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vox_mundi

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #600 on: November 19, 2018, 07:56:00 PM »
Anyone have experience with one of these? I'm trying to start a group at our local library.

A Sharing Economy for Plants: Seed Libraries
https://theconversation.com/a-sharing-economy-for-plants-seed-libraries-are-sprouting-up-106432

... The process works much the same as with books. Patrons receive seeds and plant them, then allow some of their plants to go to seed and return those seeds to the library for others' use.

Might need to get our local representative involved
https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB1810
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etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #601 on: January 05, 2019, 04:41:46 PM »
We had lots of chard this year and kale is also a great plant for the winter time ('boerenkool' - farmer's cabbage - is a Dutch specialty).

Well, now I have Kale, and nobody want's to eat it. I found a soup receipe with mainly potatoes and onions, but it wasn't a great success. If you have any suggestion... it would be a great product if we didn't have supermarkets because it is easy to use and easy to grow.

Winter spinach are better accepted, it works fine, excepted that they don't support too well the weather we have now, we oscillate between -5°C and +10°C.

Leaks are also fine this winter. The mosquito net during the summer did a great job to protect them.

kassy

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #602 on: January 06, 2019, 06:10:29 PM »
I like it the traditional way mixed with mashed potatoes and then put some vinegar on it (or mustard) and a veggy sausage on the side but there are many other things to do with it:

Search for dutch recipes using boerenkool and translate what looks interesting. That should give plenty of suggestions for different recipes.

This is just 1 source:
https://www.ah.nl/allerhande/recepten/R-L1383828732495/boerenkool

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #603 on: January 25, 2019, 04:45:49 PM »
Every winter I come here and talk about LED grow lights. Every winter I think about building them myself, but don't have the time. It seems that there are a lot more lamps on offer than in the past few years, with lots of small and a few large online shops offering different kinds of lamps.

We really want these lamps, because we have trouble raising seedlings indoors during February and March, because we have triple glazing and things can be very cloudy here for prolonged periods.

So, I'm going to dive into this stuff yet again, and if I find anything interesting, I'll report. In the meantime, if anyone has any tips, I'm all eyes.
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Bernard

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #604 on: January 25, 2019, 06:04:31 PM »
Anyone have experience with one of these? I'm trying to start a group at our local library.

A Sharing Economy for Plants: Seed Libraries


Just stumbled on this post. Here in France there are a lot of initiatives in this domain. A major actor here is the RSP, Réseau Semences Paysannes.
https://www.semencespaysannes.org/ In french only, I'm afraid.

vox_mundi

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #605 on: January 25, 2019, 07:47:44 PM »
Thanks, Bernard - that looks interesting   :)

Every winter I come here and talk about LED grow lights. Every winter I think about building them myself, but don't have the time. ...

Step-by-step instructions on how to make a DIY LED panel with parts list ...

https://www.ledsupply.com/diy-makersled-led-grow-light

https://www.instructables.com/id/Introduction-to-LED-grow-lights/
« Last Edit: January 25, 2019, 07:56:48 PM by vox_mundi »
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ghoti

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #606 on: January 25, 2019, 08:47:15 PM »
I have to wonder how much more energy efficient these DIY LED setups are when compared to now commonly available white LED bulbs. I fully understand the green portion of the light is "wasted" but using common bulbs and fixtures is  cheaper and certainly more convenient.

That's what I'm using to help my plants through the dark days of winter.

El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #607 on: January 25, 2019, 10:01:53 PM »


We really want these lamps, because we have trouble raising seedlings indoors during February and March, because we have triple glazing and things can be very cloudy here for prolonged periods.

have you tried winter sowing?

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #608 on: January 25, 2019, 10:25:17 PM »
Step-by-step instructions on how to make a DIY LED panel with parts list ...

https://www.ledsupply.com/diy-makersled-led-grow-light

https://www.instructables.com/id/Introduction-to-LED-grow-lights/

If I would really want to do this, I probably could (the soldering, etc). But finding the right parts that cover the right spectrum, etc, would be a PITA I don't have the energy for. My initial plan, a couple of years ago, was to buy a couple of blue, red and white LED strips and then use them in a custom-built closet of sorts.

I have to wonder how much more energy efficient these DIY LED setups are when compared to now commonly available white LED bulbs. I fully understand the green portion of the light is "wasted" but using common bulbs and fixtures is  cheaper and certainly more convenient.

