Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Nancy in Pátzcuaro

Gardening: (2016– )

Recommended Posts

And so...it begins!

 

seeds.jpg.cb420f7e971209388c652012a9ae7d4e.jpg

 

First shipment. These were the ones I forgot with the first order, and added on. They came first.

  • Like 7

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, KennethT said:

Yes, Arduino...  I have everything else on order...  My tent is supposed to arrive on Tuesday, as will by Big Honkin' Light....  The first experiment will be to see how much the temp inside the tent increases due to the light.  I have already calculated the BTU load, but I don't know how well insulated the tent is.  But I am prepared to add an air conditioner which will both lower the humidity and keep the temp where I want.  I have my CO2 tank at work - I'll have it filled at a local welding supply shop next week.  I also already have the regulator and solenoid valve.  Once I have the environmental controls set up and working, I'll add the reservoir pH and EC (fertilizer concentration) sensors, as well as the acid/base dispensing peristaltic pumps...

What is your tent material? I use IR/AC greenhouse plastic film, which has anti-condensation and IR reflectivity qualities.

Have you consider solid state thermal junction cooling/heating (Peltir devices)? No moving parts for heating and cooling and moisture control. I also use ultrasonic transducer to general moisture.

 

dcarch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@dcarchWell, since this is going right in the middle of my living room, I'm not making my own tent, I'm using this: https://www.gorillagrowtent.com/products/gorilla-grow-tent-5-x-5 This tent is completely light proof, and I'll be sealing it as well as I can so that I don't have much air exchange between inside the tent and the ambient living room as I'm enriching the tent with CO2, and I'd rather not have it leaking out all the time.  I have thought a lot about peltier devices to cool it, but I'm worried that they won't have enough cooling power, or I'd need tons of them which would be super expensive.  They would be ideal as they would make sure I don't vent my tent atmosphere into the apartment as they don't move the air around.  The problem is that the tent is roughly 175 cuft. and the light creates about 2200 BTU of heat while it's running, which is 18 hours a day.  That's a lot of heat to remove with peltier junctions in a big space.  So, I think I'm just going to use a dual hose 10KBTU portable airconditioner, turn it to its coldest setting, and then just turn it on and off with the controller with a couple degrees of hysteresis so I dont prematurely burn out the compressor.  But before I get it, I was waiting until the tent and light arrives (Tuesday) so I can see how the temperature varies throughout the day first.  But I think I'm going to use the A/C anyway since I want a pretty large diurnal difference - I'd like a nighttime temp in the low 60s and the day time temp around 75-80 (and don't want to met my apartment that cold at night!).  I don't think I'll need a humidifier as the plants will create their own humidity fast enough - especially in an enclosed space - what I'm really going to need, I think, is dehumidification - which should be handled by the A/C...  if it's not enough, I can build a desiccant based dehumidifier to help, but I don't think I'll need it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You realize that anyone who lives in NYC and buys one of those grow tents will be on law enforcement's watch list. LOL

Anyway, if you use a regular window A/C to cool, you will need to program the thermostat and relay to delay start so that the compressor can have time to equalize.

An A/C may create too much air movement.

A 5,000 BTU may be too powerful to give you enough time to de-humidify.

I bought a lot of Peltier devices, with heat sinks for hot and cold, for cheap, $3.00 each.

 

dcarch

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ha!  I'd be surprised if I'm not already on it, since my lime tree has a big LED light over it (and it sits in the window) - it's so bright you can see it from the street - and I'm on the 21st floor!

 

Also, I want quite a bit of air movement which will help evenly distribute the CO2 which wants to settle on the floor, plus it will keep the plants from getting an extremely humid microclimate around them which can be caused by the air being too still.  I think the biggest problem indoor growers have is with the humidity being too high right around the plants.

 

I'm now wondering if I can build my own peltier airconditioner using a sealed box with a few peltier devices mounted on it, a fan and an in and out duct.  Plus, I can put a drain at the bottom of the box as it will collect water from condensation - maybe I should build the A/C out of a beer cooler? 

 

I was also thinking about building my nutrient chiller using a similar system - fill a beer cooler with water and pump that water through a few peltier cooling waterblocks...   put a stainless steel coil of tubing (used in beer making) in the cold water and pump the nutrient fluid through it.  That way, I don't have to worry about copper or aluminum of the water block leaching into my nutrient.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kenneth, you are way smarter than I am. :/  I wouldn't know how to do any of what you're describing!  I'm in awe!

 

My seeds should be here next week.  I branched out and ordered some new things. I also decided not to delude myself into thinking I can grow peas.

