Greenhouse design for Tallahassee Fl

I’m planning on a year round salad greenhouse for Tallahassee Florida and was looking for a good design. I will need to have raised beds on tables so I don’t have to bend down. I found this design on line and altered it with flip up sides to let air in and heat out during hot temps and planned on having chicken wire under the flaps to keep birds out. Planned on salads, onions, garlic, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, spinach and pepper for the most part. Greenhouse will be for 2 people eating salads maybe 2-4 times a week +/-.

I know they have strong storms and high winds and was wondering if they use polyethylene clear plastic sheets or clear polycarbonate corrugated panels in Florida?

Would there be any techniques to cool the greenhouse during the hot months? I don’t mind the initial construction cost as much as longevity and giving me a good work environment inside. I don’t want to add a monthly cost to run a ac unit since I will be on a monthly budget, could earth tubes work?



I’ve got a cheap option for that climate. Build a support structure. Cover it 100% or nearly so with 50% polypropylene shade cloth. The kind I have is woven but they make knit. Lots of choices in shade cloth.

Then in winter cover that with a single layer of clear 6 mil 4yr UV resistant greenhouse poly. There are plenty of good attachment options that are easy to remove.

Summer just have the 50% shade cloth. That will cool the GH some. In winter have both or just the clear poly. I’d probably try both.

Attachment systems like wiggle wire will hold down the poly and shade cloth either by themselves or both on at once.

Cheap. easy, and versitile.


You probably need to check locally as it relates to building codes and hurricane wind loads. I know many parts of Florida require sheds and other structures to comply with these codes in order to minimize the potential of flying debris during a hurricane.

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Never thought of that, that’s why I thought most would go with a plastic instead of corrugated, the plastic would just rip and maybe leave the structure along where if I build it with corrugated maybe it would tare the structure up as well. Easier to replace plastic then the whole structure.

Greenhouse poly is pretty tough. The structure is likely to go before the poly if it’s attached well. If you need something tougher go with the woven poly. That’s what I’m using now. I could walk on the top of my greenhouse.


I really want an enclosed greenhouse and will continue looking for a way to cool it during the summer to keep a low monthly income, I really think passive earth tubes should work if the property is high and dry, I just have to find someone that has done it successively. I also seen where people have small aquatic ponds inside to help cool the greenhouse. I was going to raised my own minnows for fishing so this might work for me. I thought about burying a water tank and circulating the pond water with a pump so the ground could cool the water?

If I went with a polycarbonate corrugated panel for the top and sides what color could act as a shade cloth and would it be good enough or would I still possibly need shade cloth?

Greenhouse roof

I’d go with the lightly frosted polycarb. Say the solarsoft 85 This diffuses the light which is a real advantage. The colored ones might throw off the light spectrum.

You’d still need 50% shade cloth over the polycarb to reduce heat level. Even with the shade cloth it’s going to be 10-15F warmer inside than out. Just shade cloth in summer like I suggested above would be about ambient inside, ie 10-15 cooler than an enclosed structure.

I think FL is too warm to be thinking about earth tubes for summer cooling. The deep soil is too warm. Earth tubes would work well in winter for heating. No in summer for cooling.

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