Saturday, February 18, 2012
Sunday, February 5, 2012
Hydrofarm 400Watt convertible ballast grow light
After much research on which lighting system to get I ordered my grow light and temperature controller from ACF Greenhouses online.
There were many things to consider. I currently have a 8X8 greenhouse, I had to think about how I'm going to use my greenhouse not only now, but in the future. I'm just getting started with greenhouse growing, and the first thing on my to do list is starting some seeds. I debated getting just some T5 high output florescent lights to get me started, it was limiting me to just that, seed starting. What if in the future I would like to grow a wider variety of plants that require greater light levels. So I thought of an HID light, (the difference in price between the 4 tube 4 foot T5 high output light system and the HID light was only $5 if you can believe it) but then there was the question of what type, Metal Halide or High Pressure Sodium, both serve different purposes. So I decided on both, with a convertible ballast. Then was the question of what wattage. On the ACF website it gave a helpful chart on optimal light outputs on all their lights. After going over that I decided on the 400 Watt as the optimal growing area is 5X5 and secondary is 8X8 which covers the entire area of the greenhouse. Well this should take care of my needs for now and years to come. I think this initial investment will be well worth it in years to come
Sentinel Temperature Controller
Also from ACF Greenhouses online, there were many thermometers to choose from, some were static, maintaining a constant minimum temperature, but I didn't want to go that route. Again I wanted something that would suite my needs now and for a long time in the future. I opted for the Sentinel Digital Day and Night Controller with a built in photo sensor. It has a button for the min/max temperature for the last 24 hours, it also works for heating and cooling (not at the same time)
The all important heater, I opted for the oil filled space heater purely because it was something I already had and wasn't currently using, and it has been working out great.
The current set up with a bottom heat/propagation box.
When I bought the greenhouse they gave me an unused 3m heating cable with a built in thermostat, I built a box, layed out the cable on a piece of hardware cloth, fasten it with zip straps and buried it in between 2 layers of sand, which I keep moist. This should warm my seed trays, or anything I place on top of it, to about 20'c.
Some seeds that I am going to plant in one of the trays today.
I'm new to this, but I have sorted through my seeds and picked out these ones to start today, Snap Peas, Sweet Peas, Rosemary, Thyme, Parsley, Spinach and Green Onions.
The lights are on and are flooding the greenhouse.
My seed tray is filled and labeled, along with the yogurt containers with some Strawberry seeds I planted last week. You can see in the back ground my rooted Geranium cutting I potted up today.
It looks kinda empty right now but I'm sure it's not going to take long to fill.
Saturday, February 4, 2012
I'm glad I didn't step on it. Even with a layer of landscape fabric and about an inch or two of gravel, this crocus still managed to push it's way through. What a tough little flower.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
It was 1997, and my future husband and I were attending the annual BC home and Garden Show. One of the exhibitors was BC Greenhouse Builders, they had on display one of their Twin Wall Polycarbonate Greenhouses. I recall so clearly, walking in and saying "Some day I want a greenhouse just like this". Being just 21, I didn't know exactly when this was going to happen, I just knew it was something to dream about.
Fast forward 15 years, now having established myself in a house with the space to accommodate such a dream, my only limitation was budget.
Having lived in my new house for 6 months and with the warm days of spring calling to me. My thoughts of gardening at the forefront, an article in the local paper caught my eye "Garden Room No Longer A Pipe Dream". Oh the excitement that article and pictures brought to me, it renewed my longing for a greenhouse. I showed my Husband and told him "Here it is, this is the greenhouse I was dreaming about" It was an article that featured a BC Greenhouse Builder greenhouse. The same one I saw 15 years earlier at the Garden Show.
I decided to clip out the article and mount it nicely on some card stock and display it in prominent place in my kitchen. I had recently watched an Oprah show on vision boards, where you put a collection of things be it pictures, words and such that represent your hopes and your vision for your life and serve as a daily reminder of your aspirations and what you want your life to be.
I immediately e-mailed the seller, this add was posted on the 23rd of May and it was now the 26th. I thought that for sure it was going to be gone by then but it was worth a try. I didn't get a response and getting really antsy I sent another e-mail saying I was reeeeeeally interested in it and gave my phone # so as to avoid any delays. That night at about 7:30 I received a phone call from the seller, she said it was still available but she had someone who said they were coming the next day to look at it. Well, I didn't like the sound of that, being that it was only located about a 15 minute drive from me I asked if I could come tonight and take a look. She agreed and I was off, the sun was going down but there was still going to be enough light to take a good look. I arrived and said right away yes, and gave her $100 and said I would be back the next day with the rest and to start to dismantle it. It came with benches which was a bonus, and that was that, I now own a greenhouse!!
One thing I would have to say about this greenhouse, it is a BC Greenhouse Builder, the Sun Garden style greenhouse.
Monday, January 2, 2012
Front yard before the renovation
After the removal of the junipers from the front of the house
A simple Red Geranium and Bacopa display was created in some terracotta pots. I have always loved the look of Geraniums in those pots, it has such a Old English kinda feel, the patina it develops over time is beautiful.
This picture was taken early in the morning, in the summer. You can see that this area does get a little direct sun, which is good to keep in mind when deciding on what to plant.
The new larger bed around the tree really shows off the beauty of the trunk. I will be filling it with naturalizing bulbs like Snow Drops, Grape Hyacinth, Daffodils, and some Lady's Mantle that I grew from seeds that volunteered themselves.
When renovating the garden, I didn't want to jump in and fill the space right away with plant material. Taking the time to study the soil conditions and light levels of each area of the yard is important. Leaving the garden beds prepared and ready for plants is a great thing to do. I'm really enjoying shopping for new plants, wandering the nursery's and knowing if I find something I love, there will be a spot available right away to plant it.
Sunday, January 1, 2012
Well that' the tour, sorry that it took me so long to get it posted. I was thinking last night as to why I haven't gotten around to posting an entry for a while. I really do like keeping an online diary of my gardening experiences, then it came to me. Since we moved, I no longer keep my laptop next to my comfy rocker recliner on the living room. It's been in the kitchen telephone nook, duh, why didn't I realize this before. So I have now moved the laptop to it's more comfortable location next to my chair. Just that simple. I will most certainly be keeping my online gardening diary more up to date from now on.
Oh and here is a picture of things to come. It has been over a year since we moved in and I have done a lot in that time so stay tuned.