Greenhouse side curtains
We just finished installing our greenhouse side curtains on our geothermal heat sink project. Typically a greenhouse will have sides that roll up to allow ventilation and excess heat to be removed. Our Zimmerman High Tunnel kit is designed differently.
Our greenhouse side curtains are entirely different. They attach along the sides near the bottom of the greenhouse. When the sides are opened the curtain drops towards the ground from the hip board.
This picture below shows an open side curtain during the install process. These is a side pocket on each end that prevents wind from blowing around the ends of the curtains.
How the side curtain operates
The operation of the side curtains to open and close is quite simple. Through the use of a counter weight and winch one person and open and close the side curtain. A length of cable runs from the winch on one end of the greenhouse, along the hip board, to a counter weight at the opposite of the greenhouse,
At the top of the top of the greenhouse side curtain is a hemmed pocket along the entire length. Through that hem is length of pipe. A small hole was made through the side curtain below the pipe approximately every 6 feet. one end of a length of line is put through the hole and tied off around the pipe and curtain material. the other end of the put through a pulley and then crimped onto the cable running between the winch and counter weight.
As the cable is let out from the winch the curtain is lowered. To raise the side curtain you simply operate the winch and bring in the cable.
Why a drop down greenhouse side curtain?
There are two reasons why I like the idea of a greenhouse side curtain like the one on the Zimmerman greenhouse kit. By lowering the curtain towards the ground instead of from the ground up there are two advantages.
When the side curtain is open, the opening is at the top and not at the ground level as is typical for most greenhouses. This allows the gardener to vent excess heat from closer to the peak of the greenhouse. This could be particularly advantageous for tall plants that are grown vertically.
The second advantage is in helping to keep critters out of the greenhouse. In the typical greenhouse when the side curtain rolls up from the bottom all nature of animals can easily get into the greenhouse. Our side curtains are always secured at the bottom, making it more difficult for unwanted pests and animals to get inside.