We have had the coldest winter in thirty year. All flowering trees and bulbs are three weeks behind in blooming. Lake Michigan is to the east of us and currently at a whopping 35 degrees F and when the east wind blows, it is quite brisk.
But, if you have a greenhouse, all is well, all is growing and all is warm.
The regular farm community are just now thinking about turning over the soil, but are not able to plant crops. But in the green house I could start planting a month ago; all I need is sunshine. The only thing that set that process back was the drop in temperature at night. The potted seeds got too cold, some had to be re started.
As the lettuce sprouted, we moved each plant into its own net pot to help the system cycle out while we wait for the other seeds to sprout. There are a variety of lettuces, cucumbers, zucchini and cores from store purchased romaine. These cores will continue to grow if placed in either dirt or an aquaponics system.
This is the best gardening project that I have ever done. Each day is more exciting then the next with the warming of the sun. I can’t see ever going back to traditional dirt gardening; to much watering, weeding and waiting for small results.For a 40′ x 120′ city lot, this compact set up is just perfect.
At the same token we have 6 beautiful goldfish that are great pets. They are relaxing to watch and fun for our cats to view them at floor level. From these 6, we now have another nine baby goldfish that keep the indoor aquaponic system going with houseplants during the summer.
I will continue to post our results through out the year.
Thank you for your interest.
As you can see by the date on the picture, GH2 had just been put into place before last winter.
We put in the floor, a couple of utility tables, an IBC and the expanded clay; wrapped a tarp around it to keep it safe from one of the coldest and snowiest winters and waited for spring.
Now the inside has begun to transform. The first IBC will become a fish tank for wild fish. We have four additional IBC totes to help in this process. Two were cut into grow beds and the other two are for rain collection.
We cut a whole in the top of the fish tank tote, placed a tarp between the white tank and the tote cage to darken the tank inside and wrapped a white tent fly around the outside of the cage to help keep the tank cooler.
The outsides of the grow beds were painted black to keep algea growth down. We ran a gravity feed pipe from the inside of the fish tank out to run through each of the grow beds and finally to the sump where the water will be pumped back into the fish tank.
Just like GH1, these will have foam floats and net pots filled with plants held by expanded clay.
I will post more pictures as we move forward. Thank you for reading our posts.
Thanks to my husband Bruce for the new design of GH1 (Green House)
I love this cleaner look. It has the same grow bed only on higher legs. The fish tank is now an actual 55 gallon fish tank and not a black 55 gallon drum. It will be easier to see how the fish are doing .
The fish have been living in a tank just like this indoors over the cold winter months and we thought it would be easier to move them to their summer quarters if the tank was the same. The inside of the greenhouse feels bigger; giving us more room to move.
We have changed the inside of the bed also. Last year we had lava rock to hold the plants in place but this year we have foam, net pots and clay. We did put a very thin layer of lava rock underneath giving the bacteria a place to grow.
The funny thing is the lettuce in the right picture are from the grocery store. We places the romaine, celery and spring green cores in the established grow bed from the winter and they continued to grow. I have moved them out to see how they do. This bed will be home to different bean plants once the seeds sprout.
So far there is just the different lettuce varieties to plant.
Hopefully in a couple of weeks, I can show you some real progress; so stay tuned.