December 29, 2011
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A dugout greenhouse
There are many ways to create a greenhouse space from a windowsill to a giant hoophouse. I have created a dugout greenhouse for our needs. The dugout limits side wall heat loss and takes advantage of earth warmth for frost protection. The roof system also minimizes heat loss. But there is a large reduction in solar lighting. and some supplemental light may be needed for growth needs. Note stove pipe in roofed section for additional heating. Many plants will die in prolonged periods of below 50F root zone temperatures. The roofed area over the windowed area contains 200, gallon glass jugs of water to stabilize the interior temperatures in summer as well as in winter.
south view greenhouse interior
The 48 inch walls of soil cement are topped with a concrete binder beam that the roof is connected to. All wood is redwood and cedar for resistance to rot from warm and wet conditions. The cedar was cut and milled on the property and the roof frame has held up 3 feet of wet snow! This is also a nice place to work in the winter storms. On the south end is a temporary greenhouse area that I am using as a hanger and an area for work on the FRP disk.