That's what I'm using to help my plants through the dark days of winter.

Yes, thought about that too and tried it out last winter with a cold (bluish) and warm (reddish) LED lamp. It didn't seem enough to grow seedlings, but maybe I did it wrong.

Like I said, there seems to be more on offer, but very little info, everything China-made, nothing where you go 'hey, that looks trustworthy'. So, unfortunately, it seems I have to go the Amazon route, where I can at least check out user experiences. This grow light is popular and has a 3 year warranty and good customer support:



What I like about it, is that it has separate buttons for the early growing period and then the blooming period. Reviews also look good, but it's a bit pricey, at 90 EUR.

have you tried winter sowing?

Well, with some plants, and we also have cold frames. But my wife wants to have a head start before spring starts, by having seedlings ready to go out as soon as there's no more chance of night frosts. So far, every winter, all the stuff she planted out early in the house, got spindly, stunted growth, etc. And then she'd feel she was behind with everything for the rest of the growing season, apart from all the wasted work.

Hence, a good grow light that covers an area of about 3x3 feet.
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dbarce

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #609 on: January 26, 2019, 12:35:03 AM »
When you say "grow indoors" do you mean inside a hoophouse/greenhouse or inside your home? tried to look in the comments, but couldnt find what kind of layout scale your little garden operation has. If you are growing indoors you might want to try to get more natural light to your seedlings or even grow outdoors and provide a heatsource. As a different option to the LEDs.

I also live in a very cloudy part of the world, albeit not as cold as where you live. Im setting up a small comercial garden operation and hereabouts, light under a polyethylene covered polytunnel seems to be enough to produce healthy seedlings. We will start our sowings (partially from a good seed house from yourparts of the world Reinsaat.at) next week. To heat up the seedlings in winter we use a table covered in sand with a heat source and place our trays on top. As I said though, I dont know if this is viable for you.

silkman

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #610 on: January 26, 2019, 09:54:15 AM »
I've often thought about going down this route but have come to the conclusion that the benefits would be modest, though spindly young plants threatening to topple over on window sills are annoying.

We use a thermostatically controlled propagator, live with a couple of weeks of windowsill watering and move onto a greenhouse which is heated overnight when it's needed.

Our experience seems to suggest that trying to get a week or two's headstart on the season isn't enormously helpful but I'd be intersted to learn how it might be done.

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #611 on: January 26, 2019, 02:10:59 PM »
When you say "grow indoors" do you mean inside a hoophouse/greenhouse or inside your home? tried to look in the comments, but couldnt find what kind of layout scale your little garden operation has. If you are growing indoors you might want to try to get more natural light to your seedlings or even grow outdoors and provide a heatsource. As a different option to the LEDs.

It's all in the home. I plan on building a large greenhouse attached to the house, but I won't have time for that for at least another two years.

We let seeds germinate in the living room or bedrooms, and then we take them upstairs where it's cooler and we have double glazing from slanted windows in the roof. With triple glazing, plants will wilt etc even if it's sunny. I think the three panes filter out too much of the spectrum plants need.

Quote
I also live in a very cloudy part of the world, albeit not as cold as where you live. Im setting up a small comercial garden operation and hereabouts, light under a polyethylene covered polytunnel seems to be enough to produce healthy seedlings. We will start our sowings (partially from a good seed house from yourparts of the world Reinsaat.at) next week. To heat up the seedlings in winter we use a table covered in sand with a heat source and place our trays on top. As I said though, I dont know if this is viable for you.

We just placed an order with Reinsaat yesterday.  :)

How much electricity does the heat source pull? We thought about making a large cupboard, or buying one second-hand, put in a glass door, and then heat with lamps from the bottom. But it seemed like too much work, we'd still have the problem with cloudiness, and it was already too late for such a project anyway.

The 300W LED grow light posted above consumes about 130W (half for Veg and half for Bloom). We may consider buying the 600W version, because it would perfectly cover our 4x3 feet table for the job. But it would exceed our budget, so maybe 300W now, and if it works well, another 300W next year.
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Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #612 on: January 26, 2019, 02:26:11 PM »
Our experience seems to suggest that trying to get a week or two's headstart on the season isn't enormously helpful but I'd be intersted to learn how it might be done.

The problem with the head start, is that if it doesn't work out, you have to start from scratch and end up with a delay. And then you have lice problems with fava/broad beans because you couldn't get them out early enough. Although they did (barely) survive in the cold frame last year, and then surprisingly still had a decent crop (see pictures below).

