There are many factors to consider when greenhouse shopping; Insulation, glazing material, space, foundation, heat and of course greenhouse ventilation. And if you are planning on growing year round you want to make sure to choose the most energy efficient structure because heating in the cooler months can be expensive – This is where great insulation can reduce energy costs.
Manual or automatic roof vents have their advantages and disadvantages. If the greenhouse is designed very well then aerodynamics have been considered and the roof vents will be placed in the perfect position for wind to pull air out while still circulating air through the greenhouse. Placement of the greenhouse is also very important for wind to catch on the ridge of the greenhouse and create a vacuum type air movement. A large circulation fan or multiple fans will be required in the interior of the greenhouse and will aid in fresh air exchange. Some larger or commercial greenhouses offer a roll up design that allows for the sides of the greenhouse to be completely open to the outside. Now, if you are concerned about pests this might not be the best option for you because generally with open air vents many of them are needed and screening them can be difficult, if not impossible. Maintenance can give you trouble as well. If you do not have the time to go open the manual vents, do not have the ability to climb a ladder for high roof vents, or have limited budget for automatic vents then an alternative option should be considered. For a very small/beginner greenhouse or a small lean-to style with a low insulation value these type of vents are appropriate. The higher the insulation value of the greenhouse glazing material the stronger ventilation you will need.
Thermostatically controlled ventilation is very popular and with supplemental air circulation can be most efficient. Sunglo uses exhausts fans and motorized intake shutters controlled by a thermostat with the option to hook up to a heater as well; we call them power panels and include other electrical items too. So if you prefer your greenhouse to remain between 50° and 75° all you have to do is set the thermostats for the ventilation and heater to turn on and off automatically. The exhaust fan and shutter are synchronized to open at the same time. The motorized shutter opens to allow fresh cool air into the greenhouse while the exhaust fan starts to spin and expel the used hot air that has risen inside the greenhouse. Sunglo’s basic system is rated to exchange fresh air throughout the greenhouse once per minute; providing you with a system that cools rapidly. The basic system is included with every Sunglo greenhouse. The exhaust fan(s) are placed as high as possible on one end of the greenhouse and the
shutter(s) are placed as low as possible on the opposite end. This allows for the best possible circulation throughout the entire greenhouse. There are many brands to choose from but either aluminum, steel, poly or fiberglass options are available each with different pros, cons, sizes and pricing. We include poly exhaust fans and shutters with our greenhouses but any type is available for upgrade. Automatic vent openers are available for the gable end manual vents on our greenhouses and will increase air circulation as well. They do not use any electricity. These automatic openers are controlled by a wax piston. By twisting the piston left or right sets the degree to which it opens. These automatic openers are specially important in areas where the climate stays consistently at or over 80 degrees. By setting up a circulation fan inside the greenhouse and setting the automatic openers to open before the ventilation system starts will save you electricity usage. Sunglo also offers a variety of atmospheric controls. If you would like to view some of the ventilation products Sunglo offers please visit the Schaefer website or give us a call with your inquiry.
If you are interested in adding ventilation to your greenhouse or would like to discuss options or have questions about anything please give us a call at 425-251-8005 or e-mail to email@example.com.
A dear customer of ours in MN. sent us a wonderful story about his greenhouse experience. If you are interested in building a lean-to greenhouse this is a must read!
“The knee wall is 4X6 pressure treated lumber. It is a higher level of treatment from a local high quality lumber yard, not your standard self service do it yourself store.
I started the foundation wall right after I placed the order with Sunglo and took my time getting a good base packed below the timbers. I dug out the black dirt down 12 inches and put in 8 inches of gravel, packing it as I went and kept it level. When I put the timbers on top of the gravel it took lots of adjusting to get it level and square. I measured kitty corner both directions many times. Then let it sit a few days and did some more adjusting after it rained and settled the ground some more. I used a 2 foot level first and after I thought I had it right I borrowed a transom to make sure, and it was nice and level. If I had to do it over again, I would get a transom before I started. It would have saved me some time.
Mounting the vertices upright and ridge header on the steel pole building wall was a challenge.
I waited for the greenhouse to arrive to prep the building to make sure I cut the steel in the correct place. I knew I had to cut the corrugated steel to mount the greenhouse to the building wood frame.
I used a hand held high speed grinder with a cutting disk to slot out the steel siding about 3 inches wide. I inverted J trim on each side of the uprights and under the ridge header to finish the look. I put flashing on the top side of the ridge header. I also installed additional 2X4 framing above and below the ridge header to reattach the steel siding on each side of the slot.
My largest mistake was to assume my building was plumb. It was only 6 years old and I was very pleased with the quality so I assumed it was plumb. I found out differently when I tried to install the first overhead truss. It didn’t reach! When I checked the building I found it was leaning away by 3/4 inch from the top to bottom of the greenhouse. This delayed me a day removing the vertices uprights and ridge header to shim it plumb and reinstalling things.
