Page 3 of 17 FirstFirst ... 23413 ... LastLast
Results 71 to 105 of 581

Thread: Greenhouse Update

  1. #71
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Northern NSW Australia
    Posts
    72,450

    Default Re: Greenhouse Update



    I plan something very similar to the above but feeding the hot air into a "cupboard" with nylon mesh shelving as a fruit drier .The hot air collection box has many uses !
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  2. #72
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Greenhouse Update

    Great thread Chip - really enjoying this one.

  3. #73
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Wow-Ming
    Posts
    17,519

    Default Re: Greenhouse Update

    Quote Originally Posted by Jefe View Post
    Great thread Chip - really enjoying this one.
    Glad to hear it. I'm in the greenhouse now- installed a wireless router in the house and it has enough range to let me use a laptop. Screen's pretty glary, though. But I've got one of those folding wooden rockers like they make in Maine and Canada, steam-bent maple fastened with square-drive deck screws. Got it in a junk shop years ago. There's no makers mark on it, but it's at least 50 years old, I reckon.

    Cloudy, blustery day. It's 66.7 degrees out here and 59 degrees in the house. Just got done pruning the tomato vines, to let a bit more light in. Ate a couple ripe Sun Gold cherry toms. I'm tempted to stay right here, but I'd better walk the doggo and then work on the hot air collector.

  4. #74
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    NW Washington
    Posts
    113

    Default Re: Greenhouse Update

    I've been following since you started this thread. I suppose it's past time to let you know how much I've enjoyed your updates, and the knowledge you are sharing here. It is greatly appreciated, thank you.

  5. #75
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Wow-Ming
    Posts
    17,519

    Default Re: Greenhouse Update

    Quote Originally Posted by PAlien View Post
    I've been following since you started this thread. I suppose it's past time to let you know how much I've enjoyed your updates, and the knowledge you are sharing here. It is greatly appreciated, thank you.
    I appreciate the kind words. If you build your own greenhouse, rather than updates you could be enjoying ripe tomatoes.

  6. #76
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Wow-Ming
    Posts
    17,519

    Default Re: Greenhouse Update

    Finished building the solar hot air siphon thingie. My scrap bins yielded everything I needed except some reflective insulation.

    Here's the side that goes in through the window. The warm air exits through the obvious openings.

    The cold air intake is out of sight beneath.



    Here's the business end. If you scroll back to the sketch you'll know what's what. I painted a leftover scrap of steel roofing black for the heat-collecting part. The face is 2-wall polycarbonate that was used as padding in the crate for the sheathing I ordered for the greenhouse. Very useful stuff to have on hand.



    Ruby isn't sure what it is. I'll get it mounted through the window tomorrow. The frame is vinyl and has several odd angles, thin edges, etc. It'll require some serious cussing, I reckon.

  7. #77
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    NW Washington
    Posts
    113

    Default Re: Greenhouse Update

    Looks great, I'll be curious to see how it works for you. If I had better southern exposure I would be building one myself.

    Have you seen the variation with screening as the collector?

  8. #78
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Wow-Ming
    Posts
    17,519

    Default Re: Greenhouse Update

    Quote Originally Posted by PAlien View Post
    Have you seen the variation with screening as the collector?
    No. I'm curious about it. Do you have a link to a website?

  9. #79
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Portland, Maine
    Posts
    16,667

    Default Re: Greenhouse Update

    I like the collector, Chip. I have a double glazed panel from a sliding glass door and plan on something similar. I was goin to mount it to the exterior of the house with a small section of insulated vent pipe top and bottom. Do you think convection would be enough? I was thinking a small solar powered fan

  10. #80
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Wow-Ming
    Posts
    17,519

    Default Re: Greenhouse Update

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenBauer View Post
    I like the collector, Chip. I have a double glazed panel from a sliding glass door and plan on something similar. I was goin to mount it to the exterior of the house with a small section of insulated vent pipe top and bottom. Do you think convection would be enough? I was thinking a small solar powered fan
    Glass is nice but heavy. I selected thin/lightweight stock and the polycarbonate weighs 1/3 or less what glass does. And the thing is still pretty heavy and bulky for one person to move.

    This one mounts through a window, so I didn't have to cut any holes in the house. If it works well, I might build a larger one with permanent ductwork and fans.

