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Building a Greenhouse?

I moved to SE Colorado last summer and I’ve never lived in a state where I could grow outdoors legally before. Our local laws where I live are pretty much “out of sight, out of mind” when it comes to our enforcement in my town. I’ve literally seen the sheriff knock on the neighbors door, tell him “I can see the top of your plants, cover them up or we’ll have to come back and chop them.” He complied, never had another peep out of them since.

So I’m considering building myself a GREENHOUSE! I have some general ideas of how to go about that and of course there is Google and YouTube, but I was hoping some of the @mastergrowers, @growopowners, @EquipManufacturers, and @EquipSuppliers might have some insight on considerations based on some of their own setups at home?

What’s a good starting point? How do you decide how big of a space you actually need? Is there a way to provide some “future-proofing” to avoid costly mistakes starting up?

I’m curious how the home greenhouse setup can scale up to a small commercial level (and if there are ways to knowingly prepare for that.) What kind of products should a person look at for small time growing that still gives insight into scaling up?

Part of this experience/experiment too is that I teach growers how to grow autoflowers on my autoflower forum. I’d love to teach home growers how to start preparing for that next step up into larger space and what would go into that process.

I would appreciate and be grateful for any insight!

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I have some insights. fair warning. It’s going to be a long one.
How in depth would you like?
Few quick questions.
Budget? (Main thing to consider before talking fancy stuffs :wink:
What/when/how do you want to grow?
(Including winter frosts etc)
What Restrictions. Ie. Buildings in backyard/on property. (Bigger is always better in greenhouse)

That will get me stared. :wink:

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I enjoy the heck out of reading your posts man! Give me a bit here and I’ll respond with some details!

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Hey Jordan!

Growing in greenhouses in AZ is a bit different than in CO, but please allow to me share some of my experiences:

Unlike many other cannabis growing regions of the world, we are often battling the problem of too much sun and heat! Here in super sunny AZ, we often find that we have to utilize our light dep covers as a block from the intense summer sun. Many times, our endeavors are aimed at cooling the space as opposed to the conventional “hot house” model of greenhouse cultivation that strives to keep greenhouses warm in cooler climates. With that in mind, in Southern AZ, we are able to utilize simple tech such as water walls throughout much of the year to cool our greenhouses.

I like passive greenhouses just on the basis of simplicity in design. Also local building codes call for a minimum 100 foot setback for active greenhouses (very preventative in urban environments), so the only alternative for city-dwellers is to build smaller, passive greenhouses. I recently built a 60x30 shade house with a 70% light block cover for my urban farm. The beauty of this system is there are zero moving parts. So, aside from occasional shade cloth repairs, there is virtually zero maintenance (plus the chickens love to bask in the comfort of the shade house on hot days!).

Jordan, in your climate, I would recommend a small greenhouse in which you can familiarize yourself with the various systems. There is a bit of a learning curve coming from indoors to the greenhouse, but the basic growth principles are the same. An added benefit of a small greenhouse in CO is in cooler months that require heating, you can add a liquid propane CO2 burner and heat your greenhouse while simultaneously pumping your PPMs to high levels!

I’m excited to see what system you ultimately choose and track your greenhouse progress! Good luck!

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I have some ideas. Have you considered aquaponics? Or are you growing in dirt?

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Hi Jordan – A year round greenhouse, which you can do, requires grow lights and yet you can scale that down a bit because you will have some natural sunlight, although angled lower on the horizon and for not enough hours in the day. We have ways to make those grow lights more effective and here is a link to show how this works: https://www.lightrail3.com/winter-greenhouse-lights/ and we also have this short article with links: https://www.lightrail3.com/grow-lights-indoor-greenhouse/ . When you are ready, contact us to help plan out your space. It’s easy to do and we can take the natural light you have into account. ~Nancy

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Jordan, we have one outdoor Colorado grower now and looking for several
more this late spring in Colorado and CAlifornia to trial with adding
carbon in their irrigation water.

Could we talk about that tomorrow? 416-315-7477.

Thx Sam.

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From an irrigation perspective, greenhouses are probably the easiest buildings to irrigate due to their size and simplicity of layout. It depends on the length of the house and the plant count, but most greenhouses are not too big to use drip tubing as a supply line instead of PVC, which means some serious cost savings. Of course this kind of breaks down if you’ve got multiple thousands of plants in a 500’ long building, but for your standard 100’x20’ or so greenhouse, it holds true.

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Jordan,

Our sensor units, theMinder or theMinder+ would provide you with the temperature, humidity and VPD data to give you the insight on the greenhouse environment. We specifically built them so that we could see what was going on in the greenhouse, gives a good insight into how effective various techniques for environment control are.

I’d be more than happy to jump on a call to discuss what we can offer further with you. From the sounds of it your setup is very much our target market, small now but looking to expand.

Pete

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Have any greenhouse related questions?

AMA With Adam Pound from Agra Tech Greenhouse Manufactures TODAY 10/31 11am PST

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