All the plants we planted out early, cabbages etc, had huge start-up problems. Maybe a grow light can give them a nudge. If we buy one, I'll report on how things went.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2019, 02:32:50 PM by Neven »
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sidd

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #613 on: January 26, 2019, 08:43:30 PM »
a friend of mine here build a little outdoor greenhouse (4ftx4ft) with a heating pad in it. Seems to be doing ok on early starts. He warns not to overheat.

sidd

silkman

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #614 on: January 27, 2019, 09:04:20 AM »
It's all the rage for Premiership football teams, Neven:

https://www.stadia-magazine.com/news/architecture-design/tottenham-hotspur-stadium-introduces-world-first-integrated-pitch-grow-light.html

It would be good to hear how you get on on a rather smaller scale!

dbarce

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #615 on: January 27, 2019, 03:59:55 PM »
How much electricity does the heat source pull?

 We use something called a heating cable (Heizkabel), which we pass through a bench containing sand kept moist. The wattage depends on the surface you want to heat, and thus the length of the cable. I found these numbers as a reference> 6 meters – 50watt, 10 meters – 100 watt, 25 meters 320 watt.  We have a 3m one, and keep it to 18-21C with a thermostat.

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #616 on: January 27, 2019, 10:11:13 PM »
It's all the rage for Premiership football teams, Neven:

https://www.stadia-magazine.com/news/architecture-design/tottenham-hotspur-stadium-introduces-world-first-integrated-pitch-grow-light.html

It would be good to hear how you get on on a rather smaller scale!

If it doesn't work out, I'll use it for this then:



We use something called a heating cable (Heizkabel), which we pass through a bench containing sand kept moist. The wattage depends on the surface you want to heat, and thus the length of the cable. I found these numbers as a reference> 6 meters – 50watt, 10 meters – 100 watt, 25 meters 320 watt.  We have a 3m one, and keep it to 18-21C with a thermostat.

That would seem very efficient! A lot more efficient than the grow lights I'm looking at, but of course, the functions are different.

I've looked at using a 'Heizkabel' for heating the upstairs windows because they get really wet when it's freezing outside, to the point where drops start leaking onto the wood surrounding the windows (which will become a problem sooner or later).
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sidd

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #617 on: January 28, 2019, 07:35:02 AM »
Re: condensation on windows

a) humidity too high ? measure and put in dehumidifier ?

b) windows getting too cold ? replace ?

c) window treatment: put in a pelmet, blinds, sheers, heavy drapes, consider outside wooden shutters with controls on inside. (inside wood shutters might be a possibility)

I got a floor to ceiling big window ground floor to windward that gets ice near the bottom on bad nights (like right now in the midwest) no matter what i do.  I got humidity control, humidifier and dehumidifier in central HVAC and such, but i cant keep RH at or above 30%  an not get ice . not willing to take RH lower, for various reasons.

gonna go to triple pane from double.

sidd

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #618 on: January 28, 2019, 12:05:18 PM »
Quote
a) humidity too high ? measure and put in dehumidifier ?

It's relatively cold upstairs. Right now, no sun and freezing temps outside, it's around 8°C (46°F) and RH is around 75-80%. The space is too big for a dehumidifier, although I have an efficient, mobile one. Maybe I should try this when it's sunny.

Quote
b) windows getting too cold ? replace ?

They're only 5 years old. They're double glazing, because they're slanted roof windows. The rest of the windows in the house are triple glazing and only a few of them get some droplets in the lower corners when it's freezing a lot. I just wipe it away every morning.

Quote
c) window treatment: put in a pelmet, blinds, sheers, heavy drapes, consider outside wooden shutters with controls on inside. (inside wood shutters might be a possibility)

Yes, I should be trying these things right now to see if it helps, before I finish all the construction work upstairs. I thought about putting some kind of heat elements below the windows, like the heating cables dbarce mentioned, 50W tops. But if shutters or drapes work as well, I'd prefer that. Will give it a try.
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El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #619 on: January 28, 2019, 12:52:09 PM »
I suggest a coldframe with a heating cable, which you turn on only when the nights are below zero (C). Also, you need to open/vent the coldframe when there is sunshine with above zero days during daytime .This way you can get 4-6 weeks headstart and the young plants will be much stronger than if you grow them inside the house, since they will experience cold nights (but no freeze) and warm days - no transplant shock. If you live in Austria I think (depending on the elevation of course) you can start cabbages/onions/greens, other hardy annuals in February and tender annuals (tomatoes, melons, etc) in March, and plant them out 6-8 weeks after planting depending on the weather.

