Episode-2333- A New Look at the Old Green House — 18 Comments

  1. If you want cheap tempered glass, find a glazer and become friends. Tempered glass cannot be cut and is mismeasured a lot. It just gets thrown away. If it is insulated and the wrong color, just cut it apart and use the clear. You will have to build to the size you get. Might have to give the glazer a few bucks, but it is free to him so $100 or less is just free money to him.

    • Junk doors are another source of tempered glass. Building codes require safety glass in all doors. Combination screen/storm doors are best because the glass panel is ig and no tools are needed to take it apart.

  2. Please Don’t use plate glass.

    As someone who ran through a plate glass door as a kid and still has the scars and limp (severed tendons) it’s not worth the risk.

    Cheap tempered glass all the way.

    • It would be hard to see how a person, even a child would run though the glass in a greenhouse.

  3. I built my ice fishing shack to do double duty as a potting shed for starting plants. One wall and the lower half of the roof on the same side are sheathed with double wall corrugated polycarbonate. I use foam board insulation between the studs and rafters to hold the heat at night. Four 55 gallon plastic barrels of water serve as a thermal battery and there’s a wood stove for additional heat.  When I drag it off the ice in March I place it in my yard with the clear side facing south and set up the potting benches. In my climate the tie to start tomato and pepper seeds is mid April and they go in the ground in late May or early June. It is only 6’X12′ but it’s enough to start tomatoes. peppers, brocolli and cabbage for my own garden with some surplus to sell to offset the cost of building it.

  4. Hi Jack.

    I tried to send this to you last week before you did this show.
    I just wanted to show you what I have done with my greenhouse in Central KY.
    Today was the coldest day so far in the greenhouse (outside 21* – greenhouse 38*).
    I covered everything with plastic inside last night (greenhouse inside of my greenhouse) and had 75* water when I went to bed. This morning water temp was 71* using a 1000 watt bucket heater.

    • So well done I will even forgive the VVS.  So anyway what are the black containers your ebb and flow beds are made of?

      • What is VVS?

        The black beds are 4′ x 4′ x 12″ filled with GrowIt (expanded clay).
        You may know the aquaponics system builder, Endlessfood System.
        After purchasing it, yes I realized I could build the system much less expensive.
        For the grow beds you could buy Duralastic Reservoirs…
        I think the feeder would make for a great flow through wicking bed.

        I have not done it yet but adding single layer of bales of straw/hay around the outside perimeter will help “extend” the frost line a little as well. then that straw/hay is great for summer garden.

        I leave my lemons/limes trees in greenhouse during the summer and move into my house for winter. I have been eating lemons constantly the last 2 months.

        My solar wrap that I have wrapping the inside envelop and on the outside walls…

        You mentioned that having the greenhouse allows to grow pest free but that is not completely true.
        I am fighting aphids using jalapeno, garlic, soap spray. It is a constant battle.

        • VVS =

          Those containers look cool but expensive.

          On the feeders I have stood over them and thought the same thing many times, my only concern is if they are deep enough.  I think some stuff would totally root bind in them but other plants would likely do fine.

          That bubble wrap looks awesome!

  5. A similar greenhouse design with a “climate battery” was pretty thoroughly covered in a book that came out a few years ago called “The Forest Garden Greenhouse” by Jerome Osentowski from Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute.  (  Great design.  I’m going to try it on a greenhouse that will be attached to the S side of my house.

  6. We used some of those feed bunkers as float beds. Stacked them 3 high. They were ok but seem to take a lot of space for what gets grown. We are currently working on a few vertical options to see what we can do to grow more in the same space

  7. I remember something about greenhouses attached to the house and the risk of humidity/condensation causing problems like water damage, mold growth, etc…

    Is there an easy way around that?  Is this really much of a problem in the first place, or can it be easily managed?

  8. Great food for thought show…

    Would the 45watt kingbo be sufficient for indoor starts?

    We have a “texas prepper greenhouse” that’s 4-5 years old that we still use.  Not a one-trick-pony.  It’s been a green house, out door storage, and most often a passive solar chicken coop/run.  This will be the third winter on it’s current heavy mil clear poly sheeting.  Not suggesting it works for everyone but it has been valuable on our homestead.

    Paul Wheaton uses second hand shower door glass for his solar dehydrator.  Sturdy, safer than plate glass, and no UV inhibitors.

    I like the idea of the propane heater at times when the sun isn’t enough.  Like-wise the closet sized, trayed, addition to a shed/barn etc.



    • The Kingbo is great for indoor starts!  Just get it low near your plants like only a few inches above and raise them as the plants grow, then you get nice stocky vs.leggy starts.

      Shower doors?  Great fucking idea, even if it came from Paul (kidding of course) ;>)

  9. IIRC, you mentioned a book on greenhouses in the podcast – if so, do you have the title/author?


  10. Hey Jack-  great show! I really enjoyed listening to it while working – in my greenhouse! I can’t totally brag about the thing yet as we built it last March at our “weekend” homestead that we’re still developing.

    It’s an insulated north wall, stick built with an big south facing 8mm double walled poly-carb roof, with a few re-store windows thrown in the sides for good measure, in northern Idaho. I built Jugel-inspired beds in it, there’s a bunch of stuff in there but the strawberries are kicking butt so far.

    Our floor plan is 12×16 and one of the best parts of this greenhouse is that it isn’t a one-trick pony. I could talk a lot about all of the things it’s done for us aside from production since we built it, but my favorite has been having a semi-outdoor space for my 2.5 year old. We have a swing hanging from the rafters and she’s spent so.much.time in it, she’s also got a sandbox, easel, pool, and tiny slide as well as tree cookies for bed edging to walk on.

    We’ve got a tiny house/cabin and our greenhouse is perfect on a day like yester when it was not very comfortable to be outside because of cold, but our greenhouse was perfect! It also helps me keep an eye on her with our steep hillside and potential for rattlesnakes- so many other things we use it for, but it’s been a great addition to our homesteading adventures! Thanks for another great podcast Jack!