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Gardening: (2016– )


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My container of rosemary, thyme and orgegao  came inside to be re-potted for winter in the garage since we've been having hard frost for a week or more already.  With luck (and if I remember to keep them watered) they may survive til April.

The prediction is that we will have a colder and wetter season so will have to see what happens.

It's cold enough that the sprinkler system has already been shut down for the season.

Edited by lindag (log)
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My parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme are still outside.  We had frost last night but I went out when I saw the frost advisory and threw a frost blanket over the herbs.  Everything seems fine.  Even the flowers.  I'm on the second floor so I typically escape the early frosts.

 

Edited by JoNorvelleWalker
spelling (log)
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No frost yet down here, but my herbs usually overwinter fine four years out of five. And I've never had rosemary die from a cold winter. My sage, oregano and thyme are still thriving. Parsley bolted and gave up the ghost when it got hot.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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I am not a gardener. I can kill mint, with ease. But earlier today, I committed the absurd act of plucking a ripe Yellow Pear tomato off its vine from the pot on our deck, and noted that there are still probably a dozen or more green versions of all sizes still there, as well as some flowers. There's also an unripe Brandywine, which may or may not be able to progress beyond green. This on the shore of Lake Ontario, in mid-October.

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MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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Meet the newest addition to the Space Garden:

 

20171018_214320.thumb.jpg.7be97c9f7be1a98600116288fc8902cf.jpg

 

This is the reservoir - it's basically a food grade 35 gallon barrel.  I've been experimenting making a reservoir chiller - since it basically sits in the middle of my living room, it's hard to keep the liquid temperature at the optimal range - about 65F - otherwise I'd have to keep it rather chilly in here...  Proper professional res. chillers cost about $400 and are basically a 1/8-1/4HP refrigeration compressor that chills water or nutrient flowing through it using a pump.  I wanted to spend quite a bit less money than that if possible, so the thing I have rigged up is a 12V 6A peltier module with a copper waterblock, heatsink and high speed computer fan.  I have a small 12V pump sitting in the reservoir that pumps nutrient up to the copper waterblock to chill and then back into the res.

 

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Right now, this system is able to reduce the temp of my 9 gallon nutrient to about 67F in an ambient temp. of about 76 degF.  I've been experimenting with it the last week or so to test its viability....  I'm pretty happy with it, so this weekend (hopefully) I'll integrate the module into the barrel's cover rather than suspending it over the top like I've been doing.  I just didn't want to cut a hole in the cover if it didn't work well.

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6 minutes ago, KennethT said:

I wanted to spend quite a bit less money than that if possible, so the thing I have rigged up is a 12V 6A peltier module with a copper waterblock, heatsink and high speed computer fan.

 

Rather than having a fan blowing on a heat sink, I wonder if it would make sense to attach the peltier device directly to the bottom of a big pot of water (with silicone grease for better heat transfer). 

The peltier device will be making a pot of hot water at the sametime cooling whatever you are trying to cool, using no energy to power a fan. Metal/water contact is more efficient than air in conductivity anyway. By flipping a polarity switch, you can reverse the hot/cool process, not that you need to do that.

 

dcarch

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People do use liquid cooled systems to couple with the hot side of the peltier.  Rather than trying to stick the hot side of the peltier to a pot of water, it would be better to attach it to a water block and then pump water through it - I think the mechanics of trying to sit the pot of water on the small peltier device would be, umm... challenging.  But it also adds a ton of complexity, and for now, the heatsink that I harvested from an old computer is free and works just fine.  For posterity, or anyone insane like me who might be considering doing something like this, keep in mind that silicone grease is not great for heat transfer - it's better to use thermal CPU heatsink grease, which has a very high thermal conductivity rating.

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KennethT, you just inspired me (another one here who is as crazy as you:D ) to work on an idea.

 

In seed starting, there are many seeds with temperature requirements to germinate. Some need specific warmth, some need stratification, and some need both.

 

A seed starting chamber using a Peltier junction device would seem perfect in that the same device can cool or heat by simple reversal of polarity.

