manure heated greenhouses

jdldalMarch 24, 2010

I built a 6 x 8 greenhouse that has wood sides 4ft high,

and pvc hoops covered by plastic. I designed it with bins

2ft wide x 8ft long and sides that are 4 ft high. can

I fill these bins full of manure and will this heat my

greenhouse? Or will there be fumes that will kill the plants?

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eric_wa(San Juan, z8 WA)


You would think so, for awhile anyway. You may have to turn, "mix" to keep it active. That maybe difficult in deep bins. Look at some of Will Allen videos on Youtube. He heats some of his large greenhouses with compost in the four corners.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 8:06PM
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When I was a kid, growing up on our farm, my dad dumped several spreader loads of manure on our 1/2 acre garden. We had tremendous growth that year but little fruit production, a serious situation for a farm family of six who relied upon what they could grow themselves. Too much N, I guess. Just a thought about too much manure.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 9:48PM
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eric_wa(San Juan, z8 WA)


I believe jdldal is use it as a heat source not a growing media. You are right about the Nitrogen.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 11:09PM
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You are correct I want to use it as a heat source.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 8:46AM
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i think it would work, although it might take up a bit of space in a small house. another option which i would like to try in the future is a manure heated radiant system. basically, this is constructed outside the house and you run your heat into the house via pex water lines. the design i saw was a barrel of water with a pump in it that was surrounded by a hot manure pile. i wish i knew where i read the article, i'm pretty sure it's hiding in one of my giant stacks of mother earth news. but, here's another good article to check out. the nice thing about incorporating radiant into the manure system is that you can run your lines under raised beds or tray tables which produces a more direct source of heat for tender plants.

Here is a link that might be useful: national sustainable agriculture information service

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 9:33AM
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Hi all! I'm new to this forum, and so grateful to find it. The article I'm aware of regarding heating with manure is called, "Biomass Greenhouse Heating, A report on the use of compost to heat a free-stading greenhouse." The article appears in one of my Back Home Magazines, Sept/Oct 2008 issue. This lady set up this system OUTSIDE of her greenhouse using wood chips and manure. By composting, it creates heat. Hope this helps.

Here is a link that might be useful: Back Home Magazine Issue

    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 11:28PM
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