Raised Beds & Prepairing Your Greenhouse


Questions & Answers
Preparing your greenhouse for Spring
  1. What should I do if I find a crack or leak in my greenhouse's glazing?
    We offer a great greenhouse repair tape if film is what you're working with. It comes in a variety of sizes to make application effortless. If polycarbonate is the type of glazing on your greenhouse, we offer a silicone sealant. It's very easy to apply and is tack-free usually within 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. How do I determine the percentage of shade cloth needed?
    Determining shade cloth percentage for plants always depends on what type of plant you're growing. We don't normally recommend anything over 50% when growing plants, as anything over that would block too much light and may negatively affect your plants' health. We do have a helpful chart in our catalog that lists popular varieties and the recommended shade cloth percentage. You can also give us a call and we can help you decide what percentage is best.
  3. How difficult is calibrating a thermostat to my fans and heaters? Is it something I can do or should I call in a professional?
    It is not difficult at all. Most thermostats have installation and set-up instructions, but if you ever lose them or they don't happen to come with them give us a call and we can walk you through it. It is very simple and you will not need an electrician to help you calibrate your thermostat.
  4. What type of power-out alarm would you recommend?
    We have a variety of alarms to choose from so it really depends on your needs and budget. We offer alarms with simple technology that beep when there is a power outage, but then we also have high-functioning alarms. They will notify you via email, text, voicemail, etc. when there is an outage or change in the greenhouse environment. Once you've determined your budget and the level of functionality you need in an alarm give us a call and we can recommend an alarm, that will meet your needs and won't break the bank.
  5. Does Wonder Soil® or its expanding potting mix have a shelf life? Can I use leftover product from last year?
    As far as I know, Wonder Soil® does not have a shelf life. I've used two-year-old product and never had an issue with growing new plants. I would recommend mixing a little fertilizer in with the expanding soil to help provide more nutrients to your plants.
Raised beds and composting
Raised Beds
  1. You said that the PolyMax® Raised Bed Kits are made from composite lumber. What is that and why is it better to use than regular lumber?
    Composite lumber is poly lumber. A lot of people are familiar with Trex® for decks and it is similar to that. It is made from a recycled material and is not wood based. We find it to be better than regular lumber because it stands the test of time. Traditional pressure-treated lumber will degrade when it is exposed to the elements.
  2. Do the Soil-Warming Cables require electricity?
    Yes, they need to be plugged into a standard 120 V electrical outlet.
  3. Can the Soil-Warming Cables be used in a raised bed kit outdoors?
    Absolutely. They are intended to be outdoors directly in the soil. They are fully protected and waterproof. Just make sure to never let the cable overlap itself because it will burn out and stop working.
  4. With a taller bed, can I put hot manure on the bottom, or do I have to wait for it to cool?
    Wait for it to cool. This way you will not have a variance in soil temperature between the top and the bottom.
  5. Is the three-tier kit needed to raise root crops such as carrots?
    Yes, if you're doing root crops such as carrots, potatoes or onions, I recommend going with a deep raised bed kit to allow the crop to develop properly. If you want something deeper than the standard three-tier kit, we offer Aero Soft Grow Containers. These containers are made of a permeable spunbond material. The difference between grow containers and raised bed kits is that the grow containers are permeable, so water and air will be able to come in from the sides and assist in crop development.
  6. If I buy a one-tier kit and decide I want to make it higher, can another one-tier kit be added to it?
    Yes, our kits come with stacking joints. You can really make these beds as tall as you want.
  7. I would recommend a three-tier kit, but size would be dependent on what you're comfortable with. We can make them any size, but it depends on what you feel comfortable with and have space for.
    Wait for it to cool. This way you will not have a variance in soil temperature between the top and the bottom.
  8. How many cubic feet of soil is required for a 4' by 8' kit?
    That will depend on how many tiers you have. All you need to do is multiply the length and width by the depth of the bed. This will equal the amount of top soil that you will need in cubic feet.
Composting
  1. What do you do if the compost temperature drops?
    If the compost temperature drops you need to raise it. There are a couple of ways to do this. You can use a small space heater next to the pile to get the temperature up or cover the pile with greenhouse poly to trap the heat. The solution is going to be dependent on where the compost pile is, how it is being created and what stage of the process it is in.
  2. Why would you use a compost tea over regular compost?
    Some people like the ease of use with a compost tea because you can put it in a sprayer and just walk around the garden, spraying as needed. With traditional compost you need a wheelbarrow and a scoop to apply it. Sometimes the compost tea is a little bit more user friendly, but it comes down to personal preference.
  3. Could you create your own compost pile to use or do you need a composter?
    You can create your own compost pile. The reason you would want a composter is because of convenience and they offer you more control.
  4. If you have pets such as rabbits, could you use their waste within the compost?
    Yes, animal waste from herbivores such as rabbits, goats or chickens is an incredible fertilizer. Only waste from an animal that eats exclusively plant material is suitable fertilizer. Animal waste from omnivorous or carnivorous animals such as dogs or cats is not suitable, and this distinction is very important. If you do have waste from an herbivore, add it to your compost and make sure that you are properly aerating the compost and monitoring the temperature so that you end up with the healthiest and most natural fertilizer available.

Read our Raised Beds Buyer's Guide
Read our Composting Buyer's Guide
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