Greenhouses in Warmer Climates

Oliveoilguy
By Oliveoilguy on Sat, Dec 29, 2012 - 9:20am

I'm designing a greenhouse for use in Texas. 

It needs to be:

Useable year round.

Big enough and tall enough to grow bananna and papaya trees.

Flow into and Merge with outdoor growing spaces.

Be Deerprooof

Have an aquaculture component.

Have a thermal mass component (probably large volumn water) to mitigate temperature swings 

Probably have a swamp cooler and some backup heat

Have good quility glazing materials.

Would appreciate discussion on specific components, materials, and concepts that have proven to work in this application.

 

 

 

 

7 Comments

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 13 2009
Posts: 1982
try contacting these folks

Carter & Holmes orchid growers had 20 greenhouses that would work in your climate. We visited them this summer. One of the growers gave us a detailed and personal tour. Nice greenhouses: they have cinder block bases, a pebble floor with slate or wooden walkways, and vents in the ceiling - mechanical vents not electrical ones. We were fascinated by how they cooled the structures with water trickling down the sides of the buildings, like splash fill in a cooling tower. They also had some innovative ways to heat the spaces in severe cold snaps, mostly involving natural gas but of course these are greenhouses. Solar power is usually all they need.

Want to visit from your armchair? Plug their address into Google maps.  629 Mendenhall Rd. Newberry, SC 29108    Use the satelite view. Then, call them. Very friendly and helpful to fellow gardeners!

jasonw's picture
jasonw
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Joined: Sep 17 2011
Posts: 1018
Geodesic Grow Domes - Greenhouses

Oliveoilguy - depending on your budget - you might also check out geodesic grow domes - the 33' and 42' versions would probably have enough vertical space for the trees you are wanting to grow and all the systems usually have a large water tank for thermal mass that lots of people do aquaponics in.  We still have visions of having a "tropical" dome someday but for now are looking to just build a simple cattle panel greenhouse.  Good luck. 

http://www.growingspaces.com/

http://www.geodesic-greenhouse-kits.com/greenhouse_kit.php

snow's picture
snow
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Joined: Dec 19 2011
Posts: 10
Greenhouses

This is the first full year for my 18' growingspaces dom..I love it but we live in colder climate SE Oregon and I want to grow winter crops, it has the auquaculture componet which I am struggling with to keep the algae down in summer but definitely worth it.  It does get warm in summer but tomatoes, peppers, etc do not mind and with shade cloths and vents it is managable.

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 13 2009
Posts: 1982
Sounds good, Snow. How large

Sounds good, Snow. How large a greenhouse is it? In Square feet or cubic feet? And what crops/fsh do you grow?

snow's picture
snow
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 19 2011
Posts: 10
I am experimenting with crops

I am experimenting with crops to learn what will grow in the Dec, Jan months with little daylight hours but  I am still harvesting tomatoes, beets, peppers that I planted last March.  I tried brussels sprouts but not much sucess.  Sugar peas are the only thing really growing right now but with each day of sunshine I can see improvement in the greens. I have blue gill and sunfish in the pond but only because they were little guys we saved from a puddle in a local creek. The dom is 18' diameter.

snow's picture
snow
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 19 2011
Posts: 10
I want to find a fruit

I want to find a fruit I can grow year round in the greenhouse.

 

Oliveoilguy's picture
Oliveoilguy
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 29 2012
Posts: 578
Starting Aquaponic System Today
jasonw wrote:

Oliveoilguy - depending on your budget - you might also check out geodesic grow domes - the 33' and 42' versions would probably have enough vertical space for the trees you are wanting to grow and all the systems usually have a large water tank for thermal mass that lots of people do aquaponics in.  We still have visions of having a "tropical" dome someday but for now are looking to just build a simple cattle panel greenhouse.  Good luck. 

http://www.growingspaces.com/

http://www.geodesic-greenhouse-kits.com/greenhouse_kit.php

Thanks Jasonw,

Sorry, I lost this thread in the digital netherland. 
Regarding the domes....I think a problem would be overheating. Instead of a dome, I'll probably end up building a tall structure with a combination of solid roof and clearstory windows on the south (shade summer and solar gain winter) and lots of glazing on the north. and East. Also....something like a thermal chimney at the top. 

Today I am going to start a small aquaponic system using 2 IBCs. Since it takes 6 weeks to get the chemistry right for the fish, I want to make my mistakes on this small test system.

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