Wednesday, 8 November 2006

hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work we go

Today, I have been digging a different kind of hole.

This one is in the greenhouse, rather than in my marriage.

Which makes a nice change.

Do you remember the series 'It's Not Easy Being Green'? One of the things that they did was dig a 'heat sink' in their greenhouse. They insulated the hole and filled it with crushed glass and stuck a piece of wastepipe vertically in it, that ended up near the ridge of the greenhouse. And they put a little fan in the pipe, that ran, I think, off a little solar panel, that took the hot air from the top of the house and ran it through the heat sink.

The idea being that the crushed glass would warm up and then slowly release the stored heat during the night, keeping the frost off. Here's how they did it.

We don't have any crushed glass - but we do have about two tonnes of the pea-gravel (also called scalpings) that the people here before us seemed to be hoarding against some kind of World Scalpings Shortage. Stone holds heat well and the pieces are small enough to let the warm air percolate through; so we'll see how it works.

We have already lined the greenhouse with bubble-wrap - too late for the geraniums I think, as it was a REALLY hard frost the night before we did it; but ready for some peas and some carrots and some lettuce that I am going to put in at the weekend.

I have polystyrene to line the hole with, from the goat's milk delivery boxes.

I think that somewhere, I have an old PC chip fan. And B brought me a small solar panel back from Singapore (did I mention that he is the best husband ever?). If the solar panel isn't big enough, we plan to use a small rechargeable battery to run it.

So, all we need is a length of plastic pipe, which I am just about to go and ask for on Freecycle.

The only trouble is the hole.

It is currently about two feet by about eighteen inches. But only a foot deep. And I have hit a horrible mixture of hard-panned clay and big pebbly things.

Pebbles, in fact, would probably be a good way to describe them.

I am slightly nervous about wielding our rather impressive pick-axe (found in the shed when we moved in) in the greenhouse. 'People who live in greenhouses shouldn't wield pick-axes' is not a cliche for nothing. But I do also have a crowbar, so I thought that tomorrow I might have a go with that.

In other news: Why are cats always on the wrong side of the door?

14 comments:

  1. What are the odds? Thousands of miles apart, yet we have the same shovel-resistant hardpan under our feet. Good luck, my dear.

    I love the heat sink idea and will be showing it to the s.o.

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  2. What are the odds? Thousands of miles apart, yet we have the same shovel-resistant hardpan under our feet. Good luck, my dear.

    I love the heat sink idea and will be showing it to the s.o.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Umm
    Maybe this is completely stupid of me, but if the sides are meant to be insulated anyway, then who says they have to be underground? I mean can't you have a slightly raised sink-hole?
    And would that make it a half-sunk-hole?

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  4. Umm
    Maybe this is completely stupid of me, but if the sides are meant to be insulated anyway, then who says they have to be underground? I mean can't you have a slightly raised sink-hole?
    And would that make it a half-sunk-hole?

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  5. Do not under any circumstances use the pick-axe while in the greenhouse.

    Cats are always on the wrong side of a door for the same reason my dogs always "woof" to go out when I've just sat down. It's because they're bloody awkward.

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  6. Do not under any circumstances use the pick-axe while in the greenhouse.

    Cats are always on the wrong side of a door for the same reason my dogs always "woof" to go out when I've just sat down. It's because they're bloody awkward.

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  7. Why are cats always on the wrong side of the door? So you can open the door for it dear. You didn't think the cat was the pet in the relationship did you?

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  8. Why are cats always on the wrong side of the door? So you can open the door for it dear. You didn't think the cat was the pet in the relationship did you?

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  9. This heat sink idea is most interesting. Let me know how you get on with it.

    Also, are you planting carrots et al from seed in your greenhouse? If so, I'm officially going to copy you, having vastly underestimated the number of carrots that the KWs can consume in one season. :)

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  10. This heat sink idea is most interesting. Let me know how you get on with it.

    Also, are you planting carrots et al from seed in your greenhouse? If so, I'm officially going to copy you, having vastly underestimated the number of carrots that the KWs can consume in one season. :)

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  11. Cheryl - strictly speaking I don't think it will make any difference to the heat-sink aspect of it if it sticks up; but it's quite a small greenhouse really - 10ft by 7ft - so it would be better, if we can, to bury it under the bit in the middle that's going to be the path.

    KW - yes, from seed. I have ordered some fleece to put on top of them and my Carrot Guru says that if I tuck it around it will keep the carrot fly off because it likes to fly about a foot about the ground. And that we can plant direct in to the ground and thin as we go along.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Cheryl - strictly speaking I don't think it will make any difference to the heat-sink aspect of it if it sticks up; but it's quite a small greenhouse really - 10ft by 7ft - so it would be better, if we can, to bury it under the bit in the middle that's going to be the path.

    KW - yes, from seed. I have ordered some fleece to put on top of them and my Carrot Guru says that if I tuck it around it will keep the carrot fly off because it likes to fly about a foot about the ground. And that we can plant direct in to the ground and thin as we go along.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ah!
    I remember a TV programme on carrot fly. This guy got round it by planting his carrots in black plastic barrels so they were already higher up than the flies could go.
    The carrots also came out straight and strong and beautiful for going into potting soil.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Ah!
    I remember a TV programme on carrot fly. This guy got round it by planting his carrots in black plastic barrels so they were already higher up than the flies could go.
    The carrots also came out straight and strong and beautiful for going into potting soil.

    ReplyDelete