Since you quite obviously have a very green thumb, I was wondering if you
could enlighten us on what is needed for a good greenhouse. From the pics I
think I can figure out the materials you used (tho I dont know what the "glass"
is called)What all is needed in there? What temp do you keep it at, if you heat
it at all? Humidity? etc.
I wish I could take credit for the beautiful orchids you see in my spider post but I'm not the one with the green thumb in the family. I can write, take nice pictures, and sew. But I have no natural ability with plants.
Larry is the green thumb in our family, and what I do know of plants I've learned from him, much of it through osmosis. He's a natural teacher and people love to just talk to him about plants because he's knowledgeable and very good at explaining things.
Our two greenhouses he built himself.We have a large one made of two layers of industrial grade plastic stretched over a wooden frame. The layers of plastic are inflated by air, which provides the insulation. That greenhouse is huge; I forget the dimensions and the heater I bought him as a gift a few years ago towers over my head. It keeps the greenhouse warm in the winter. There are also massive fans across the back that pull out the air in the summer months, to keep it from getting too hot. It's where we keep our big tropicals. It never gets below 60 degrees in there.
Our little greenhouse is my favorite. It's an enclosed patio off our bedroom. That's where we keep the spiders. It's not glass that covers it, but twinwall, a polycarbonate plastic that's thin, lightweight and provides great insulation. The temperature in there never drops below fifty degrees and is heated with a small gas heater.
We are in the process of preparing a site for a third greenhouse. It's a complete glass and aluminum greenhouse. They sell for about $3,000 but we got ours for free from a guy who said we could have the whole thing if we took it down. Larry and I are really good at finding bargains; he got the twinwall used from one of the area arboretums. I found the offer for the glass and aluminum greenhouse tucked in among the advertisments at the local health food co-op.
With greenhouses, you can be as elaborate and expensive or as simple and low-cost as you like. I'd suggest checking the want ads first; people who move onto property with an old greenhouse will often sell it for very little. Just about everything we got for our greenhouse - from lights to watering systems we found below cost.
Kits are available through gardening supply catalogs, and again they vary in price and can be from a basic frame to a turnkey system. What temperature and humidity you choose for your greenhouse depends on what you are going to grow. I'd suggest starting small with one from a kit or a small one you build yourself through plans you find online or in a book. Magazines like Countryside and Mother Earth News often offer greenhouse plans.
I love our greenhouses, even if the plants cringe when I walk by. I don't prefer them as much as I like the outdoor gardens in the spring and summer, but it is nice on a frosty morning to find a dozen blooming orchids peeping at you from their shelves.