I would like to be able to grow salad greens (or other things if possible) through the winter on my property. There are challenges though that might limit success.
1. North facing property. The sun occasionally comes up over the southern ridge, but rarely.
2. Lots and lots of rain in winter and cold wind.
Potential Benefits of circumstances:
1. Rarely freezes with temps ranging between 25-60 in winter, average 50 daytime, 40 nights.
2. Rarely any snow.
3. Vegetation tends to grow virtually year around.
I'm wondering if a small wofatigreenhouse would work to grow salad greens throughout the winter and then hot plants (peppers, tomatoes, etc) during the summer? Summers are cool with a breeze and temps around 70 all summer long.
There is a flat area just above the site where I plan to put in my dugout shelter this summer. The slant of the wofati roof would face up hill toward the south.
1. Would salad greens grow during the winter in indirect light (its light out but no direct sunlight most of the time) if this structure could keep the soil and ambient temp inside theoretically warmer?
2. Is there anything else that might grow in such conditions during the winter?
3. Without direct sunlight does it matter where the cold frame is located or should it be located facing the south to capture any light possible?
My regular garden plot down below the shelter site goes under water each winter so anything I put there is only seasonal. I've thought about a floating greenhouse but that might draw issues with the State and/or with nosey fisherman, tourists, etc. Plus there is no additional light to be had down there anyway. Plus + there would be potential issues with beaver and otters and e-coli, etc.
I'm really trying to explore additional ways to prolong my growing season (9A). I'm near the ocean (about 1 mile by crow) but really in a kind of microclimate in my cove, protected on all sides by high, steep ridges. I avoid the lower temps in both winter and summer that are seen just a mile or two further inland. Growing is really great in summers, but not so much success for tomatoes or peppers (yet).
Just wondering if a wofati greenhouse in these conditions would be worth the trouble?
Most people in the PNW figure they need more glazing than is required in sunny but cold places. The clouds tend to bounce the light around. Have you read the info on permies about the Chinese Greenhouse? https://permies.com/wiki/143395/Chinese-Greenhouse-Dan-Chiras#1122372 It's not exactly Wofati, but it is earth bermed and gives some good ideas about having internal thermal mass to help with temperature swings and decrease the risk of freezing.
I'm further north than you, and even with following some of the ideas in that book, I doubt I could effectively grow greens without some supplemental light to extend the day length and compensate for the weeks of cloud we typically get. If I grew the plants late summer and was just trying to "hold" them until I wanted to eat them, I'd have more luck, but that means that I can't be growing my tomatoes in the same space when I need them to be ripening. People talk a lot about "winter gardening" in my region, but I've got a shady property and I've had minimal luck with the concept - the plants grow too slowly compared to slugs, bugs, chickens and people who want to eat them! A greenhouse would help with some of the issues, but even one of our fairly big greenhouse farmers, shuts down from the solstice to mid-Feb.
Aside: Have you considered sprouts? Fresh greens that rely on the stores of the seed, rather than the sun.
Hi Isaac. I just ordered Mike's Underground bundle so I feel like I can give some input. While being on a North facing slope, you can still get light and air in all sides of your WOFATI, using 1 of 13 building techniques. Your uphill patio can be transformed into your greenhouse.
As far as what to grow in indirect light, Id give all the brassicas a try while using perennials to create the soil structure.
Geoff Lawton's Greening the Desert Project
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