It took me awhile to assemble the greenhouse because I’m not good at puzzles, so I went slow. I had planned to do so up front.
I only worked half days because it was August on the south side of a steel building and it was hot! I made a few mistakes but it was easy to drill out the rivets and correct them.
I was mostly done after a week and I was able to do it all by myself, except for mounting the ridge header and the first gable end panel. My wife held things in place until I secured it.
During the assembly process I appreciated Sunglo’s customer service in discussing and solving the challenges I encountered. I am now enjoying learning how to grow plants in a greenhouse. I have lettuce, spinach, radish, chives, tomatoes, onions and strawberries already growing.”
Lean-to greenhouses are wonderful for limited or confined space. Sunglo offers 2 sizes of lean-to style greenhouses. The 1700 series – 8ft width is shown above and we also carry a 1500 series – 5ft width for even smaller spaces. With lengths from 5′ to 100′ we can help you find the right size for your space. To read another lean-to greenhouse review – click here.
“I wish I would have gone bigger”. That is what I hear from greenhouse owners all the time! It doesn’t matter what brand it is, it’s always the same regret. Most greenhouses aren’t designed for extension kits but Sunglo’s are! We offer length greenhouse extension kits, so in the future when you realize that regret you wont have to worry. We’ve got your back! Each Sunglo series length is extendable. Stocked in 2.5′ sections. You have the option to extend your Sunglo greenhouse as long as you like!
If you are interested in extending your greenhouse give us a call for more information or to place an order! 425-251-8005. Join our newsletter to hear about new products like this FIRST! Click here to join.
Now that your greenhouse is built here are a few things to help you get started-
• Have a certified electrician connect your electricity for the ventilation system, power panel and other electrical components.
• Once electrical has been connected, set your ventilation thermostat and heating thermostat at your desired temperatures.
Example of power panel placement (220V shown): Place the panel in a location where it is least likely to be exposed to water.
• Hook up your lights! They can be hung from the trusses for overhead lighting.
Example of light placement: You can drill holes through the roof trusses, place an S-hook through the holes, and hang lights and baskets from the hooks.
• Install your shade cloth if the temperature is hot outside. We suggest purchasing 6+ bungee cords and the same amount of eyelet hooks to install your shade cloth.
Example of shade cloth on free-standing model: The wooden foundation is perfect to hold the eyelet hooks. For larger greenhouse you can use a long rope at the corners for easy installation and removal.
• Cleaning your greenhouse-
We suggest cleaning the greenhouse twice a year with 1/3 cup of bleach per gallon of warm water. Using a long handled mop scrub the outside and inside of the greenhouse. Environmentally safe cleaning products can be used as well.
• Now that you have the major things sorted out check out our “Greenhouse Gardening Basics” post to keep you moving forward!
• Find Sunglo on social media for new product alerts, company news and greenhouse growing information-
Sunglo provides for each greenhouse a manual, foundation guide, power panel wiring diagram, cedar shelf instructions, product/parts catalog and other information. Contact customer service if you would like to request any additional information.
Please do not hesitate to contact Sunglo’s customer service or technical team for any questions you may have. Call 425-251-8005 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any “Sunglo greenhouse tips” you would like to share please let us know!
Sunglo Greenhouses is located just outside Seattle, WA. // 425-251-8005
Alternativegardeningtechniques have recently taken off in the garden industry and for good reason. Aquaponics and hydroponics have become extremely popular and are a fun new way to provide food for you and your family. Not only are these techniques efficient but they are pretty low maintenance. This post is meant to teach you how hydroponic systems work, provide pros and cons and give some examples of a few systems that are on the market today. I’ll be covering aquaponics in the next month as well. I hope you enjoy 🙂
“Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture and is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. Terrestrial plants may be grown with their roots in the mineral nutrient solution only or in an inert medium, such as perlite or gravel. It was introduced in the 1920s as a means of commercial plant production.“
Hydroponic growing may not be for everyone. There are a variety of systems available today so do your research when deciding on a system. Most gardeners use hydro systems indoors like in a greenhouse or even in a garage/shed. But smaller systems can be placed outside. Some hydro systems come as complete kits and are designed for only a few plants or hundreds. There are many kits you can purchase and lots of DIY ideas.
Thevideo belowshows how to make your own small DIY hydro system.
With in-expensive materials and an overall small system, DIY is a great way for trial and error.
If you prefer to purchase your first hydro system I recommend something like thisGarden-Of-Ease complete hydroponic system – Pictured on left. This system runs about $60. It’s smart to start slowly and with only a few plants so you don’t overwhelm yourself. Once you have the hang of it you can move to a more generous amount of plants.
