My Greenhouse Plastic Gets Destroyed

Today is certainly a sad day. After much work in building my A-frame greenhouse and covering it with plastic, a gusty afternoon storm has ripped my plastic in pieces. I’m afraid the six mil. plastic simply wasn’t strong enough. As the wind pushed against the plastic, the plastic simply stretched to the breaking point.

Greenhouse plastic ripping

Eventually, one of the holes along the northwest corner tore right off, and the wind ripped the plastic right down the middle of the north side.

Greenhouse plastic ripped in two

So I’m a little disappointed. Even if I could patch it back together, the plastic is just too thin to withstand the winds. So I may be greenhouseless this year.

But perhaps you can help. If this blog has been a benefit to you, would you consider sending a donation to help cover the cost of new greenhouse plastic? The long-lasting woven poly that I would like to put on my greenhouse will cost about $500. If I can raise that much money in the next two weeks, I’ll be able to order it and hopefully get it up before the hail season begins. If more than $500 comes in, all extra money will go towards a local kids camp. Just click the flower below to help keep my greenhouse growing!

Update 2009: I’ve learned my lesson and got the good plastic. Check out my newest greenhouse! It’s made it through some major wind already and is looking good!

Enjoy this post? Send a donation to help keep my garden growing!

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19 Responses to My Greenhouse Plastic Gets Destroyed

  1. Jill says:

    Have you considered covering it with cor-plast? I’m not sure if it would be cheaper, but it would likely be more durable than anything on a roll, even a woven poly.

  2. Dave says:

    I haven’t ever really considered it, but the idea may have merit. Do you know of anywhere that sells large sheets of coroplast? The best I’ve found would cost me about $700 plus whatever shipping would be – lots I imagine.

    The 11 mil woven poly I’ve been looking at has a 3 year warranty and is said to have a life of about 7-10 years.

  3. Mike says:

    Hi Dave,

    I see that u used finishing nails on your batten boards and the hole seems to have originated at the nail. The nail might be the problem with your plastic woes.
    I have a small green house (9′x6′x8′) attached to the side of my garage. It is stickframed and wrapped in thick poly. I secured the batten with 1/2″ staples using a heavy duty hammer tacker spaced somewhat randomly (aim) at 1/2″. It has done great in the strong winds we have been having lately. Maybe give that a try.

    Mike in e-town

  4. Mike says:

    one more thing, I ripped 1/4′ stripps of cedar as my batten. thin enough for the staples to go through.

    Mike

  5. Dave says:

    On an earlier greenhouse I have tried staples, though without the batten – those pulled through. But I suppose if the staples were heavy duty enough to go through both the batten and the plastic, that may work.

    I think part of the issue is the sheer size of the surface area – with so much for the wind to push on, it really pulls on the plastic.

    Hmmmm, now you’ve got me curious. I’m tempted to give that a try. My plastic is pretty torn up, but perhaps I could patch a few pieces together large enough to do a test run on away. I’ll let you know what I find out…

  6. Mike says:

    Yeah, i tried without the batten also. No worky….lol

    have you considered moving the cross members of your framing to be between your rafter pieces? This would give you another contact point for the plastic/batten/staple and thus dissipate the wind forces better.

    Mike

  7. Dave says:

    My original thoughts were that I only wanted to fasten the plastic at the edges so that I could easily tighten the plastic as it sagged over time, but I guess I won’t be needing to do that, now will I…

  8. Dave says:

    Hi Dave,
    Sorry to read able the covering of your hoop green house. I’m considering builting a similiar model and covering it with woven plastic from the Northern Green House. Based on the published price list the covering should cost around $300. Here’s a link to thier website.
    http://www.northerngreenhouse.com
    Dave

  9. Dave says:

    I am familiar with Northern Green House. If I do replace my plastic, it will be from them. My brother has an Aframe greenhouse very similar to mine and he had it covered with their plastic. I’ve only seen it on day one this spring when he put it up, so I’m not sure how it’s holding up. But guessing from the thickness and strength of the woven poly, I would think all is well.

  10. Joshua says:

    Hey Dave, going woven over regular poly is always the right idea. The other addition you need to seriously consider before covering again is using aluminum poly latches with springs. It distributes the force of the pull better and prevents ripping. It’ll add extra costs, but the right way to go if you’re willing to pay the 500 for woven. farmtek.com can help you out.

  11. Dave says:

    Thanks Joshua – I hadn’t heard of those poly latches with springs. I’ll look into it for sure.

  12. Steve says:

    I notice you have not covered the end’s of the greenhouse. We are commercial growers and have much larger structures that withstand winds in excess of 120km/hr. It is vital to have all sides covered otherwise the wind gets underneath and is basically using the greenhouse as a massive sail (picture how big a yacht sail is compared to your greenhouse). We usually cover the end/sidewalls first before doing the roofing. Batten fix works ok but you must wrap the poly around the batten prior to attachment. Alternately can you attach the batten under the edge or over the side so that rather than the force being on the nail through the batten it is on the edge of the wooden support?

  13. Dave says:

    Those are some great ideas, Steve. I’m sure wrapping the poly around the batten would increase it’s durability significantly. I’ll make sure I do that on my next poly application.

  14. Otterkins2 says:

    Dave, if you’re looking for Coreplast plastic, try Cadillac Plastics here in Edmonton. It’s available in many colours, but either white or clear is probably best. My guess is though that it would not only be more expensive, but more difficult to work with as it’s a fairly rigid material. Think cardboard…but made from plastic. You could however attach Coreplast with Bulldog adhesive or something similar resulting in a tighter seal with no stress points to tear from. It could also be lapped (like shingles) reducing the possibility of leaks. What would justify the cost is that Coreplast would likely last far longer than woven sheet poly. I’m anxious to see your project refined as I’m drafting plans up now using your ideas.

  15. Namaste says:

    We live in a very windy area on ‘the Rock’ and like a number of friends use a Dome Greenhouse. It’s covered in 6mm poly WITH FISHNET covering it and just now it has lasted for 6 years. The UV rated plastic would have cost more than I paid a neighbor for the 18′diameter dome. Wind / Rain / lots of winter Snow, et cetera has only ageing effect on the Dome. BTW, I use the flex plastic pipe to cover several or my raised beds.

  16. Fred says:

    Where can I buy good plastic covering in Gauteng for my tunnel garden.

    Please advise

    Thanks
    Fred

  17. Craig says:

    I am building one this coming weekend. What if you were to roll the poly into the lath then nail through it. I built a windbreaker for my deck last year and it has held up perfectly throughout this harsh Quebec winter!

  18. Faye says:

    Here’s what I used commercially– 100,ooo dozen bedding plants a season… Yes, used heavier plastic- 6 mil if I remember correctly.. but put two layers on… leave top layer loose except at ends and bottom of the sides. Then took a car defroster fan and set it up to 120 – plug in– and took a tin can put it on the end and blew air continuously inbetween the two layers of plastic.. Was always inflated.. and moved gently even in the strongest of winds on the prairies.. Worked well… perhaps for another time for you– on the ends we put fiberglass.

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