    I've got two solar panels left from other projects, and a 6" 12v fan from Radio Shack. I'll try it without a fan first and see how warm the air is coming out. If it's really hot, then a fan would be good.

  11. #81
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Burlington, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.
    Posts
    6,737

    Default Re: Greenhouse Update

    I too would like to add my thanks to chip-skiff for this thread. We had chatted earlier about my attempts to grow stuff in my south facing office / greenhouse and the problem I had with lettuce bolting in normal potting soil. I was able to find some 00 / .01 / 00 potting soil and just planted some lettuce to try it.
    My hope is to have this stuff worked out before I build our next house that includes a small year round greenhouse. I grew up on a farm, but never learned about greenhouse stuff. We just put seeds in the ground in the spring and fertalized and harvested.
    Stay calm, be brave....wait for the signs. Possibly precariously prevaricating.
    .

  12. #82
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Wow-Ming
    Posts
    17,519

    Default Re: Greenhouse Update

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve McMahon View Post
    I too would like to add my thanks to chip-skiff for this thread. . .
    My hope is to have this stuff worked out before I build our next house that includes a small year round greenhouse.
    Thanks, Steve. I'd love to build from scratch and use what I've learned about sunlight and applied physics. In our climate it wouldn't be that hard to build a house that would collect and store most of the energy needed. But instead, I'm always fixing and retrofitting.

    Speaking of which, here's the solar hot-air siphon space heater installed—



    Looks okay, if you don't inspect too closely. It had to be mounted high enough that I can lift the window-well cover (more greenhouse scrap). I cut angle foam blocks to build up the angled and channeled windowframe so the weight wouldn't rest on the thin edges, then cut more foam to seal up the edges.

    Here's the inside view—



    Not exactly decor, but neither is it hideous. The warm current of air was encouraging. I think I'll leave the fan and solar panel off for now. Tomorrow I'll shut the bedroom door and see what the temperature increase is by sunset. I'm curious as to whether it makes sense to build a large version and install some ducts.

  13. #83
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Tulsa, Okla.
    Posts
    12,606

    Default Re: Greenhouse Update

    Ok, if you are just going to leave stuff outside send it to me.
    "para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien también" (for everything bad, mezcal, and for everything good, as well.)

  14. #84
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Wow-Ming
    Posts
    17,519

    Default Re: Greenhouse Update

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby of Tulsa View Post
    Ok, if you are just going to leave stuff outside send it to me.
    You mean the coal stove? It's an old railway stove— you can tell by the bolt holes in the feet. There's an iron flowerpot upside-down on top where the pipe plugs in. No place to set a pot of coffee. Strictly for space heating.

  15. #85
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Tulsa, Okla.
    Posts
    12,606

    Default Re: Greenhouse Update

    I would almost drive up there and haul it off for you, almost.
    "para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien también" (for everything bad, mezcal, and for everything good, as well.)

  16. #86
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    NW Washington
    Posts
    113

    Default Re: Greenhouse Update

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip-skiff View Post
    No. I'm curious about it. Do you have a link to a website?
    Here's a good starting point. I'm sure you've seen these guys, they are a great resource.

    http://www.n3fjp.com/solar/compariso...isonhotair.htm

    And, from that page is this link:

    http://www.builditsolar.com/Experime...ting/Index.htm

  17. #87
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Wow-Ming
    Posts
    17,519

    Default Re: Greenhouse Update

    Thanks for the links. I'm thinking about the reason why screen would be better than a piece of roofing steel— less surface area but more contact area, and more turbulent air circulation.

    Hmmmmm. I'll probably build another one before too long.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby of Tulsa View Post
    I would almost drive up there and haul it off for you, almost.
    This one's from a passenger coach. They didn't want passengers trying to cook or boil water, so they got stoves with a rounded sloping top not much larger than the stovepipe. Caboose or crew car heating stoves are nicer, with a flat top and one or two plates. Monkey stoves (two-plate laundry stoves used for heating wash boilers) are also nice for heating a small cabin and one-pot cooking. Some of them have double-wall fireboxes (a water jacket) with pipe threads on the back, for heating water. But they tended to rust out so there's not many around.
    Last edited by Chip-skiff; 01-30-2012 at 09:54 PM.

