Walipini Greenhouse: a Complete Guide to Build It

Walipini Greenhouse – A greenhouse mainly helps to raise the temperature passively, and it is better for people who are living in colder areas who might need to bring the heat.

walipini or underground greenhouse can be used to manage the temperature inside higher than a normal greenhouse.

Similar to solar radiation, the greenhouse also gets its heat from the earth’s natural heat, so it is highly beneficial.

What Is a Walipini Greenhouse?

Nowadays, Walipini has become popular among the people who are living in colder areas.

In general, it is also called a sunken greenhouse, earth-sheltered greenhouse, underground greenhouse, pit greenhouse.

However, it is the structure with the growing area dug, usually, people prefer to have a ground space to meet different needs.

Having the growing area will give you thermal benefits because this will be useful to keep you cool in warm weather similarly it produces warmth in cold weather similar to a root cellar.

Most people prefer to build a walipini to explore a lot of benefits. First of all, this will help to manage heat during the cold months.

To construct a greenhouse, it is important to dig a 6-8 foot deep area in the ground.

After that, you need to install a greenhouse type roof that should be angled toward the sun to capture sunlight.

Building a walipini instead of any blown greenhouse will save you a lot of money.

 How to Build a Walipini Greenhouse With Considerations:

Before going to build a greenhouse, it is important to spend some time creating perfect planning. Especially you need to pay close attention to a couple of things.

Most importantly, your soil type is one of the most essential considerations because these factors will have a significant impact.

So you need to have a proper idea about the soil while constructing a walipini.

Consider Your Soil-type

We know that soil’s many functions are to hold as well as it is important for draining water.

Before initiating the construction process, you need to have the proper knowledge about soil.

Usually, clay soils come with excellent water holding capacity but sometimes it is very heavy at times.

It is also susceptible to collapse if your walipini when it is not engineered in a strong manner.

When it comes to building a greenhouse, you must check out the properties of soil.

However, sandy soil provides too much drainage, which means it is really hard to stabilize so it is not a perfect choice to give structural support for the walls.

According to the soil type you need to take some special construction techniques this will be useful to ensure the security of the walls.

In addition to this advanced engineering necessary to make everything look cool.


Similar to the cellars and basements, radon is also considered as the main issue when it comes to building a greenhouse.

It can create a lot of problems. It is a radioactive invisible gas that is formed naturally at the earth’s crust. It is one of the root causes of lung cancer after smoking.

So you need to make a test for radon in your property before going to construct a greenhouse.

Check Out the Water Flow

In addition to the soil type, you must check out the water flow condition to build a greenhouse.

The amount of water flow and the way that rain falls is crucial factors in your location because these will have an impact on greenhouse construction.

Constructing a greenhouse in areas with limited rainfall is simple but building a berm around to cover the perimeter will support you to get long-lasting benefits.

If you are living in an area with continuous heavy rains you need to carry out some special methods for constructing a greenhouse without any difficulties.

The water flow will create more challenging circumstances so it is important to redirect water flow.

How to Construct a Walipini Greenhouse?

In the modern world, most people are interested in building a walipini greenhouse to extend the growing time of the plants.

If you really wish to build the greenhouse you need to follow this article.

With the help of this, you can easily identify the challenges associated with the construction process.

Everything is detailed above, meanwhile, we know that walipini design will be simple but it needs proper knowledge.

Unlike any other traditional option, it is a bit different. To explore hassle-free benefits you need to consider the demands of your location with proper analysis.

To build an effective walipinis you need to address some important potential concerns.

Sloped Walls

Obviously, walipini features sloped walls similar to irrigation ponds. The slopes are mainly used to create a bowl-like effect which is essential to keep water trapped inside.

Overall, these factors will be important for reducing the amount of silt.

In addition to this, it reduces sediment that washes. The shape of the greenhouse also serves the same function, except catching water that other design features.

If you are wondering about the construction process you must do some research online to get some innovative ideas. Now everything is easy with the proper analysis.

Additionally, professional support is also available for making everything simple and easy.

Bermed Back Side

You need to monitor the amount of water flows inside the walipini, it is the non-sun catching side.

Generally, this side is bermed to cause water to flow, by the way, it keeps the structure safe. Based on the amount of rain, water flow, and snow we need to do the construction.

Usually, the angle and area of the berm will be adjusted according to the regional issues and climatic conditions.

Having a steeper slope might help in different conditions, especially it the perfect choice for the areas with heavy flows.

Roof Angle for Capturing Sun:

Unlike any other option, walipini is the better choice because it is more comfortable in summer growing conditions.

