I do want to point out that people that put them in stupid places shouldn't be counted as a negative for greenhouses. thats a negative for people.
do it once and do it right
find (a) simple solutions (b) to overlooked problems (c) that actually need to be solved, and (d) deliver them as informally as possible, (e) starting with a very crude version 1, then (f) iterating rapidly...if you release a crude version 1 then iterate, your solution can benefit from the imagination of nature, which, as Feynman pointed out, is more powerful than your own.
paul wheaton wrote:
I had mountains of tomatoes in missoula. A 90 day growing season which was dramatically extended by the use of raised beds.
Paul recall your HT chicken article experience
consider not offering any hard rules about this!
However, if making hard rules, I would say the south gets way too hot most of the time, even in winter, so that must be considered and addressed, and in the north it still can get too cold so that needs to be considered.
I therefore think season extender is the best use for a GH since you get something and are less likely to bet the whole winter food supply on things working properly. However I am not pricing this out- if a GH is cheap any benefit is worth it, if it's expensive (as mine was in England) I paid a good bit for growing my own/ extending my growing season.
the best, most versatile greenhouse I've seen is a greenhouse/sunroom attached to a house. The greehouse was cobbled together from salvaged windows, and had a dirt floor with gravel. There was a big door between the house and greenhouse that could be left open, and the hosue was heated with a wood stove (about 12 feet from this door), and the main floor had a cement floor that held the woodstove heat very nicely--there were cement bricks stacked around the stove which conducted the heat down to the floor more.
THe greenhouse was attached to the east side of the house)it may be more SE), and the guys grew tomatos and bell peppers in there--which is about all he cares to grow. I'd say the GH is about 12 x 20'? The GH extends his harvest into December, and he overwinters some plants some years. He may have grow lamps(I visit his house every year on an art tour, I'll have to peek and see--the PNW is notorious for lack of sun)
This is in the Coast Range of Oregon, at about 1000'. So I'd say his set up is a success adn I would like to do something like it someday. The house is small, and the GH is a nice place to sit as well(sunroom), and I think letting it get open to the house heat from the woodstove helps.
He grows the plants in 5-gallon buckets or half barrels in the GH.
I really like the idea of having a greenhouse/sunroom kind of thing attached to the house.
I wish I lived where you do but you could not have a viable garden in my area without a greenhouse. Snow on July fourth is not unheard of. This year first frost was in July. In your area perhaps a greenhouse is uneccessary but we are not all fortunate to live under ideal growing circumstances. You can't paint with such a broad brush. Greenhouses suck in some areas and are an ideal solution in others. Cloches and groundcover cloths are also a must have for me. One season in my area and your position would perhaps be different.
paul wheaton wrote:
And, I have to wonder why folks would have a greenhouse in the south. Maybe there is something particularly delicate that somebody wants to grow as a hobby or as a niche crop.
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