Wildlife Gardeners - North American Wildlife Gardening

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-   -   Converting a Traditional Greenhouse? (http://www.wildlifegardeners.org/forum/greenhouses-coldframes/7631-converting-traditional-greenhouse.html)

Equilibrium 11-22-2010 01:29 AM

I just found what I think was the problem with the glauber's salt but.... the site's got some other ideas you might get an idea or 2 from, AE-89.

dapjwy 11-22-2010 07:20 PM

Thank you, Lib.

Sorry to hear you had such bad luck--especially the cracked noggin! I'd never heard of an alergy to to cedar! Too bad, it sounded beautiful.

I'm pretty much resigned to just extending the growing season. I'm not too concerned about growing in the summer...I can do that outside. I'm interested in the water wall, but maybe the compost idea would be GENERATING heat, instead of just absorbing and releasing it.

I was looking at insulation panels with reflective foil (or something) on it... I'm thinking about putting the foil side inside so it helps bounce the light around. Not sure if that would work, but I keep brainstorming.

Thanks for the link. I'll check it out now. I'm not giving up hope, but trying to be more realistic.

Equilibrium 11-26-2010 02:20 PM

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.

dapjwy 08-05-2012 11:10 AM

This morning, after walking, I noticed a black, metal barrel for sale at a local yard sale. It got me thinking again about trying to extend the growing season in my greenhouse. I'm thinking that filling it with water will allow it to absorb heat during the day and give it off at night. My plan so far was to place four of these in each corner of the greenhouse and use it as a platform on which to grow some vegetables...

So, upon returning home I did a Google search for "converting a greenhouse"--the first link in the results was my own post here! :) Later, I searched for "passive solar greenhouse" and came up with this informative site: Bradford Research and Extension Center: Building a Passive Solar Greenhouse

...so, it would seem that four barrels would not be enough...but, I'm guessing it woud still help extend the growing season at least a little. Also, the angle of my greenhouse's roof is not right...but, I hope to implement some ideas and see what I can come up with.

I've also been thinking about installing windows in the roof that can slide open which might, hopefully, allow me to use the greenhouse in the summer as well--I could allow more heat out and let the RAIN in so I wouldn't have to water as much. Just some thoughts--not sure they will work, but it is fun to puzzle over the idea.

Equilibrium 08-05-2012 09:15 PM

You don't have any neighbors with chickens do you>>>? Just a thought but.... chicken poops get steamin' hot. Before I had my own chickens, I went to a neighbor's house and "volunteered" mucking out his chicken coop so I could keep the poops for my composter. For whatever reason.... chicken poops get way hotter than horse of cow poops. We're talking they can get so hot you can't touch the metal shovel after digging around in a pile of chicken doo doo. I'm wondering if several barrels of compost acting like radiators might not be at least some help heating your greenhouse?

havalotta 08-06-2012 12:28 AM

I recall seeing photos of a green house up this way that had a foundation of mortar and rocks built up around it maybe hip high?
She always kept a wood stove stoked in it... I think it had a fan or blower that pushed the warm air through some sort of a pipe system running horizontal along the midway as it was used all year round and needed someone to tend the fire if she left for more than a day or two...

dapjwy 08-06-2012 09:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Equilibrium (Post 118034)
You don't have any neighbors with chickens do you>>>?

...I'm wondering if several barrels of compost acting like radiators might not be at least some help heating your greenhouse?

No one who is my immediate neighbor--but I'm sure someone around here must.

Thanks for the suggestion...it is a good one...but not one I'd relish implementing.

I remember my dad telling me years ago that chicken manure makes great compost but it really STINKS! Now, if I could only train chickens to poop directly into a composter-contraption-outhouse-kind-of-thing...then I might go for it.

dapjwy 08-06-2012 09:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by havalotta (Post 118042)
I recall seeing photos of a green house up this way that had a foundation of mortar and rocks built up around it maybe hip high?
She always kept a wood stove stoked in it... I think it had a fan or blower that pushed the warm air through some sort of a pipe system running horizontal along the midway as it was used all year round and needed someone to tend the fire if she left for more than a day or two...

Hmm...I don't think I'm ready for anything like that--yet (who knows what the future will bring). I'd like to see how much I can do with some small changes...and then go from there.


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