Saturday, April 19, 2008

Pit Greenhouse Plans

Here are the current plans for my pit greenhouse. I've been working with this basic design for over a year. I've looked at many other designs before deciding on this basic idea.

I got a lot of my information from
"Building a Solar-Heated Pit Greenhouse" by Greg Stone.

Websites that helped me immensely were:
(this was by far the best information I found on the internet!!!)

Here are some other designs I've considered and why I didn't choose them:
  • The Earth Sheltered Solar Greenhouse Book by Mike Oehler and other "cold sink" greenhouse plans.... Though I like their ideas, enjoyed Mike's book and learned an ton from him, it is important for me to have an area for a table and chairs to hang out in, especially during our long winters. And I don't have a hill to work with.
  • Above ground greenhouses.... Because our winters are so long and cold plus we have high winds here most of the year I decided that I had to have a pit greenhouse to protect and store heat. Though I prefer the look of the classic above ground greenhouse I would spend too much time and energy heating it in the winter.
  • Attached greenhouse.... no where to attach one. Though that would have been my preference so I could go from house to greenhouse without shoes. My house just isn't situated in a way that gave us a nice southern exposure.
I will keep posting changes I make along the way.

And..... WE BROKE GROUND YESTERDAY!!!! April 18, 2008 we started digging on the "pit" part of our greenhouse.

If you look closely you will see the clothesline to the left. It will be removed tomorrow. Also to the left and behind the clothesline you can just see a grouping of livestock water tanks. We had 4 old tanks with holes in the bottoms... so my middle son drilled tons of holes in the bottoms, we filled them 1/3 full of soil from the bottom of our pit, then filled full with organic potting soil.

The reasons behind using these is simple. One, I have 5 dogs that just love to run through, dig in and walk on my gardens. Two, I live out in the country and have a million rabbits (which my dogs will chase through the garden). And three, I wanted to use organic soil without weed seeds. Not to mention gardening at waist high is easier on the back. Yesterday I planted spinach, lettuce and carrots. I am starting some peppers, cucumbers, zucchini and others in seed flats in the garage tomorrow under grow lights.