  18. #88
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Wow-Ming
    Posts
    17,519

    Default Re: Greenhouse Update



    Finally got a perfectly clear day for a test. The outside temp at sunrise was about 20°F. The temp in the bedroom (135 sq. ft.) was 52°F. With the doors shut, by 1:00 pm the temp was 60.6°F, an 8.6° gain. Not bad for a simple box with sun-driven circulation. I'll build an add-on panel with a couple small DC fans, and hang a 10 W PV panel outside.

    The screen collector is intriguing. Since there are two identical windows, I'll probably build a screen collector and do comparisons next winter. No hurry.

    Big storm blew through, with subzero nights after.



    But inside there's an endless summer.



    Stuck the newspaper in to prove it's not an old photo. Cut a container of basil this afternoon to make roasted-garlic/pecan pesto and added about 1/3 fresh chervil which adds an interesting note.



    Ruby (the dear dog) loves pesto.
    Last edited by Chip-skiff; 02-07-2012 at 11:19 PM.

  19. #89
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Greenhouse Update

    Hey Chip,

    Do you have a control to compare to? Just wondering how much of the heat gain is from the collector vs. sun on that side of the house...

  20. #90
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Wow-Ming
    Posts
    17,519

    Default Re: Greenhouse Update

    Quote Originally Posted by Jefe View Post
    Do you have a control to compare to? Just wondering how much of the heat gain is from the collector vs. sun on that side of the house.
    I'll try it again with the blinds closed on the next day there's no cloud cover.

    My guess is that the combined effect of sun on the outside of the house and through the windows would be a gain of 1-2 degrees. But the collector warms the air when it's cold outdoors and the room is losing more heat through wall and windows than it's gaining.

  21. #91
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Wow-Ming
    Posts
    17,519

    Default Re: Greenhouse Update

    Since the airflow with the passive thermosiphon setup was gentle, to say the least, I added a pair of 12 volt DC cooling fans from Radio Shack (about 5 watts max) wired in parallel, and hung a 10 watt panel (used for charging batteries during science fieldwork) on the wall outside.



    To measure the airflow, I taped a sheet of toilet tissue on the outlet. With the passive thermosiphon it deflected maybe 10°. With the fans it deflects 45-60°, and the temperature of the air output is still pleasantly warm, i.e. the design is better at air-heating than air-moving.

    After tilting the PV panel, which boosts the fan speed (sounds like a small aircraft taking off on a short strip) I mounted it flat which keeps the fan noise tolerable. On the next clear day, I'll take another set of temp readings.
    Last edited by Chip-skiff; 02-09-2012 at 06:27 PM.

  22. #92
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Wow-Ming
    Posts
    17,519

    Default Re: Greenhouse Update

    Might as well post a few pics of the greenhouse.

    I took out the old beans, cukes, and tomatoes (which had quit producing) in December and replanted. Aound the outside are tomatoes and mini-eggplant.



    In the center bed, the black pots hold two cukes and one melon (saved seeds from a delicious melon we got at a farmer's market). The plastic containers on the near side hold chives and baby rocquette.

    Here are some of the new crop of tomatoes, all Russian and east European heirlooms.



    Here's the other half of the middle bed.



    In the green pot is a Seascape strawberry. At the top is a baby lettuce mix, then New Zealand spinach, then a hybrid spinach (nearly big enough to clip), with Japanese radishes and purple scallions (hard to see) along the edge and a red oakleaf lettuce on the right, that I've been clipping for three weeks.

    Right now we can have a nice salad every 2-3 days. Pretty soon we'll be able to have salad every day.

    The solar heat, both passive and active, and the radiants keep things above 40°F until the outside temps go below -5°F. I've used the little propane heater five nights so far this winter, with temps down to about -30°F.

    Since we live a good way from town and only shop once a week, we had trouble keeping enough produce on hand without things going bad. So it's nice to have fresh vegs on hand all the time.

  23. #93
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Wow-Ming
    Posts
    17,519

    Default Re: Greenhouse Update

    Today's pick— top basket, Siberia, Black Prince, and Gold Nugget.



    Bottom, Johnnys 361 and Moskvich.

    Think I'll have a BLT while I look at the new issue of WB.

