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I'm very excited to finally get to construct your design. I'm adapting it to be a chicken coop in the Atlanta, GA, area. Joan
Looking forward to trying out the construction of this greenhouse. In the meantime, came across the following website and thought it might be of interest: http://dws.editme.com/
Excellent question. There are tradeoffs when you go to cover greenhouses. Cost vs. longevity. New Mexico is a special case as well with the high altitude UV. Besides one place in Arizona, NM is #1 for UV exposure. Commercial greenhouses don't expect the plastic to last and figure the cost of the plastic into the value of crops produced. Backyard growers will have to make decisions. I used the cheapest plastic I could get from Home Depot on the prototype. 4 mil on the roof and 3 mil on the sides. I think it cost $60 total. It lasted 6 months in the NM sun. It might actually go longer, up to a year if you attach it properly. A year of protected growing for $60? This might be a good deal if you don't have access to anything better. Good greenhouse plastic is not available easily in some cities.
Good plastic might cost up to $200. It may last 4-6 years in NM. Probably 4. IF you move to hard polycarbonate siding then you should get 15+ years from it. Cost might be $800-1000 for this 14x14 greenhouse. There are some technologies that are much better. Clear Teflon roll plastic is super expensive but can last 20+ years. All various compromises. Shade cloth can be used to extend the plastics life and might be mandatory in NM.
Im curious, how does the covering hold up to the harsh UV of NM? My dad made geodesic dome greenhouses, covering them with thick vinyl from waterbed mattresses. (he had friend who worked at a shop that sold waterbeds, and he got all the old damaged/returned ones.
but the plastic only lasted about 1 year. and i know my shade tarp, which was a 3x ply sunproof tarp only lasted 2 years.