Image source: UMN.edu
Watching the snow blow and hearing the wind gust during the winter months, it’s hard to imagine growing vegetables outside. Sure, a greenhouse might make it possible, but that greenhouse would have to be a sturdy structure with a reliable heat source, right?
Actually: No. Winter hardy vegetables can be grown in unheated greenhouses–even those covered with flimsy plastic sheeting–into Zone 3. I live in Zone 3. Trust me; it gets cold here. The minimum average temperature is -30 degrees to -40 degrees Fahrenheit, and that does not include the windchill factor.
The idea of growing our own vegetables outside in those kinds of temps is pretty amazing, isn’t it? If building an unheated greenhouse for winter use piques your interest, check out this excellent in-depth guide from the University of Minnesota (UMN). Much of the information that follows can be attributed to that guide. As northern Minnesota is in hardiness zones 3a/3b, the information in the guide is widely applicable to most regions of the USA that experience freezing winter temperatures (except Alaska!).
How an Unheated Greenhouse ‘Works’
If you have an existing greenhouse, it may or may not be suitable for winter use. Typically, unheated greenhouses used in the winter are designed to capture as much sunlight and heat as possible. These structures can’t be used after late spring because they get too hot.
To capture that sunlight and heat, the structure needs to follow careful design and placement principles (more on that below). When positioned correctly, the structure’s outer covering moves the plants within it one and a half hardiness zones to the south. If a second layer of covering is added inside the greenhouse (such as with a floating row cover or cold frame), an additional one and a half hardiness zones are gained. In this way, gardeners in Zone 3, for instance, can replicate the climate of Zone 6.
A double layer of covering also increases humidity levels within the greenhouse, which offers further protection against frost.
Even with all these considerations, an unheated winter greenhouse is best used to grow leafy greens and cold hardy vegetables. While the cool temperatures are an issue for more tender vegetables, the real issue is the lack of sunlight. Tomatoes, for instance, need a minimum of eight hours of full sun a day (not to mention pollinators!) in order to produce tasty fruit.
Location, Location, Location
The location of your greenhouse is crucial. It’s ideal to place the structure against the south-facing wall of your house so that it gets full sun as well as ambient heat from your home. Another option is to place it on the south-facing side of an insulated garage or shed.
But before you run out and start framing in a greenhouse against an existing building, there are a few other things to consider. A south-facing wall won’t be of much use if it’s heavily shaded by trees or nearby buildings. The UMN guide recommends walking around your property at different times of the day to gauge how much shade your prospective site gets. Particularly with hoop houses, make sure surrounding trees are in good shape and unlikely to lose limbs that would damage the structure. Additionally, since frost tends to settle in dips and hollows, don’t set your new greenhouse in one. And, finally, make sure the site you choose has good drainage, particularly if you intend to plant directly into the ground.
If you don’t have any suitable south-facing walls, another option is to use an earth berm on the north side of your structure to provide support and insulation. Freestanding greenhouses should have an opaque and insulated north-facing wall, as heat is lost rapidly through clear glazing on the north side.
The UMN guidebook points out that the way a greenhouse is oriented and the angle of the roof/top glazing are key to a successful winter harvest. However, both things are often overlooked in the design stage.
The angle of the roof affects how much sunlight (and heat) permeates the structure. The UMN guidebook offers advice on how to determine the best angle for your greenhouse roof, which involves looking at the sun path chart for your latitude and at the angle of sunlight in your part of the world on the shortest days of the year.
As well, it’s crucial that the opaque back wall face due north, with the short sides of the structure aligned in an east-west direction.
As with any foundation, the one for your greenhouse should be laid below the frost line. In Zone 3, that means going at least four feet down. Setting the foundation that deep not only protects the structure from frost heave but helps maintain warmer soil. As the UMN guidebook explains, at that depth, soil temperature stays at a steady 40-50℉ year round, regardless of temperature fluctuations in the air. The foundation will also provide insulation for the soil it surrounds.
Frame and Walls
There is no cut and dried advice regarding the best types of materials to use for your greenhouse frame and walls. There are pros and cons to metal versus wood frames, as well as to plastic sheeting versus polycarbonate versus glass glazing. Consider your budget and the intended use of your new greenhouse and consult the UMN guide to figure out your best option.
