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Old 04-02-2014, 08:06 AM   #21
Noelie84 [OP] Noelie84 is offline
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Originally Posted by scottalot View Post
I used Impact rated insulated glass on the bottom sides up to 5' high. Then 1/4" Tempered for the rest of the sides and the front and back. The roof is 2 layers of greenhouse poly that is inflated with a fan to provide more insulation. Ran electric and h2o out to it and did a misting watering system that hangs from the roof with drip lines all on separate valves. All the arches are made from conduit that I bent to form the arch for the plastic to lay on.

Its going great so far. Cannot wait to finish it up this summer. Got a nice couple month head start on seeds this year.

Oh, and I have 150+ gallons of water in large drums for thermal mass.
Neat!
Sounds like what I want to eventually build, except that I'll have to use something that can handle snow load on the roof for mine. I'll probably end up going with a couple layers of that clear corrugated poly roofing they sell at Home Depot or something.

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Originally Posted by Evil Monkey View Post
I have a grove with 19 Avocado trees (17 Haas and 2 Fuerte). 16 of them are mature and three are newly planted this year. I also have three orange trees (1 Naval, 1 Valencia and 1 newly planted Blood Orange tree), two tangerine trees, a lemon tree, a Fuji Apple tree (new), a new Lime tree and a new Doughnut Peach tree.

Last year we pulled off about 800 pounds of Avocados. Most of them were small (about 2"). We picked late the previous year so I don't think they had time to grow big. We also picked about 200 pounds of tangerines last October.

We also have a flower garden in the back. It doesn't need much attention. We have the irrigation on a timer for most of the flowers around the property and also for two of the orange trees and the lemon tree.

The Avocado grove and the other trees need to have the water turned on manually, usually once a week. They each have their own sprinkler head and the irrigation system is divided into three zones. I can only run one zone at a time due to the large amount of water required. We use about 50,000 gallons of water per month.
I'm jealous of the avocado's. I've got two trees that I started from pits that live indoors, but because of that they'll never get the chance to grow more than 8 feet high. Not sure if they'll ever produce or not (Honestly I'm leaning towards 'not'), but they're a fun experiment. Not jealous about that 50,000 gallons of water per month, though. That's crazy!
I've got a pair coffee trees and a pineapple, plus a pair of small lemon trees in the house that finally have fruit on them, so I'm pretty excited about that. I want to get oranges and grapefruit as well, but I just don't have the space for it right now.
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Old 04-02-2014, 08:44 AM   #22
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Whatever you do -- do NOT waste your money on the home depot corrugated sheets - complete junk. Either do a tempered glass roof or go to a plastic supply company in you area and get uv-resistant polycarbonate. There's many different types out there. The tempered glass will last the longest though - sun won't hurt it. I say tempered because you can buy pre made insulated units at 5/8" thick (dual pane in easy terms) that are 28x76, 34x76, and 46x76. Those are standard patio door replacement sizes and are readily available for half the cost of custom size. All my glass was free as I'm in the glass industry - but I still used 34x76 units for ease of replacement and cost in the event I do need a new pc's down the road. Oh, and fyi - these insulated units are changed out on a regular basis by residential glass co.'s. The seals go bad and they fog up. If you talk to your local glass shop they'd probably happily give you old ones they took out. You can then separate them and get two pcs of glass from each. Granted one pc is usually pretty well permanently stained - you can then keep the better pc, trash the old and keep collecting more. Plan now, gather them, frame the greenhouse the size pcs you get and now your glass was free. Also, glass that is tempered cannot be cut once tempered so don't fool yourself into getting slack with the framing with the mindset you can get your free pcs cut down..
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:08 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noelie84 View Post
I'm jealous of the avocado's. I've got two trees that I started from pits that live indoors, but because of that they'll never get the chance to grow more than 8 feet high. Not sure if they'll ever produce or not (Honestly I'm leaning towards 'not'), but they're a fun experiment. Not jealous about that 50,000 gallons of water per month, though. That's crazy!
I've got a pair coffee trees and a pineapple, plus a pair of small lemon trees in the house that finally have fruit on them, so I'm pretty excited about that. I want to get oranges and grapefruit as well, but I just don't have the space for it right now.
My wife wants a pineapple tree. For your avocado trees, they'll almost never produce fruit when grown from a pit, or if they do, it won't taste that great. Many pit-grown avocado trees, if they do produce, won't start for about 10 years. My gardener told me to pull a leaf off the tree and rip it in half. Then smell the leaf. If it smells like black licorice, it won't produce. Avocado trees that you purchase have been grafted with the fruit variety from a producing tree. Usually the fruit will only grow after the graft point. Plus, because they're indoors, they don't have much chance to pollinate (no bees). Seeing that you're in Maine, you really don't have much choice as the cold will kill them (they don't like temps below 35 degrees). As for the size, most commercial growers try to keep their trees at 10-12 feet in height. If they get too tall, it makes it harder to pick the fruit. Plus a tree that's shorter but spread out will develop more fruit than a large huge tree because more light can get to the center of the tree. They like a lot of sun but not directly on the trunk. So they're usually cut in a canopy shape that blocks the sun from hitting the trunk (usually about 2' off the ground.

