you will have to step down 3 feet when you go in.

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    Not having any experience with greenhouses, but having worked in the construction business for quite awhile, a step down may hurt you and it may help you.

    That far down the ground is at a constant temperature, so if you're heating/insulated well it wouldn't be a problem, but if you're not, it could get chilly just due to depth.

    Just my two cents.

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    What do you plan to grow in the greenhouse? Some plants need a lot of sunlight during the growing season, while some are OK with being shaded by the house for most of the year.
    Do you also plan on utilizing sunlight for supplemental solar heating during the winter?

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