This - in my experience - is the easiest/cheapest solution.

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #620 on: January 29, 2019, 07:07:57 PM »

Quote
b) windows getting too cold ? replace ?

They're only 5 years old. They're double glazing, because they're slanted roof windows.


This is typical. Usually, it's not a problem of the glass, but of the windowframe.

Normally, the glass is better insulated than the frame, so the problem is solved with a thicker frame. The problem of roof windows is that the rain water has to flow down, so you can't have a thicker frame on the upper side. The problem is even worse because in most cases glass plates are separated by a piece of metal which is a good heat transporter. 

johnm33

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #621 on: January 29, 2019, 08:30:10 PM »
" The problem is even worse because in most cases glass plates are separated by a piece of metal which is a good heat transporter.  " If it's silver [aluminium] it's the old style cold spacer, in the uk the warm ones [plastic] are black, usually.
Also 80 seems a little high, do you cook with gas? have an extractor? maybe try to fit a single room heat recovery vent.

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #622 on: January 29, 2019, 09:51:58 PM »
Upstairs is an unheated space of around 600-700 square feet.

But let's return to gardening.
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TerryM

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #623 on: January 29, 2019, 11:45:28 PM »
Upstairs is an unheated space of around 600-700 square feet.

But let's return to gardening.


Sorry - but wouldn't even a small, low wattage fan to disturb stratification be helpful?


A stove hood and bathroom fan vented outside should help with the humidity, and also allow warmer temperatures in summer with less discomfort, and less AC. ;)


And now a return to gardening.


Terry

El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #624 on: January 30, 2019, 07:20:12 AM »
Then a bit of gardening: I tried artichokes last year and turns out they can be grown here in C.Europe (I "stole" Eliot Coleman's idea who grows artichokes in Maine!).
So, I started the artichokes inside at the end of January/beg. Feb to make them believe that they were born during the summer. Then they were put outside in March in a cold frame to make them believe that it is (Mediterranean) winter. Then they were transplanted outside in April. They grow their fruit (actually flowers) if they believe that they have been through winter. I harvested the Artichokes in August. Not as big as those grown in true Mediterranean regions but worth a try

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #625 on: February 07, 2019, 02:37:05 AM »
Apropos Heizkabel to warm soil: My Grandma used horse manure at the bottom of a pit covered with a glass frame.
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Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #626 on: February 07, 2019, 11:10:37 PM »
I've decided to go another route. Instead of buying the 300W grow light I mentioned earlier, I'm buying two second-hand lamps with four fixtures each, and eight LED light bulbs that can operate at either 2700K or 4000K (simply by pressing the switch two times in a row). 2700K is 'warmer' and tends more towards red in the spectrum, which is good for blooming, and 4000K is 'colder' and tends towards blue in the spectrum, which is good for seedlings to get going and remain stable/not falling over.

This way I save some money, get to tinker a bit, and have a fanless (=quiet) set-up that uses some salvaged materials. The eight LED lamps total 64 Watts for 6400 lumen vs the grow light that consumed 130 Watts for 6000 lumen. Now, I know that there are other specs that are more important for grow lights (PAR, PPFD, and so on), but I'm confident that the LED light bulbs will emit enough light in those parts of the spectrum plants like.

If it doesn't work, I can still use the lamps for other purposes.

Below an image of one of the second-hand lamps I'm buying, and an image showing the spectral power distribution of a LED lamp that can go either 2700K or 4000K (unfortunately the lamp this chart is based on, was too expensive (I'm using lamps of this brand throughout the house), so I've decided to go with the Osram version, which is four times cheaper) and the absorption spectrum of photosynthesis below it. As you can see, the charts overlap quite a bit, FWIW.
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ghoti

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #627 on: February 09, 2019, 07:55:18 PM »
Looks great. Just remember that 6000 lumen is dark when compared to full sunlight. Full sun is more like 100,000 lux (lumen per m2). The light will have to be very close to the soil surface to provide outdoor like lighting.

This is always an issue with artificial lighting indoors.


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Re: Gardening
« Reply #628 on: February 09, 2019, 08:19:09 PM »
and put an oscillating fan on them so they don't grow up spindly.