Re: GREENHOUSE FROM HELL
This greenhouse may be one of the most important things you will ever do and
you will truly enjoy it. My three suggestions are Plan, Plan and Plan some
more before you start.
First of all you must consider the zoning requirements where you live. I
tried to build a 20' X 50' greenhouse on a hill side in Los Angeles (as
Dewey, Betsy and several others can attest to). The foundation required by
the city building department cost $30,000. I know that Betsy ran into some
zoning problems in Memphis.
You mention 30' X 50' dimensions, but you do not mention heighth. The one I
built was 18' at the middle and 13' at the sides. You probably want one
taller if you are going to grow A. titanum and some of the other giants to
The heating costs for such a structure can put you in the poor house real
quickly. Don't forget, heat rises. I was impressed by the underground
heating system (steam as I recall), which was used at the Munich Botanical
Gardens. The conventional heater with a blower can dry out the leaves on
the taller plants.
Evaporative coolers not only lower the temperature, but also add humidity to
the environment. I have seen some very good ones operating in southern
Florida. Of course the misting system will also lower the temperature and
add humidity. Exhaust fans are necessary as well as a venting system.
You are also going to want to think about the ground upon which you are
constructing your greenhouse. The substrata should be such that moisture
will percolate instead of pooling. That latter could cause a real problem.
Also, you should be concerned about adjacent vegetation, particularly trees,
because they will send their roots towards and into your greenhouse and
could cause major problems.
Most important is money. I ran out when my greenhouse was only 75%
completed and never did finish it. So plan your dream greenhouse consistent
with the amount of money you want and are able to invest in it.
These are a few ideas. Whatever you come up with will be enjoyed by you for
a long time. Even though I failed in completing my dream, the effort, which
was over fifteen years, was a great experience.