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The Complete Guide to Building Your Own Greenhouse: Everything You Need to Know Explained Simply


Food costs these days are outrageous and only growing more each day. Recently, during a two month period between June and July alone, the cost of consumer products rose by more than 1.5 percent across the board, with nearly a 2 percent increase in food costs, according to the Federal Reserve. Added to rising fuel costs and a global food crisis and the costs just continue to rise. So, the prospect of building your own greenhouse and growing your own fruits and vegetables is probably starting to sound more and more...

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Food costs these days are outrageous and only growing more each day. Recently, during a two month period between June and July alone, the cost of consumer products rose by more than 1.5 percent across the board, with nearly a 2 percent increase in food costs, according to the Federal Reserve. Added to rising fuel costs and a global food crisis and the costs just continue to rise. So, the prospect of building your own greenhouse and growing your own fruits and vegetables is probably starting to sound more and more viable and like a great way to bypass though prohibitive costs. Of course there is a myriad of issues that needs to be dealt with by anyone seeking to save money with a greenhouse.

This book, by walking you through every step of the process in building and taking advantage of your own green house, seeks to layout those issues and ensure you have as easy a time as possible without any surprises. You will learn the various principles of greenhouse use and the different types of greenhouses you can use depending on your location and the specific needs you may have. Learn how to select a proper site and to set a foundation that will hold the greenhouse effectively in place regardless of weather conditions throughout the year and maintain the heat generated in the greenhouse. Learn how to frame your green house and how to effectively glaze the glass. Learn what kinds of ventilation are needed and what forms of supplemental heat, insulation, and heat sinking you will need to acquire for your greenhouse.

Greenhouse and plant experts have been interviewed and their insights have been added to this book to help you make the right decisions about which kind of greenhouse is best for you and how to prepare it. Learn how to effectively install the necessary plumbing, wiring, and other amenities your greenhouse needs. Learn what is needed for shutters and shades and how to install cold frames and hotbeds. Learn how to install hoop houses, attached greenhouses, and freestanding greenhouses and the differences between each of them. For anyone seeking a means and the details needed to install their greenhouse, this book will walk you through every necessary step.

Atlantic Publishing is a small, independent publishing company based in Ocala, Florida. Founded over twenty years ago in the company president’s garage, Atlantic Publishing has grown to become a renowned resource for non-fiction books. Today, over 450 titles are in print covering subjects such as small business, healthy living, management, finance, careers, and real estate. Atlantic Publishing prides itself on producing award winning, high-quality manuals that give readers up-to-date, pertinent information, real-world examples, and case studies with expert advice.  Every book has resources, contact information, and web sites of the products or companies discussed.

This Atlantic Publishing eBook was professionally written, edited, fact checked, proofed and designed. The print version of this book is 336 pages and you receive exactly the same content. Over the years our books have won dozens of book awards for content, cover design and interior design including the prestigious Benjamin Franklin award for excellence in publishing. We are proud of the high quality of our books and hope you will enjoy this eBook version.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781601383686
  • Publisher: Atlantic Publishing Group Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/1/2010
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 827,750
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 11

