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Mike's passive solar greenhouse design/build

 
Posts: 133
Location: Washington DC area (zone 7a)
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@Mike, think about how you might be able to repurpose the space before demolishing it -- you might be able to make that space into something like a planting station and storage or something.  That said, it still might be better to rip it out and use it for a more beneficial purpose.  I had made a mistake like that on my own project and regret it to this day, but that is a LONG and preferably private story for offline.
 
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Mike Haasl wrote:.

I also picked up ginger and turmeric from our organic food store and have them tucked around in the beds.  We've saved all our pineapple tops and have many of them started as well.  I also realized that the piper nigrum seeds look remarkably like peppercorns.  Since none of the purchased ones came up, I planted about 50 peppercorns in the beds.  Hopefully at least one will grow.  Lastly, I found a vanilla orchid at the local greenhouse/florist and brought that home.

[/list]



I think I'm a bit jealous about these that you are attempting.  I've heard black pepper takes awhile to sprout. Ive gotten several pineapple to get growing but not to fruition. And OMG a real vanilla orchid? Are you kidding me?  I want to try this eventually but know I will have to have a greenhouse to attempt properly.

Please DO keep us updated on everything greenhouse!
 
Posts: 91
Location: Indiana
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From the top posting: One or both sides will get shredded hay mixed in to increase the Nitrogen ratio.

People should be aware that farmers growing hay use a spray application of a chemical that will even go through a cow's system and still be toxic to plants.

Make sure that your source for hay does not use chemicals (I've forgotten the name for the common chemical they use), but that the crop has NOT been sprayed with chemicals. That chemical is very, very detrimental to plants. IF in doubt ask your source people to verify that the hay is herbicide free.

Had to stop and check on that name. It is Grazon, however, that is only 1 of 3 main herbicides that are commonly used.

BUYER  BEWARE !!!
 
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Boy have I been delinquent in updating this thread.  Sorry about that!

I removed the compost bin.  Related to Jesse's concerns, I ended up using garden clean up materials for the "greens" instead of hay.  It didn't work.  When removing the bin I left the platform above it in place and supported it with a post and beam.  That eliminated catwalk modifications and the whole job was much easier:




The biggest project for the summer was building an Active Heat Battery.  I don't have it running just yet but should soon.  I know that system won't keep the greenhouse above freezing but it might keep the minimum temp at 25 instead of 20.  

I will rig up a temporary internal greenhouse under the platform for this winter to keep the potted plants alive one more year.  I have room to plant one or two of them in the ground around the edge of the temporary greenhouse (by the banana).  So in future years I might have a couple citrus in the ground, a winter warm area and the rest of the greenhouse will just have to handle going a bit below freezing.  Time to get some plants that can handle a touch of freezing.  

This summer I had a huge butternut squash volunteer covering about 400 square feet, carrots, jalapenos, a tomato, passion fruit, swiss chard, birdhouse gourds and snap peas growing.  Peppers once again had horrible aphids so I think those aren't destined to survive in my greenhouse.  The carrots are about ready to be harvested as are the butternuts.  I transplanted some kale from the garden and it's doing well.  

I need to get better at growing food in this greenhouse.  I've been in a bit of a holding pattern waiting to see if I can keep it above freezing.  Time to just move on and pick other tree/shrub crops that can live in it.  
Chunky-butternut-squash.jpg
Chunky butternut squash
Chunky butternut squash
 
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I think the curved design is great - both for strength and to allow more light inside.  Also for shedding snow.  If you would please darken the handwritten lettering in your diagram it would make it so much easier to read your drawing.  
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