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
We really wanted to engage with our long time Sunglo owners and give our new greenhouse owners something to be excited about! ALL of the photo entries were beautiful and we had a lot of fun interacting with all of our contestants. Thank you for your entries and we hope you will all participate again next year!
After a long deliberation the Sunglo crew has chosen the winners:
** Congratulations! **
3rd Place: Ms. Sheisl-
To view the full photo album of this project click here.
2nd Place: Ms. Vanmeer-
To view the full photo album of this projectclick here.
1st Place: Ms. Madden/Jacobson-
To view the full photo album of this projectclick here.
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.
Air plants have taken off recently and it is no wonder. They are magnificent plants and require little care for beautiful results. Take your pick of 600 varities of air plant! Air plant is actually just the nickname for the real name which is Tillandsia. Tillandsia varieties are native to Central and South American deserts, forests and mountains. The thinner-leafed varieties grow in rainy areas and the thick-leafed varieties in areas more subject to drought. Tillandsia species are epiphytes, meaning they normally grow without soil while attached to other plants. A lot like
orchids. They are not parasitic and receive moisture and nutrients from the air (dust, decaying leaves and insect matter) through hair like structures on the leaves called trichomes. A big difference between air plants and orchids is they require very little care. They love bright, indirect sunlight and a warm moist environment. They can tolerate temperatures as low as 50F to about 90F. Air plants are amazing because reproduction is by offsets called “pups” pictured above. A single plant could have up to a dozen pups. The pups grow off of the “mother” plant until it is large enough to separate and become its own plant.
Thanks to our customer Lynda C. I have come to love these whimsical plants and learn that they grow wonderfully in our greenhouses. Lynda discovered tillandsias and fell in love! This love prompted her to purchase a greenhouse and open up shop to sell the plants she adores. Air plants make beautiful and surprising gifts and are sold as decorations. Lynda designs a variety of terrariums, hangers, zen gardens and holders from different mixed media to highlight their beauty and uniqueness. They are truly beautiful pieces of art. To visit her website Random Oddities click here and see all of her passion filled designs. You can also visit Lynda and purchase items if you live in the Ann Arbor, MI. area. Her air plant decorations are on sale at Town Peddler in Livonia.
Lynda grows her air plants in her lean-to Sunglo greenhouse pictured to the right. She says they grow wonderfully in the greenhouse and can easily control the temperature for maximum growth. Lynda and her husband customized their greenhouse by building an extended wooden foundation to give the extra room and height they desired. She now happily runs her
business with a supply of never ending air plants in her Sunglo greenhouse!
Lynda’s designs are great for any room of your house and come in all sizes. She has a great variety of air plants. For her full selection visit her gallery here. And like her on Facebook! See examples below.
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 email@example.com 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.
Ladybugs – Your best ally in the fight with aphids!
Let’s learn a little bit about these pest eaters. Ladybugs have many names. Such as lady beetle, Asian lady beetle, multicolored Asian lady beetle, ladybird and many more. They are actually not bugs but are beetles. Ladybird Beetle is the correct name but I still like “ladybug” There are about 5,000 species of ladybugs worldwide, only 400 are native to North America. The convergent lady beetle is the most common species.
Ladybugs are widely used as a form of natural pest control. Aphids seem to be the top food choice for them but they also eat scale insects, mealy bugs, mites, white fly and other soft insects. A fully grown hungry ladybug can eat 50 aphids a day! They could eat 5,000 aphids in their lifetime in both larvae and adult stages.
Aphids are the most common garden pest insect and they feed on almost every type of plant. There are many different species of aphids but they all seem to have the same goal in mind… destroying you’re garden! They feed in colonies which is why they are so destructive and fast.
Signs of aphids are dried and colorless leaves and curled leaf tips. Aphids usually can be found on the underside of leaves and close to the top where the most nutrients can be sucked from the plant. They are savage little things and need to be dealt with as fast as possible.
Here at our Kent, WA. Sunglo office and warehouse we have a few greenhouses on display and like to grow plants and veggies ourselves, so we take advantage of the opportunity by growing a few things here and there. We bought a few herb plants from a home and garden depot only to find aphids on them!
We decided to try ladybugs for pest control. And boy let me tell you… it was awesome! We were able to purchase 1500 bugs online and they arrived within 5 days, let them free in our small lean-to greenhouse and within 15 minutes almost every aphid had disappeared! Overall I would 100% recommend ladybugs to get rid you of your pest nuisance! They are cute, inexpensive and best of all non-toxic! We freed most of them by keeping the doors wide open but a few are still around, stalking their next aphid meal.
To learn about another common pest; thrips – click here.
