Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Just waiting for the growing...

Not really much going on... Winter is winter.  

I organised a few things to help come busy time...

Space is severely limited, So I am definitely trying to maximise the space I have.

My propane usage has slowed down, Last fill up, over the course of 17 days, which had some very cold nights I averaged 4.2 gallons a day. So far, thats my goal, keep it under 5 gallons a day. 

I added another circulating fan.  Air movement is pretty important, so to keep things moving I added another. Commercial grade greenhouse fans dont come cheap.. I can tell you that. 

Well here are a few pictures of everything, most of my Evergreen, and Semi Evergreen stuff is starting to put foliage out. Most the Dormants are still down, but a few have started to break dormancy. 

Cant wait till its a lush green bench full of flowers.

I dont really think this ia actually a dormant, as registered... It caught my eye because it has the most foliage out of the bunch right now. 

The seedlings are plugging along, I feel as if they could be growing faster, but the temperature, and short daytime length is holding them back.  February and march should be breakout months for them. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Prepping the pots for some growth!

Well, Its cold.. In addition to that.. Its cold. 

So the pots are in. They have thawed out, and achieved a temperature of about 50 degrees. 

I cut back all the dead or dying foliage, and cleaned the pots. 

The first step to getting the pots ready is done, they are thawed, the plants are still dormant and it'll be a few weeks before they get watered, or really start to grow much. 

So for getting ready for when they do start growing, I start the pots out with a dry topping with the following.

Alfalfa pellets

Worm castings

Organic fertilizer 4-3-3

All of these are slow acting, slow release, soil builders. No fast acting nitrogen, No heavy numbers. 

Just a nice mix-of some great soil builders,  I treat my plants in spring to the same mix. 

In other news the cold still makes winter boring.. Nothing to do but pet cats, and buy day-lilies! 

See how thrilled I am...

Portable clothes warmer... Dont worry about the grey tuffs of fur on that shirt, no one else is worried about it. 

Just sleep winter off... no matter where you are when it hits...

Maybe get a bit bored and toy with the idea of a 7th kitty! 

Well thats it for now,  Hopefully next entry I will have some growing parent-stock, and seedlings getting larger in size!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

So It's December... And well It's definitely not going to be like last year.  For our region last year, we had stuff blooming on christmas!  The temperature this same day In 2015 was 68 degrees,  It was 70 on christmas Eve. 

So that being said.  Our ground is already frozen, Most of my plants have gone down, and I can only hope for some snow cover soon to keep everything from a freeze thaw. 

I am going to seal off 6 out of the 8 vents on my greenhouse in a few days.  There is just too much air leakage coming from them.  I bought a "delicate" duct tape for the job.

I added about 200 gallons of water in bins under the benches to help stabilize the temperature in the greenhouse, in addition to hopefully capturing the daytime heat from the solar gain. While releasing it at night... to help with the cost of heating the greenhouse.

And on that note. As of 12/7/16- I have used 100 gallons of propane.  With the super short days, the below average temperatures so far this month... I have noticed the needle moving way faster on the propane tank. 7 days after my last fill, the needle says I'm 60 percent fill.  I doubt the accuracy of this device on the tank.  But that would be an estimated 40 gallons of propane used over 7 days.  This is at the high end of where I want to be usage wise. 

I have dropped the night time temperature to 50 degrees instead of 60. And added the thermal mass to help.  Once the pots are pulled in (tomorrow!!!) there will be a significant amount of thermal mass within the greenhouse.  

My temperature monitoring has been by a logging device with bluetooth connectivity.  But I have to be within the greenhouse to download the data.  So I bought another temperature monitoring device.  It function off wifi, albeit more expensive I will be able to live monitor the temperature within the greenhouse.  I am contemplating a wifi controlled thermostat also. 

Temp Stick- Wifi Logging

Sensor Push- Bluetooth Temp/Humidity logger

We are about one month in on the seedlings. Everything is looking good. Looks to be 65-75 percent germination so far.  I will give them another 4 weeks before I start culling pots and condensing. 

This coming week, they will get a final overhead watering with Banrot mixed in for damp off prevention, and BTI added in for fungus gnat control. After that everything will be drip irrigated in. 

Happy Winter Everyone!