Stat Counter

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Book Review of "The Earth Sheltered Solar Greenhouse"

There are many advantages to having an earth sheltered greenhouse.  One of the biggest reasons is that having earth as shelter, or having a greenhouse dug into the earth helps to provide thermal heat, helping to heat the greenhouse with no output on your own part. 
This book is entirely about using earth sheltered greenhouses and using these greenhouses in ways that traditional greenhouses can't be used.  The book begins with "grow holes" which are essentially a cold frame that is partially buried.  These can be used as season extenders.  The book then goes into how to build to resist the weight of the earth on the greenhouse, as well as glazing materials and the advantages and disadvantages of different forms of glazing.  The author also goes over various types of insulation and their uses in the greenhouse.
The book also has practical examples of earth sheltered greenhouse actually being used by gardeners and farmers around the country.  These practical examples give a good idea on the kinds of environments that an earth sheltered greenhouse can come into play in.  Knowing that a greenhouse could be used to start seeds, or even to keep plants alive in the coldest weather provides a good incentive toward using the greenhouse yourself.
One of the interesting parts of the book is the use of animals in the greenhouse.  While it is known that higher CO2 levels in a greenhouse can substantially increase the amount of plant growth, animals are often frowned upon in the greenhouse because traditional greenhouse can become too warm and can harm the animals.  However, the low points of an earth sheltered greenhouse can remain relatively cool, even on bright days, and so animals and their accompanying CO2 can be incorporated into the greenhouse.
Another interesting aspect of the earth sheltered greenhouses, is the use of things like earth heating tubes, that use the natural heat of the earth to help heat the greenhouse.  Even a greenhouse with supplemental heating can benefit by being warmed much closer to the final temperature than the temperature outdoors.  Typically Earth around 8 feet down is 55 degrees Fahrenheit, and this can be used to heat a greenhouse to around the same temperature.  This is especially useful in cold areas of the country where the outside temperature can be as low as -20 degree Fahrenheit.
Overall the book is an excellent resource for those looking to build a greenhouse.  While it doesn't deal as much with growing plants in a greenhouse, it still gives basic information on plants and pests in the greenhouse and how to deal with these problems.  I think that nearly anyone who is looking to build a greenhouse should at least investigate the advantages of using an earth sheltered greenhouse.
If you are interested in the book, you can find it here.

The Earth Sheltered Solar Greenhouse
By Mike Oehler
230 pages

Live a Hands on life

No comments:

Post a Comment