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Invisibleresincoatedlungs
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Registered: 09/05/12
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Soil-heating-cable for cold weather greenhouse
    #853833 - 12/16/21 09:42 AM (1 month, 7 days ago)

Has anyone ever used such a thing before?
My mom got a greenhouse with the intent on using it for year-round use of sunlight for the boosted yields and energy-efficiency, but then it dawned on the both of us that in order to succeed with the original plan of benefitting from the wide-open root space of the earth floor that will be in the greenhouse, something will have to be done to address the -literally- icy frozen ground problem during winter months, what with it's tendency to kill roots and all...

If anyone has used soil-heating-cable, how much was required per cubic ft of soil? And how deep was it buried?


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OfflineRider420
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Re: Soil-heating-cable for cold weather greenhouse [Re: resincoatedlungs]
    #853859 - 12/16/21 01:04 PM (1 month, 6 days ago)

The green houses in my area of BC all use natural gas due to cost.

FYI it would be more cost effective to grow inside under lights then to heat a green house with electricity.


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OfflineSugabearcrisp
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Re: Soil-heating-cable for cold weather greenhouse [Re: Rider420]
    #854026 - 12/19/21 12:41 PM (1 month, 3 days ago)

I am confused as to how you are set up, is it a floor-less greenhouse?

No way you can heat a section of the earth efficiently or at all in winter.


Greenhouse in the northeast usually sit dormant for late fall through late feburaury unless they run supplemental lighting just because there is not enough hours of sun. When they open back up the are growing in containers and use some form of heat. Nurseries with associated tree/landscape businesses will run wood stoves using wood they cut, those without a supply of wood will use propane or kerosene heaters, almost never do they have something requiring electricity or electric heat. The idea is really to only use it on cold nights to prevent frost, the majority of the heat is solar energy.

If I were you I would see when the low temps are above 45°F in the spring and then start your plants in cntainers raised off the floor with supplemental lighting on a light sensor to prevent early flowering. September 21st and March 21st are the solstices marking the start and end of days that have less than 12 hours of light. This will give you a head start. In the fall you will be able to extend the season much later allowing longer flowering strains to be grown to maturity.


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Invisibleresincoatedlungs
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Re: Soil-heating-cable for cold weather greenhouse [Re: Sugabearcrisp]
    #854217 - 12/22/21 02:03 AM (1 month, 1 day ago)

Yeah, the goal would essentially be a floorless greenhouse, though I was thinking of digging out the floor and lining it with tarp, essentially creating one huge pit of soil roughly 2ft deep.

Still spitballing ideas here, and really want to find a way to enable winter grows that yield similar to this past season's outdoor grow.

Quote:

FYI it would be more cost effective to grow inside under lights then to heat a green house with electricity





Well the purpose of the greenhouse wouldn't exactly be to save money or anything, but to create space to actually grow during those months. As it is, we only have a 2.75ft x 2.75ft area to grow indoors with no more room whatsoever to do anything with. That space would be more for specialty projects like feminized seed, small grows in the name of strain diversity, etc.

The greenhouse is to give ma something to do and focus on during one of the most boring, depressing times of year, and growing is the only thing she has that can honestly be called "relaxing" or even just "hobby". The floor space would be 6ft x 8ft, minus a foot path.



My original intended plan was to save up for sufficient heating cable for that specific cu. ft.of soil, and a couple 600w (possibly 1000w) lights to be run in the late hours, sans cooltube since the more heat, the better.

Im glad you bring up woodstoves, because i wasnt sure how common they were in this scenario, but a small woodstove (or even just running the hot ducting from the house's woodstove through the greenhouse before exhausting out) would be great during lights-out.

Don't autoflowering strains flower even at 24hrs lighting? Sounds perfect here since dark hours=cold hours. HPS off (or half-power) during daylight, fullstrength HPS during night hours to offset the temp shift.


Edited by resincoatedlungs (12/22/21 02:04 AM)


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OfflineSugabearcrisp
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Re: Soil-heating-cable for cold weather greenhouse [Re: resincoatedlungs]
    #854228 - 12/22/21 08:00 AM (1 month, 1 day ago)

The ground is going to act as a giant heat sink and you will not be able to heat just the section of soil under the greenhouse, tarp or not.  You could potentially build raised beds and put a layer of foam insulation boards underneath to prevent heat loss through the bottom, but containers on tables would be best.

Autoflowers sounds like a decent idea.

I also like the idea of running the wood stove chimney through the space.

I think building the greenhouse on the southern facing side of the home so your mom can go into it directly and it will also provide some warmth and shelter from the house.


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Invisibleresincoatedlungs
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Re: Soil-heating-cable for cold weather greenhouse [Re: Sugabearcrisp] * 1
    #854421 - 12/25/21 02:45 PM (28 days, 20 hours ago)

Very good point about the soil acting as a heatsink, kinda forgot that there's still "the rest of the earth" regardless of the large oversized humidity dome sitting on top of it

Soil beds made of/lined with wood and/or enormous plastic tubs, with the bottoms insulated by something like a ton of vermiculite or even classic fiberglass insulation would likely be of great aid. Fiberglass being buried outside and under the contained soil bed, between the liner and the planet's crust, of course.

May be able to get away with half(ish) of the soil bed being below the ground surface with plenty of cheap (or free, repurposed) insulation, but that may be wishful thinking. Lots of tests will have to be done in cold season before committing plants to it blindly, but once it's figured out, this concept would be a dream come true for her and one hell of a warm-up for MY intention of doing something very similar to enable the year-round home-cultivation of either poppies, coca/novo, or both.

As it stands, I don't even bother attempting coca/novo since they need long growth periods and several big bushes before yielding enough foliage to justify extraction in hopes of getting enough pure alkaloid to have even one good irresponsible run per year. With all of it's headaches and low yields, total synthesis is still more feasible than extraction in the given conditions; which speaks volumes about the people who grow and extract enough to supply the planet year-round. Back. Breaking. Labor.

Edit: Forgot the mention of foam insulation, that sounds perfect, and could even contain heating cable or some other generator of heat layered in it.


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Edited by resincoatedlungs (12/25/21 02:54 PM)


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Invisibleares
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Registered: 01/07/21
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Re: Soil-heating-cable for cold weather greenhouse [Re: resincoatedlungs]
    #854439 - 12/25/21 03:43 PM (28 days, 19 hours ago)

:takingnotes:


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