Permaculture Literacy – HHA

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13 Comments

  • Molly Bouffard says:

    So helpful to know what to plan for in a greenhouse. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Evon Saavedra says:

    Does anyone have any advice on purchasing a cheap greenhouse that can also be placed up against our home as a form of a sunroom? I have been collecting glass doors to help in the construction phase of it. However, I am also toying with the idea of creating a greenhouse along the side of my homestead that will function as a source of heat during the winter time here in Northwest Florida. I took another look at the USDA Zone Map and it has me right in between of zone 9A and 8B. I have been purchasing trees and plants mostly for 9A due to the excessive heat in the summer months here. Yet…we can get “cold” snaps here (Your cold and my cold are two different things)! LOL!!!
    Any suggestions are appreciative!

    Reply
    • Jesscy says:

      {HHA Coach} Yes ma’am! Your cold & my Montana cold are two different beasts 🙂 What I would give for Zone 9! To answer your question – we did exactly what you’re doing to create our first greenhouse. We collected old windows & doors & used recycled lumber to create a little add-on addition to our first homestead. It was super cheap & worked great to extend our season. Happy plants! You can also check FB & Craigslist.com for used supplies or whole greenhouses.

      Reply
  • candace caines says:

    What can be done to avoid building up salts in a polytunnel? Should we flush it every so often?

    Reply
    • Bret James says:

      A few things:

      1) Choose a location that has good drainage
      2) Avoid excessive fertilizers or fertilizers that have salt
      3) Don’t use soften water for irrigation
      4) Add lots of compost / organic matter

      Have you tested your soil yet? Simply keep an eye on it and if it is not a problem just do the above.

      Yes you could irrigate to leach salts out of the soil to mitigate it but it could take 3-6″ of water to do so. It’s better to manage the tunnel well before it becomes an issue.

      Reply
      • candace caines says:

        I used a lot of animal manures and diluted urine last year. oops. if I pile a couple feet of snow on it in the spring should it help?

        Reply
        • Bret James says:

          That could help, but know that 13″ of snow equals 1″of rain, so that would be a lot of heavy shoveling – stack functions and get your exercise plus gardens chores done at once 😉

          Reply
  • Patrick Sant says:

    Are high tunnels the same as poly-tunnels?

    Reply
    • Bret James says:

      In this context yes, a high tunnel is just a long green house where plants are grown in ground (versus in pots in a green house). Most high tunnels are made from a poly material, hence the other name that we sometimes uses, poly-tunnel. But I’ve made small poly-tunnels aka Hoop Houses (which are small and you can not walk in like a high tunnel).

      Reply
  • Sophie Craggs says:

    hmm… I wonder if an early season coldframe could double as a solar oven in the peak summer months..

    Reply
    • Bret James says:

      Love the way you are trying to stack functions Sophie 🙂 I haven’t tried but maybe? Solar ovens use insulation and black surfaces to achieve the temps they do whereas cold frames do not have those characteristics. Throw a thermometer in one this summer and give it a try!

      Reply
  • susan tupper says:

    in the tropics, I won’t be needing green houses but shade houses to keep off the heat – do you have info on these sorts of structures? I know many just don’t bother to grow lettuce or spinach cos they will just seed but I want to try cos I like to eat them 🙂

    Reply
    • Bret James says:

      Bill Mollision’s Permaculture Designers Manual has some sketches but you can also google “high tunnel shade cloth” to see how people are using high tunnels for shade.

      Reply

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