3 Apr 2011, 10:49am
fixing things:


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  • temperature controlled heat mat success

    The heat mat I fixed three days ago has delivered 😉 We’ve had lettuce seeds in a cold frame from two weeks to no joy so far, whereas a new batch with heat @ 20°C looks like a win in three days.

    lettuce seedlings germinated in three days @ 20C

    Now I just need to get a control on the Sankey propagator which uses four times as much power for an area about one-sixth of the size. For all that power it does raise the temperature to over 30°C which is unnecessary, and possibly slightly detrimental.

    Nicely engineered solution, especially the microcontroller. Is it still cost effective to grow with the added electricity use? I guess it must be . . .that much lettuce would be £20 at tesco.

    Ahhhh…. The sweet smell of success 😉

    The Midas touch, eh guv? 😉

    Definitely smells sweeter than rotting manure, LOL.

    Was 5 deg C this morning and I haven’t started any seeds indoors yet this season. We’ve got at least two more weeks before it’s safely frost-free.

    On the positive side, the garlic has come up nicely and I planted early potatoes a couple weeks ago. And am weeding the big garden plot with a sheet of black plastic (aka solarizing) this year.

    @all thanks for the comments guys –

    @Eddie the power usage in three days has been about 50p worth, 40p of which is the inefficient Sankey non-thermostatically controlled device 🙂 We are growing for 25 households in total in the community supported agriculture scheme, so there is a scale issue, we could do with a lot more. These lettuce plants have already come off to harden off and a new lot of seeds in in their place.

    @George, that’s still cold! That black plastic is marvellous stuff for weeding 😉 I asked DGF what’s different about her usage, and the differences are that the UK is anomalous in that it is relatively warm due to the Gulf Stream, but dark due to our latitude, so horticulture is different from what people with the same temperatures would expect. I think that’s the gist of it. We’re also on a larger scale to grow veg for many households, so it isn’t viable to plant a lot and take the hit of poor germination, she aims to sow what she will grow. I do recall when using the Sankey propagator for tomatoes I would be lucky if half came up. That’s what comes of growing up in the city, I got no feel for this growing lark at all.

    @Surio, hope so, we’ll see on the new tray, but it’s DGF who has the Midas touch – getting seedlings in three days at nearly 100% germination is not something that’s ever happened to me!


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