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Shelby Thanks, but don't be silly! Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, and from what I've seen over the years, you're incredible at a lot of things I wouldn't even think of trying!  The stuff I do is strongly linked to my background - I was an electrical engineer in college, and I run a business that makes electrical products...  so this stuff is fun for me... but incredibly boring to most others.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem with an A/C in a 5' x 5' x 7' enclosed environment is that it will cool down the whole volume in about a minute and cycle off, then on/ then off -----.

A peltier device can be on and off instantly with no mechanical problem, and it can become a cooler or heater simply by polarity reversal. 

I think most wine cooler/refrigerators are made with Peltier devices.

The only issue with using Peltier is to have to provide DC power. May be the power supply to your LED light has spare watts to power the Peltiers.

 

A very interesting project!

 

dcarch

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am seriously considering a peltier based cooling system, but the more I look into it, the more skeptical I become of its cooling capacity.  Only the smallest of wine fridges use a peltier device.  I know for sure that mine is not - it is most decidedly compressor based.  My fear is that the light, which produces 2200 BTU of heat constantly, for 18 hours, will overcome any peltier based cooling in that space.  Then, at night, I'd like an inside temp of about 60degF, which is probably about 15degF less than the ambient.  It seems that in order to get any decent cooling out of it, I'd need to run several in parallel, at which point, the power consumption would be way more than a small compressor based A/C.  I think a small 10000BTU A/C would be ok in the tent as long as I turn it on and off with a few degrees of hysteresis - so the A/C can turn on when the inside temp gets to 80degF, and then turn off when it gets down to 75degF, and let it cycle that way.   Couple that with the fact that the tent's night will not necessarily be night time in real life.  This is because the ideal time to harvest is maybe up to an hour or two after sunrise - that is when you have the highest product weight.  But I don't have time to do all the measurements and stuff I need to do first thing in the morning before going to work, so I was going to set "sunrise" to about 7PM or so, so I can come home from work around 7, do my measurements/harvest and then go on with my evening.  So, my "nightime" temp of 60F would coincide with the hottest time of the day in my apartment, which, especially during summer, can be get quite hot, even with all of the A/C running.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a peltier cooled wine storage unit that I purchased for holding chocolate.  It died horribly within a year.  On the other hand I used to manufacture highly regarded cameras that used peltier devices.  Nothing wrong with the technology, just with how it is employed.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Baby artichoke plants. I'll eventually thin them to one to a pot.

DSC02094.thumb.jpg.df50a9e93a41e90424ba6cde41f0b062.jpg

 

@KennethT  I am following your posts with fascination and incomprehension. I called in my plumber/mechanical contractor husband to explain - now he is following them too. I hope you will post pictures of the final structure. 

  • Like 5

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero

But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for following along and your interest...  I will be posting photos as I go along to show progress....  I hope my tent and light come in tomorrow (they're supposed to)...  Depending on what time I get home from work will affect if I have time to start assembly immediately or in the next couple of days....

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ohhhhhh, yeah. Gardening will begin apace with the starting of seeds, next week after I recover from New Orleans.

 

seeds0221.jpg.ebcdda191c6a2b59106f9ef3d46abfdb.jpg

 

Both the Farmers' Almanac and the Accuweather long-range forecast do not call for any more frosts this spring, though some nights will be in the upper 30s. Nevertheless, I'll wait until about the third week of March to get early stuff in the ground.

 

Which will give me time to get a bunny-proof (one hopes) fence in place.

  • Like 6

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@kayb  At the third week of March my garden is usually still buried in snow! That's just about when I start my tomatoes inside so they can go out around Memorial Day. Sometimes I really hate my growing zone. 

I'd be interesting in what you will be growing.

A fence to the ground will keep rabbits out but if you have woodchucks you might want to bury it at least 3-4", angled out. I thought my fence was fine until I lost all my peas and most of the lettuce in a single night. The woodchucks dug right under the fence. We dug a trench, added a strip of fencing at the bottom and buried it. This year we may have to extend the fence up as Fanny now simply watches the deer grazing in the meadow rather than scaring them away. I really don't want to plant a dinner buffet for critters. 

  • Like 2

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero

But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, dcarch said:

An electric fence keeps all out, except the flying ones.

 

dcarch

 

I agree. My parents' garden was fenced with 2 electric wires - one about 6" above ground level for the woodchucks and rabbits and a second at about 5-6' for deer. It worked. Unfortunately my garden is way too far from any power source to install an electric fence without major landscape disruption and cost. We have always relied on canine power, which was very effective. Sadly, that is aging.


If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero

But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, ElainaA said:

I agree. My parents' garden was fenced with 2 electric wires - one about 6" above ground level for the woodchucks and rabbits and a second at about 5-6' for deer. It worked. Unfortunately my garden is way too far from any power source to install an electric fence without major landscape disruption and cost. We have always relied on canine power, which was very effective. Sadly, that is aging.

Solar powered electric fence is not expensive and effective.

I am trying to buy a stun gun  ($10. Legal in many states), add a battery and a cheap solar panel and make my own fence charger.

 

dcarch

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The tent has arrived.... it's (ahem) a bit bigger than I expected.... it takes up more than half of my living/dining room.  Funny how even after measuring with a ruler and mapping it out, things can be different in real life than in simulation....

20170222_204228.thumb.jpg.7c2769105b637f98af9cf4a835953ce5.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, KennethT said:

The tent has arrived.... it's (ahem) a bit bigger than I expected.... it takes up more than half of my living/dining room.  Funny how even after measuring with a ruler and mapping it out, things can be different in real life than in simulation....

20170222_204228.thumb.jpg.7c2769105b637f98af9cf4a835953ce5.jpg

Will make a better tanning booth. :-)

 

dcarch

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, KennethT said:

The tent has arrived.... it's (ahem) a bit bigger than I expected.... it takes up more than half of my living/dining room.  Funny how even after measuring with a ruler and mapping it out, things can be different in real life than in simulation....

20170222_204228.thumb.jpg.7c2769105b637f98af9cf4a835953ce5.jpg

 

Well Kenneth, all I can say is you had better really appreciate your wife and good luck with your gardening project. :)

  • Like 1

> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/22/2017 at 6:50 AM, ElainaA said:

@kayb  At the third week of March my garden is usually still buried in snow! That's just about when I start my tomatoes inside so they can go out around Memorial Day. Sometimes I really hate my growing zone. 

I'd be interesting in what you will be growing.

A fence to the ground will keep rabbits out but if you have woodchucks you might want to bury it at least 3-4", angled out. I thought my fence was fine until I lost all my peas and most of the lettuce in a single night. The woodchucks dug right under the fence. We dug a trench, added a strip of fencing at the bottom and buried it. This year we may have to extend the fence up as Fanny now simply watches the deer grazing in the meadow rather than scaring them away. I really don't want to plant a dinner buffet for critters. 

 

Lowe's sells a roll of fencing called "rabbit guard," a woven-wire fence with smaller openings near the bottom and larger ones further up. I can get it in 3-foot or 4-foot heights. No deer and no woodchucks, so I'm thinking the three-foot and use garden staples to anchor it to the ground between posts.

 

In the box were a dozen or more herbs, some asparagus, lettuce, radishes, cucumbers,  cabbage, five different kinds of tomatoes (yellow and red cherry tomatoes, Romas, Big Beef hybrid, and Mortgage Lifter heirlooms), sweet peppers, hot peppers, yellow and zucchini squash, green peas, lima beans, Kentucky Wonder pole beans (these are the BEST green beans in the world for cooking low-and-slow, with some bacon grease, Southern style!), okra...I think that's all.

 

Have never grown asparagus before. I figure I'll start it inside and transplant; my front flower bed is going to become an asparagus bed, with herbs interspersed in their three-gallon pots. I need to start those, the tomatoes and the herbs next week. I will be planting outdoors likely by early April; it has been an exceptionally warm winter and early spring here. Temp yesterday was 70, though it's a little cooler today.

 

I do wish I could grow some  cooler weather crops, but all in all, I'll take living in the South.

 

ETA: Carrots. I forgot carrots. And I will likely get some purple hulled peas and plant after the early crops (lettuce, cabbage, radishes) are through. Doubt I'll plant corn; it's easy enough to buy a bushel to cut off and freeze.

 

 


Edited by kayb (log)
  • Like 3

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just spread 10 lbs of 12-12-12 fertilizer, 50 lbs of composted cow manure on my asparagus bed and covered it with a layer of peat moss. Last year it was borderline, so I decided to give it another season, but I am hoping to put some on the table this spring. Fingers crossed.

HC

IMG_1239.thumb.JPG.6ca76707cd14d16d38db7c8fa5416e4b.JPG  

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, kayb said:

 

------------

Have never grown asparagus before. I figure I'll start it inside and transplant; --------------

 

Starting from seeds takes a few years.

Buy crowns (roots). 1, 2 or 3 year old crowns and enjoy much quicker.

 

dcarch


Edited by dcarch (log)
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...