Looking for green house plans to build a Greenhouse in your back yard? Where do you begin?
When searching for green house plans to build a greenhouse; sustainability, organic growing, and energy efficiency are key components to consider. You can plan to utilize sustainably harvested materials for a greenhouse. You will need to learn sufficient organic growing methods in order to keep your greenhouse carbon neutral by employing solar panels for electricity, or not using electricity at all.
Sustainably harvested materials, such as yellow pine, cork, and coconut coir can help you reduce your carbon footprint. Yellow pine is a high resin wood that lasts for 8-10 years as a bottom plate without chemical sealants or additives. It can last much longer when not exposed to soil. For additional longevity, you can get thermally modified yellow pine or a number of other types of wood. Thermally modified wood has been heat treated, without the use of chemicals, to seal out moisture and sugars. This creates a truly “green” wood product that is waterproof, insect-proof, mildew and rot-resistant. Cork is another sustainably harvested material that you could use for flooring. This helps reduce the chance of slips on a wet surface, since cork provides good drainage. Coconut coir is the husk of coconut, harvested to amend and aerate soil. Coconut coir can provide a medium for starting seeds, as well as aerate soil and compost for growing plants.
No greenhouse plans where you will grow in soil are true green house plans without discussing composting or vermicomposting, this tops the list as the best way to improve your soil. Compost, also known as “black gold”, is matter that has been broken down by beneficial bacteria to a more bio-available state for your plants.
Organic growing methods utilizing composting or vermi-composting, crop rotation, companion planting are beneficial attractors that can reduce chemical buildup in your water and food supply. The key to organic growing is healthy soil, if you are considering growing in soil, balanced clean soil will allow your plants to remain healthy and produce rich, nutritious, delicious organic vegetables for you.
Vermicomposting is composting with worms. The worms help to further break down the matter (such as dead leaves, grass clippings, vegetable and fruit scraps, etc.) by digesting it. After using compost to amend your soil, you will want to rotate your crops so that you fix nitrogen into your soil one year, and follow it up with nitrogen hungry plants the next. This crop rotation keeps your plants healthy with the right nutrients, and also avoids giving any pests the chance to eat the plants they naturally eat.
For example, the cabbage looper will only eat cabbage. If you keep planting cabbage in the same spot, then the larvae that survive in the soil will crawl right back up onto your new cabbage starters and feast again. Companion planting can also help keep your plants healthy. Some companion plants utilize synergistic compounds, others occupy different root depths, still others deter pests from each other, Beneficial insects can reduce any pest problem you may have by eating or killing your pests. Ladybugs, lacewings, certain types of flies, spiders, braconid wasps, and many others will be your soldiers if you invite them with the right attractants. Borage, marigold, nasturtiums, roses, and many other types of flowers and vegetables will attract these armies.
Soil-less growing can also produce organic grade crops as well. Here you can implement hydroponics, Aeroponics or Aquaponics. When you build a greenhouse utilizing any of these methods, just know each type of growing is different and will require related specific instructions. Do not plan build a greenhouse to grow plants in soil based beds, then switch to soil-less growing after the fact. Decide which growing methods you will use and then select a green house design. You can grow plants in a both a soilless and soil based mediums in the same greenhouse, just plan it all carefully before you begin, so you can achieve maximum results.
If heating, cooling or lighting your green house is a requirement, considering the following options will provide a more sustainable approach. However, if you can, try to plan your greenhouse out so you do not need electricity or heating. This will save you in carbon emissions, as well as dollars. An off-the-grid greenhouse can help connect you to the seasons much better that one with power.
· Learn to garden in the early morning light.
· Position your green house to capture the most available sunlight.
· Use rainwater catchment to water your beds with a soaker hose and valve.
· Cover your greenhouse with energy saving Solarwarp greenhouse plastic.
· Build a greenhouse in a geodesic dome shape.
· Build a rocket mass heater.
· Utilize reflective materials in the appropriate places.
· Incorporate water tanks and stone to assist with cooling and heating.
· Implement proper gauges for monitoring heating, humidity and cooling.
Your connection to your food supply and the earth will change the way you see the world. The more you build a green house that adheres to full sustainability options, the more you will gain a healthier body, a healthier perspective on life and a healthier planet.