No heating costs: VALIPINI – CHEAPER alternative to a regular greenhouse

For all those who want to grow vegetables all year round or are engaged in nursery production, Valipini can be one of the cheaper solutions, especially if we take into account that the production of vegetable seedlings starts earlier because vegetable growers see higher earnings in early varieties. What is Valipini, how is it made and what are the advantages compared to an ordinary greenhouse?

If you still do not have a greenhouse, and you plan to buy it, you should think about everything alternatives before you enter the investment. Even if you have a greenhouse protected by trees from strong north winds, irrigation provided, greenhouse heating can be and is one of the largest cash outlays, especially during the production of seedlings, which are repeats every year. The solution could be Valipini.

What is Valipini?

Simply put, it’s valipini a greenhouse buried in the ground. Considering that it is in the ground, and that it acts as an excellent insulator, it provides that double benefit: when it is cold inside it is warm, and when it is warm outside there is shade inside.

Walipini is an Indian word meaning “place of heat”. It was developed about twenty years ago for the cold regions of South America, and it allows growers to maintain productivity throughout the year. It is much cheaper to build than a greenhouse or hothouse, and allows you to grow plants all year round NO HEATING COSTS.

Unlike the basement, Valipini is made obliquely, so that it faces south, and instead of a roof, it has a surface covered with transparent foil or glass.

The feasibility study and how Valipini is made was made by the Benson Institute of Agriculture from America. According to their research, obese the earth walls of valipinia absorb heat during the day, and they release it during the night. It is known that the denser the mass – the more energy is absorbed, and if it is a dark mass such as earth – it absorbs heat best. Valipini is designed to capture as much winter sun as possible, absorb and store in the mass of solar energy that is gently released during the night, and even on the coldest days the plants will not be damaged by frost.

However, it should be borne in mind that it is a facility and, although the construction is simple, it is necessary to make a plan.

Planning the construction of Valipini

The plan should take into account several things: the type of country where you want to build valipins, what location you have at your disposal, the amount and the way it rains on the location.

For example, clay soil has an excellent capacity to retains water. On the other hand the country that contains plenty of sand it makes too much drainage and is difficult to stabilize. That will give the answer what type of construction you need, whether you will need wall support or not. Also, substrate conditions: loam, silt and other soil conditions may require special construction techniques to provide security of the walls.

In addition, the amount and manner in which rain falls on valipins can affect the type of construction. If the rain is moderate, building a canal around Valpini and covering the perimeter with impermeable foils may be enough to keep the rain from penetrating and collapsing the walls. If they happen continuous heavy showers and the rain penetrates deep into the ground, in which case you will definitely need supports for the walls and routes for water diversion and drainage.

How is Valipini made?

To make Valipini, you need to dig hole depth up to 2.5m, and the width and length you need. The back should be raised and the front lower so that it forms a slope at an angle of 39 degrees, which will allow the sun’s rays to fall at an angle of 90 degrees. Plants should sprout at a depth of 200-250 cm.

Valipini: a cheaper alternative to a greenhouse - © Wikimedia

The roof surface is covered glass “windows” or plastic wrap, and it allows the winter sun to enter the area and make it even warmer. Many recommend plastic wrap rather than glass because it acts like better thermal insulator.

Walls inside Valipini should have slight slope so that, in the event of any water entering, it could go to the bottom. Often self-draining floors are made and water drainage channels. Simply adjusting the floor in a slightly downhill direction (as with a bathroom) and then placing a water drain pipe away from Valipini can be the solution.

Considering that water is needed for watering plants, many people use the roof space of Valiipnia to provide water for irrigation. Similar to the way rainwater collects from gutters, channels around the roof underground greenhouse can forward water to rain tank which stands within Valipini.


Source: Agromedia by www.agromedia.rs.

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