  24. #94
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Tulsa, Okla.
    Posts
    12,606

    Default Re: Greenhouse Update

    Mr.Skiff, you are such a..... Good gardener.
    "para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien también" (for everything bad, mezcal, and for everything good, as well.)

  25. #95
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Fort Collins, Co
    Posts
    7,666

    Default Re: Greenhouse Update

    Well done, how did you get your copy before I did up in the wilds of Wyoming while here in civilized (sometimes) Fort Fun the WBJ is absent from my mailbox?

    Just started snowing too, going to be a fun ride tonight.
    Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business.
    TOM ROBBINS, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues



  26. #96
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Wow-Ming
    Posts
    17,519

    Default Re: Greenhouse Update

    Quote Originally Posted by switters View Post
    Well done, how did you get your copy before I did up in the wilds of Wyoming while here in civilized (sometimes) Fort Fun the WBJ is absent from my mailbox?
    I told the mailman I'd shoot him if he didn't buck up.

  27. #97
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    NW Washington
    Posts
    113

    Default Re: Greenhouse Update

    Still loving this thread, thank you again Chip. Are you familiar with the work at CRMPI? Seems like it would be right up your alley.

    http://ecosystems-design.com/CRMPI%20Greenhouses.html

  28. #98
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    GSBLINY
    Posts
    10,080

    Default Re: Greenhouse Update



    That's disgusting!

  29. #99
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Savannah, GA
    Posts
    6,734

    Default Re: Greenhouse Update

    Thanks for this amazing thread, Chip. I want to save the whole thing so my son can get busy doing something similar down here. I've saved stuff from forums in the past but I'm getting old and don't recall how I did it. If anyone wants to show me the way that would be hunky dory.

    Regardless, Mr. Chip, please carry on.
    Goat Island Skiff and Simmons Sea Skiff construction photos here:

    http://s176.photobucket.com/albums/w...esMan/?start=0

    and here:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/37973275@N03/

    "All kings are not the same."

  30. #100
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Savannah, GA
    Posts
    6,734

    Default Re: Greenhouse Update

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip-skiff View Post
    Not sure about the beans, but they do.

    The tomatoes want a bit of shaking, and they get the job done. For the peppers, I touch all the blossoms of each variety with a fingertip (the pollen is visible). Different fingers for different sorts. Not sure it's necessary, but why not have a bit of fun?

    The cucumbers are parthenogenic (self-fertilizing). The seed catalogues have this sort of information.
    I've never tried to grow beans so I can't comment on them, but I do want to add what I've learned about tomatoes and cukes.

    Cukes have male and female flowers that have to cross pollenate to produce fruit. It's pretty easy to see which flowers are male and which are female; male flowers have slender stems and female flowers have bulges--miniature cukes just below the bloom. If there are no bugs or breezes you need to move pollen from the male flowers to the female ones using a small artist's brush.

    Tomatoes (and bell peppers) have flowers that have both male and female parts within the same flower. They will self-pollinate with a little shaking or wind.
    Goat Island Skiff and Simmons Sea Skiff construction photos here:

    http://s176.photobucket.com/albums/w...esMan/?start=0

    and here:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/37973275@N03/

    "All kings are not the same."

  31. #101
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Wow-Ming
    Posts
    17,519

    Default Re: Greenhouse Update

    Quote Originally Posted by MiddleAgesMan View Post
    Cukes have male and female flowers that have to cross pollenate to produce fruit. It's pretty easy to see which flowers are male and which are female; male flowers have slender stems and female flowers have bulges--miniature cukes just below the bloom. If there are no bugs or breezes you need to move pollen from the male flowers to the female ones using a small artist's brush.
    True in the main, but the variety I like best (Socrates from Johnny's) is parthenogenic. The blossoms develop into fruits with no help whatsoever.




  32. #102
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Wow-Ming
    Posts
    17,519

    Default Re: Greenhouse Update

    Shot this today, with a ground blizzard howling outside: the wind is scouring up loose snow and carrying it in a cloud. All the highways are closed. Inside, the greens I planted a couple weeks ago are now mature enough that we can have salad every day, and sometimes twice.



