What is a vegetarian?
The first vegetarian was made almost a century ago by Alexander Vasilievich Ivanov, and this invention was patented in the sixties of the last century. The effectiveness of the vegetarium was proved, and even a book was published that describes in detail the design and all the advantages of its use. However, in our country this project, no doubt successful, unfortunately, has not received.
So what is a vegetarian, what are its advantages, whether it has flaws and how does a vegetarian differ from a greenhouse - we will try to tell you as much as possible in this article.
Problems in greenhouses that the vegetarium does not have
Let's start with a review of the cons and problems of a standard greenhouse and talk about how these problems are solved in a veggie. So what is an ordinary greenhouse? True, this is an arched or gable structure, covered with glass, film or polycarbonate with soil at the base. This is usually all, although there are greenhouses and heating.
What are the disadvantages of greenhouses: the main disadvantage is the large loss of solar energy, especially in those times of the year when the sun is low - this is spring, autumn, winter, as well as in the morning and evening hours. At this time, the greenhouse can reflect up to 70% (!) Of solar energy and let in only 20 or 30%.
The second big problem, and at the same time the second difference between the veggie and the greenhouse, is simply the monstrous loss of heat through its coating and the almost complete absence of the possibility of storing it (heat). What does this lead to? Of course, to significant changes in temperature during the day and night, or when a hot sunny day is suddenly replaced by cloudy and rainy.
The third problem of the greenhouse is the direct-flow ventilation, which is simply necessary in the summer in order to “reset” the excess temperature and enrich the building inside with fresh air. So, such ventilation, in addition to heat, also emits carbon dioxide, which is necessary for plant nutrition, as well as a significant proportion of nitrogen and moisture, which the leaf blades had evaporated by that time, why the greenhouse needs constant watering of plants growing in it.
How is all this solved at the veggie?
The vegetarian manages the first problem due to its unique design. The veggie is usually placed on a slope, with a steepness of 14-16 to 18-19 degrees, and the slope can be either of natural origin or artificially made. The result should be a slope oriented south or southeast.
Further - the roof, it is made flat, not sloping or arched, like a greenhouse, and covered with polycarbonate, because it retains heat better than other materials. As a result, the sun's rays almost always fall perpendicularly and their reflection is minimal.
If we compare the design of a vegetarium and an ordinary greenhouse, it turns out that the absorption of energy by a vegetarian is higher than that of a greenhouse, at least three times during the daylight hours of the summer period and at least 15 times higher - in the morning and evening hours in autumn, spring and winter.
In addition, in a vegetarium, one wall needs to be made capital, although you can use, say, the wall of a house as its wall, other walls must also be made of polycarbonate. The capital wall, part of which is located inside the vegetarium, is preferably painted white or whitened, or better glued with a reflective, mirror film.
This film (paint, whitewash) will act as a reflector and it will be especially effective when the sun is low in the sky, that is, in the morning, evening and in winter. It seems a trifle, but this trifle can almost double the amount of sunlight directed to the soil at this time.
And how are the second and third problems solved? They are solved thanks to the closed cycle of air and heat exchange. To do this, beneath the surface of the soil in a veggie at a depth of thirty centimeters, about half a meter from one another, you need to lay plastic tubes along the veggie (from the north to the south side of the veggie). The lower ends of these tubes must be brought to the surface and covered with plastic or metal mesh so that no debris enters the pipes.
The upper ends of the tubes (north side) must be connected to one collector located transversely. A vertical pipe should go from the collector, that is, a riser that can be laid in the main wall of the vegetation. This pipe, that is, the riser, must go to the roof, however, not directly, but after passing through the adjustment chamber. This camera should open in a greenhouse at a height of about one and a half meters. This camera is limited to the shutters located above and below, and the exit to the greenhouse ends with a fan.
In the summer, using ordinary chalk, which can be used to tighten the roof, and a conventional household exhaust fan with a power of two dozen watts, two pipes with a diameter of up to ten centimeters can be serviced. In the case when there are more pipes in the veggie, it is necessary to make additional risers and also supply them with fans or make one large adjustment chamber into which to enter all these pipes, but bring one common upstairs.
Such a vegetarium device should provide a high temperature indoors, even if it is freezing outside. For example, at an external temperature of -10 degrees inside the veggie should be warm and the temperature should reach 17-19 degrees above zero. At the same time, the upper damper of the chamber must be closed, the fan will take air into the pipes and drive it up and down, and the air will transfer heat to the soil, passing through it.
The air, which at the same time cools down, begins to be drawn back into the greenhouse and heated again. During the daytime, due to such air circulation, the soil should warm up to 25 or more degrees, and in fact, it is the soil that will play the role of a heat accumulator, which (as planned) should be enough for the whole night. At night, the fan will spin and blow heat from the soil into the airspace of the veggie by heating the air in the greenhouse.
