The Earth-Sheltered Solar Greenhouse Book teaches you how to design and build a greenhouse that is six times more effective than the common greenhouse.
Most greenhouses rise up into the air where they lose heat at night and in the winter from four sides and the roof while gaining heat from just the earthen floor. The greenhouses described in this book overcome this problem by snuggling from three to eight feet deep where the sun’s heat is absorbed by the earth on four sides, and the floor, to be released at night and during the winter days. The sixth side is the thermo-pane glazing that admits far more heat during the day than it looses at night making it also a huge heating plus. Located on the Canadian border in a Idaho mountain valley at 2,000 foot elevation these greenhouses have taken tomatoes into the second week of December year after year and hardies like kale and cabbage clear through the winter without any supplemental heat. They aren’t still growing, but they are still alive and harvestable.
Conversely, on really hot summer days when your plants would otherwise be wilting, perhaps dying in the heat of an above ground greenhouse, the earth around your super earth-sheltered unit is absorbing the heat it needs to radiate out at night. If the ambient air is 100 degrees Fahrenheit then the walls of the old fashioned greenhouse are going to be 100 degrees also. But the wall of your earth-sheltered prize could be as low as sixty degrees in the early morning and probably not over eighty even on the hottest of afternoons. Some strategically located automatic vents and a pull-over sun shades for the glazing on the hottest days are all that’s needed to generally keep your plants happy.
Though your greenhouse may be built with a number of different materials Author Mike Oehler recommends his PSP (post-shoring-polyethylene) method which can incorporate both salvaged material and material off the land itself. The book takes the reader through the PSP system step-by-step which makes it simple for any do-it-yourselfer to follow. Countryside Magazine called both the designs and the PSP system, “Revolutionary…innovative and ingenious…a totally different concept. In its way it is both as simple and as amazingly ingenious as a paperclip.”
The Earth-Sheltered Solar Greenhouse Book explains how to best capture and store the sun’s heat; how to utilize gravity to keep your plants warm in the winter; how to make up for poor sunlight free of cost; how to vent automatically without power; when to use heat tubes and when not; what’s the best glazing for your project; where to use insulation to wonderful effect—and where to absolutely avoid it; how to custom design a greenhouse you or your carpenter can build that is perfect for your particular climate and needs; where to find free building materials; how to use a root cellar in tandem with the greenhouse: which critters are good for your plants and which need to be eliminated organically; plus the benefits of poultry and rabbits living in your greenhouse.
The book is 230 pages and has almost 200 illustrations, diagrams, photos, charts, lists and drawings. It contains all the information needed to free you from the herbicide, pesticide, fungicide, waxed, genetically modified, irradiated, E-coli laden supermarket produce.
The Earth-Sheltered Solar Greenhouse Book is in its fourth printing, second edition. It won the Nautilus Book Award in 2008.
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