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The Seeds of Malcontents...

February 22, 2009 11:12 AM 2/22/09

So acelightning gave me the solution for my germination dilemma. The garage is too cold and the LED grow light won’t give off any heat so I need a heat source. Her suggestion was a heated box. In thinking about that I wondered “Why can’t I just put a heating pad underneath the tray?” and I remembered the tag on most heating pads that says “Do not leave on overnight.”

So what could I use? Well it turns out that I found just the right thing - a pet bed heater. They’re designed for low heat and are designed to be left on for long periods of time without incident. And they should raise the soil temperature in the seedlings more than enough to germinate properly. I’ll still have to turn up the heat a little but not nearly as much as I would have before. The heating pad will ding my electricity a bit but I’m prepared for that.

I’m kind of wondering if it’s too early to buy tomato plants or not. I’d like to try one of the upside-down hanging planters made from 2-litre bottles. My wife would certainly eat the tomatoes and I can always give them away if I grow too many.

The rain barrel didn’t fall over after the recent freeze and snow because I remembered to leave the damn valve open this time. (Yay for working memory modules for once.) Still need to purchase more of them. Im chuckling a little because the recent city newsletter was the line “Rain barrels can be installed to collect rain water from rooftops in mosquito proof containers.” which means that I can put up as many rain barrels as I want for water collection and they can’t say a damn thing as long as I make sure they don’t grow mosquitos. *chuckle*

That’s a change I see in city rules here and there because in the past that would have been a holy hell of a fight for the homeowner. In fact anything that might be unknown to the city. But now there’s so much of a push to “go green” that for the most part they actually listen to people now concerning such projects. That’s actually pretty cool.

I think I have another kidney stone but it’s too early to tell. The pain comes and goes but I’ve started drinking buttloads of cranberry stuff so that should take care of the situation before it gets much worse.

Frankly the problem is that over the last month or so I haven’t been eating properly - lots of snacks and some fast food. Since I went fgrocery shopping yesterday and bought buttloads of vegetables for the morning food that shall be corrected. Once again I have to recommend those Bird’s Eye steam/microwave vegetable bags. They save a lot of time in the morning (5 minutes in the microwave) and I don’t get as hungry because I’ve had a good breakfast.

On other topics - *#W%&% snow!


I can haz spring nowz??

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( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 22nd, 2009 07:22 pm (UTC)
Oh, I just remembered an interesting gardening story. Someone had a tomato plant that was still producing when winter approached, and he figured if he covered it in clear plastic and put a hair blower inside, set on low, that would keep it alive.

It was very successful & he only stopped a month or so later when he discovered the tomato seeds were germinating and sprouting inside the tomatoes.

Lord knows what that cost his power bill, but the part of the idea that I think might be useful to you would be to cover your seed trays/hydroponics units with plastic to retain the heat.
Feb. 22nd, 2009 09:25 pm (UTC)
Ahh...a "mini hothouse" so to speak. Not a bad idea...

I'm seriously considering, some time down the road, making the entire garden area into an enclosed greenhouse with solar heating.

As for solar heating in general I really need to get the parts and the huge Fresnel lense to create the dry-air solar heater for the garage.
Feb. 22nd, 2009 09:27 pm (UTC)
I love your ideas. Your place is going to be wonderful when you get all your goodies set up.
Feb. 22nd, 2009 09:42 pm (UTC)
I can but hope. I have a tendency to plan for the "long term" all the time.

I was just watching Sweat Equity on TV and they did a garage remodel which was pretty simple but cost about $9k. That taught me two things:

1) I'm going to want to use a ton of recycled (free) materials to keep costs down.

2) There exist refrigerators made just for garage use. I didn't know that.

Regardless there's a ton of stuff that can be done with this house and my wife (bmhmom) is already planning/scheming to start making over the house once spring/summer finally arrives.

She asked me which room I wanted to makeover first and I don't have a good answer for her. I'm happy taking time and waiting before we start tearing anything apart. If we had money my snap answer would be the bathroom but we don't have the cash for that yet.

That reminds me - I need to get a pressure washer, siding, and the right color paint.

You can't see it in the pictures but the siding above the front porch has mold on it and needs to be replaced. ( http://www.terminalcore.net/gallery/1801_spring )

If I have to tear into that I may also add a gable attic fan to help cool the house. And as you see I'll have to definitely match the paint exactly.
Feb. 22nd, 2009 09:54 pm (UTC)
Recycle, reuse and hang onto any excess materials- quite often they are needed on another job later.

I suggest first making over either the room that can be done the quickest (it's nice to have *one* thing done to look back on) or the room that most desperately needs it (urgency will help provide motivation).

OOh, your house already looks really nice! For a stopgap measure until you can replace the siding you could try washing it with a bleach solution to kill the mold.

I think a lot of home supplies places offer free color matching, so if you bring in a chip of paint they should be able to mix a match for you.
Feb. 23rd, 2009 07:04 am (UTC)
It just stands to reason - only heat the area that needs to be warm, not the whole room (or the whole building). the dog-bed-warmer was your idea, and shouldn't use all that much electricity.

Refrigerators made expressly for use in a garage ("beer fridge")? I don't have a garage at the moment, but I'd like to know more about this.

Cute house, and the pink flowering cherry is lovely - I especially like the "porch swing" under it. Can you do anything useful with the little shed?
Feb. 23rd, 2009 01:24 pm (UTC)
Yeah I'm thinking of picking up the dog bed warmer end of this week. That'll allow me to start my pepper seedlings this coming weekend. Since they take up to 90 days to reach full size in ideal conditions I think I've got plenty of time before they outgrow the seedling pots.

And if weather doesn't permit planting by the time they get too large well then I guess I'll have to pick up a lot of small pots. *shrug*

Re:Fridge - Just Google for garage fridge and you'll get immediate results. I kind of like the small one that looks like a toolbox. ( http://shorterlink.org/4716 )

Re:House - my wife argues that the tree is purple but I agree with you. As for the shed it currently is housing the grill, the trim mower, wood for the garden fence, shovels, rakes, and implements of destruction.

During summer it houses the lawn tractor.
Feb. 24th, 2009 08:27 am (UTC)
I suppose the size of the dog-bed warmer will depend on how many plants you want to start, and how you arrange them.

Garage fridge = beer/water fridge ;-)
Although I know plenty of people who have put an old-but-still-working regular fridge in their garage. Older models are horribly wasteful of energy, though.

There's an old song from the early 1950s called "Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White". Note that it's not "Cherry Purple..." (And believe me, I know purple!) Find a lilac bush in bloom, around the same time that the cherry blossoms do, and show her the difference. (To be fair, cherry blossoms are a slightly bluish pink, but they're still more pink than anything else.)

Edited at 2009-02-24 08:28 am (UTC)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )



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