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Grnhouse Advice needed for starting from scratch with a greenhouse for zone 4
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    3,403

    Advice needed for starting from scratch with a greenhouse for zone 4

    Starting this thread because I'm a little overwhelmed by all the choices and possibilities. I want to build a greenhouse that heats itself as much as possible - with perhaps the potential of adding a rocket stove.

    Here's what I've thought of so far -

    1. I hit clay/rocks at about 18" to 24" down, depending on exactly where I might put this. I'm thinking of digging down that far for sure - with the possibility of digging (it would be hard work, for sure) one part even further down, to be a cold sink.

    2. So, right now, rather than a hoop house, I'm thinking of a steeply sloped south wall, perpendicular to the winter sun angle.

    3. I'm considering the idea of digging more than the footprint of the greenhouse, but also to the north, and laying in 4" drainage pipe - curving back and forth - with each end opening into the actual greenhouse. Then, as I dig, I would cover that north side with the soil I remove from the rest of it. Is that stupid? I'm trying to get a little geothermal heat going. There would have to be two fans - probably run by batteries/solar panels for pushing & sucking to get a circular air flow going through the pipes.

    4. I've considered the idea of somehow incorporating a compost/manure pile also. Maybe instead of piling soil on the north side??????? I also saw a video of a greenhouse in the Yukon, which used manure in a big raised "pit" in the center of the greenhouse. They had a lot of animals, though. I have access to horse manure from my friend, but otherwise, just plant materials.

    5. My hubby has been learning about rocket stoves, so perhaps we would incorporate something like that - but I wouldn't want to give up TOO much room for that.

    6. As for actual structure of the thing - just no idea. Old windows from Habitat Restore? Wood frame covered with polycarbonate? Wood frame covered by two layers of plastic sheeting (with air in between?)

    There is too much information, and I'm getting overwhelmed to the point of not knowing where to start. If you were starting from scratch, what would you do? Or, if you could remake some aspect of the greenhouse you already have, what would you do?
    Check out my one-of-a-kind jewelry on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/EvenTheStones
    and Blog: http://eventhestones.blogspot.com/

    Psalm 37:3-4 Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    3,403
    Or maybe I'll just wind up using this thread to gather even MORE info. Ack.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=cvMi6hgfcnw
    Check out my one-of-a-kind jewelry on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/EvenTheStones
    and Blog: http://eventhestones.blogspot.com/

    Psalm 37:3-4 Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    3,403
    One more question for you all who know about such things. For my area, the minimum solar altitude is 22.3 degrees for maybe three days, December 20-22. Do you angle the south side for that minimum? Or do you kind of do an average of the winter?
    Check out my one-of-a-kind jewelry on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/EvenTheStones
    and Blog: http://eventhestones.blogspot.com/

    Psalm 37:3-4 Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

  4. #4
    I don't know the math of such things, but since the sun starts giving more heat as it starts back upward in the sky, and accounting for winter temperature lag after solstice, I'd probably use an angle about 2/3 of the way down to solstice angle from optimum angle for shedding rain and snow.

    For my own area here in Arkansas, I probably wouldn't worry about the angle and just slope it enough to shed snow and ice. I HATE dragging my head on parts of the greenhouse ceiling!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    "outside the box"
    Posts
    30,352
    I too hope to construct one in the near-ish term so, I'll be watching your thread

    These are not suggestions as much as they are questions...

    A couple of things that I have in the back of my mind-

    would it be efficient to dig down 3 (or more) feet to make use of geothermal heat?

    Could a chicken coop comprise part of the greenhouse (in the Winter) as they give off a good bit of heat?

  6. #6
    A chicken coop could be against one wall of a greenhouse, but then it would be cruel if those hens could see all the green stuff during bare winter, and not be able to get to it.

  7. #7
    8 Keys to Growing in Winter in an Unheated Greenhouse (Hoop House)


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jtw7pnqFeS4


    OYR Frugal & Sustainable Organic Gardening
    Published on Jan 10, 2016
    Today I share our 8 keys to growing in winter in an unheated greenhouse. Though there are other methods that also work well, Iíll focus specifically on what we do.