One thing you could do is keep them at a small size and move them outside when the weather is warmer. That way you'll get an opportunity to get some pollination. You'll notice tiny flowers that open two times per day. If it's a Haas, they should be flowering right about now. What's interesting is the variety of avocado you bought may not be the same as the tree you have and the fruit you'll produce.


One thing to be careful of with the avocado trees is watering. Too much water and you'll get root rot. The water has to be able to drain away. That's why most groves out here are grown on hillsides. I live on a hill so most of the water drains away. Too little and the tree starts taking up salt from the soil and the tips of the leaves turn brown. I water about once a week for 45 minutes and then let the soil drain. I don't water again until the soil won't clump when squeezed.

For the water use, fortunately I'm on an agricultural rate. If it was a residential rate, I couldn't afford it. The only caveat is I have to sell the avocados and show proof if asked by the water district. I also have to register with the federal government and fill out a growers survey.
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:31 AM   #24
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Cool thread, I've always wanted a Greenhouse ever since I can remember. Cool gardens you guys have posted pics of.

Noel the pic of the Rooster, what type rooster is that, I forgot?
When I was little we had one that had the same markings, and named him Bubba, he was huge and mean as hell, he would flog the crap out of you. One time when I was about 7 he chased me around the yard and I started running faster than my legs would go down the hill turning flips and would come up running, didn't miss a lick, did two or three like that. lol
Funny thing is he didn't care who you were he wasn't intimidated lol. Had a Tom turkey that way too.
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:38 AM   #25
Noelie84 [OP] Noelie84 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottalot View Post
Whatever you do -- do NOT waste your money on the home depot corrugated sheets - complete junk. Either do a tempered glass roof or go to a plastic supply company in you area and get uv-resistant polycarbonate. There's many different types out there. The tempered glass will last the longest though - sun won't hurt it. I say tempered because you can buy pre made insulated units at 5/8" thick (dual pane in easy terms) that are 28x76, 34x76, and 46x76. Those are standard patio door replacement sizes and are readily available for half the cost of custom size. All my glass was free as I'm in the glass industry - but I still used 34x76 units for ease of replacement and cost in the event I do need a new pc's down the road. Oh, and fyi - these insulated units are changed out on a regular basis by residential glass co.'s. The seals go bad and they fog up. If you talk to your local glass shop they'd probably happily give you old ones they took out. You can then separate them and get two pcs of glass from each. Granted one pc is usually pretty well permanently stained - you can then keep the better pc, trash the old and keep collecting more. Plan now, gather them, frame the greenhouse the size pcs you get and now your glass was free. Also, glass that is tempered cannot be cut once tempered so don't fool yourself into getting slack with the framing with the mindset you can get your free pcs cut down..

What, these things?
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Suntuf-26...vZar5fZ1z0ubbv

I helped my girlfriend's dad install them as a roof on his woodshed something like 5 years ago and they still look brand new; no leaks, discoloring, cracks or anything
You've just got to make sure you install them with the "UV" side facing out...

