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Compost heated winter garden  RSS feed

Posts: 34
Location: West Tennessee
forest garden rabbit woodworking
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I live in zone 7 and have been kicking around a garden design idea that might allow me to grow all winter long. The basic concept is to build a garden around a hot compost pit. Below is a cross section schematic and a top view schematic.

In my design you may be able to tell that I have stones (preferably large) that are piled higher than the ground level that goes around the entire garden area and under the area. I wanted them not only for thermal mass but also as a heat exchanger/trap. I believe that as the air above the garden warms and rises away from the garden that the surrounding cold air will flow into the garden through the rocks being pre-warmed before reaching the plants. My overall hope is to create not only a warmer micro climate within the garden but also a frost resistant area as well.

Also you will notice that above the compost pile I have placed a solar cover. This could be made of many materials probably cardboard and will serve a few functions. First it will help collect and store solar heat into the compost helping keep it active. Second it will also prevent moisture loss by trapping and condensing water vapor. Not sure what other functions may apply but there will probably be others.

I believe that during the summer that this garden area will behave quite differently. I think that it may condense and collect moisture as the humid summer air flows through the rock pile. Then as the moisture evaporates it will cool the ground surface, creating a colder micro climate. I am hoping to be able to grow water loving plants from colder climate zones here as well.

I would love to hear your thoughts about this. I could not find any threads related to this concept and have a limited permaculture friend base. If you have questions or need furthure details I will be glad to answer.
[Thumbnail for winter-garden.png]
cross section
[Thumbnail for winter-garden2.png]
top view
I think I'll just lie down here for a second. And ponder this tiny ad:
The Earth Sheltered Solar Greenhouse Book by Mike Oehler - digital download
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