Creating an Earth-Sheltered Greenhouse For Your Garden

Creating a greenhouse will make it easier to grow your own food throughout the year, and can increase the quantity and diversity of the plants you can grow where you live, this can be a good move for those looking to live a greener way of life. But what sort of greenhouse will be best for you? There are plenty of different DIY greenhouse projects to choose from. One option to consider is an earth-sheltered greenhouse.

What is an Earth-Sheltered Greenhouse?

An earth sheltered greenhouse is a protective structure which uses the ground, banks or walls of earth, or earth-filled sacks or other containers to make a wall or walls of the structure. Some earth sheltered greenhouses are sunk almost entirely into the ground, or a south-facing bank, while others simply have the north wall constructed in such a way, with large areas of glazing to the south side.

Why Build an Earth-Sheltered Greenhouse?

An earth-sheltered greenhouse has a range of different benefits for those who want to grow their own food year round climate. Primarily, the earth serves as thermal mass – catching and storing the heat of the sun during the day and releasing it when temperatures fall during the night. This means that the temperatures in an earth-sheltered greenhouse remain more constant and stable than they do in most greenhouses or polytunnels.

The earthen walls in such a structure can also help to regulate the humidity of the space, keeping it cool when things heat up in the middle of summer.

Another thing to think about is that building an earth-sheltered greenhouse into a south-facing bank or slope could be a way to create an undercover growing area in a location that would not be suitable for another undercover gardening structure. While most greenhouses are only suitable for building on relatively flat sites, earth-sheltered ones could be suitable even on a site with a very steep gradient – as long as the site is broadly south facing, and the glazed side would get plenty of sun.

One final benefit of an earth-sheltered greenhouse is that it could allow you to use fewer resources in making the structure. You may be able to make use of earth already on site, and require only reclaimed materials to complete and glaze the other parts of the structure. The fewer resources you use, the greener and more eco-friendly your efforts to improve your food growing garden will be.