HOW TO Align your Beds and Greenhouses

HOW TO Align your Beds and Greenhouses

HOW TO Align your Beds and Greenhouses. Subscribe: | Follow my IG: @greencityacres
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Curtis Stone runs a commercial urban farm called Green City Acres out of Kelowna, BC, Canada. His mission is to show others how they can grow a lot of food on small plots of land and make a living from it. Using DIY and simple infrastructure, one can earn a significant living from their own back yard or someone else’s.
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What do you think?


Written by Aleksandar

Video MakerContent AuthorYears Of Membership


  1. A fact that I find fascinating: In the tropics, the solstices are little-winters when it comes to sunlight, with high summer occurring twice a year around the equinoxes. I use the term 'around' very loosely, as the Sun is directly overhead at different times of the season depending on how far from the equator one is and in which direction.

  2. In a Q&A for the market gardener, JM said that with raised beds it was more important to arraign them topographically than geographically. Having your walkways running up and down the hills would promote drainage and mitigate washout in heavy rain. What are your thoughts or experience

  3. I disagree. There had to be one I guess.
    Traditionally, crops in the field were planted north south, so that each plant would get an even amount of sunlight and not end up leaning south, with the most northerly plants doing badly behind row after row of plants shading them. Assuming some space between rows, planting north/south allows an even distribution of sunlight.
    I have the ends of my polytunnels facing north/south for the same reason, and they don't have any problems with shading from the gable ends. Even if they did, it would be even shading, either side of the tunnel, in the morning and evening. The shade midday, when it is most important, falls close to the door, where there are no crops.
    For me, the orientation of the rows should dictate the orientation of the polytunnels, and not the other way around. If the gable ends really create a significant shade, perhaps a different design would help. I use a pair of 6x3m tunnels that have a door one end and top to bottom zips at the other, meaning I can roll that end up, the southern end, out of the way to get maximum sunlight when possible. I'm at 57degrees north, in the Highlands of Scotland, and need every extra lumin I can get, with a brief season and a long winter. If I had my polytunnels the other way round, the northern half would yield significantly less, and be a waste of half a polytunnel IMO.

  4. Thanks…any comment on how prevailing high winds may modify your decision or comment on which face of your hi tunnel you would prefer to have facing those high winds?

  5. hey Curtis. in Justin's latest video you mentioned you pay your two guys really well and you don't even take a salary from the farm. I'm interested in what does it mean really, cause it seems you spend still a noticable time on the farm and I expect you don't do that for "free". you mentioned you're trying to make sales much more simple and actually all your farm quite simple, I guess this involves the ongoing specialization on the farm. It would be very interesting if you would make a video about these topics. keep up the good work

  6. This might be the best descriptive narrative I have read about this subject:

    "There are basically three schools of thought with respect to greenhouse orientation;
    1) capture the morning sun
    2) capture the winter sun
    3) orient plant growth instead of the building.

    For this discussion, let’s assume that you have a rectangular shape in mind for your gardening structure, since it is by far the most common style.

    Morning sunshine is important to stimulate growth, to remove condensation from leaves, and to get your plants off to a good start each day. This is typically the interest of greenhouse gardeners who focus their efforts on summer vegetables. If this is your interest, my suggestion is to orient your greenhouse in a North and South direction. Such an orientation promotes full capture of the morning sun and allows the sun’s rays to penetrate between your plants as it travels up and over the width of your greenhouse. This orientation assumes that your plantings are in rows oriented perpendicular to the length of the structure.

    For those with an interest in fall, winter and spring greenhouse gardening, an orientation of the greenhouse in an East to West manner will make more sense. Such an orientation helps capture the sun’s rays that are much lower on the horizon during those times of the year.

    The third approach to orientation is applicable to the both summer and off-season gardeners, and for those of us who don’t have an ideal location that would allow for our preferred orientation of the gardening structure. This approach requires that we orient our crops such that we achieve our summer or off-season gardening objectives by understanding how the sun travels across the sky and through our greenhouse."

  7. Another factor that you may want to consider when choosing the orientation of your non-greenhouse beds is drainage. Surface runoff will mostly occur in the walkways between beds. So, if your plot of land is on a slope, you can orient your beds along the slope to increase drainage. Alternatively, you can orient your beds perpendicular to the slope in order to reduce drainage (and increase water retention). Ultimately, the best orientation would be based on your climate. In an arid climate, you'll want to increase water retention in the garden. In a very wet/rainy climate, you'll want to do what you can to help drainage.

  8. I respectively disagree.  In order to extend the season when the sun is low in the sky (I live in the US), the best orientation is North/South.  East/West will only get sun during the heat of the day and not in the early morning or dusk.  It is those times when you want to the sun to heat up the green house to extend the season.  East/West will insure the greenhouse over heats during the day and under heats at sunrise and sunset.  It makes no sense to build a greenhouse East/West.  North/South will capture the more heat and sunlight for all season growing.

  9. Question for anyone to answer, there may be in answer in one of these videos but I must of missed it. What is the minimum size you would recommend for an urban farm plot. I see that Curtis uses mainly 50ft beds, but I want wondering what would be worthwhile width-wise.
    My partner and I were supposed to be using some rural land for the 2018 season, but circumstances have made us stay in the city, so we are going to see what we can do on urban plots in the area

  10. Is some posts and netting over them effective got keeping pests out of crops like butterflies that lay caterpillar eggs?as I could do that all in a few netting roles for sides as well to keep rabbits out

  11. hi Curtis! thanks fox keeping up the good work in your channel! glad to learn your book and channel are doing so well, must be satisfying to share something valuable with the world. congrats! I heard your open to suggestions for content, I just read an article about SOLE FOOD FARMS in Vancouver, an big urban farm in the inner city providing jobs for poor people and former addicts. Maybe someday you could drop by and interview them, sounds like an amazing project. Best wishes! 🙂 — PS. have fun with the Rhodes!!


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Simple Chicken House/Greenhouse Design Part 3

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