    "Four Season Harvest" by Eliot Coleman: http://amzn.to/2a7jV9R
    "The Winter Harvest Handbook" by Eliot Coleman: http://amzn.to/2ahjPiR
    "The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener" by Niki Jabour: http://amzn.to/2a7ksbJ
    6 mil Greenhouse Plastic: http://amzn.to/2a7jxIl

    If you shop on Amazon, you can support OYR simply by clicking this link (bookmark it too) before shopping: http://www.amazon.com/?tag=oneya-20

    1) Grow with the Season 0:16
    2) Grow in the Sun 1:00
    3) Grow Under Cover 1:37
    4) Grow in the Ground 2:30
    5) Grow in Sucession 2:59
    6) Vent to Avoid Overheating 3:40
    7) Water Only When Needed 4:59
    8) Don't Harvest Greens When They're Frozen 5:37

    Crops we're growing now for a winter harvest:

    Under One Layer of Protection
    Claytonia
    Dandelion Greens
    French Sorrel
    Giant Red Mustard Greens
    Good King Henry
    Mache
    Mustard Greens
    Perpetual Spinach
    Sea Kale
    Sunchokes
    Tatsoi
    Tree Collards

    Two Layers of Protection
    Chives
    Claytonia
    Dandelion Greens
    Dinosaur Kale
    Egyptian Walking Onions
    Endive
    Garlic Chives
    Georgia Collards
    Giant Red Mustard Greens
    Italian Dandelion Greens
    Lettuce (Black Seeded Simpson)
    Lettuce (Romaine)
    Mache
    Minutina
    Mustard Greens
    Parsley
    Perpetual Spinach
    Fordhook Giant Swiss Chard
    Red Veined Sorrel
    Spinach
    Tatsoi
    Tree Collards
    Vates Kale

    OYR is all about growing a lot of food on a little land using sustainable organic methods, while keeping costs and labor at a minimum. Emphasis is placed on improving soil quality with compost and mulch. No store-bought fertilizers, soil amendments, pesticides, compost activators, etc. are used.

    Hoop House Build: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...







    A greenhouse in my unheated garage zone 4 ē HelpfulGardener.com ...

    https://www.helpfulgardener.com/foru...ic.php?t=65449


    Sep 23, 2015 - A greenhouse in my unheated garage zone 4 Hello. It is getting time that my kazillions of flowers are going to freeze. I'm pretty sure I will literally ..

  8. #8
    How I Built Our DIY Hoop House (Greenhouse), pt. 1: Framing


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_yg...9uH2eY&index=4



    OYR Frugal & Sustainable Organic Gardening
    Published on Nov 8, 2015
    The framing for our new hoop house is now complete, and later this month when temperatures fall below freezing, Iíll cover the hoop house with 6 mil greenhouse plastic to protect crops from the cold. Today Iíll share how I built the wood and PVC framing. Iíll focus mostly on the design and basic construction, rather than get bogged down in measurements and other details that are specific to our project.

    "Four Season Harvest" by Eliot Coleman: http://amzn.to/2a4HDJB
    "The Winter Harvest Handbook" by Eliot Coleman: http://amzn.to/2a7EyFI

    If you shop on Amazon, you can support OYR simply by clicking this link (bookmark it too) before shopping: http://www.amazon.com/?tag=oneya-20

    Table of Contents
    1. Basic Design 0:25
    2. Construction Basics 1:23
    3. Building the Endwalls 2:15
    4. Building the Sidewall 5:37
    5. Installing Hoop Pipes 6:29
    6. Adding Purlins 8:16
    7. Final Touches 8:58
    8. What's Next 9:42

    OYR is all about growing a lot of food on a little land using sustainable organic methods, while keeping costs and labor at a minimum. Emphasis is placed on improving soil quality with compost and mulch. No store-bought fertilizers, soil amendments, pesticides, compost activators, etc. are used.

    Source: "The Winter Harvest Handbook" by Eliot Coleman

    Featured Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...
    Category
    Howto & Style

    ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    How I Built Our DIY Hoop House (Greenhouse), pt. 2: Door & Plastic Cover



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvcW...9uH2eY&index=5



    OYR Frugal & Sustainable Organic Gardening
    Published on Nov 22, 2015
    It was a race against the clock, but we fortunately completed our hoop house just before our first snowfall. And our cold hardy crops are thriving under protection. Today I show how I covered the hoop house with plastic.

