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Building a greenhouse next year and have thought about earth bermed sides for 3 of the sides. We were thinking about berming them a layer of rubber tires filled with dirt then another etc. about 4 feet, plastic hoops over the top. What, if any,would be the enviromental hazzards?...Joan :confused:
 

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None. Rubber is biodegradable. Sound like a good idea. I'd suggest tamping dirt between the tires too. Are you going to have one or two tires across for the berms?
 

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4' high sides and back will cut down on your sunshine/light coming in a whole lot. No morning sun probably and very little afternoon. Plants need that sunshine and the ones growing on the shady sides will begin to lean towards the middle reaching for the light. Just a consideration. I used board side 3' on 1 of my greenhouses but had raised beds inside 2' high and you really need lots of cross ventilation front to back and up through the top or your plants will stress from the heat and moisture. Of course this is predicated on you using the greenhouse to grow stuff in the ground inside it not just as a starting area and "nursery" and potted plants on benches area.
 

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There was an article in MEN from Feb/Mar 2004 about an earth sheltered greenhouse. It had some neat ideas about channeling the cold air below the foot path on the south edge. I plan to adapt the idea to my garage greenhouse on which I have started construction.
 

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Old tires are made of stuff other than rubber. There have been people that have sued their neighbors because of tire piles and the environment hazards.

I wouldn't do it.

Besides, for a greenhouse, you're probably hoping for the daytime sun to warm things up enough so that your plants won't get frozen at night. Earth makes an excellent thermal mass, but not a particularly good insulator. A better approach would be to use straw bales on the walls (and possibly the floor) and earthen benches inside to hold the plants up. The sun warms the earthen benches and the staw bale walls hold the heat in.
 
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