    Top to bottom, L to R: chives, rocquette (arugula), cucumbers and a melon with mache (corn salad) in a circle around the pot. Near bed: carrots (not up yet), leaf-lettuce mix, New Zealand spinach, spinach, Japanese radish (Shunkyo), purple scallions, and red oakleaf lettuce. I've also got radishes sprouting around the new bunch of tomato plants, which are beginning to flower.

    With a decent-size south or east window, you could grow enough in containers for one or two people. You need enough containers to be starting new batches of the short-cycle crops such as radishes and corn salad as the first bunch matures . Lettuce, spinach, arugula and other plants that are harvested by clipping leaves will regrow and give a longer harvest period.

    Here's a container of basil just sprouting, on a heat mat with insulation underneath. There's a clear dome cover and a grow light, all of which speed up the process.


    With basil, I usually thin it and use the whole baby plants in salad. When it gets about 2 inches high, I thin again and use the leaves. The last cutting is at about 4 inches high. If I let it go too long, the aphids get into it— basil is a magnet for aphids, which are a constant problem.

    Hope this inspires some cultivation, or at least lightens the deep-winter blues.

  33. #103
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Wow-Ming
    Posts
    17,519

    Default Re: Greenhouse Update

    While I was in Seattle, it snew and blew like mad. A big slab slid off the greenhouse roof and tore the PEX tubing from the outlet fitting on the collector, so there was no active heating. I spotted it when I got back— an easy fix. Then I recharged the system with 50% glycol and did a better job than at first— it shows 10 psi cold.

    While I had the ladder up, I decided to switch the PV panel that drives the active heat pump to the west side of the flat-plate collector. Where it was, it was getting full sun first thing in the morning, while there was still frost on the flat-plate collector glass, so it was pumping warm fluid through the cold collector. On the west side, there's just enough morning shadow to keep the pump from starting until the big collector has 30-40 minutes of sun and is well warmed up.



    It also keeps the pump running a bit later in the afternoon, when the collector is warm. Further minor adjustments will follow, no doubt.

    The solar hot air collector is working well: on a sunny day it blows a nice stream of 70°+ air into the cold part of the house. When it's dark and cold, not much air circulates through it, so we're not losing much more heat than through the window glazing.

  34. #104
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Wow-Ming
    Posts
    17,519

    Default Re: Greenhouse Update

    Took a few snaps this morning. Saw a couple of these flying buggers, which are new to me. Can anyone ID this?



    If it eats smaller bugs, fine. If it has larvae that eat plants. . .

    Here's the center bed. Above the divide, chives and rocket/arugula, now getting a bit rank. In the pots, cuke, melon, cuke. It's been a bt chilly for them and they're growing slowly. Around them are Mache (corn salad) and a couple NZ spinach in left pot, that'll be picked before long. These interplantings use the limited space in an efficient way.



    Bottom half: carrots (just up, ready to be thinned), spinach and Japanese radish, baby lettuce mix, NZ spinach, purple scallions (bottom edge) and red oakleaf lettuce. The aphids are starting to get into the baby lettuce and spinach. They don't like the red lettuce much. Just harvested bags of rocket, spinach, and lettuce. The radish leaves are also good in salad.

    The strawberries (Seascape from Johnny's) are starting to produce 2-3 handfuls per week. Some of them are strangely shaped, but taste fine. Hanging pots are good for space-saving.



    The basil is really taking off. It was started under a clear dome on a heat mat. The heat mat is now off, but I've got a grow-light just above.



    I'll thin it out this afternoon and we'll eat the sprouts in panzanella (an Italian bread salad). The old tomatoes have slowed down, but they've been bearing since last June or July. The new ones, all different varieties, are blooming.

    This is what it's been like outside—


  35. #105
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pleasant Bay. Cape Cod. US
    Posts
    1,910

    Default Re: Greenhouse Update

    I'm about to build a glass "alcove" onto a shed .... the footprint will only be 16 sq. ft., and the glazing will be about 60 sq. ft. The intended use is a "season extender" so I can have veggies from April through late November.

    Got a good deal on some surplus, new, double-pane glass panels - $100 delivered today. Less $$ than the equivalent R value polycarb and it might look a little nicer, too. Woo-hoo!

    Thanks for the inspiration provided by this thread to finally get off the seat and actually do it!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •