We’ve finished working on the greenhouse structure, it’s been cleaned, oiled and bombed, the floor has been repainted and the staging re-erected, I took half of it out in April to make room for the tomatoes and aubergines but need it over the autumn, winter and spring seasons.
This morning I cleaned the heated propagator and put it back in position at the far end of the
greenhouse, reinstalled the grow lamp and connected all the electrics,
then cleaned and brought in the grow bag trays. Cleaning is boring but necessary, a multitude of pests can hide in these trays, particularly under the rims. To bring dirty trays into the newly cleaned greenhouse would undo the good work already done.
I position the heating cables, using small off cuts of brick to keep the cables apart, that’s important, if the cables touch or cross you’re likely to get scorching, or worse, shorting. Remember that these cables will become wet from the plants on top of them and the watering process itself. The cables are covered with sand and those trays used to over winter tender plants. The staging will hold 6 of the heated trays and another 6 go on the high level shelves, these are unheated but benefit from the heat rising from the trays below.
To fit the heating cables into the trays I drilled holes, using a half inch wood drill, in the sides or ends of the trays to get the cable from one tray to another.
There’s a small heater at the far end under the propagator bench with a thermostat set to come on at roughly 5 degrees centigrade so that in winter the air temperature never falls below 7 degrees and the propagator, staging and shelf temperatures remain higher than that.
The temperature in the propagator is set to a minimum of 21 degrees and the grow lamp, which also produces heat, is on from 16:00 in the afternoon till 22:00 then from 04: 00 till 08:00 the following morning so that there’s sixteen hours of light per day in the propagator.
This is what it looks like early on a cold winters’ morning. Our neighbours have named it “The Tardis”, I’m not clear why?