Blooms in Autumn - pit greenhouse

Diane Whitehead
Wed, 02 Nov 2005 10:19:00 PST
Jim Shields mentioned the impossibility of maintaining an alpine 
house in central Indiana.

I remember a book, written perhaps in the 1940s or 50s, about using a 
"pit greenhouse", dug into the earth, with steps leading down to a 
central aisle in which one stood.  The "benches" were undug soil with 
the plants set on top, and a glass roof covered it all.  There were 
probably openings for ventilation, but I don't remember the details. 
The insulating effect of the soil prevented overheating in summer as 
well as retaining heat in winter. The almost-at-ground-level glass 
would have been easy to shade in summer - I think I would just grow 
cucumbers or pole beans on the sunny side.

There is a website that has a summary of solar greenhouse information 
since many of the books on the topic are out of print.

Perhaps this would not be sufficient for an area that has hot humid 
summers. I attended a talk by an Eastern North American speaker who 
had an air-conditioned alpine house.

Diane Whitehead  Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
maritime zone 8
cool mediterranean climate (dry summer, rainy winter - 68 cm annually)
sandy soil

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