About Remote Gardener
Remote Gardener was established to not only bring down our food bills but to provide excess food that could be given away or sold.
Our plan was to establish a greenhouse that we could grow our own food in. It has not grown into a full entity with a mind of it's own.
With our research we have learned many thing. We provide updates to our blog with detailed information about or quest to build an awesome greenhouse. Along the way we discovered Solexx covering for our greenhouses. With the higher R value and ease of installation not to mention the fact that plants like the cover we knew we were on the right path.
We are now almost completed with our first greenhouse and plan to build several more over the next few years. Fresh food we feel is the basis for longevity and a healthy life.
There is nothing like going to the garden and picking what you want to eat today.
About Solexx Greenhouses
What makes Solexx Greenhouses different than others?
Insulated Solexx paneling is available only on Solexx Greenhouses. The covering is insulated to cut down heating and cooling costs, but most importantly, you get more light diffusion than is available with other types of covering. University tests have shown that plants grow better under diffused light. Another feature that makes us different is our built-in bench frames. With almost all other greenhouse kits, benches are a large additional expense. Also we include full-length hanging rods to overwinter hanging baskets.
Are Solexx greenhouses able to withstand high winds?
Solexx greenhouses perform excellent in wind. Our composite frame (the same material used to make bridges) is extremely strong and durable. As long as the greenhouse is firmly anchored (which we can help you with), you should not have problems. The combination of a strong frame and flexible paneling works very well in adverse conditions. Many of our customers live on the coast and frequently experience winds of 70 mph. One customer in New Jersey has a greenhouse that survived Hurricane "Bob" with no damage from the impacting tree branches.
Are the greenhouses easy to heat?
Solexx greenhouses are easy to heat. The 3.5mm and 5mm twin-walled glazing material provides more insulation than most other hobby greenhouse materials. We offer several different heaters to meet your specific heating needs. The cost of heating your greenhouse will depend on your area and what you plan to grow. Many plants require only a 45-degree nighttime temperature. Many people are able to heat their greenhouse all winter for under $20.00 a month in the coldest months. Heating costs can be reduced by using buckets or plastic jugs of water or by lining the greenhouse with a layer of Visquine or bubble wrap in the cold months. In mild conditions, 5 gallon covered black buckets filled with water will trap the solar energy during the day and release heat for most of the night. Another option is adding rabbits to your greenhouse. Rabbits put out 8 BTU’s per hour, which amounts to roughly 2.5 gal of fuel in 6 months. Rabbit manure also adds heat and makes a great non-burning fertilizer.
How do I prepare the site for my greenhouse?
Very little site preparation is required for your Solexx Greenhouse. You can place your greenhouse on any leveled area such as your lawn, over bare ground, on a gravel base, over a wood deck, on a concrete slab, or a brick patio. We recommend a gravel base for the best drainage.
What tools will I need to assemble the greenhouse?
Assembling a Solexx Greenhouse is takes just a few readily available tools.
You will need a screwdriver, variable speed drill, sharp knife or utility knife,
tape measure, step ladder, GE Silicon-2 caulk, caulking gun, clear PVC glue
and a level.
Solexx Greenhouse Covering
I am interested in your Solexx polycarbonate covering. How do you install it?
Our specially formulated Solexx greenhouse panels are actually a polyethylene blend. They are much more flexible than twin-wall polycarbonate greenhouses panels and can easily be screwed onto an existing greenhouse frame. This covering is available in 4’ x 8’ or 4’ x 12’ sheets in 3.5 or 5mm thicknesses. Solexx greenhouse covering can also be ordered in continuous rolls up to 1000 feet so you can conveniently cover just about any structure.
When designing a greenhouse frame, how much spacing should I leave between supports for the panels? How many screws should I use?
Solexx panels work well for many custom structures. For maximum strength, we recommend support at least every two feet on center. On the perimeter of your structure, we recommend attaching screws every six inches. For your supports, you only need to attach screws about eighteen inches apart. As a general rule, figure that you will need one screw per square foot of paneling. In extremely windy areas, you may want to increase the number of screws you use.
Isn’t the paneling too dark to transmit light?
The unique Solexx greenhouse covering transmits 70-75 percent of the available light. Most plants only need 40 percent light to grow, but 70-80 percent available light is the optimal growing range. Even on cloudy days, your greenhouse has a pleasant, soft glow inside. The panels diffuse the light evenly throughout the greenhouse eliminating "hot spots" and shadows. Also, a bit less light transmission will help to keep your greenhouse from getting too hot during warm weather.
Does the covering break down in the sun?
Solexx panels are treated with a double UV inhibitor during the extrusion process. The covering has an eight-year limited warranty against ultraviolet breakdown and is tested and certified by an independent lab. Solexx greenhouses have been in the field for well over fifteen years and there has been minimal UV degradation. All plastics do eventually break down when exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods of time; however, these panels are easy and inexpensive to replace.
