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Nov 20 2008

Posted By: Paul 07/05/2009 19:23:00

With a cold spell of weather about to come down from the Arctic this weekend this would be a great time to consider bubble wrapping your greenhouse and covering delicate plants with fleece. You may also want to consider adding some form of heating to your greenhouse to extend the growing season, and rather than going for a solution using an electric or oil fueled heater, how about manure? I don't mean you should burn it as a fuel but instead you can use the decomposition process of the manure to generate heat.

In my greenhouse I have built a container on the floor which runs the length of the greenhouse. It is two feet high, two feet wide, and six feet long. Into this I will add a mixture of steaming manure and fresh straw, and topped off with a 6" layer of soil and compost mix. Initially the heat generated by this pile will make the soil too hot to sow any seeds directly in, but you can place trays of salad and radish above the container.

Before I place the manure into the container I have to prepare the manure using a specific method which is the key to the whole process working correctly. To read about this method go to the Gardeners Calendar Web site and read about Hotbeds.

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