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GREENHOUSE PROJECT UPDATE

Working with the greenhouse I’m realizing that there is a learning curve, especially dealing with this Central Arizona climate and maintaining plants. We had to learn how to cool the temperatures inside the greenhouse to an acceptable, livable level.

The first weeks we after greenhouse construction, we had a few extremely hot days back in the late June early July when the temperatures reached 118°, which meant that the inside the greenhouse was above 120° plus. The portable evaporative c

Two tomato plants, the one on the right is from a four pack from the nursery, the plant on the left is from seed.

ooler we placed inside was, for the most part, running cool. The downside was that I was replenishing the water in the tank twice on high temperature days and the front door had to stay open. This meant that the areas near the front of the greenhouse was getting some of the hot air and slightly out of range of the evap-cooler and not getting cooled efficiently.

We have plants that we had purchased during those first few weeks after construction, and they did okay for a bit. On the downside, it required so much maintenance and care that it was inevitable that they would struggle in this extreme heat. The parts to set up the drip system for

the greenhouse had not arrived yet, so I had to water by hand three times a day and watched the evap-cooler overwork.

We had another round of hundred 118° days, which was another test for the existing plants. One particular Friday afternoon,  around 3 o’clock, the high temperatures had overwhelmed the inside of the greenhouse, defeating the evap-cooler. The plants did not do too well. We lost four out of six.

We had finally received the parts for the drip system and the following weekend we installed it, solving the irrigation problem. The next challenge was how to cool the interior without incurring a high cost. My dad thought of using a misting system and installed it inside the greenhouse. Success, it made a major difference in the temperature inside. I used the cooler in fan mode and a misting system together. It worked, temperatures remained at a decent level for the new plants and the remaining originals. No more losses.

Now, we were able to grow a few plants from seeds. The average temperatures inside the greenhouse with the combination of the misting system and the cooler is between the upper 80s and early 90s. So the new plans that we purchased for the greenhouse flourishing, some have been transplanted into the actual garden in planters in front of the house.

So what have I learned so far? How to plant plants in the greenhouse and have them survive on extreme hot weather days here in Phoenix. Our next challenge is to see how plants will behave in the greenhouse during the winter and when there are frost warnings.

That’s it for now will keep you updated on the progress of our greenhouse.

Misting System in Greenhouse

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About the author

Rod Washington

Rod is a blogger, writer, filmmaker, photographer, daydreamer who likes to cook. Rod produces and directs the web series, CUPIC: Diary of an Investigator. He is also the editor, producer and administrator of TNC Network.

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