How do you clean the paneling?
Solexx paneling can be rinsed or wiped clean without worry of scratching. The panels are impervious to chemicals so you can wash them with a mild soap. It’s a good idea to do this a couple times a year to keep your greenhouse clean and to maximize light transmission.
How does the paneling hold up in cold or snowy weather?
Solexx panels are very durable. Solexx greenhouses have been undamaged after being covered in several feet of snow and exposed to subzero temperatures for most of the winter. Snow tends to slide right off of the slick paneling material. Unlike many greenhouse materials, our panels will not yellow from the sun or cold.
What is H-Channel and U-Trim used for?
H-Channel is used to join the panels together on the long or you can overlap the panels. U-Trim gives the4’ ends of the panels a nice finished look.
What is the difference between polycarbonate and Solexx panels?
Solexx greenhouses are made with polyethylene. Polyethylene is much more flexible and is easy to cut to any size. Polycarbonate panels tend to be thicker, but have about the same insulation factor as polyethylene. Both materials diffuse light, but polycarbonate diffuses less (because it is more transparent), making the greenhouses much hotter in the summer. Polyethylene is very easy to clean and will not scratch like polycarbonate.
How do you cut the panels? Is it easy to do?
Solexx panels can be cut with a simple utility knife. Because the material is so flexible, it’s also possible to bend it around many curves and corners on a structure.
Should I use 3.5 or 5mm paneling?
Solexx panels are available in 3.5mm or 5mm thickness. The 3.5mm panels are
recommended in most areas because they provide more light transmission. The
5mm panels are used in very cold climates (for added insulation) and for areas
in high altitudes. It is also recommended on many custom structures for added
support. Both varieties are available in 4'1" x 8'1" sheets and 4'1" x
12' 3" sheets or continuous rolls.
What can you do to automate the greenhouses?
Solexx offers many greenhouse accessories and supplies to help make your gardening experience easier. A solar vent opener is available and can be set to automatically help regulate the temperature. The heaters that we offer can be thermostatically controlled to help you heat only when it’s necessary, keeping your costs low. Also, our exhaust fans all come with thermostat controls. This will help push out stale air as your greenhouse begins to get hot.
Which basic accessories will get me growing?
Gardening with a Solexx Greenhouse is easy. Although we offer a full line of greenhouse equipment, we do have a few recommendations that will ensure success. First of all, you want to make sure that your greenhouse is properly anchored. We offer a Deluxe Tie-Down Kit, which includes four anchors—one for each corner of the greenhouse. On longer units, or in areas that have exceptionally high winds, you may want to purchase additional anchors (which are available individually.) Also, ventilation is a key factor. Two base vents (or more on longer units) placed on each side of the door will ensure good cross-ventilation. Eventually, a shade cloth is also a good investment. During those hot summer months, it will keep your greenhouse cooler and also increase the longevity of your glazing.
Where should the heater be placed in the greenhouse?
We recommend placing the heater in the back of the greenhouse, either at the end of the walkway or under the bench frames. It's best to leave some space around the heater so that the heat can fully circulate and so that none of your plants get too warm. Having a small circulation fan is a good way to ensure even heating in your greenhouse.
How should I place the vents in my greenhouse?
Typically, we recommend that you place a large louvered vent opposite the door, towards the top of the greenhouse. If you then place two or more base vents low to the ground (on either side of the door, for example), you get a natural ground- up ventilation. A solar opener can be attached to the louvered vent, in order to better regulate the temperature. We recommend that you close the base vents during cold weather.
Are there books that can help me get started?
Solexx offers several greenhouse books to help you get started. One book that
we see as absolutely indispensable is Shane Smith’s Greenhouse Gardener’s Companion.
It is loaded with information about greenhouses, specific plants, weed control,
planting schedules… anything you would ever want to know. There are many great
ideas that we use in our own greenhouses all the time.
What method of shipping do you use?
Greenhouses and heftier items (including panels) are mostly sent UPS. Small accessories not purchased with a larger item are usually sent USPS.
How will my greenhouse arrive?
The greenhouse is sold unassembled. This helps us to keep both shipping and greenhouse kit costs low. Each kit comes with complete written instructions and computer generated drawings. The framing is color coded for convenience and of course, we’re always here to help.
The greenhouses are shipped in a couple long skinny boxes and an octagonal box for the rolled Solexx panels. The 8' Garden Oasis, for example, comes in five boxes: two 8' x 7.25" x 5" boxes, a box about two feet in diameter and four feet tall for the panels, one 24" x 12" x 12" box, and a small box for the Louver.
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