pgtruspace's blog

about things that interest me.

Tag Archives: greenhouse

Inexpensive Rooting Box

An inexpensive rooting box.

Inexpensive Root starter box

Inexpensive Root starter box

To create a good environment for rooting cuttings you need  good light and control of humidity until the roots can support the needs of the new plant

PETE Grow box

PETE Grow box

An inexpensive rooting grow box can be created by using clear PETE, vacuum molded,  salad containers.

To the left you will see a drawing that demonstrates the concept of removing enough of the flange of one container to set the top one into the bottom containers’ flange.

I remove the flange in two passes as the convolutions make it difficult to get a good job done in one pass. Remember to remove only the amount needed to set one into the other as the remaining flange stiffens the edge.

PETE container labels

PETE container labels

The first thing to do is remove the labels from the container that you will be using for the top. Important! do this as soon as possible. A dry, new label peels cleanly off easily.  Just lift the edge and peel slowly, use a sharp knife to assist with sticky spots.  A wet or old label is very difficult to remove. Use that container for the bottom!  😦   PETE is resistant to most solvents if you really do need to clean up old glue.

Top flange fit into lower flange

Top flange fit into lower flange

If the shape and cutting is correct the top will fit into the lower tray flange. This will preserve a high humidity environment for the cuttings while they force roots to form. The clear PETE transmits a maximum amount of light so that the cuttings can make sugar to feed themselves.  And you can see any water in the base.  Be sure to open the box from time to time and talk to your new babies. they don’t care what you have to say. But they do appreciate the CO2.     😎    pg

Important note: store out of the summer sun! A dry empty clear PETE container will warp badly if left in hot direct sun. Even in the Green House.  pg


A Cheap Greenhouse

Simple hoop house.

hoop house

Hoop house, a cheap green house

Inside hoop house

A cheap Hoophouse

An inexpensive greenhouse that goes up fast is a hoophouse made up of PVC pipe and clear polyethylene covering .

This is  a rebuild of a hoophouse that I originally created in the winter of 96-97  and after 6 years removed when I built the main dugout greenhouse.

This year I recreated it with some improvements to reflect experience of the earlier use.

As before, this is a very nice place to work in the winter and early spring.  Also a great place to sit in and visit with friends when the weather is too nasty to be out in the nearby Veranda.


hoop house

hoop house hoop anchor

To create this hoop house, I used 1 and 1/4 inch PVC  schedule 40 pipe, 10 foot lengths, these were glued together with “T”s or “X”s and spaced 48 inches apart.

The hoops are anchored with 3/4 inch steel pipe driven into the ground on 48 inch centers in rows 12 feet apart.

By supporting the hoop ends 8 inches above the ground I raised the center of the hoop  to 7 feet of clearance under the stiffeners and made the house feel much larger. Lateral stiffeners are run from end to end to stabilize the ends and spread the loading in wind and snow. One on each side and one in the center. The hoop stiffeners are 2×8 – 48 inch long, cut to match the hoop curve, and “duck” taped to the hoops.

hoop house end clamps

After the ends are created and stabilized to be square and plumb, cover them with the sheet plastic and fix it with “duck” tape on or around the pipe and staple into any wood framing.  For best results tape the plastic and then staple through the plastic and tape. Only after every thing else is done do you attach the main covering.  It is best if you have help for this part as the wind will come up as soon as you start this.  If you tape and staple the covering to the windward side you can pull and attach the covering on the leeward side by yourself. Work from the center towards the ends to draw the covering smooth.

Note: the end clamps are made of 1 and 1/2 inch PVC scheduled 40 pipe split in half and screwed to the end hoops to clamp the end plastic and covering plastic tightly to the end hoops.

hoop house door

hoop house rug door

This door is a piece of old rug that is heavy enough to cover the doorway but can be moved or tied aside for ventilation. This place will get hot in late spring.

“DUCK” tape, cloth tape, originally made by the DUCK tape company now generally called duct tape as it is often used in duct work. you will need a large roll and the good stuff is worth the extra price.

After the covering is done, add wood battens to the stapled and taped edges to make the coverings wind tight around the bottom edges.

Cheap 6mil poly will last until the hot weather makes it brittle, good quality greenhouse coverings will last 5 years and cost about 3 times the cheap stuff. These hoops are the original ones. It is best to bend the hoops in warm weather as they are very hard to bend when cold.  pg

Planting Bed

Planting Bed

Update, February 2013 we removed the old disintegrating covering of polyethylene and covered with new “greenhouse covering” plastic. this should last several years. I am tired of replacing the covering after every summer.

As we are having problems with pocket gophers this added central planting bed is lined with 1/2 inch grid screen, galvanized steel. The rack will be used to provide support for crop to keep it off of the planting soil in the bed.

Greenhouse Covering

Greenhouse Covering

You can see that the new covering is much clearer than the old cheap polyethylene cover. It should also have a better transmittance of solar energy. We will see just how happy the plants are after a few months.  pg

Be sure to “click” on the pictures for a better view and more information in comments.  pg