Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Summer Project: Greenhouse and Hydroponics

It's been quite a while since I've posted anything – I'm way over due. I realize we're just a couple of weeks away from the American election – meaning there's plenty of fodder, and most of the PlanetRomney crap torques me off.

I think for a change I'll stay mellow and keep it about life... This has been a really busy summer.. .growing (gardening), my initial for-ea into hydroponics, Yellowsone... I'll go chronologically.

My wife is a big gardener. In addition to having a bumper tomato crop from the garden, she told me she wanted to grow till November, and start in March. Ok, greenhouse time! We have 12x8 shed in the back yard. I used that as a back frame and extended an 8 foot wide by 12 feet deep addition outlined with 8x8 rail road ties. Most of the plastic walling material is 48 inches wide, so I kept the frame 24 inches (½) to mount the walling to and give it support in the middle. For framing I used green treated 2x4's.

It only took a couple of industrious weekends.. and about $400, and tada... completed greenhouse! One of the better innovations was summer temperature control. I used a 12 inch attic ventilation fan, the bonus is that it comes standard with a built in thermostat! I set it for 90, so when ever the temp hit 90, the fan kicks on.
It's been great for starting plants. Now that it's almost November, the outside temperature is in the 30's most of the time. Our outside garden has been gone 5 weeks or so. In the greenhouse it's still 60-70 degrees using an oil electric heater. Our tomato plants are just going great in there! I'm going to switch to a kerosene heater here shortly as the temperature continues to drop and the small electric heater is having more and more difficulty keeping up..  I found one on Craiglist for $20.  Haven't used it yet.

Notice the white tubimg on the far wall.  That's a hydroponic growing system.  We're gowing some lettice in a water solution.  They're doing really great so far and it will be interesting to see how they continue.
That's all for now.  Keep your minds open and your wallets closed!  -BT Richards