Why do you say they're junk? Did you have bad luck with them before? Not trying to be argumentative, just curious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evil Monkey View Post
My wife wants a pineapple tree. For your avocado trees, they'll almost never produce fruit when grown from a pit, or if they do, it won't taste that great. Many pit-grown avocado trees, if they do produce, won't start for about 10 years. My gardener told me to pull a leaf off the tree and rip it in half. Then smell the leaf. If it smells like black licorice, it won't produce. Avocado trees that you purchase have been grafted with the fruit variety from a producing tree. Usually the fruit will only grow after the graft point. Plus, because they're indoors, they don't have much chance to pollinate (no bees). Seeing that you're in Maine, you really don't have much choice as the cold will kill them (they don't like temps below 35 degrees). As for the size, most commercial growers try to keep their trees at 10-12 feet in height. If they get too tall, it makes it harder to pick the fruit. Plus a tree that's shorter but spread out will develop more fruit than a large huge tree because more light can get to the center of the tree. They like a lot of sun but not directly on the trunk. So they're usually cut in a canopy shape that blocks the sun from hitting the trunk (usually about 2' off the ground.

One thing you could do is keep them at a small size and move them outside when the weather is warmer. That way you'll get an opportunity to get some pollination. You'll notice tiny flowers that open two times per day. If it's a Haas, they should be flowering right about now. What's interesting is the variety of avocado you bought may not be the same as the tree you have and the fruit you'll produce.


One thing to be careful of with the avocado trees is watering. Too much water and you'll get root rot. The water has to be able to drain away. That's why most groves out here are grown on hillsides. I live on a hill so most of the water drains away. Too little and the tree starts taking up salt from the soil and the tips of the leaves turn brown. I water about once a week for 45 minutes and then let the soil drain. I don't water again until the soil won't clump when squeezed.

For the water use, fortunately I'm on an agricultural rate. If it was a residential rate, I couldn't afford it. The only caveat is I have to sell the avocados and show proof if asked by the water district. I also have to register with the federal government and fill out a growers survey.
Yeah, during the summer I move them outside. The buckets they're in have holes drilled in the bases so that they can drain easily. I'll have to try that with the leaves! I'm not really expecting fruit out of them; it was just an experiment to see if I could get them to grow, and then I figured I'd keep them. At the very least, they convert CO2 to oxygen and improve the air quality of my house during the winter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guerrilla View Post
Cool thread, I've always wanted a Greenhouse ever since I can remember. Cool gardens you guys have posted pics of.

Noel the pic of the Rooster, what type rooster is that, I forgot?
When I was little we had one that had the same markings, and named him Bubba, he was huge and mean as hell, he would flog the crap out of you. One time when I was about 7 he chased me around the yard and I started running faster than my legs would go down the hill turning flips and would come up running, didn't miss a lick, did two or three like that. lol
Funny thing is he didn't care who you were he wasn't intimidated lol. Had a Tom turkey that way too.
The one that looks like a Plymouth Barred Rock is a Dominique; the blonde roo is a Buff Orpington. They're both older breeds that free-range well and they pretty much feed themselves during the summer; the 12 birds will only go through about 1/2 a feeder per week, unless it's rainy (then they usually won't even come out of the coop; they'll just stand in the door and complain)
They definitely don't intimidate easily. The blonde one will go out of his way to chase my girlfriend around.
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:22 AM   #26
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I helped my girlfriend's dad install them as a roof on his woodshed something like 5 years ago and they still look brand new; no leaks, discoloring, cracks or anything
You've just got to make sure you install them with the "UV" side facing out...

Why do you say they're junk? Did you have bad luck with them before? Not trying to be argumentative, just curious.