Another great small system to start with is the Current Culture Solo6 system. Unlike the system above this one has 6 holes and a sleeker look. The housing is durable and all-around a much better quality than the lesser version above. It is a bit more expensive ranging around $400 but you can expand the system by attaching more modules of the same brand. It’s pretty cool!Contact usif you are interested in Current Culture products.
Once you feel comfortable with the smaller system research some larger ones. If you have a greenhouse or a specified area for growing measure the space so you can accurately find the right size hydro system to fill the growing area.
Sunglo carriesCurrent cultureproducts. They offer a good variety of sizes and are great for tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, etc., etc. Pictured on left – A Sunglo owner purchased the mid sizeCurrent Culture UC4XXL13system to start in his 15×20 –2100G model. This system has 4 large modules that nicely accommodate larger plants. The model #UC4XXL13 gives away a few things. The 4 tells how many plant modules are included and the 13 tells how many gallons each module holds.Under Current hydro kits are complete systems including all of the PVC piping/tubing and a high quality air pump. And a year warranty gives you peace of mind. There are endless possibilities of what you can grow but this customer chose to start with tomatoes. I myself would choosetomatoes as well! What kind of food would you grow? It’s a hard question to answer! As you can see from the pictures hydroponic growing has it’s upsides! The foliage is a rich green, abundant and lush. Compared to my tomato plant (pictured below right) that I grew almost exactly the same time as his. The difference in height is vast and his foliage puts mine to shame! TheCurrent Culture UC4XXL13system runs about $1000. Now think about how much food you could grow with that! You could make your money back in food in a few short years. It is wise to do research not only on systems but on the plants you want to grow; what kind of nutrients they will need, how much light and even the germination time.Sunglocan help with a lot of these things. We offer full packages that include a greenhouse and the perfect size hydro system to fit. We also carry lighting and controls for your greenhouse. The full line of Current Culturenutrientsis available as well. So look no further! We’ve got you covered! Garden stores that carry hydro products usually carry matching nutrients made by the same brand. Like how we carry Current Culture hydro systems and nutrient products. Besides buying the starts or seeds there is really no other cost – These medium systems range only 50-100 watts.
Every decision we make in life has its pros and cons. So here are a few things to consider when deciding on your alternativegardeningmethod:
Weeds can’t grow
Most plant diseases are eliminated
Pests are less of a concern so pesticide usage goes down as well
Hydroponically grown food has been known to be more nutritional and taste better
Less water waste
Nutrients are more controlled therefore plants are more abundant & lush
Plants grow faster and have bigger yields
Plants can be placed closer together so less space is used comparatively to soil gardening
There are limited varieties of plants that can be hydroponically grown
Setup and system costs can be very expensive
Hydroponics requires more technical knowledge and training than soil cultivation
If the watering system fails, plants will dry out and die rapidly
Current Culture has a greatYouTube channelthat features how-to and informational videos that are very useful. Thevideo belowshows how the Current Culture System is assembled.
1 Current CultureUC6 System (pictured below on right) would fit great into a 10×10 – Sunglo1200C model(pictured on left) with room for a water reservoir and a few potted or hanging plants. The current culture system and the Sunglo greenhouse can both expand. So once you have mastered hydroponic growing and you want to add to your plant collection you are able to extend your Sunglo greenhouse and purchase more modules to advance your hydro system. There are no limits!
Please call or e-mail Sunglo at 800-647-0606 or email@example.com for more information on Current Culture products or to receive a free hydro greenhouse estimate!
Purchasing a greenhouse can be a difficult and sometimes overwhelming process. The first factors you should consider are location, foundation and of course your budget. All foundations should be level and square. A square and level foundation will eliminate challenges later when installing your greenhouse. A raised foundation or knee wall is a good option if you prefer to add height to your greenhouse. Knee walls are commonly 12-48 inches high and can be made of various materials. If you would like a knee wall with your Sunglo greenhouse kit please notify us at 800-647-0606 to add a door drop kit to your order.
Concrete is a great option for a greenhouse foundation and often chosen among consumers because is it convenient. To attach your greenhouse to a concrete base we recommend attaching quality treated wood to the base of the greenhouse, commonly called a wood sill plate. 2 x 4’s will do. If you choose to use pressure treated wood make sure to install a barrier between the wood and aluminum, such as gasket material, as the treated wood can cause the aluminum to rust. Sunglo includes a barrier called a “boot” with each greenhouse kit.
Measure twice before cutting your wood to ensure proper dimensions. We suggest allowing a 1” border around the inside and outside of the entire greenhouse. Sunglo adds 2″ to each greenhouse size for the foundation measurements.
This is designed to allow a safe margin for irregularities in the wood sill plate. After the concrete has been poured and is level and square, a small drain should be placed in the center of the slab where water run off can drain into a gravel pit or piping that leads to a drainage area. Then your greenhouse can be bolted to the foundation. Water and electricity should be ran to the greenhouse site before the foundation is built.