Small cracks and loose glazing materials can cause unwanted air to enter or escape from your greenhouse. Obviously both will affect the efficiency of any heating system you have in place. But fixing areas around the doors and vents that are not air tight can help stop unwanted air flow. Caulking holes or lining parts of the frame and weather stripping around the door can make a big difference. Shutting your fans off during the winter and covering them with a thick plastic will help keep your greenhouse regulated in the winter months. And always fix any holes or broken panels as soon as possible. If you have a Sunglo you can call 1-800-647-0606 for any replacement parts!
Use a double layer glazing system –
Double layered glazing material can be beneficial, if it is done the correct way. Our greenhouses have an inner corrugated panel that creates a 1.5” dead air space keeping it exceptionally insulated. To see how Sunglo’s unique glazing system works click here.
Install windbreaks –
Windbreaks are important in high wind areas because it prevents the cold wind from hitting the greenhouse therefore cooling it down. Building a mini fence or even planting shrubbery around the base of your greenhouse is effective. Some gardener’s plant small trees around their greenhouse, it not only looks pretty but will help keep the wind at bay. Whatever you decide to use make sure it stands mid-level to your greenhouse so it doesn’t block the sun. If you already have some tree cover in your yard or near the greenhouse than your in luck! No planting for you!
Use a shade cloth –
Shade cloths are wonderful for high temperature areas. They are used during the hottest time of the day to reduce thermal solar radiation. Sunglo carries a wide variety of sizes and they can be mixed and matched to perfectly fit your greenhouse. For more information on shade cloths click here.
To calculate what type of heater you’ll need for your greenhouse there is a simple formula. Take the temperature you want the greenhouse to stay at (let’s say 50) and the average winter temperature in your area (how about 20) and subtract them (equals 30). Next you multiply the temperature difference by the surface area of your greenhouse (8×10 greenhouse is 276 X 30 = 8280). Now you multiply your answer by your greenhouse materials U value. For a Sunglo you would multiply 8280 X .75 = 6210 BTU’s(.75 is Sunglo’s U value). This means you need to find a heater that has exactly or over 6210 BTU’s to efficiently heat your greenhouse. Using the correct heater will ensure thriving plants and not use unwanted electricity. To see this formula again and more in depth information on BTU requirements check out this post. Click here.
For more information on saving energy visit PSE.com
Heirloom tomatoes. I think we have all seen them. Big, plump and multicolored. But what are they and where did they come from? According to Carolyn Male and Craig Lehoullier, two top tomato experts, heirlooms fall into four categories:
1. Commercial heirlooms: Open pollinated tomato varieties more than 40 years old, introduced by seed companies somewhere around 1950.
2. Family heirlooms: Tomato seeds that were passed down from generation to generation creating some of the best varieties available. Like the pink oxheart shown above.
3. Created heirlooms: Cross-breeding between heirlooms and/or hybrids until the desired characteristics are achieved. This has been known to take 5+ years
4. Mystery heirlooms: Natural cross-breeding or mutation between heirloom varieties. This is how most heirlooms originated.
Where did the term “heirloom” come from you ask? Well Kent Whealy of Seed Savers Exchange first used “heirloom” in relation to plants in a speech he gave in Tucson Arizona in 1981. He had asked permission to use the term “heirloom” from a man named John Withee, who had used it on the cover of his bean catalog. John had taken the term from Professor William Helper at the University of New Hampshire, who first used “heirloom” to describe beans that friends gave him back in the 1940’s. To me heirloom means a family item that has been passed down for many years and is kept within the family. Pretty cool how it was applied to tomatoes.
Heirloom tomatoes have a large range of flavors and colors. The best tasting tomatoes you have ever had! Their flavors range from smoky and deep to candy-like and sweet. You never know, your neighbor could be growing the best tomatoes in the world in their backyard and you would never know it. Heirlooms are a dying breed. You should be able to find them at some farmers markets and maybe a few big box stores. But if we could teach our children to keep their own gardens, the future could have an abundance of heirlooms and not just tomatoes but all types of heirloom vegetables. Wouldn’t that be sweet??
Want to read more about heirloom flavors? Check out this article.
And learn some new greenhouse tomato growing tips here.
As the cold weather approaches, the thought of having to wait till spring to start gardening again makes buying a greenhouse very attractive at this time of year. We have certainly been busy filling orders lately and I wanted to share one of my favorite sites with all our new customers.
The informative resources on Ehow are seemingly endless with articles on nearly everything a gardener could ever wish to learn about. The link below is to one such article that outlines some important things to consider when starting a new greenhouse.
Most of us here are also proud Sunglo owners and would never refuse an opportunity to share our experiences with others. I implore you to give us a call toll free whether you are a past customer wishing to swap stories or a future customer seeking more information.