    "Four Season Harvest" by Eliot Coleman: http://amzn.to/2a7jV9R
    "The Winter Harvest Handbook" by Eliot Coleman: http://amzn.to/2ahjPiR
    "The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener" by Niki Jabour: http://amzn.to/2a7ksbJ
    6 mil Greenhouse Plastic: http://amzn.to/2a7jxIl

    If you shop on Amazon, you can support OYR simply by clicking this link (bookmark it too) before shopping: http://www.amazon.com/?tag=oneya-20

    0:07 - Opening remarks
    0:27 - How I built the hoop house door
    0:53 - Changes to the framing
    2:26 - Preparing the hoops for the plastic covering
    3:14 - Covering the endwalls with plastic
    5:47 - Hanging the door and securing the plastic on the door and door frame
    7:06 - Covering the top of the hoop house with greenhouse film
    8:36 - The finished hoop house
    8:54 - Closing remarks

    OYR is all about growing a lot of food on a little land using sustainable organic methods, while keeping costs and labor at a minimum. Emphasis is placed on improving soil quality with compost and mulch. No store-bought fertilizers, soil amendments, pesticides, compost activators, etc. are used.

    Featured Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...


    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////


    How Much Our DIY Hoop House (Greenhouse) Cost




    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddsQ...9uH2eY&index=6



    OYR Frugal & Sustainable Organic Gardening
    Published on Dec 6, 2015
    I had hoped to talk about the total cost of our hoop house construction in my last update but I ran out of time. So, today I thought Iíd revisit that topic and also talk about possible design changes you might consider if youíre thinking of building a similar hoop house.

    "Four Season Harvest" by Eliot Coleman: http://amzn.to/2a7jV9R
    "The Winter Harvest Handbook" by Eliot Coleman: http://amzn.to/2ahjPiR
    "The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener" by Niki Jabour: http://amzn.to/2a7ksbJ
    6 mil Greenhouse Plastic: http://amzn.to/2a7jxIl

    If you shop on Amazon, you can support OYR simply by clicking this link (bookmark it too) before shopping: http://www.amazon.com/?tag=oneya-20

    OYR is all about growing a lot of food on a little land using sustainable organic methods, while keeping costs and labor at a minimum. Emphasis is placed on improving soil quality with compost and mulch. No store-bought fertilizers, soil amendments, pesticides, compost activators, etc. are used.

    Spreadsheet of all materials and costs: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/...

    Featured Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...
    Category
    Howto & Style

  9. #9
    Wiggle Wire & Double Layer Greenhouses



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2fs6zx_a9Q


    Bright Agrotech
    Published on Dec 11, 2013
    In this video, Dr. Nate Storey of Bright Agrotech discusses how double layer poly greenhouses work with wiggle wire and wiggle wire channel. See more: http://brightagrotech.com/wiggle-wire...

  10. #10
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZD_3_gsgsnk

    Green house in the snow, http://www.greenhouseinthesnow.com/index.html

    no heat, grow tropical plants all year long if wanted to,

  11. #11

  12. #12
    If that half buried greenhouse in the above picture is in a place that gets snow or ice, I'd want it to have a much steeper roof.

    That said, I can almost taste those greens growing on the right side of the picture!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    3,403
    Just found this series. This, for sure, is what I'm working toward with my food forest & garden (two separate entities at the moment). The final video is the greenhouse, which is in Calgary (our zone 3 - warmer than you'd expect because of the way the mountains are). Their design makes sense, but still wondering about incorporating heating by compost and/or geothermal means. Not sure if I'd actually accomplish the geothermal heating with the digging I could do by hand. Realistically, I'm not going to get down that far. My thought was to dig down, but then pile up on the north side, with earth and/or compost.

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...wX-Tz8AA1vhtFh (this is a playlist of their permaculture homestead in the middle of Calgary).
    Check out my one-of-a-kind jewelry on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/EvenTheStones
    and Blog: http://eventhestones.blogspot.com/

    Psalm 37:3-4 Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

  14. #14
    The ground will take about 18 inches of chip or similar a year. It costs.

    All the berries taste great but do not give fill like potatoes and other root vegetables. Where I live everything has to be covered to keep the wildlife and birds out.

    Where is your protein crop? Like, say chicken eggs? Sure one can get by on potatoes plus butter but a lot of potatoes.

    Building the soil organic level up is slow and expensive. Go with big water tanks.

    So think protein and carbs!

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