The challenge of growing robust, saleable plants can be eased when you’ve got the right greenhouse.

Did Benjamin Franklin own a greenhouse? When he stated in 1789 that nothing is certain except death and taxes, he could have added Mother Nature. We know we can count on death and taxes to ruin a good day, but let’s not forget the weather. Without adequate protection, you’re certain to risk loss.

But there’s a sure way to take control. With the right greenhouse structure and equipment, you can create the optimal environment to nurture those plants from seed or cutting to sales lot and garden.

Do you have a particular favorite? If you’re looking for one-on-one advice from your peers – or if you’d like to recommend something – join us at to share your questions and experiences with your colleagues.

Expand growing capacity with a single orconnected structure employing gutter-connectmodular framework from Growers Supply.

ClearSpan greenhouses

If you need more strength, space and light, you can increase your growing capacity with ClearSpan Majestic greenhouses from Growers Supply, a division of FarmTek, Dyersville, Iowa. Single Bay Majestic greenhouses allow for growing taller floral or vegetable crops. Majestic Connect greenhouses allow you to use more of your valuable growing space, with no land waste between greenhouses. They are more energy-efficient than stand-alone units. Unique, gutter-connect modular framework allows you to connect two or more buildings. The extruded aluminum, highly stable gutters allow you to add additional bays to increase growing capacity, using the most cost effective method.

Features of both Majestic and Majestic Connect greenhouses include:

  • Framework constructed from 14-gauge Allied Gatorshield® structural steel tubing. Both vertical pipes and arches are 2.375 inches outer diameter.
  • Rafter spacing is 6 feet; sidewall height is 9 feet, 77/8 inches.
  • Choice of film covering on top with either roll-up or drop-down sides and 8 mm polycarbonate end panels; film covering on top with 8 mm polycarbonate sides and ends; or complete polycarbonate covering.
  • Drop-down sides use 5.2-ounce greenhouse fabric.
  • FarmTek’s exclusive “Twist-of-the-Wrist” assembly, for roll-up or drop-down sides, makes ventilation easy.
  • Double layer, 6-mil, 4-year greenhouse film with Inflation Fan Kit that allows for superior heat retention. Poly latches included.
  • Double door (48 inches wide by 92 inches high), complete with stainless steel hinges and latch set.
  • Optional double back door kit.
  • 20-foot width units are 14 feet, 77/8 inches high to ridge. 28-foot width units are 16 feet, 3/8 inches high to ridge.

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Strength, durability and economy come standard with Ludy Patriot II Series greenhouses.

Patriot II

Engineered for strength and designed for efficient construction, the Patriot II series from Ludy Greenhouse Manufacturing Corp., New Madison, Ohio, is fabricated with low-maintenance, galvanized steel frames and gutters and is easily adapted to local structural building codes and weather conditions. Utilizing the strongest design possible, trusses attach directly to square tube columns, with all members converging at a single point atop the column.

Standard sizes include 20.5-, 22-, 30- and 36-foot widths and 10- or 12-foot bays. Full length can be any multiple of the selected bay size. Sidewalls are available in 8-, 10- and 12-foot heights, and optional, higher walls are available.

Wide, sturdy gutters are 12-inch wide, high-strength steel.

Factory-welded, predrilled components, including trusses that attach to columns with a single bolt, keep onsite construction costs down. Galvanized steel keeps maintenance expenses to a minimum.

Several glazing options are offered, including:

  • single- or double-layer polyethylene
  • 8 mm polycarbonate structured sheet in 4- or 6-foot bar spacing
  • 8 mm acrylic structured sheet
  • corrugated polycarbonate
  • corrugated metal
  • shade cloth

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Customize your growing range with CriderAmericas’ options.

Vanalphen system

Cost-conscious growers find value with the Vanalphen greenhouse system from CriderAmericas LLC, Cedar Creek, Texas. Customizable to meet specific needs, the system offers coverings, ventilation options, cooling systems and energy-saving options that can be adapted to nearly any grower’s specifications.

Natural ventilation options include roof ventilation with a rack-and-pinion system that incorporates gutter vents, the company’s own Dynaglas® FlexVent system or a center arch vent system. Natural side ventilation can be achieved through drop-down or roll up curtains. Mechanical ventilation options include roof-mounted fans, evaporative coolers or a combination of fans on one side and coolers on the other.

Standard widths range from 18 to 32 feet, and length is unlimited with 10 or 12 feet on center.

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Evenly distributed, instant cooling is achieved with the PolAIR high-pressure fog system from Val-Co.

PolAIR High-Pressure Fog System

Controlling temperature and humidity in greenhouses can be made easier and more efficient with the Pol-AIR high-pressure fog system from Val-Co, New Holland, Pa. The micron-sized droplets produced by the PolAIR fog nozzle flash evaporate, cooling the air without contacting the ground. Go from no fog to thick fog in just a few minutes: With working pressures of 1,000 PSI and higher, the system produces a 10- to 17-micron fog droplet – much smaller than conventional systems that create 250- to 450-micron drops.

The atomization nozzle is machined from stainless steel and includes an anti-drip nozzle check valve that prevents weeping during pressurization and depressurization of the system. The valve allows for nozzle installation in any orientation.

A high-pressure pump system creates operating pressures from 1,000 PSi to 1,500 psi, is pre-wired and plumbed and features three-filter filtration, filtering to 1 micron. Single and three-phase, direct or belt-driven motors are available.

The PolAIR 400HC controller can be configured for single or two stage/zone operation.

The PolAIR Sequence Panel includes automatic relay contacts for interfacing control devices like the PolAIR 400TC Time Controller and other activationdevices, such as computerized control systems or in house plant DCS networks.

The Sequence Panel includes:

  • Real-time monitoring and alarming of the motor thermal overloads, sequencing of the inlet water supply and pump drain solenoid
  • Pump run time is maintained in the sequence panel for up to 32,000 hours, and an on-board system maintenance meter is provided
  • Built-in delays for the inlet water supply to assure that the pump starts with a full head of water
  • Alarm output for tripped motor overloads, low inlet water supply pressure
  • Burst or broken line shut down with alarm output; requires optional high / low pressure safety switch

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Economic and environmental savings can be realized with retractable roof systems from Cravo.

Retractable Roof Production System

Do not let the erratic weather destroy your investment! Protect acres of outdoor crops in minutes from excessive heat, cold, wind and rain with a retractable-roof greenhouse/shadehouse from Cravo Equipment Ltd., Brantford, Ontario. Roof coverings have useful life of eight to 12 years, and more than 2 acres of roofs can be closed with only one motor.

Cravo has also now developed the Retractable Roof Production System, which helps you improve your crop quality and timing while reducing labor, water and fertilizer cost. New sensors and control strategies help you take full advantage of the benefits of the natural outdoor environment and of the greenhouse and shadehouse environment to create a low cost and sustainable production system.

Retractable roofs help make production sustainable and environmentally friendly:

  • Up to an 85 percent reduction in water usage per kg of fruit compared to open field production.
  • Fossil fuel for heating is reduced or eliminated: Enhanced cooling capabilities allow for production in warmer climates; and retracting the roof allows for enhanced heating of soil allowing the earth to act as a heat sink during the night.
  • Minimal electricity is required, since motors run intermittently. One 2-hp motor can close up to 100,000 square feet of roof in seven minutes.
  • Reduced agrichemical usage is beneficial for workers, food quality and ground water.
  • Landfill waste is reduced because retractable roof coverings last two to three times longer than conventional greenhouse plastic. And because plastic mulch may not be necessary, the purchase, installation, removal and disposal of the plastic mulch is eliminated.

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