Saturday, December 29, 2012

hanging planters

The greenhouse plants are seeded into planters made from recycled rain gutters.  Above is pictured an attempt to suspend the gutters using chain and double end bolt snap hooks.  It seems to be working so the plan will be to hang more of the planters.  The multiple thermometers were recently added to allow for greater monitoring of the temperatures in the greenhouse.  Near the bottom of the glazing it was nearly 20 degrees cooler than along the north wall or in the suspended planter.  It will be interesting to scatter the thermometers around learning the greenhouse's hot spots and cool spots and where are the best places to put the planters in the different seasons of the winter.

snap hook and chain

When this picture was taken it was single digits above zero outside and partly cloudy.  Earlier it had been sunny and this thermometer was reading 85 degrees.


black buckets

Mom's greenhouse is a passive solar greenhouse.  The goal is to grow cold tolerant greens and vegetables without a supplemental heat source.  This fall our family completed the tile floor which was the last of the insulating projects.  This allows for our first real winter of  crops.  Our goal is to keep the temperature in the greenhouse above freezing.  We are using containers of water as heat sink.  We have had the overnight temperatures drop into the 20's or lower on some nights.  The seedlings in the planters are still alive but not thriving and growing.  We are adding additional containers of water.

In an effort to improve the heat absorption quality of the water containers used for heat sink in the greenhouse the exposed sides of the containers will be covered with black duct tape.  We currently have 34 yellow cat litter boxes (thanks Lisa and Jack) and 30 new white mushroom boxes (thanks Nathan and Michelle).  Today the new white boxes were covered on three sides with the duct tape.  Each box required three wider strips and one narrower strip of the tape. 

The boxes are placed along the North wall of the greenhouse where the sun can hit them, warming up the water inside.  After the sun goes down and the greenhouse begins to cool the boxes will release their heat, slowing the cooling of the greenhouse.  The yellow boxes still need to be covered and that is a project for another day.  Thank you Caitlin for your help in covering the boxes today.