Greenhouse Building – Concerns and Possible Alternatives

Q: We are looking at converting an outbuilding into a greenhouse. Do you know of any Web sites that provide information on managing a greenhouse?

A: I have one mental picture of greenhouse owners enjoying tropical warmth in the wintertime, raising delicious fruits and gorgeous flowers all year long. I have another vision of what it must have been like for those same greenhouse owners during the ice storms in late January. Unless they had a gas-fired heater, I can only imagine their distress at losing their enclosed paradise.

You can get a great pamphlet on the mechanics of hobby greenhouse management by calling the Cooperative Extension office in your county. If you want an inexpensive alternative, consider building a hoop house from plastic plumbing pipe and clear plastic sheeting. If you provide for proper heating and cooling, either structure can give you years of trouble-free enjoyment.