That's the stuff.. They may have changed the quality of how they are produced. I know one fella with a greenhouse that used them and they cracked and went to junk in a couple years. My neighbor has a large fish pond that is about 15'x 35' that he covered with a roof structure and decked with those just last year. He bought his at lowes, almost 25.00 per sheet.. They are already cracking and falling apart. Depending on your conditions you may get longer, but for the price I would look into something else. I really prefer to do things one time if possible. Granted, I'll have to re-cover the roof of my greenhouse in the years to come - I was after my 4 inch thick insulation factor from the inflated dual layers of poly.

My same friend that had problems with the corrugated stuff has had an inflated roof with the same poly on it for 14 years now trouble free. Of course I'm not sure if this would work on snow conditions.. We got some snow and ice this year and it slid right off. But you are probably looking at more like feet whereas we get mere fractions of an inch once every couple years..

Good luck to ya whatever you do - its all in good fun and what doesn't take you down will just make ya stronger
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:38 AM   #27
Noelie84 [OP] Noelie84 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottalot View Post
I helped my girlfriend's dad install them as a roof on his woodshed something like 5 years ago and they still look brand new; no leaks, discoloring, cracks or anything
You've just got to make sure you install them with the "UV" side facing out...

Why do you say they're junk? Did you have bad luck with them before? Not trying to be argumentative, just curious.

That's the stuff.. They may have changed the quality of how they are produced. I know one fella with a greenhouse that used them and they cracked and went to junk in a couple years. My neighbor has a large fish pond that is about 15'x 35' that he covered with a roof structure and decked with those just last year. He bought his at lowes, almost 25.00 per sheet.. They are already cracking and falling apart. Depending on your conditions you may get longer, but for the price I would look into something else. I really prefer to do things one time if possible. Granted, I'll have to re-cover the roof of my greenhouse in the years to come - I was after my 4 inch thick insulation factor from the inflated dual layers of poly.

My same friend that had problems with the corrugated stuff has had an inflated roof with the same poly on it for 14 years now trouble free. Of course I'm not sure if this would work on snow conditions.. We got some snow and ice this year and it slid right off. But you are probably looking at more like feet whereas we get mere fractions of an inch once every couple years..

Good luck to ya whatever you do - its all in good fun and what doesn't take you down will just make ya stronger
Yeah, the clear soft poly works ok here, but you've got to keep it cleaned off all the time, and it still is susceptible to tearing.
Shrug. Like you say, it's all fun. Maybe by the time i get around to building one the cost of that double-layered acrylic stuff will have gotten more reasonable and I can just use that!
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:52 AM   #28
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Soon to come next year - I hope is my adventure into Hydro-gardening.. Already have a 100 gallon tank laying behind the greenhouse
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:58 AM   #29
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A video I made in Jan of my garden

http://youtu.be/gua-09rQWnk
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Old 04-02-2014, 11:14 AM   #30
Noelie84 [OP] Noelie84 is offline
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A video I made in Jan of my garden

http://youtu.be/gua-09rQWnk
Cool!
What breeds did you get for chickens?
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Old 04-02-2014, 02:47 PM   #32
Smurf it.
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A video I made in Jan of my garden

http://youtu.be/gua-09rQWnk
That is awesome!

The chickens sounded funny in the background.

Is there anyway around having to tend so much to the fish, like changing the water so much etc?
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:38 PM   #33
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Cool!
What breeds did you get for chickens?
I know I have two RI reds dont recall the the other two breeds But I get about 4 eggs a day out of the five girls.
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:41 PM   #34
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That is awesome!

The chickens sounded funny in the background.

Is there anyway around having to tend so much to the fish, like changing the water so much etc?
Are you kidding me? hahah the fish are almost no maintenance. The garden/Grow beds filter the water all you do is feed the fish. I actually had issues with the water being too clean. Only thing is if you live in an area that gets cold below 55 at night then you have to worry about heating the water which could be expensive. The other option is kois who can live in near frozen water.