 

My next year's project.

 

dcarch

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Most seeds require warmth to germinate... so the pros use something like a bread proofing box - it's usually a tall rack to allow multiple trays, with a reservoir of water and a submersible heater.  You can make a controller to keep the internal temp around 90F and like 90 percent humidty - that way, all your seeds tend to sprout all at once.

 

Peltier's work ok, but they are very inefficient.  If I was to use a compressor based chiller to chill my reservoir, I would get better chilling using less power.

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17 minutes ago, KennethT said:

Most seeds require warmth to germinate... so the pros use something like a bread proofing box - it's usually a tall rack to allow multiple trays, with a reservoir of water and a submersible heater.  You can make a controller to keep the internal temp around 90F and like 90 percent humidty - that way, all your seeds tend to sprout all at once.

 

Peltier's work ok, but they are very inefficient.  If I was to use a compressor based chiller to chill my reservoir, I would get better chilling using less power.

 

That is true about Peltier efficiency. However, it is the only device which can simply cool and heat without major plumbing setup. It can also instantly cool/heat in rapid cycling without being damaged like a compressor/freon machine can. An aquarium temperature ($20?) controller can turn on cooling or heating functions with great precision, better than a bread proofing box. 

If I built the box with 1" thick rigid foam board, efficiency should not be a big issue.

 

dcarch

 

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Sorry - I didn't mean to say to actually use a bread proofing box - I just meant that it was like a bread proofing box - warm and humid.  A bread proof box's controller is not usually very precise - you can make something much better either doing what you said, or using an Arduino and a temp/humidity sensor.  That gives more flexibility than the aquarium controller since you can then adjust temp and humidity separately as needed.

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Actually, for heating I will just use a small light bulb. Better yet, LED lights, which give more light per watt. Some seeds may need light stimulation to germinate.

 

It takes about 15 minutes to build a very sturdy foam box using, yes, duct tape.

 

Very encouraging for my garden. :-)

 

dcarch

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@KennethT and @dcarch, hi guys,

 

We Luddites are led to believe that LED lighting runs very cool compared to incandescent. Your erudite discourse bringing up this subject led me here, where the answers are all over the map. Can you enlighten us in respect to how much heat an LED light would generate vs. incandescent in a greenhouse environment, and in understandable layman's terms of course.

 

I can only offer my personal observations that my LED TV seems to emit almost no heat and 100 W hoarded incandescent bulbs emit quit a bit of heat. And my 75 W incandescent grow lights emit a lot of heat as well. I used to use my friend's Easy Bake Oven to bake small cakes and things with only a 100 W incandescent light bulb, and Dad wired an insulated doghouse we built so we could heat it with a couple of them in VT.

> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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@Thanks for the Crepes 1 Watt of electricity powering any light source will create 3.4 BTU per hour.  What makes LEDs cooler is that you get more light per Watt (as measured by  PPFD) than other sources, so depending on what you're growing and how much light you need, you could use less wattage.  Keep in mind that normal incandescent bulbs should not be used in greenhouses as A) their color temperature is all wrong for plants and B) they put out very little light (PPFD wise).

 

For many years, greenhouses have either used metal halide or sodium vapor lamps for supplemental lighting.  They have a much higher light/watt output than incandescents.  The problem is that the bulbs do create quite a bit of heat which will heat your greenhouse and will use quite a bit of power, both for the lights and any additional cooling you might need because of them.. Also, the bulbs light output decreases over time, so you should really change out your bulbs every 6 months as while they're still functioning, they're only putting out maybe 70% of what they initially did - and those bulbs are not cheap.   LEDs are much more efficient than either of the above, and do not reduce output over time, and last much longer (usually about 10 years for a properly designed fixture with good heatsinks) but have a much higher initial cost - so it usually takes a few years to get your ROI.

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23 hours ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

We Luddites are led to believe that LED lighting runs very cool compared to incandescent.

 

LED can be very cool running, but high power LEDs are over driven, so they generate a lot of heat. They require heatsinks and cooling fans, otherwise they get burned out in seconds. On a per watt basis, LEDs produce more light than incandescent lights. Not as much as they claim, because they don't tell you the power inverter/supply/driver electronics also use up some power.

