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How to take advantage of a black south facing wall

 
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I have a fenced off garden that butts against the south side of my home that I would like to take advantage of. I'm in zone 5b in Atlantic Canada and the wall is nearly black which will store a lot of heat. There is no topsoil in this location, just subsoil with a 3 ft border of gravel 1 to 2 feet deep (foundation gravel pad) underneath of which is landscape fabric. My home is on screw piles so I'm not concerned with roots damaging the foundation but I shouldn't dig too big a hole and disturb their stability.

I've been going back and forth with various ideas and would love to hear some of yours.
48070947-177C-4F07-AFC1-1A599F1A47E3_1_105_c.jpeg
[Thumbnail for 48070947-177C-4F07-AFC1-1A599F1A47E3_1_105_c.jpeg]
 
gardener
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Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
819
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I live in a cold climate too, much drier and further south than you, but much higher, so our winters are good and cold. I designed the house to be solar heated by a greenhouse I attach only for the winter. That's not going to work in Atlantic Canada, I guess, but anyway, here's my garden. The space with the greenhouse is open for 5-6 months of summer. I grow things that would never survive outside, like rosemary.
2019-11-16-house-with-attached-greenhouse-on-chilly-Nov-day-in-Ladakh.jpeg
Greenhouse goes on the south side of the house for winter
Greenhouse goes on the south side of the house for winter
20200828-house-with-greenouse-removed-for-summer.jpg
and greenhouse is removed for summer
and greenhouse is removed for summer
 
pollinator
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Good Morning Rebecca:  Would you mind detailing a little bit about the removable greenhouse.  We have thought for a while about doing something like that on our south facing walls here in Maine.  When its temporary that means it may be a bit flimsy and we have some snow (coastal) but we do have lots of wind.  Previously in another location we had 3 greenhouses, 1 plastic, 1 glass and 1 twin wall.  Difficult to see how any of these would work.  Thanks.
 
Rebecca Norman
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Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
819
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Ed Waters wrote:Good Morning Rebecca:  Would you mind detailing a little bit about the removable greenhouse.  We have thought for a while about doing something like that on our south facing walls here in Maine.  When its temporary that means it may be a bit flimsy and we have some snow (coastal) but we do have lots of wind.  Previously in another location we had 3 greenhouses, 1 plastic, 1 glass and 1 twin wall.  Difficult to see how any of these would work.  Thanks.



I dunno, my location can get insanely windy but it seems to hold. The current plastic has served three previous winters and still seems good. It's UV-resistant film; not as clear as I might like, but it does hold up well. The iron frame has these aluminum gutters bolted to it, and you use a zig-zag shaped long wire called a clip to hold the plastic in place. I bury the bottom edge of the plastic in a trench to hold it tight.
 
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