We are really moving along on this. Today i added the last of the soil. So far the soil heaters have kept it to about 50F even when the air temp has dropped to match the outside temp (in the 20’s and 30’s at night). Next came watering with some tea made from water and chicken manure (an Eastern Shore staple). And finally i decided on the lighting. Since we only have sunlight for about ten hours a day i like to add some extra hours of electric light so the plants get about 18 hours a day. I got lucky today as the local building supply had ‘brooder fixtures’ on sale this week. These are usually used in chicken brooding operations and can take up to a 250 watt bulb or a heat bulb. I’m using 60 watt bulbs. Two fixtures came to $12.
I have gone back and forth on whether to use florescent lights as in the past, or the compact florescent bulbs, or the standard incandescent bulbs. After some research i found that the standard incandescent bulbs cover about the same light spectrum as the others and generate some added heat to the air in the green house. The down side is that they cost more to operate. For now i’ve opted for the extra heat even though there will be some extra expense. As it warms up in the spring maybe i will go to the CFL’s. Tonight will be the test to see if the amount of heat generated is worth the added expense.
With luck i will be planting some lettuce, broccoli, and cauliflower this weekend (i’ll let you know when the salad is ready Possum). If that works maybe one tomato and one cucumber plant.