 

23 hours ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

Can you enlighten us in respect to how much heat an LED light would generate vs. incandescent in a greenhouse environment,

 

You should never use incandescent light for a greenhouse, even some manufacturers call those incandescent lights "grow lights"

 

23 hours ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

I can only offer my personal observations that my LED TV seems to emit almost no heat

 

That is because there is no such thing as LED TV screens. Also, BTW, there is no such thing as white LEDs.

 

23 hours ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

and Dad wired an insulated doghouse we built so we could heat it with a couple of them in VT.

 

Your dad is a scientist. He did not heat the doghouse with incandescent light. He was only heating the dog with incandescent IR light. Using infrared, you can get heated  up in freezing air temperature.  You can broil food with the oven door open, for instance.

 

dcarch

Edited by dcarch (log)
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Last pick of the season.  Supposed to be 31F tonight and 21F tomorrow.  I am ready for cold weather.  I want snow!!

 

 

IMG_3620.JPG.c6d177ef146e40ed905181cd9b02689e.JPG

 

Those are the stems off of my artichoke plants there on the right that never made an artichoke because the growing season isn't conducive here....I knew that when I planted them, but thought I'd try anyway.  Over here dcarch cooked them in a pressure cooker so I thought I'd follow suit.

 

 

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I decided to try growing garlic this year. I have been told that mid October is when it should be planted around here, so that is what I did. I was happy to see it coming up yesterday.

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Also, when I use green onions, it is usually for the green tips and I used to throw the rest away, but now I have a few places that I just shove the unused root part into the ground and end up buying far fewer green onions.

HC

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10 hours ago, HungryChris said:

I decided to try growing garlic this year. I have been told that mid October is when it should be planted around here, so that is what I did. I was happy to see it coming up yesterday.

 

I've just put mine in as well. I suspect your climate is not that different from mine, despite your balmy southern location. :P

 

Maybe tomorrow, if I can get my act together, I'll show you pictures of my fall-planted garlic vs. my spring-planted garlic. It's quite an eye-opener. 

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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I have started to have night visitors in the garden. Word must be out that the fence is down.

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They trim the pepper plants like hedge clippers.

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Meanwhile. Little Hercules, ( my nick name for the zucchini that refuses to give up) is still doing it's thing!

HC

IMG_1058.thumb.JPG.59e0f17fb792d7605fec93ee6a52a611.JPG

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It got pretty cold here the last two nights.  I did pick what was on the tomatoes, the Pink Berklee had some large but not ripe tomatoes.  10oz'ers.  Didn't pick the poblanos, that bush is loaded and it looks like the pole beans survived two nights of light frost.  A friend who lives in Ft Smith said the persimmons he has been picking all have spoons.  According to the old saying, we should be shoveling snow this winter.  Persimmon Seed Split Open

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It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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3 minutes ago, joiei said:

It got pretty cold here the last two nights.  I did pick what was on the tomatoes, the Pink Berklee had some large but not ripe tomatoes.  10oz'ers.  Didn't pick the poblanos, that bush is loaded and it looks like the pole beans survived two nights of light frost.  A friend who lives in Ft Smith said the persimmons he has been picking all have spoons.  According to the old saying, we should be shoveling snow this winter.  Persimmon Seed Split Open

Please enlighten a poor city girl. What does it mean when the persimmons "have spoons"? And what is that a picture of?

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The picture is a kernal from a persimmon.  The kernel in in the shape of a spoon.  If the kernel is a fork then you plan on a mild winter.  If the kernel is in the shape of a knife then the cold will be bitter and cutting.  So says an old  saying.  Check with Farmer's Almanac.  

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It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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 This morning I added to my winter garden.  I planted brussel sprouts, red cabbage and kohlrabi.  This is in addition to the cauliflower and broccoli and beets that I had already planted a while back.  I am thinking about adding some garlic.  It is still an experiment.  

 

 

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It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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