Now this is just a brainstorm because I am very unlikely to ever be able to get enough material to create this idea. (Unless I raid a recycling facility several times!)
I just saw a kid craft for making an igloo out of milk jugs and my mind took a sideways jump. What about making an igloo greenhouse out of 2 liter jugs? Fill the jugs up to a certain level with dirt, and then above that with water. The natural gaps between bottles would provide ventilation during the warms seasons and during cold seasons a layer of clear plastic would provide a frost/freeze barrier. Maybe two layers, one outside and one inside. The filled bottles would provide thermal mass to remain warm and keep the greenhouse warm.
I already use 5 gallon oil jugs filled with water as thermal mass in my small greenhouse. I end up with a total of 100 gallons. Painting black helps them gain more heat. But painting wouldn't work for this idea, unless you paint the ones that you fill with soil.
Anyways, any thoughts? modifications? Glue ideas that are not hot glue?
Yes, milk jug plastic does break down rather quickly. That's why I was looking at two liter bottles. I've used those for thermal mass in a different greenhouse. They lasted three years with no visible decay before I took that greenhouse down. I'm really thinking about trying to collect them again for this one since the oil jugs are made of the same plastic that milk jugs are made of - and break down just as easily.
I've seen those. And the basic idea is good if you don't get a freeze. But if you have a tendency to freezes then the "double wall" isn't enough to stop damage. That's why I was thinking 2 liters filled on their side would be better. They would provide most of the wall, and the thermal mass, to counteract a freeze.
I guess I may just have to see if I can gather enough to build a small greenhouse igloo this winter and see how it does.
Oh the hothouses get too hot here once you hit the end of April/beginning of May. Although the water as thermal mass can help with that.
My 8 x 10 plastic greenhouse is in a spot where during winter it gets full sun and during summer it's partial shade in order to help mediate the temps. I've also got a shade cloth that I'll be rigging this year to help for deep summer. Eventually I'll get it all worked out.
I may just do it as a single bed project this winter to see what happens.
I am working on one, (a small one for the deck) to keep my tomatoes and pepper plants in till it's warm enough for the ground. My plants, well some of them are approaching 18 inches tall now and our window ledge is getting too crowded. They will all have to be repotted "again" before I set them in the garden beds. Starting to look almost like the ones they sell as patio tomato plants already and they are only a month old now. I pray they continue to grow this well once in the raised beds. If so, I am going to have lot's of nice tomatoes from them. I am impressed at how well this year's plants are doing. It's Barry's recipe for tomato food I think.
I don't have enough water jugs to do what you are suggesting tho. It's a good thought tho, but probably wouldn't last too long. Too bad you can't find the old glass bottles. They would last a lot longer and do the same thing.
In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9
I'm fortunate that our weather is allowing for early, early planting.
But two liters soda bottles hold up to weather amazingly well. You might want to try them. I've used them in frosts to surround a plant and keep the temp up enough that the plant came through undamaged.
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