Building a wood base is easy and inexpensive. Cedar and redwood are commonly used. Pressure treated wood is also a great option but make sure to put a barrier between the wood and aluminum, such as gasket material, as the treated wood can cause the aluminum to rust. The size of your base will depend on the size of your greenhouse again allowing a 1” border around the inside and outside of the greenhouse. After assembling the base and making sure your ground is level lay down a weed barrier. This allows the water to drain through but does not allow weeds to come up through the floor boards.
Pack the natural earth over the excess barrier. After your base is finished and the weed barrier is set underneath, you need to cover it. Start laying down your wood planks to make the floor. Now it’s time to attach the greenhouse frame to the base – Make sure it is level and square again by measuring from corner to corner. For added insulation, we suggest you caulk the bottom of the aluminum framing (caulk the wood then attach the frame – making sure there is a barrier between the aluminum and wood) where it meets the base with a waterproof sealant – If you are using pressure treated it is still a good idea to caulk between the base and wood. This will add extra protection to the greenhouse and keep cold air from entering and warm air from escaping in the colder months. If you are using pressure treated wood make sure the aluminum does not come into direct contact. Sunglo includes a plastic “boot” that attaches to the base rails with all our kits, so you don’t have to worry! As with all foundations please consider whether you will need water and electricity ran to the greenhouse site. Wood foundations are natural and beautiful looking! The only down side is you might have to replace the wood every 8-10 years.
If you are planning on purchasing a lean-to style greenhouse or even a small free-standing but only have room on your deck, that’s no problem! Before attaching the greenhouse base to pressure treated wood lay down a thick rubber, insulated mat that is the dimension of the floor of your greenhouse.
There are various mats you can purchase that have designs or just plain old black. Insulating underneath and around the base is a good idea also. To attach the greenhouse base to the deck we recommend contacting your hardware store representative and explaining the project. Decks are made of different materials and you wouldn’t want to ruin your deck in the process. Now insulation will be an issue as well. Depending on your style of deck please take this into consideration and do your research on what type of insulation, if any, you should use. Water and electricity can be easily ran to a greenhouse on a deck foundation as it is usually attached to a house or a building.
There is lots of info on the web about different foundations and step by step instructions on how to build them. I hope this gave you an idea of what you want to do with your foundation!
NOTE: If you choose to create a foundation that is NOT concrete we highly recommend giving the wood base a few days to settle. After 24 hours re-measure for square and level. In some cases the foundation will settle and become uneven affecting the assembly of the greenhouse. And you dont want that to happen because it can make installation very difficult!
Sunglo offers a greenhouse foundations guide that shows how to build a easy, affordable and effective foundation base. To request a free-standing or lean-to foundation guide call us at 800-647-0606.
Our greenhouse kits are manufactured and fabricated in Kent, WA. When you place an order our warehouse team carefully packs and boxes up your greenhouse kit for shipping.
Our standard shipping service is called Curbside Delivery. Your order will be delivered to a local terminal. The terminal will call you when your order arrives to schedule a delivery appointment. Deliveries are scheduled between 8am and 5pm Monday through Friday. Your kit will be delivered on a lift-gate truck and the driver will unload it for you. We ask that you inspect the boxes for damage before signing the delivery receipt. Once the delivery receipt is signed you can start assembly!
A lot of customers wonder what our kits look like when they arrive. Sunglo received these amazing example pictures and sunglo greenhouse review:
It’s up now and we couldn’t be happier, when the wind broke several panels, we called and it was replaced within a
few days. When we lost some pieces, there was no issue – we called and within 2 days they were delivered with no
questions asked. When we had questions there was always someone to talk to and walk us through it. Had such great service from Joanie who answered the phone to the technicians who had so much patience with us.
Now it’s up, looking good and so proud – just have to go shopping for plants and supplies. Your company is the best and we would recommend it to anyone; and maybe that they get a few extra hands at the start of the project! Have attached some photos, from delivery to completion – like I said no plants yet, but that won’t be long
Bob and Bonnie Graham
A pair of very happy customers
To see more pictures of customers greenhouse projects visit our Facebook page.
If you have any questions about Sunglo’s shipping and/or delivery service please contact us.
Sunglo carries a wide range of accessories and Sunglo parts. We now offer complete packages that include all the items you’ll need to have your greenhouse up running and at a discounted price! For a complete accessory and parts catalog please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your request or call our 800 number below.
Here are a few items that are included in our greenhouse packages:
Sunglo Greenhouses offers DIY greenhouse kits in free-standing and lean-to sizes. We also carry greenhouse accessories and Sunglo parts. Our warehouse is open M-F from 8am to 4pm to assist you in ordering parts. You can contact our sales office at 1-800-647-0606 for questions or to place orders.