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Old 11-26-2010, 02:20 PM   #13
Official Plant Nerd
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Join Date: Dec 2008

I always get hives when I brush against pine and I knew I was allergic to cedar pollen but…. I never thought I’d have problems breathing in a cedar framed greenhouse…. you don’t think of those things when you want something really bad. Don’t be so down…. this is like totally doable and who knows…. maybe even during winter!!! I gotta run here real soon since we're going to the Trans Siberian Orchestra but I've got a coupla quick thoughts.... run with your water wall and try composters and then add a little spice to your operation by getting your creative juices flowing. Use some of those cheap pink foam insulation boards on the inside and maybe paint them with Kool Seal Elastimore Roof Coating…. you can get it at Lowes last time I checked and a gallon is around $20. Slop the paint on then back them up to the walls and let the light bounce while you get added insulation from the foamboards. It’s probably be better gluing 2 mil mylar to the foam insulation boards…. aluminized side outward…. onto the boards and then you’d get super duper reflectivity. If you needed to cool down the greenhouse in summer all you’d have to do is turn the foam insulation board around. Dual purpose!!! Mylar has well over 95% reflectivity if it’s applied smooth as in no creases or wrinkles which is tricky since I’ve done it before. You can pick up whole roles of 2 mil mylar cheap. I use 4 mil mylar on 3 paneled privacy screens inside my house. I have grow shelves in front of regular house windows with orchids on them and I position the screen behind the shelves so I maximize the light coming in through the windows. Works wonders and I get unbelievable results so yes!!! Yes you can bounce light around on the cheap!!! Another possibility is foylon. It’s way thicker than mylar and you can use Velcro to put it where you want without needing a backing for it. Both mylar and foylon reflect radiant heat so you might want to borrow a light meter from someone and check out where you’re at. You don’t want any hot spots in your greenhouse or you’ll end up with dead plants. Just remember…. radiant light energy is electromagnetic with wavelengths between 400-700nm and radiant heat energy has a wavelength between 800-2000 nm. Since you’re going the veggie route I got to thinking about heat loss into the ground like what Philip mentioned. I dunno what your flooring is but what about picking up a some of those $3 survival blankets and tossing those on the ground with the reflective side up>>>? That could be a totally viable option since they reflect about 80% radiant heat and they sell em everywhere. If you tear one walking on it no biggie…. Just buy another one and slap it over the other one you ripped. You know… they always say 1 good blanket underneath you is worth 2 on top so if they’re good enough for people…. they should be good for plants. Another idea I’ve got would be using heat coils under seed trays. I keep meaning to try that one myself. I use old heating pads that don’t have those auto offs but that’s only because I had them. Heating coils would be a lot cheaper and you could probably keep those soil temps around 70 through the night.
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