All we know that light is essential for plants to grow.

If you need to make everything perfect for growing plants you need to utilize these kinds of greenhouse because a roof allows for maximum light is needed by the plants.

To make everything in a positive manner you need to pay close attention to the ideal angle for the roof.

Everything will depend on your location, with the proper knowledge you can give your plants the optimum solar light for their healthy growth.

The proper construction will provide long time benefits that need to angle.

In general, the roof should be perpendicular to the sun on the winter solstice to get the maximum range of benefits with ease.

Drainage From the Floor Level:

When it comes to constructing a walipini greenhouse it is important to consider the flow of water.

With the proper construction methods, you need to keep the greenhouse safe from water.

In general, the bottom level of walipini should be a minimum of 5 feet above the water table. This measurement is essential to protect the structure from complications.

Otherwise, walipini will experience a lot of difficulties.

The self-draining floor as well as the water evacuation channels is also essential. Similar to basements, some people prefer to use sump pumps if the water hits a certain level.

How to Calculate the Walipini Roof Angle to Experience Long Time Benefits?

If you are interested in constructing a greenhouse you need to follow the below tips,

  • First, you must open Google Maps after that you need to locate your garden area
  • Secondly, you need to click on your land, after that, you will find the latitude along with its longitude as DMSes that includes several factors like Degree, Minute, Second
  • You should calculate the decimal degrees.  In this method you can only see the DMS numbers, so try to utilize the tool to convert them into easy decimal degrees for better understanding.
  • After that, you need to use the first number of the decimal degree such as the latitude, or you need to use the number
  • Then, you need to add 23.5 to your number, the instructions also available online that allows you to get a rough idea about the roof slope

Most importantly, the slope as well as the longer dimension of the rectangle must be facing toward the winter sun because it can be essential for getting optimal light exposure in any situation.

We know that it is the underground area so you must keep an eye on this point.

While sloping walls and berming you must consider some important key factors. Without a doubt, a sloped roof is one of the most important things to control water flow.

It plays a crucial role in everything from the starting, your roof should divert water down as well as this will help to keep the water flow away from the interior of the walipini so you should focus on the method mentioned earlier.

Focus on the Proper Rain Collection Methods

The excess flow of water will create a lot of complications even if it will collapse the construction so you need to make sure about the techniques. In general water for plants inside the walipini is essential but the controlled flow is also important to keep everything under control.

Usually, people consider utilizing the roof area because it can be useful for catching rain in tanks.  Secondly, it is also better to use some rain barrels on a house roof to catch rains.

Some of the people also consider gutters or channels catch even this will plays important role in redirecting the rain to downspouts.

Overall, everything needs proper knowledge with the creative plan. These methods help protect the whole construction from running down outside.

Having adequate collection tanks is also essential to get free from complications during different situations.

You need to have a proper way to redirect flow outside the walipini but it is critical at the time of heavy flows.

In those critical situations, it is better to use tanks to stop the flow into the walipini.

Why Is Non-permeable Perimeter Protection Essential?

People prefer to add non-permeable surfaces that includes

  • Roofing membrane
  • Pond liner
  • Plastic sheeting over your berms

These are important for integrating roofing design even if it will make everything perfect at the heavy rainfall time.

These are essential to cut down on the amount of unplanned water affecting walipini.

From the initial stage it is important to use high-quality materials for the construction this will be useful in withstanding every situation in an effective manner.

Consider the Access to the Greenhouse:

Design is one of the most important concerns, similar to this you need to pay close attention to the access. It is related to the design of the house.

Depending on your design, you should keep the access simple.

Besides that, stairs are much easier while planting more; it can be useful when trying to haul in plants as well as materials.

Apart from that, people pay close attention to this method to carry out harvest easily.

To experience hassle-free benefits, you need to consider some important factors including harvesting method and time, etc.

If you are plan to harvest daily you should carry a basket up a ladder because this will be useful to reduce work stress.

Implementing an elaborate design will bring a lot of effective changes.

Additionally creating a staircase entry is one of the worthy options because this will make the process simple as well as reduces the complications.

Having a proper walipini design is totally worthwhile but you should keep all the factors simpler to avoid hassles.

Along with the material choice design ideas also important to enhance the complete look of the greenhouse and the design will add more elegance to your construction.

Especially, making a sloped living roof is an effective choice because this can be integrated with the walipini design effectively.

With these, you will get aesthetically pleasing walipini. Hence consider using this effective choice for making everything elegant.

If you have any doubts you should take the online guidelines.

