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I am looking at installing a hoop style cover over our broken pool to convert it into a greenhouse. I need to know what to cover it with and where to find it. Preferably not horribly expensive since I have 8 kids and 2 mortgages and limited funds......Hence the greenhouse to grow some of our food and become a little more self sufficient. The greenhouse will be 70'x40'.

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6 mil poly film is about as inexpensive as you can get.  Recommend anticondensation coating.  See farmtek.com as a source of both the film and a summary of your choices for various types of covering. 

PS  I think anyone considering a pool project like you are might also want to see http://gardenpool.org/ if you have not already.

Thanks Paul for your responce. Gardenpool is where I got the idea from.  Mine will include the entire fenced area as well so it will be a bit bigger. But I thought it was an awesome idea.

Does the poly come with the anticondensation coating or is that something I can get at farm.tek also?

Dana, they offer versions with or without the coating; it's not something that you apply yourself.  See their website.  Get the version with the coating.  Otherwise you get lots moisture collecting on the interior side of the film.

I would check your local greenhouse growers. What they consider scrap left over after covering a mega GH will often do and they sell it cheap. I got a 25x50' "scrap" for 25.00. (about a 250.00 piece) You are going a bit on the ambitious side so exp to spend some $$$.

Btw, on very cold nights here in the mountains that condensation will freeze on the inside and protect the GH from radiant cooling. The morning "rain" won't hurt a thing. We get to 20F below zero here in NE TN so it really makes a big difference. On normal days we don't see much condensation.

Paul Trudeau said:

Dana, they offer versions with or without the coating; it's not something that you apply yourself.  See their website.  Get the version with the coating.  Otherwise you get lots moisture collecting on the interior side of the film.

Thanks Jim. I live in central PA. We haven't been here long so I will have to do some digging into greenhouse growers. I'm not against using scraps. We set aside some of our tax return for this project. I am expecting it to cost a bit and am just trying to get the biggest bang for my buck. I scour craigslist and freecycle for anything free or cheap that I can use. Ambitious project......right up my alley! It should be an adventure for sure. The kids and I are super excited. 

Did you just call greenhouse growers asking if they had any leftover scraps of greenhouse poly they would be willing to sell?

Hi Dana...I volunteer with Garden Pool, we use Clear Heavy Duty Tarps (from tarpaflex.com) in the Winter (they are string reinforced and have grommets every 18") and then we switch to 40% white shade cloth (from greenhousemegastore.com) in the Summer.

I would get a list of local growers from Google or the like and then visit them and ask (and check out their GH as well and learn) . Ours came from a GH facility that was selling off items on CList. We actually saw the pile of scraps and asked them. They were thrilled to get rid of it. Real 6mil GH cover is amazingly tough. No comparison to regular clear poly. You might have to seam a piece that large at a center rafter or such. Our GH is 24x24 but the "grow" side is 2/3rds+ while the fish are in a metal roofed section on the N side (about 6' x 24' with 5 IBC FTs and the buried sump) with every third roof panel white translucent panels for subdued Sun over the trout. We scrounged nearly everything in our system sans things like the pond pump but even that was a bargain, $70, from Overstock.com Saved about $75 right there.

I may have missed it but where are you located and how cold does it get in Winter?
Dana Choate said:

Thanks Jim. I live in central PA. We haven't been here long so I will have to do some digging into greenhouse growers. I'm not against using scraps. We set aside some of our tax return for this project. I am expecting it to cost a bit and am just trying to get the biggest bang for my buck. I scour craigslist and freecycle for anything free or cheap that I can use. Ambitious project......right up my alley! It should be an adventure for sure. The kids and I are super excited. 

Did you just call greenhouse growers asking if they had any leftover scraps of greenhouse poly they would be willing to sell?

I love the idea of visiting the green houses. I am going to do that. Most of the GH's I have seen around here don't have poly covers, they are framed in glass or the corrugated hard plastic type stuff. But I am going to check around to see what I can find. Thanks for the advice.

I live in central PA. This winter has been a little colder than normal. We got down to -4 a couple of nights and low's in the teens during the day sometimes. I am planning on building a rocket heater for winter. I get plenty of free scrap wood so I think that would be the best way to go for heating in the winter.

Jim Fisk said:

I would get a list of local growers from Google or the like and then visit them and ask (and check out their GH as well and learn) . Ours came from a GH facility that was selling off items on CList. We actually saw the pile of scraps and asked them. They were thrilled to get rid of it. Real 6mil GH cover is amazingly tough. No comparison to regular clear poly. You might have to seam a piece that large at a center rafter or such. Our GH is 24x24 but the "grow" side is 2/3rds+ while the fish are in a metal roofed section on the N side (about 6' x 24' with 5 IBC FTs and the buried sump) with every third roof panel white translucent panels for subdued Sun over the trout. We scrounged nearly everything in our system sans things like the pond pump but even that was a bargain, $70, from Overstock.com Saved about $75 right there.

I may have missed it but where are you located and how cold does it get in Winter?
Dana Choate said:

Thanks Jim. I live in central PA. We haven't been here long so I will have to do some digging into greenhouse growers. I'm not against using scraps. We set aside some of our tax return for this project. I am expecting it to cost a bit and am just trying to get the biggest bang for my buck. I scour craigslist and freecycle for anything free or cheap that I can use. Ambitious project......right up my alley! It should be an adventure for sure. The kids and I are super excited. 

Did you just call greenhouse growers asking if they had any leftover scraps of greenhouse poly they would be willing to sell?

just want to say thanks to everyone for all the great info on this thread


Thank you for the info Chris! I will take a look at those sites. Also, I would love to see some current pictures of garden pools if you have any. I have a rough sketch layout right now, but pictures are very helpful.


Chris George said:

Hi Dana...I volunteer with Garden Pool, we use Clear Heavy Duty Tarps (from tarpaflex.com) in the Winter (they are string reinforced and have grommets every 18") and then we switch to 40% white shade cloth (from greenhousemegastore.com) in the Summer.

You guys have all been so awesome! Thanks for the great info.

If you can't find the "good stuff" readily available you can use Home Depot type 6 mil poly while you search. Holds up well for me on my 8x22 GH but needs replacement every year. I used double layer on the roof and it held up to a 16" snow this year.

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