Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why Do You Use Wood?

Answer
We have done a lot of research on metal framed greenhouses, yurts and tents. A lot of companies in the last few years have switched back to wood due to failure of the metal in a damp environment. I would like to emphasize that our design uses wood for good reasons. 

  1. It is light and strong. Steel is heavier for the same amount of strength. 
  2. Wood does not rust. Metal does. One scratch on a powder coated or galvanized piece of steel starts the degradation process. 
  3. With the protection of Twinwall which blocks UV and excessive moisture, wood will last for decades or centuries.
  4. Individual pieces of wood are easily replaced over the years with simple tools. It is also available locally in most areas and requires few tools to cut and assemble. 
  5. It’s a plant, it grows wild! It is also REALLY PRETTY and it smells good.

Q: Does the greenhouse ever get too hot?

Answer
Yes! If left completely closed up the temperature can exceed 150 degrees Fahrenheit within a few hours on a hot day with no clouds in the sky. Proper ventilation is important and is accomplished with automated vents that dump heat, a good exhaust fan that moves all of the air inside the structure outside each and every minute, evaporative cooling and/or shade fabric. 10 years of solving problems for our customers has empowered us with the knowledge we need to cool these solar engines!

 

Q: What is required spatially for installation?

Answer
The greenhouse needs to be placed in full sun facing within 10 degrees of East or West directly to the South. Perfectly South facing generates the most heat. Rotating to the East slightly creates slightly more heat in the morning  and coolness in the afternoon. Rotating to the West slightly creates less heat in the morning and more heat in the late afternoon 4-6pm. The most intense heat generation occurs from 3pm-7pm during summer. Having a shade tree on the West side that is deciduous, forming leaves during the Summer and dropping them during Winter is an ideal setup if your summer season heat often exceeds 90 degrees fahrenheit.

 

Q: What happens if temperatures drop below freezing? 

Answer
Each greenhouse has an electric or propane heater that is controlled with a thermostat to maintain temperatures inside above freezing. We recommend “freezing out” the interior during winter by turning off the heater and opening the vents* and doors to allow the cold to kill insects and diseases that can damage plants in the Spring. *Remember to always remove the wax cylinders in the Gigavents as they will freeze. Store the wax cylinders in a warm location. 

 

Q: How do i get rid of “bad bugs” in the greenhouse?

Answer
There are many new ways of biologically controlling insects, such as aphids, that damage plants. Soapy water at a 10:1 ratio that is sprayed onto plants will knock the aphids to the ground where they cannot feed. Ladybugs and lacewing predators will feed on aphids and other insects that can cause damage. Alpine can recommend several suppliers that can help with providing biological controls of different types depending on your needs. Remember in a greenhouse, a constant source of dripping or spraying water on a small scale is essential for predators who, like humans, need a reliable source of drinking water!