I don't have a greenhouse, so I can't answer any of your questions, but you might check with your local glass shops - they have a lot of glass that they just throw away - they may be willing to give it to you free if you come and pick it up....and I bet you can even find some plans online about building a greenhouse with scrap glass like that.
Depending on your zone, you would only need the greenhouse in the spring for starts and in the fall to prolong the season, for potted and semi-hardy plants. Otherwise, hard glass structure, espec. if you rent would be a lot to frame, assemble, unassemble, transport, etc. We started with a light framing against the sunny side of the house and tried all kinds of treatments from clear corrugated panels (3-5 yrs. top life) to heavy mil plastic( one season) to old windows and found that ventilation was the major factor. Being able to work with the weather, and control the climate. If youre in medium zone like us the way to go is in the garden, greens and roots and peas can go 2-3 succesive plantings. Row covers and heavy mulch go a long way if youre weather mindful. Keep researching and shoot for a permanent deal when youre firmly planted on your own dirt. Meanwhile, go for something truly portable and easy to assemble and use (you have to set up and tear down every season) versus actually constructing a greenhouse. I do have to say though that old windows leaned against a sunny block wall work well for starts, no framing involved. Keep on growin'!
I bought a very small one on Amazon.com for about $150. It is basically like a pop-up tent, and it stakes into the ground. It is very sturdy and seems made of good materials, and it has held tight in some VERY strong winds. This is the one I bought:
It's large enough for several flats of plants. We have two giant tubs in there with herbs and stuff until I can move it outside this summer. I am only using mine for starting plants, not for year-round growing, which of course you would need a larger one for. But if you just want something to start seeds or buy plants a little earlier than you would normally, this would work great.
I had dreams of a beautiful greenhouse but realized it was low on the list of priorities (plus we haven't decided on layout around here yet so it's not time to add anything permanent.)
Then I got excited about the idea of row covers, especially seeing we have all the materials we'd need for the project. Fairly quick, simple, inexpensive and portable. There are instructions here.
But then I found one of those plastic parking garages, a double long, used, online, for $100. (Hoping to pick it up next week, fingers crossed!) We're getting it to use as temporary storage while we tear down then rebuild our rickety carport. After that, I want to use it as a greenhouse! I mentioned it to my Dad and he said that my grandfather had done the same thing and it worked pretty well.
The harbor freight 6 x 8 greenhouse is decent. It sometimes sells for as low as $219-250.My mom has had one for a good ten years and it is still holding up. I read the big 10 x 12 stinks so don't get that one.Better to get 2 of the smaller ones.
is there a smiley for taking notes...
We build a hoop house every Fall and grow winter greens, onions, beets in the Mid-Atlantic region with excellent results. We eat most of our produce from the yard all winter, though it does become monotonous. The hoop house becomes a nursery for seeds and starts in the early spring. I sow lettuce, spinach, more onions while there is snow on the ground and get a 3 week jump start on the growing season. The hoop house is simply long pcv pipes bent in a U shape covered with plastic sheeting. I think I spent about $120 in the beginning and have replaced the plastic once in 6 years.
A greenhouse would be lovely, but they are simply too much expense and require building permits in my area.
Great job! And I love your blog. We are moving soon and planning a new garden and a larger, more permanent hoop house. How has your plastic held up? I think I might try the 11 mil woven poly that the Alberta Home Gardening site recommends. We deal with a lot of wind and the non woven poly takes a beating. Looks like you guys deal with some big winds too.
Anyway, inspiring work limette!