Chapter 1 The Roots of Greenhouse Building 15

Historical Roots 16

Uses for a Greenhouse 20

What a Greenhouse Does 22

Greenhouse Basics: Conduction, Radiation, and Convection 25

Onward to Greenhouse Types 26

Types of Greenhouses 26

Attached Greenhouses 27

Lean-to Greenhouse 28

Even-span 31

Freestanding Greenhouses 32

Rigid Frame 36

Post-and-Rafter 38

A-frame 38

Summary 40

Chapter 2 Choosing the Right Greenhouse for You 43

Climactic Conditions 44

Temperature Controlled Greenhouses 46

Specialty Greenhouses 47

Property Considerations 49

What if You Do Not Have Space? 49

Where Greenhouses Are Used the Most 51

Location, Location, Location 51

Geographic Considerations 53

Space Requirements 58

Summary 63

Chapter 3 Planning Your Greenhouse 65

Building Materials 66

Steel and PVC pipe 66

Types of Wood 67

Choosing the Right Tools for the Job 67

Planning for Climate Control 72

Heating and Insulation 75

Greenhouse Heating 77

Insulation as an Alternative 77

Ventilation 79

Plumbing and Electricity 81

Water Lines 81

Electrical Work 82

Installing Receptacles 85

Will You Require a Building Permit? 85

Determining the Need for a Building Permit 86

Summary 87

Chapter 4 Building Foundations 89

Choosing a Level Surface 90

Testing For Appropriate Sunlight 91

Preparing the Site 91

Constructing the Foundation 92

Wooden Foundation 95

Concrete Slab Foundation 99

Slope and Drainage for Your Foundation 102

Building with a Greenhouse Kit 102

Building Frames 104

Building a Conventional Greenhouse 105

Summary 107

Chapter 5 Constructing the Lean-To / Attached Greenhouse 109

Why a Lean-To Greenhouse? 110

Things to Consider for Your Project 112

Lean-To Greenhouse Plan No. 1 115

Lean-To Greenhouse Plan No. 2 117

Lean-To Greenhouse Plan No. 3 124

Lean-To Greenhouse Plan No. 4 131

Mini Lean-To Greenhouses You Can Buy 132

Simple Mini-Greenhouse 134

A-Frame Greenhouse Plan No. 1 134

Summary 140

Chapter 6 Constructing an A-Frame Greenhouse 141

Materials to Choose 142

A-Frame Greenhouse Plan No. 1 144

A-Frame Greenhouse Plan No. 2 150

A-Frame Greenhouse Plan No. 3 157

Summary 159

Chapter 7 Constructing Hoop Greenhouses 161

Hoop Greenhouse Plan No. 1 163

Hoop Greenhouse Plan No. 2 169

Hoop Greenhouse Plan No. 3 174

Hoop Greenhouse Plan No. 4 181

Heating Your Hoop Greenhouse 184

Summary 186

Chapter 8 Cold Frame Greenhouses 187

Things to Consider 189

Advantages of Cold Frame Greenhouse 190

How to Use a Cold Frame Greenhouse 191

Cold Frame Greenhouse Plan No. 1 192

Cold Frame Greenhouse Plan No. 2 193

Cold Frame Greenhouse Plan No. 2.5 194

Cold Frame Greenhouse Plan No. 3 195

Cold Frame Greenhouse Plan No. 4 196

Cold Frame Greenhouse Plan No. 5 197

Cold Frame Greenhouse Plan No. 6 198

Cold Frame Greenhouse Plan No. 7 206

Cold Frame Greenhouse Plan No. 8 207

Summary 208

Chapter 9 Building Accessories for Your Greenhouse 209

Potting Benches 209

Types of Potting Benches 210

Potting Bench Plan No. 1 212

Potting Bench Plan No. 2 214

Potting Bench Plan No. 3 215

Shelving 217

Shelf Plan No. 1 218

Shelf Plan No. 2 219

Shelf Plan No. 3 221

Raised Gardening Beds 222

Advantages 222

Disadvantages 223

Putting Together Your Beds 224

Constructing a Gardening Bed 226

Summary 232

Chapter 10 Choosing Covering Materials 233

Glass 233

Polycarbonate 235

Acrylic 236

Fiberglass 237

Plastic Film 238

Summary 240

Chapter 11 Accessories and Notions 241

Sound 242

Music for Your Consideration 242

Shading 244

Screening Agents 245

Misting Systems 247

Grow Lights 249

Temperature Gauges 253

Humidistat 254

Lighting Meter 255

Automatic Vent Opener 256

Ground Cover 257

Chapter 12 Greenhouse Maintenance 261

Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Greenhouse 261

Checking Windows and Doors 262

Checking Ventilation Systems 264

Checking Water Tanks and Irrigation Systems 265

Chapter 13 Additional Greenhouse Plans 267

Window Mount 268

Lean-To 276

Freestanding Wood Frame 283

PVC Hoop Design with Wood Base Frame 290

A-Frame 296

Wooden Arched A-Frame 302

Pole Barn 308

Hoop Design 312

Mini PVC Frame 316

Potting Bench #1 320

Potting Bench #2 323

Conclusion 326

Glossary 327

Author Biography 331

Index 333

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  • Posted November 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Useful plans but hard to read

    Typically I¿m a big fan of Atlantic Publishing books. In this case however, if you want a book that lives up to its mission to tell you everything you need to know in an understandable manner, this isn¿t the book for you. This is perhaps influenced by the writer whose background doesn¿t seem to include specific credentials or experience regarding greenhouses. The author clearly researched the needs or greenhouses and owners.

    Unfortunately the information for a first-time greenhouse owner is hard to mine from this source. Lengthy sentences and a pedantic tone reduce the pleasure in reading and learning about your new hobby. Most beginners, for whom this series is designed, will be better served by finding books that area easier to read, faster to absorb and simply more entertaining. Perhaps future editions will benefit from some additional editing. In addition, it would be helpful to have illustrations from a variety of sources rather than primarily from one provider.

    You may still find this book to be a great resource. For those who want to construct their own greenhouse, the plans, equipment lists and other details are perfect. Each plan is presented in perfect detail¿you even get a detailed shopping list that makes getting all the supplies you need simple. The instructions are clear, step-wise and easy to follow. What the prose in this book lacks, the blue-print part of this book makes up. The middle of the book and resources at the end offer an extensive selection of plans for free-standing, attached to a structure, and even a window-box extensive plan.

    Each reader needs to decide what matters to them: for those seeking plans this could be a great investment. The plans range from small greenhouses just a few feet square up to those appropriate for individuals with a bit of acreage for placement. Persons who learn by reading will be better served by other choices.

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  • Posted January 14, 2011

    Much more than just 'building a glass box'

    "The Complete Guide to Building Your Own Greenhouse" is a comprehensive look at the myriad of considerations that must be addressed in order to build and maintain a successful greenhouse. Items such as location, typical climate, surrounding structures, amount of time and money to be allocated, building materials, types of plants to be raised, and much more are only some of the items author Craig Baird says need to be decided on before a single tool is picked up. He provides an enormous wealth of information as well as lessons learned and advice from the experts so that even the simplest and least expensive greenhouses can be efficient and flourish. Once he details some greenhouse history and the various pre-construction considerations, he walks the reader step-by-step through plans that range from easy to expert. One of the drawbacks of the book is that the author does not include pictures with each of his plans; many of the plans note only descriptions of the required steps which make it difficult to imagine what exactly the author's intended end result is suppose to look like. Further, there are some minor 'holes' in his step descriptions - minor in that it may not make a difference in the overall construction but still mildly irritating. For example, page 263 discusses replacing a hinge and calls for 'golf tees (optional)' in his supply list. However, as he goes through the steps of taking off an old hinge and putting on a new one, he never once mentions why or how the golf tees are used. "The Complete Guide to Building Your Own Greenhouse" is a fantastic read for both beginning and expert gardeners looking to extend their plants' growing season. The book gives plenty for the would-be greenhouse gardener to think about so that they can go into a construction project or kit purchase and hopefully avoid any negative or progress-halting surprises. Written with a clear, simplistic, and enthusiastic style, even a novice can quickly learn the basic concepts and start planning a project immediately. "The Complete Guide to Building Your Own Greenhouse" is a quick and easy read and leaves you with the motivation and inspiration to get started right away! Reviewed by Vicki Landes, author of "Europe for the Senses - A Photographic Journal"

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