1. This is a great idea and an energy saving greenhouse. I going to put this concept into play on my future building projects. Thanks for all the excellent info and great ideas!

      • You could build one into a south facing hill. It may not insulate quite as well but it would still stay warm enough to grow food all year long.

      • I have this concern as well, I don’t know if it is enough support to grow in it during -20 degrees Celsius and just a few hours of sunlight?

  2. All this infor is wonderful but I live in florida and it seems all the seasons are so different, any suggestions as to who I can contact down
    here to get it started?

    • you would have to put in piping around the structure to reroute water and grade your ground to pitch away from the structure…just like you would do with a house. Some locations may benefit from extended eves on the roof. But, it is possible to build successfully in many climate. Each individual greenhouse will need slight changes for a successful and enduring structure but the general concept is sound for many areas.

  3. I’m going to do it above ground with strawbales along the sides. My frame is built out of Bamboo and twine, and it is covered by poly and a shade cloth to keep everything tight. It has survived a lot of crazy weather over the past two seasons. The Straw bales are going to add a ton of insulation during the winter months, and they will be inside the poly so they stay dry and strong for a long time. Once a year I re-stretch the poly and shade cloth and re-tape any holes that have been made by the clamps holding the tarp to the bamboo.

  4. I have a south-facing slope that would be PERFECT for this. I don’t think I have room to make one this large, but at least big enough for a small winter crop and hardening off seedlings, and protecting tender plants over winter.

  5. This is for an existing whole right? because it does not make any sense to dig a new whole and take all the nutrients from the top soil.

    • You don’t have to use plastic if you don’t want to do so. Here in the midwest, hail storms would destroy in a skinny minute any greenhouse that was made of glass. If you are in an area where glass is a better choice, then you could recycle glass doors or windows.

    • All the Habitat for Humanity re-sale stories in our area are chock full of old sliding glass (safety) shower doors. Figure out how to join them and you are good to go!

    • Temperature control is easier because the earth would provide insulation, kind of the same way a root cellar keeps food fresh. Also, fewer materials needed, no foundation, no walls. Depending on your grow zone, with a traditional greenhouse some care must be taken regarding the ground freezing in the winter, so here we need a freeze barrier in the ground along the perimeter of a greenhouse if we are planting directly into the soil. And last but not least, here in Kansas, it would be nice to know that my entire greenhouse isn’t going to blow away. 🙂

  6. I think super adobe might work better than straight adobe in most climates. 90% dirt, 10% cement, deposited in sandbags, with barbed wire between layers of sandbags. Look online for how-to videos, etc.

    • what i will do to apply this to my life is open my heart to the possiblity that after tyring to care 4 my siblings perhaps these same traits would make me a good caretaker in a family and perhaps i know deep down i am an excellent caring and sacrificing girl. maybe its time to admit it and show it to a guy. but right away?? that will be hard. im not a big risk taker, so now i will grow as a person n take this risk. i will leap. i will open up. i will show him that i am an excellent partner in family not just financially or emotionally .but as a caretaker who is muslim and would instill the best character in my kids. they would know their Islam just as my mother taught me. n i will be happy to express this to them since this is what i didnt know. but thanks to this webinar, n my implementating mindset im ready to do this. im ready 4 marriage inshA!!

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  7. As was already mentioned it depends on your climate. A south facing slope would be like a furnace in summer without using a thick shade cloth, and lose extra heat in the winter. Google pit greenhouse for a better idea. Only half as much glazing and much better sun control.

  8. If you used black plastic piping for the roof rafters, you could devise a system to heat water. It could be used to help heat the greenhouse in cold weather in a closed system, or the water could be utilized in an open system.

  9. Nice, but I wonder, if it is possible to grow anything in latitudes, where is minimal sunny days count during a winter and short days itselfs, thermal contribution from ground is good, but it is eneough? What about direct UV rays, essential to plants? There are full-cloudy whole months usually..

  10. sounds nice but 2 feet down here is all solid clay,dynamite would be needed to blast a hole
    and last year the whole area was under 2 feet of water

  11. To Anonymous above: Location! Location! Location! 🙂
    To Grotest.org: Absolutely Awesome! Love it! I hope to use this in my educational courses…shoulId I suceed in my plans anyways…I will give you all the credit and a link back to you for sure! Keep it Coming!

  12. what temperature zone is this in? the “underground” green houses i’m familiar with all have 55 gallon black plastic barrels filled with water 1/2 buried to hold heat in the night (we’re in a 5b where temps in the winter some times dip down to just below 0f – most of the time it’s between 20-40 over the winter, though)

  13. This idea originated in Bolivia – mountainous, dry, cold and poor… Only in the original, the sun shines in and heats the dark, rammed earth, north wall and containers of water along the same wall. The wall and water radiate heat during the night.
    The greenhouse runs east west facing south, the back wall is dug at complimentary angle to the winter sun in your area. You could use this in places with really cold winter provided you had another source of heat.
    Google Walipinis for more info.

  14. I live in maricopa county in the middle of arizona. the soil is clay, we don’t have a lot of rain during the year so dealing with moisture is more of an issue of keeping it and not loosing it! I love the idea of tapping into the earths constant temperature below the 4 foot line, but for me it is more to keep things cooler than warm!
    My questions are these?
    1.) Has anyone had any issues with planning and zoning with these types of structures?
    2.) any suggestions for my type of climate for modifications to this great Idea?

  15. You have should use the walls and plant vertically to maximize yields, especially with trailing plants i.e. cukes. I have a similar plan on a larger scale and plan to use a type of hydrothermal circulation in 3″ pvc similar to geothermal tech. This will cool in the summer and heat the winter. Use exposed loops in the wiki like a radiator and have a field adjacent to structure. this will require more work initially, but less day to day. Of course the water must be constantly circulated. In line electric pumps that are solar powerd are readily available.

    P.S. use pressure rated PVC

  16. I am terrified of snakes, would there be a risk of snakes crawling into the greenhouse? It would be inviting to them once it cools outside.

  17. fantastic put up, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of
    this sector do not understand this. You should continue your writing.
    I am confident, you have a huge readers’ base already!

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