Temperatures were forecast (at one point) to be in the teens overnight this week. They have since been revised upwards a bit, but I got my greenhouse heater in place. In this case I am using a string of 100 red, green and white incandescent christmas tree lights. The lights should add a few degrees of warmth inside the dome. Everything seems to be growing pretty well in there, but it was too dark for pictures without a tripod. I took this one with an 8 second exposure zoomed in from my picnic table on the patio.
Posts Tagged ‘greenhouse’
This year we’re going to try a different approach to the greenhouse idea.
I added a PVC hoop house to this 4 x 8 foot bed last weekend. Well, everything except the plastic cover…it’s too soon for that.
I bought 6 pieces of half-inch PVC pipe and 2 pieces of the size that was big enough to let half-inch pipe slip inside itself…I think they are 1 inch.
I cut and drove sections the bigger pipes into the ground as holders for the hoops. The flimsy half-inch pipe was easy to bend over and insert into the pipes in the ground. I screwed up a top ridge pole and then ran a screw through each leg into the frame of the bed.
I added a bunch of rich black compost and then seeded some fall/winter crops. I’m going to try carrots, turnips, beets, radishes, kale, lettuce, spinach and maybe a couple other things.
God bless cordless drills. I hate running drop cords.
I hurt my left hand somehow while using the 8 pound sledge hammer to drive the pipes into the ground. I didn’t even notice anything until hours later, but now my left thumb is almost useless. It’s strange to drive to work, go to make a left turn, and remember that I have to use my right hand to do it.
Oh, the flowers got transplanted into pots up by the house. S. helped me quite a bit with the work, but I didn’t end up with any pictures of him this time.
Blurry camera phone picture:
Here are 63 broccoli young’ins, inside the plastic greenhouse shelf thing that R. gave me for Christmas in late 2008. Unfortunately the cloth used in the zipper has badly deteriorated after only six months outside last summer, so this will probably be the last year I can use this as a greenhouse. I spent an hour or so last night potting up another 36 seedlings.
The whole unit is resting in the shade of my back porch awning while the plants get used to the daily temperature swings outdoors for a little while. When I do finally move them to the sun I need to make sure they don’t get TOO hot by checking on them at noon every day. A bright sunny day could have temperatures inside the plastic building up to 100+, followed by nightly lows in the high 20s (F). The plants probably wouldn’t appreciate such extremes.
Tonight’s low is forecast to be 24 degrees, so I’ll put a few gallon jugs of warm/hot water in there with the plants and zip them up tight. I might even give them a blanket for the night.
I planted the Kale seeds I received in the mail from Robin shortly after Christmas. I had a heck of a time with poor germination, but I finally have a tray of them rising up! Thank you again Robin! I am very much looking forward to trying these. I’m going to give them a little bit longer to get established before I throw them out in the cold greenhouse (gradually, I’m sure).
I think I’ll get to eat some of this lettuce this month. I started this bunch under lights indoors and then set it out in my attached greenhouse.
There was an incident that ruined half the lettuce in the container (melting ice, water, plastic roof, heavy, spill, mess) but it has been bouncing back.
Here is a shot of the biggest bunch, taken in noon-time sunlight today on my lunch break:
Rapidly approaching the end of the month and I think I’ll have a fresh salad tonight! Brought to you by winter container gardening!
The radish seeds I sowed in the greenhouse in a pot on December 5th started to show their heads last week. Yesterday many had come up!
There were several consecutive nights of 0 degree weather outside (in degrees fahrenheit, 32 below freezing), and the greenhouse got as cold as 19 by morning once, but the radishes seem to be doing well!
Shortly I’ll be moving some other seedlings out there…things I started inside under my grow lights. I could keep them inside and just grow them under the lights, but this is an experiment after all! I want to see what works!
I don’t know if you can see it in the picture above, but the greenhouse might be warming up to itself a bit!
I have had my little greenhouse enclosed since Sunday, and after four days of nice bright sunshine warming the thing up to as high as 90 degrees, there is now a 7.4 degree difference between outdoors and the greenhouse at 11 p.m, several hours after sunset.
Update 7 a.m.: outdoors 29 F, greenhouse 37 F. I do have 5 gallons of 90 degree water in there, heated by a 200 watt aquarium heater. Perhaps that explains the difference.
This is the finished product. I capped our walk-out basement stairs with a very simple greenhouse made of scrap wood and 3 mil painting dropcloth. This should help me extend the season a bit.
Just open the door from the laundry room and you’re there.
This afternoon the outdoor high reached 42. The greenhouse was 81. It seems promising. I’m going to start some butter crunch lettuce seeds in the containers on the steps in the pictures. I just need to figure out what to do about nighttime freezing. I wonder how much help a 5 gallon bucket of water warmed with an aquarium heater would be?
I made a little greenhouse of sorts today. I didn’t get it done before dark…not completely done anyway…so I didn’t take pictures yet.
The lowest level of our house is a walk-out basement about half as far in the ground as a full basement. As I open the laundry-room back door and walk out the ground outside is at mid-stomach level.
At these stairs, I added a simple 2×3 roof and framework covered with 3 mil plastic. I haven’t sealed it up tight at all, but tonight it seems to be a few degrees warmer than the rest of the outdoors (33 vs 28 degrees).