Outdoor bonsai area suggestions

remist17

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We are looking to build a outside bonsai area. This will be under roof and hold supplies and maybe plants. I can not afford a greenhouse but was hoping to get some pointers.

My thoughts were putting either a clear plastic roof on with sides or a metal roof and have shelves out side. Aprox dimensions 8x8. This would also house the plants over winter. I was thinking of getting rubbermade toughts and filling with dirt and mulch to cover the pots and roots of all the outside potted plants.



Not sure what would be better

Thanks

added 8/30 This is what we were thinking off
Addition-1.jpg


Or is this better?
Weatherguard-Lawn-and-Garden-Greenhouse.gif
 
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rockm

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If you're using it for overwintering, use an opaque roof--if you're overwintering temperate zone trees. You don't want a greenhouse... I'd also say skip the troughs and mulch the plants directly on bricks set on the floor of the building in the winter. They will be better protected that way.

I'd say is that 8x8 is about half too small...It may sound large now, but it won't be if you stick with the hobby for any amount of time. If you have the room, double the size, or make it as large as possible...
 

tmmason10

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I'd be interested in more ideas, maybe pictures or diagrams on a good setup to overwinter temperate trees. Appreciate the input this will be my first winter with my trees and I think I need to build something.
 

remist17

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I am limited to 8x8 right now and I can always grow it or add on. I am not sure if i can find a off color roofing. What would the downside of putting a metal roof with windows in the walls be?

I need to have enough support to hold snow.
 

JudyB

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Check out a material called solexx. It's a greenhouse panelling material that comes in rolls of sheeting. It's super easy to cut and work with. We built a greenhouse with it last year and an wind protection house this year with this. It's an opaque material that allows light in but since it's not clear, heat buildup is not as bad and also the sunlight spreads out more evenly. We just did a normal roof with shingles and used the solexx for the sides. If you'd like more info about this, let me know.
 

Bill S

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A quiky and I'll try to explain better later, the opaque is dead on, for framing you can use 10' sections of pvc pipe and bend to half circle, fasten these to a 4x4 on the ground, then stretch the opaque plastic over the top and then fasten that to the 4x4s, Ends up looking like a quansett hut, easily dismantled later on.
 

tmmason10

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A quiky and I'll try to explain better later, the opaque is dead on, for framing you can use 10' sections of pvc pipe and bend to half circle, fasten these to a 4x4 on the ground, then stretch the opaque plastic over the top and then fasten that to the 4x4s, Ends up looking like a quansett hut, easily dismantled later on.

This sounds like a hoop tunnel, like I read about in Dave joyce's book. Have you constructed one before? Do you have pictures?
 

crhabq

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tmmason,
Brent has an article on his blog about making pvc houses. Search on evergreen gardenworks and search thru his blog. He gives good directions and I believe a parts list.
Good luck with your project.

Ray
 

monza

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A hoop tunnel is the most affordable winter storage, unless you have a pre existing non heated garage or something like that. It sounds like you also need and want to build a shed. I'd suggest doing just that, a simple 8x8 shred leaving the floor space void of shelves and or racking. Then you can store the maximum amount of trees and mulch them in right on the shed floor. Build counters and storage above that. Construct with consideration to expand in the future.
Dormant trees in the winter do not need light, so windows are optional but might be a nice edition for a garden shed and working in there in the summer. As mentioned earlier Brents info at Evergreen: winter-
http://www.evergreengardenworks.com/overwint.htm (read all his stuff, super informative and on point)
My disclaimer: I'm still a newbie in bonsai years and winter storage and light may be open to debate.
 

JudyB

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Part of the answer depends on what type of trees you are protecting. Totally different if you're doing very tender varieties, or almost hardy ones. And I know you said it has to be snow proof, how much snow loading do you expecting? Would a hoop be able to bear up under that? What trees are you going to need to put in it?
 

remist17

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i am looking for a more permanent fixture that can hold plants over winter and summer. i was thinking inside to winter and shelves outside for summer. can i use metal roof w windows for some light for the partial light plants? i will use the hoop idea for another area. trees ihave are crepe mertal, crab apple, learch, azalea
 

JudyB

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The crab apple will not need protection, unless it's some oddball variety I don't know about, they are pretty hardy. The same most likely for the larch, is it a Japanese, or American variety? That will make a difference, as American larch are very cold hardy, Japanese not quite as much. Larch dislike very much being warm in the winter, if you keep your greenhouse/outdoor storage warm enough for the Crape Myrtle, you may endanger the larch. What larch really hate is a cold snap after some warm weather, just what you may be providing with indoor storage. That is why you want to be very careful about the amount of sun intensity you wind up with in your structure. This is why the suggestion about an opaque material like solexx, instead of glass or clear. I have an exhaust fan in mine that has a simple on/off temperature control to keep it from heating up too much in the winter. With winter storage of trees, you have to think about it getting too hot and breaking the dormancy of the trees almost as much if not more, as keeping them from getting too cold. So a small greenhouse heater with a fan, or just heat mats for the cold usually is enough. You may not need either in your zone. The Crape and Azalea may also be hardy in your zone, depending on what type. But I put those in my cold greenhouse over the winter here.
 

remist17

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The crab apple will not need protection, unless it's some oddball variety I don't know about, they are pretty hardy. The same most likely for the larch, is it a Japanese, or American variety? That will make a difference, as American larch are very cold hardy, Japanese not quite as much. Larch dislike very much being warm in the winter, if you keep your greenhouse/outdoor storage warm enough for the Crape Myrtle, you may endanger the larch. What larch really hate is a cold snap after some warm weather, just what you may be providing with indoor storage. That is why you want to be very careful about the amount of sun intensity you wind up with in your structure. This is why the suggestion about an opaque material like solexx, instead of glass or clear. I have an exhaust fan in mine that has a simple on/off temperature control to keep it from heating up too much in the winter. With winter storage of trees, you have to think about it getting too hot and breaking the dormancy of the trees almost as much if not more, as keeping them from getting too cold. So a small greenhouse heater with a fan, or just heat mats for the cold usually is enough. You may not need either in your zone. The Crape and Azalea may also be hardy in your zone, depending on what type. But I put those in my cold greenhouse over the winter here.


So after some thinking I might make a cold box for the more hardy ones and keep the crape in the barn which does not get all that cold.
 

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