Blueberries, Figs, Strawberries in Greenhouse zone 7b

I have sunshine blue, climax, premier, blue crop tif blue blueberries in ground along with olympian figs, and celeste.
Im tired of fighting jap beetles and birds. Im going to build a greenhouse around them and hang strawberries on the walls.

From what I understand all of this needs chill hours how do I go about this?
I thought I could get fruit all year round.

I think insect screen or netting for birds would be better. Bugs can definitely get into a greenhouse but then you have other issues like getting to hot, low air circulation…

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Im putting thrip netting over the frame of the green house so when I rollup the sides the barrier is there. Lady bugs will live in there instead of just flying away to my shade tree where they enjoy much more than my fruit trees.

What is your opinion on fruit growing in zone 7b in the greenhouse, the ones listed? Do I get all year fruit or am I lack production due to no chill hours?

I think unless the greenhouse is heated you’ll still have chill hours. An unheated greenhouse is only 8F warmer than outside temps per: You’ll also have to be sure to vent in the summer as it’ll magnify summer highs.

That being said, I’m also in 7b and had lows of 12 this year so 8F would have pushed that to 20F which is warm enough that I wouldn’t have had to cover my figs, clementine, gardenias, artichoke, and chilean guava. . .

I’m zone 7 in west Texas with average winter temperatures of 60/30F. I can get 2-3 times more chilling in the greenhouse than outside. Outside it seldom stays in the desirable zone for chilling, 37-48F, for very long. It’s either too cold or to warm. I enhance chilling by heating to 37F at night. So all those cold nights below 37 I’m in the best zone while outside anything below freezing equals no chilling. During the days when it often gets too warm outside I run the wet wall and large exhaust fans plus put shading over the plants. That holds inside as much as 15F cooler than outside. All this allows most of the time between 37 and 60 F inside the GH during chill cycle… I did 900 Utah hrs in 45 days this past winter.

If you don’t have a heater and wet wall the best way to get chilling would be to put 90% shade cloth over the greenhouse to keep it cool during the day. And insulate as much as possible to hold as many hrs as possible 37-48.

Anything below freezing is actually zero chilling. Avoid that. And anything above 60F in the greenhouse is actually negative chilling according to the Utah model. Many greenhouses in Z7 run below freezing at night and above 60F by day which equals no chilling.

A well equipped greenhouse is a far cry from from an unheated and poorly cooled structure.

Those blueberries require high chill hrs. They’d do better with an open structure in winter ie uncovered and exposed to outside temperatures. The figs on the other hand don’t need any chilling just a rest period. They’d do better with anything that never froze in winter.


Strawberries had lots of trouble with grey mold for me, figs too but not as bad. The sides don’t roll up, it is double layer with an exhaust and circulation fans, but the exhaust fan runs less as it gets cooler.

Only the bluecrop needs lots of chill hours. Some of the others as low as 150.

Big dose of reality with this statement. You said much and I am a beginner and want to get this right. I have a contractor designing it.

Im in Richmond Va It really dont get cold until Feb. My My tall Fescue Lawn started to go dormant few weeks ago but snapped out of it. We get a bit humid here will a wet wall work for us, google consider us sub tropic. I have looked at evaporated coolers and wet walls and it seems you get the most bang for your buck vs Portable Ac and Window units with the electrical draw but they will tackle humidity pretty good and I dont think I have much an Issue running Window units a heater However would I be making things more difficult without a foundation? Moisture from the bare ground only covered by weed barrier would surely make things colder in the winter and hotter in the summer yes?

If you never told me I would have never knew.

The Blueberries are in a row inground right in the way of where the green house will go. I want to try to make it work inside it, If I am capable of cooling with AC or wet wall if you think that works in this climate I was thinking grow my fruits all the way till the last week of January and chill all the way until 1st week of march maybe would put me at 1000 chill hours for the longest chill time blueberry the blue crop. On Cold days I can save electricity and roll up the plastic Can it work for the blueberries?

All 3 figs are inground like the blueberries will the ground temperatures effect production before I start to chill? I had figs still growing in Nov that died on the tree in december. Hoping I can keep it going.

All your help is appreciated I need it building starts shortly

Trust me I would dig it up if I didnt plan on Bringing in Raspberries

Fine netting may exclude some pests ,
But you need pollinators to be able to get in there.

“(I have a contractor designing it.)”
Does this contractor have experience building greenhouses ?

I am a big fan of passive cooling. (. With out big fans :slight_smile: …)
Large 6 ft roll up sides, large. Gabel vents . Works well in WV.
How large is this greenhouse.?

That would be my question as well. Only I’d ask if he has experience designing greenhouses. A greenhouse needs to be designed based on climate and the crops you want to grow.

Passive cooling will work and it can be automated but most greenhouses built that way require constant attention. One mistake and the crop can freeze or fry depending on the time of year.

A wet wall and exhaust fans is easily automated. Add in a good heater with thermostat and it will work all the time even when you are on vacation.

A wet wall will work in Virginia. Not as well as here but with properly sized exhaust fans it will work fine.

If you want a good greenhouse get a large greenhouse seller to design it for you. They can build wet wall or passive, automated or something that requires frequent input on your behalf. I won’t have someone build it that hasn’t done many before.


no offense I rather focus on some of the questions I have asked. Im not really looking to validate my crew or start a conversation about who to buy one from I have a whole seller less than 10 miles from me for that. I rather the conversation focus on my questions rather than everything else

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The humidity in a greenhouse will set up botrytis on your strawberries and you will lose your chill hours on the blueberries. I would rather fight birds and jap beetles than disease issues and chill hours. I have strawberries in my greenhouse now, blueberries in a cold frame for sale.

With Blueberries and Figs,that should be quite a feat.
I remember,there was a lady,who lived in South America and wanted to grow Blueberries,where there was no chill.I suggested that she get an old refrigerator and put them in that for about a month.
Making some kind of cold chamber or large box,might be easier than trying to keep a greenhouse at a certain temperature.It’s how the Zaiger’s get their fruit trees to hold off bloom,til some others can catch up,so they can cross pollinate.The thing is though,the plants will have to be in containers.

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Do you know what your rh was when this began?

What do you have your rh control set at to keep the fungus away from he strawberries?

How are you pollinating your blueberries in your cold frame?

You won’t have control over your humidity unless you have a very advanced setup. Even then you may not have control over some mildews-- there’s emerging evidence that the light spectrum shift caused by gh plastic favors mildew growth.

Point was with just roll up sides they produced strawberries in our climate.
We are talking about roll up sides, heat, air, and dehumidifying in a non commercial greenhouse for myself. we are talking whatever option available. How can it not be possible?

It be great to start talking about how to do it instead of it cant be done then I am spending the year watching people on youtube in my same zone grow the same crops
You dont need mastery, just control.

The lady bugs can handle the mites, if I need to get aggressive I have used swirskiis inside and they have completely destroyed mites in the garden every time.

Sheltered environments bring many benefits but cause problems of their own. Two Spotted Spider Mites are a big concern in greenhouses because of the combination of heat and humidity greenhouses generate (favoring them over their natural predators).

Commercial growers are likely using fungicides to keep their mildew at bay. There may be some more resistant varieties too.

Roll up sides are a good first step. It may be possible to keep mildew at bay with good ventilation, but that’s not the same as having mastery over humidity.