Create Proper Ventilation for Growth:

Root cellars are one of the worthy options; similar to this a walipini can get dank as well as humid without proper venting.

So you need to create everything to make venting possible.

Keep your windows more accessible; add the ability to open windows in your roof easily because this will help you to keep perfect venting in every situation.

In addition to this, it is also better to use some kind of chimneys because this will be useful to draw warm air out.

However, people are also considering using solar vent fans because this will support drawing cool air.

Overall, it is a worthwhile option as well as considered as the lifesavers on sunny days and makes your plant in perfect condition even in heavy humidity.

Make Perfect Growing Area

We know that walipini is ultimately supported for the plant to grow in a perfect condition. Planning a proper growing area is one of the most important factors.

Along with the proper construction, it is important to have good quality soil with the perfect drainage on the floor.

There are a lot of special techniques available to make everything possible. In addition to this, you can take thermal benefits with proper planning.

Having the proper thermal effects will allow you to keep the beds in contact with soil for hassle free growing and also provides everything it needs to grow faster.

You will experience a lot of additional comforts once your raised beds are installed.

With the above steps, you will make the complete planting area accessible with small pathways. This will look similar to the garden.

Plenty of methods available but you should consider the effective option with the proper guidance.

To explore real-time benefits you need to bring in sufficient soil.

It is best to keep your beds being built on subsoil or you can also take the benefits of drainage rocks, usually, the experts will suggest at least 8-12 inches of soil.

This will be the better choice to start the process effectively. By the way, you will get good growing results.

In addition to this, you need to focus on some alternative Growing Methods to reduce the risk factors at different climatic conditions.

People consider walipini as a climate-controlled environment because this will be useful for planting more. This will need electricity and water systems.

Additionally, the drainage floor may be used to control the flow of water

What Are the Benefits of Constructing a Walipini?

Still, many people are wondering why walipini becomes popular; no wonder might be the better option than any normal greenhouse.

To enjoy real-time benefits it is better to build walipini because it can bring a lot of outcomes with ease.

People who are living in cold areas will prefer walipini because it has some serious benefits to provide the user.

  • Provides Stable Temperature Control

With the walipini, you can enjoy a lot of additional benefits. First of all, it can add up to a huge amount of resources in the cold months.

Even it will help to cool down the area in the heat of summer.

Unlike a greenhouse, walipini is helpful in several ways. First of all, it supports the earth to regulate your temperatures based on the climate.

Overall, walipini is the proffered choice when compared to the traditional greenhouse.

  • Less Construction Effort and Maintenance

Greenhouse walls as well as roof panels always need less maintenance.

This kind of greenhouse only requires less cleaning of a roof area but not all the walls as well, so you no need to spend much amount for the maintenance work.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

First of all, you need to spend a couple hundred dollars to construct a house. After that you need to spend money on any other activities.

However, we know that bulk gravel, lumber, and soil can be cheap. So it is considered as a cost-effective choice than any other option.

The total cost of a walipini is cheaper than a traditional greenhouse.  It is a worthy option for people who are living in cold areas.

  • Eliminates Worries and Hassles

Now, most people prefer to build a walipini greenhouse for enjoying limitless benefits because it can make you live comfortably even in a windy area.

If you are living in a windy area then you need to follow some creative ways to keep plants cool on excessive heat.

A Walipini is an underground greenhouse that comes with a transparent or translucent roof. Now it is widely popular due to its increased benefits.

Normally these kinds of greenhouses work well in different climates.

Usually, this greenhouse only uses nature’s resources for creating a stable-temperature environment that offers long-lasting benefits.

Building a greenhouse is not a simple process because it includes a lot of information and techniques so you must analyze all the factors for properly building a greenhouse.

With the proper knowledge, you can easily build your own Walipini.

Walipini is a circular structure dug and comes with the beam which is made from living willow and it has a small tunnel leading inside.

With the help of a greenhouse, you will extend your growing season. On the other hand, this greenhouse appeal to preppers is that so it can be the better option.

It is also perfect for a dry climate. Walipini is beneficial because it can hold moisture from the ground.

The Walipini needs fewer materials for the construction and the maintenance cost is also less when compared to any other option so you must utilize this wonderful option to enjoy a lot.


In general, walipini is mostly important for season extensions. Now it becomes the popular method for adding extra benefits.

To explore a lot of benefits you should take the above guide to plan your construction. These are essential to bringing a nice house design with alternative building techniques.

With the proper knowledge you can easily build a walipini, thus find the perfect season extension design based on your climatic conditions.


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