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Originally Posted by scottalot View Post
^ big fan of the set-up.. Looking forward to my own fishy garden one day.. Well done

Thanks, I love this kind of stuff. In the past the farmed live corals so this came really easy. Very similar in concept.
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Old 04-02-2014, 07:30 PM   #35
Smurf it.
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Originally Posted by raskal311 View Post
Are you kidding me? hahah the fish are almost no maintenance. The garden/Grow beds filter the water all you do is feed the fish. I actually had issues with the water being too clean. Only thing is if you live in an area that gets cold below 55 at night then you have to worry about heating the water which could be expensive. The other option is kois who can live in near frozen water.

Thanks, I love this kind of stuff. In the past the farmed live corals so this came really easy. Very similar in concept.
Haha no I wasn't kidding, I just heard you say something about having to change the water every four days or so, I guess I misunderstood or didn't hear everything. I did hear you talking about the filtration etc.
But that's awesome it's like it all takes care of it's self. I bet it's calming to have the sound of the water too, I noticed that in your video.

As far as the temps go, I was thinking how having a setup like that inside of a greenhouse would be awesome. I guess how well the greenhouse would effect the over all temps would be determined by a lot of different things like how it's setup and the materials used and location. But if you had it all dailed in, that would be awesome.


I guess when it comes to Koi, you would only be needing them to help fertilize the waters for the plants.
Which leads me to ask, do you eat the Tilapia?
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Old 04-02-2014, 07:35 PM   #36
Smurf it.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noelie84 View Post

The one that looks like a Plymouth Barred Rock is a Dominique; the blonde roo is a Buff Orpington. They're both older breeds that free-range well and they pretty much feed themselves during the summer; the 12 birds will only go through about 1/2 a feeder per week, unless it's rainy (then they usually won't even come out of the coop; they'll just stand in the door and complain)
They definitely don't intimidate easily. The blonde one will go out of his way to chase my girlfriend around.
Yeah it's the black and white speckled one, he was 100% not give a crap, I'll flog your ass Rooster. Ole Bubba.
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:07 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guerrilla View Post
Haha no I wasn't kidding, I just heard you say something about having to change the water every four days or so, I guess I misunderstood or didn't hear everything. I did hear you talking about the filtration etc.
But that's awesome it's like it all takes care of it's self. I bet it's calming to have the sound of the water too, I noticed that in your video.

As far as the temps go, I was thinking how having a setup like that inside of a greenhouse would be awesome. I guess how well the greenhouse would effect the over all temps would be determined by a lot of different things like how it's setup and the materials used and location. But if you had it all dailed in, that would be awesome.


I guess when it comes to Koi, you would only be needing them to help fertilize the waters for the plants.
Which leads me to ask, do you eat the Tilapia?
Ohh Yea the issue was on the very first few weeks of winter temp were in the mid 30s at night so I have to move the fish out and into the house in a more traditional aquarium. I'm actually looking into a green house for this winter. Only issue right now is the 70mph santa ana wind we get around here. I wasn't confident it would hold up on a budget green house.
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:41 AM   #38
Noelie84 [OP] Noelie84 is offline
You don't frighten us, English pig dogs!
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Got my seeds started this weekend! The flats are sitting in the front window right now, absorbing the sunlight.
I found Garlic shoots poking up through the last of the snow in their garden bed this weekend; I figured that was an indicator that it was time to start my seeds.
I planted my tomatoes (beefsteak, brandywine, and amish paste), peppers (jalapeno, habanero, cayenne & piquin, plus some sweet bell peppers), broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, and a new experiment this year for three varieties of melons (watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew). Not sure how much of a yield I'll get out of those, but figured I'd give them a try. If worse comes to worst I can always set up a hoophouse around them to get a couple of extra weeks this fall.
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Old 04-18-2014, 03:36 PM   #39
Noelie84 [OP] Noelie84 is offline
You don't frighten us, English pig dogs!
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Turned over the garden beds today after work, to loosen up and work the soil from having three feet of snow on them all winter. Added some compost and some aged manure and tilled it all in!


Now my arms are sore and my back is stiff. The joys of growing your own vegetables!
Tomorrow I'll set up my hoops and start warming the beds up. Can't wait to get some plants in the ground!
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Old 04-20-2014, 04:58 AM   #40
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Peas............... won't be long to start stringing them up
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