In words, everything may seem confusing and complicated, but in reality everything is quite primitive, let's try to sort things out and talk about the arrangement of the veggie in order.
So, let's start with the look. In fact, it resembles an ordinary wall-mounted greenhouse, of which there are many, and they are often found in garden plots. Differences between the greenhouse and the veggie begin inside. Thanks to the special design of the vegetarium, in combination with the special air circulation that we talked about, it does not need additional heating when the temperature outside the window drops to ten degrees below zero, that is, closer to spring.
At this temperature, outside the inside of the veggie, the temperature, as planned, should be about two dozen degrees above zero. Accordingly, when the temperature drops outside, inside the veggie, the temperature will also decrease.
Next is a special air circulation system, which allows not to carry out airing in the form to which we are accustomed. So, as we have already indicated, the vegetarian will not lose the moisture, nitrogen and carbon dioxide necessary for the growth and development of plants, and it will be less likely to water the plants in the vegetarian.
With this it is clear, we move on to the beds in vegetarianism. They in this building, unlike the greenhouse, are located on the steps, gradually rising from the south to the north. The beds can be built of bricks, wooden boards or metal sheets. It is this arrangement of beds that will not allow plants to obscure each other. Outwardly, this resembles the arrangement of seats in a cinema, where each subsequent row is located higher than the previous one, therefore, viewers do not interfere with each other, and in vegetation - plants (receive solar energy and light).
In addition, this design of beds in a vegetarian allows you to minimize the reflection of the sun, therefore, losses will be minimal. The beds themselves are best made narrow, but the aisles between them are left wide. If you grow tall plants, say, tomatoes, cucumbers and the like, then do not forget to design trellises. In this case, it will be necessary to provide a greater distance between the beds so that the trellis does not create shade, then the length of the vegetation itself should be greater or steeper than the slope.
Of course, if a cold snap or frost begins on the street, the vegetarium will not be able to maintain sufficient heat, it just will not have anywhere else, so an ordinary heater will need to be built into the ventilation system of the veggie, or it should be possible to use it so that the veggie can be used all year round.
We mentioned the irrigation system: the vegetarian needs little water. In order for plants to receive a sufficient amount of moisture in vegetarians, it is necessary to provide for the possibility of using soil moisture and air moisture. Moisture collection will help a specially designed system, which is just for this purpose. It is a system of ventilation pipes, of which we spoke above. They are previously laid in the base and soil will be laid on them in the future.
Pipes are provided with holes in their bottom (lower part) made at a distance of about 18-22 cm from one another. The air that flows through these pipes, being initially warm, leads to the formation of condensation on the walls of these pipes. The condensate penetrates the soil through the holes and is then absorbed by the roots of the plants. In order for moisture to be distributed as evenly as possible over the soil under the pipes, it is necessary to lay an expanded clay layer initially.
Thus, if the circulation of warm air is constant, then, according to the inventor, additional watering to plants in a vegetarian will be needed to a minimum extent, and it will be a dropper system. In addition to a rather significant saving on moisture and on the time that is usually spent on watering, the moisture that is formed in this way is also very high quality. Water from the condensate is devoid of salts, devoid of lime, that is, it is soft and, in addition, saturated with ammonia, which is formed from the decomposition of organic compounds.
Under the condition of using drip irrigation for additional moistening of the soil and supplying plants with moisture in the vegetarian, it is necessary to include droppers only during periods when ventilation works. This trick will not allow excessive air humidification. Such an irrigation system has the maximum beneficial effect on plant organisms.
So, for example, when watering in the traditional way, that is, by sprinkling or watering under the root, when water falls on the soil surface, its part, usually large, evaporates very actively, which sometimes leads to an excessive increase in humidity in the greenhouse and simultaneous water starvation of the plant root system .
In vegetarians, moisture comes to the roots mainly from the depth of the soil, this stimulates the development of the root system (and, consequently, the aboveground mass, fruits), does not allow it to evaporate, and drip irrigation is a kind of supplement, supplying moisture to the soil in a small amount and without causing an increase in air humidity in vegetarians.
Summarizing, we can say that, in essence, a vegetarian is the same greenhouse, but of a closed type, of a certain design, which allows you to collect the maximum amount of solar energy, with a ventilation system that does not allow water and substances necessary for plants to be emitted from the greenhouse into the outer cut. , and with a soil moistening system, which, in fact, is built into the ventilation system, which also saves water and does not contribute to the overmoistening of the air.
Of course, not everyone can build such a site on their site, and even on the Internet there is no debate about the feasibility of such a design, but it is worth checking to make sure from your own experience in all the advantages of the veggie, and maybe find the cons. I would very much like to hear in your comments about what gardeners think about this.