While it’s a good idea to invest the time and energy into designing the best greenhouse for your needs and location, be prepared to tweak things over time. As you make use of your greenhouse in the winter and learn what works–and what doesn’t–you’ll likely make some changes. Gardening, whether in a garden or in a greenhouse, is typically a learning process anyway, isn’t it?
Do you have an unheated greenhouse that you use in the winter? How is it working for you? Please share any tips in the comments below.
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NYC Adds Nearly 4,000 People Who Never Tested Positive To Coronavirus Death Tolls
New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll Tuesday, bringing coronavirus-related deaths in the city to around 10,000 people.
The city decided to add 3,700 people to its death tolls, who they “presumed” to have died from the virus, according to a report from The New York Times. The additions increased the death toll in the U.S. by 17%, according to the Times report, and included people who were suffering from symptoms of the virus, such as intense coughing and a fever.
The report stated that Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided over the weekend to change the way the city is counting deaths.
“In the heat of battle, our primary focus has been on saving lives,” de Blasio press secretary Freddi Goldstein told the Times.“As soon as the issue was raised, the mayor immediately moved to release the data.”
The Ultimate Energizer Review – Does It Really Work?
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The ultimate energizer review – is it worth it?
About The Ultimate Energizer guide
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Use it on any electrical appliances from small clocks to big plasma tv screens, refrigerators, and air conditioners. Power the cabins while hiking to the mountains or camping. Other essential features of this complete the ultimate energizer are that it is easy to assemble and does not require a technical background to master engineering.
Pros and Cons of The Ultimate Energizer
I’ve created this honest ultimate energizer review to help you make a well-informed decision. I’ve tested it myself and now i’m going to share with you all the key aspects you may be interested in: how does it work? is it really so powerful and effective? what are its pros and cons?.
It is non-polluting. It remains popular the ultimate energizer guide pros & cons because it is both a renewable and clean source of energy. Harnessing solar energy is more than a fine idea it’s currently a reality in thousands of homes in a lot of nations around the world.
On the review of the ultimate energizer guide, we will be looking into what exactly the program is all about, the details of the energy generator program, the benefits, pros & cons and our conclusion on the program.
Does The Ultimate Energizer really work?
The device is usable during emergencies. It works without fuels and therefore there are no expected fumes. It is weather proof. Cons of the ultimate energizer. You can only download the program from the official website.
But the ultimate energizer reviews that are available from real users online on platforms like google and youtube seem to confirm that the device does indeed work. So, as per my ultimate energizer review answer to the question is the ultimate energizer legit? is definitely yes.
The ultimate energizer guide. The ultimate energizer is said to work for your home and cut electricity by 82%, guaranteed by tomorrow. The ultimate energizer reviews. It can boost any type of electricity by as much as 5 times.
Advantages of The Ultimate Energizer Program
The program can benefit you in many ways. Below we are listing the advantages of using the ultimate energizer program for generating electricity:. This device will help you save up to 60%-70%, without investing money in solar panels which can cost you a lot of money.
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The ultimate energizer is a complete guide and blueprint. With it, you get everything you need to know to build your own free energy generator. This generator can be completed for less than $50 if you have some tools already. But i remember reading another review of the ultimate energizer, and the guy said he took days. Maybe he was crafty. Then, you assemble it and get it to work.
You will be guided step by step, that anybody who can read can build it. You do not need prior building experience or massive strength; it is that easy. Building the ultimate energizer takes under 4 hours if you are slow and definitely a lot less when you have help.
The ultimate energizer has already changed the lives of over 30,000 families who chose to power their homes using this eco-friendly device. This is definitely a good investment that is worth your time and money and if you think it isn’t after trying it out, you can request for a refund.
Is The Ultimate Energizer a Scam?
The ultimate energizer guide really show you how to power your house and save tremendously, or is this just another overhyped scam? this system was created after its owner decided he wanted to have a home power generating system in case of any crises or disasters.
The ultimate energizer pdf. It does not need any conventional electric power. The ultimate energizer scam. In this program, you can also build more generator and sell for profit. This product can also be incorporated into the automobile to power an electric motor.
All you need is an open mind and a desire to try new things to get a life in the field of freedom of energy. So, what are you waiting for? it’s time to say goodbye to major energy companies and start using the ultimate energizer guide today.
Watch this video demonstration of the ultimate energizer guide put into action
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