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This heated greenhouse uses no gas or electricity.

This heated greenhouse uses no gas or electricity

This simple solar greenhouse lets you get a head start on plants for your garden, or shelter plants of borderline hardiness-- papayas in Southern California, plumeria in northern California, dwarf citrus in the Pacific Northwest, for example.

Michael Maltas of Hopland, California, built this temporary shelter facing south to gather the sun's heat. When it gets too warm inside, he rolls up its plastic side curtains; at night (or when temperatures drop), he unrolls the sheeting to retain heat. A high-low thermometer monitors temperature. Water-filled drums against the greenhouse's plywood north wall radiate heat to add extra warmth. Sunken crosspieces (see drawing) brace the 10- by 28-foot structure.

Materials include 1/2-inch plywood, 2-by-4s, 1/2-inch schedule 40 PVC pipe, duct tape, 4-mil polyethylene sheeting, shade fabric, and lath for battens.

Total cost for Mr. Maltas's greenhouse was less than $200; scrap lumber was used when possible. Size can be varied to match space or budget.

Photo: Plywood north wall keeps out wind; south-facing plastic sheeting, stretched over curved PVC, collects and traps heat

Photo: Duct tape connects PVC pipe, anchors it to 2-by-4s

Photo: Water-filled drums store heat. At this end, plastic curtains roll up for ventilation; shade fabric excludes pests

Photo: Crosspieces of 18-inch-long 2-by-4s were nailed to support posts, then buried 18 inches deep to anchor structure
COPYRIGHT 1987 Sunset Publishing Corp.
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Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Oct 1, 1987
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