Totally new member, no experience and no tools yet, found the site and was properly moved. Going to get involved somehow just need to find my feet.
Question, is it possible to build a greenhouse out of plastic? I’ve seen that we can make construction parts out of plastic (beams/struts etc) but can we do the same with the panels? (if there is already a thread about this please point me in the right direction 🙂 )
Im ‘hoping’ to start thinking about a modular system for making greenhouses to get more people growing near me in the UK. I know that the sizes of the parts will be large. I’m ‘really hoping’ that someone with more experience than me has already experimented with this and can give some ideas
Thanks all and any help much appreciated!
First of all Welcome!
Always nice to meet a fellow ‘grower’.
As far as I have seen, there is work being done on making plastic sheets that could be used as panels, even (somewhat) transparant ones, but I think in your case up-cycling would be better than re-cycling, especially if you look towards using polytunnels as greenhouses.
There’s already a lot of information out there (just search for “diy greenhouse” on the internet in general).
No need to print new tubes, if you can up-cycle them as they come.
No need to print panels, if you can up-cycle foils.
That being said, it would still be very usefull to be able to create new parts, if only the connectors, but these don’t have to be large scale, making it way easier to start .
Ever thought about Geodesic domes as greenhouses?
Personally I’m currently working on an indoor sprouting/micro-veg system, which already provides me with more food than I can eat (burp), and I’m looking to extend into vertical/window hydro farming, just to have a bit more variation.
My ‘experiment’ is more ‘Urban Homestead’, but I also have a garden, for which a modular greenhouse would be perfect, so let’s keep in touch!
Wow loads to think about there, will be picking your brains!
I’m not much of a grower but want to get into it (and a lot of people around me are in a similar position) but getting hold of greenhouses is a bit of a faff where we are (including upcycling) so would be cool if there was a simple spec to use.
Does anyone know of the properties of different plastics for acting as greenhouse panels, are there better ones? Also I imagine we can get very light coloured panels but has anyone succeded in making clear plastic with the precious plastic system yet?
This is all very exciting, looking forward to the V4 release which is probably when we will spring into (some sort of) action haha
Greetings for the UK all
Please also look around in the Project-kamp forum ( https://davehakkens.nl/community/forums/forum/general/project-kamp/ ).
I’ll also try to start a ‘sprouting for the Urban Homestead’ topic over there this week. Almost ready to harvest and start a new batch, so I can take photo’s of both…
Great thing about sprouts and micro-veg is they hardly need any light, so no transparent panels needed (to stay somewhat on topic 😉 )
As promised a few pictures of my setup.
They are a bit ‘messy’ but you should get the general idea.
First picture: shows my experimental kitchen sprouting/microgreen-stack.
Sprouting: mung, mustard, fenugreek, radish (though it’s actually daikon), Alfalfa, basil and aduki beans (and in the background a brew of Kombucha and one of my chinese sprouters).
What you see here is roughly 2 weeks worth of food (one person). And not just ‘how cute, there’s some tauge in my salade’, but hardcore full ‘all you can eat ‘ bowls of greens.
And to stay on topic: I mostly use upcycled plastics, though I do sometimes buy new just to figure out how and if stuff works.
The Chinese sprouters in the back e.g. could be replaces with an old bucket and a small water pump/fogger. The ammount of mung sprouts they produce is obscene!
Second picture: Instead of eating the sprouts, you could of course also “let it grow” (cue music). These are not all edible as sprouts, some I actually started for my garden, but the concept is the same: Get old plastic coffee-cups, drill holes in the bottom, put them in a larger tray. Water the tray and thus water the sprouts from below.
In rainy environments als drill holes in the trays at about 0,5/1 cm from the bottom, so excess rainwater does not flood the tray.
Sprouts: Basil, radish/daikon, dahlia (you can eat their yams, much more productive, tasty an prettier than potato), New Zealand Spinach (grows as a Bush), Indian cress, mint, loquat and some other stuff.
Again upcycling a lot of plastic.
A very simple sprouting setup that’s very succesful. A plate, a second hand Oil Splash Screen and some seeds (in this case mustard). Just fill the plate with water (just enough to soak the seeds) and leave it be, just like you would a house plant.
The roots of the sprouts will grow through the screen. They don’t actually need to be in the water, they just need 100% humidity (provided by the water below).
Harvest by ‘ripping’ the amount of mustard sprouts you need. This will leave the roots attached and prevents them from rotting in the water (a setup like this can easily provide sprouts for two weeks, roots start rotting in 3 days (I tested)).
I eat the whole plant, as I’m growing food, not just herbs, but if you just want the greens: first harvest then cut.
No platic involved (yet), but I’m testing setups among the same lines by simply nesting two containers (like food packaging), perforating the top one (seeds) and leaving the bottom one whole (water). First results are promising!
In short: YES you can grow all the greens you need in an Urban kitchen as long as you have access to good fresh seeds. It’s cheap, lazy and tasty (pretty spicy though).
I have many many more experiments going, including a lot of other sprouts, grains, and pulses, but as this not an Urban Farming Forum, just P.M. me if you want to know more 😉
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