Friday, March 5, 2010
I am so cheap-aquarium hot houses
So, for those that do not know, don't throw those old fish tanks away!! Those old, cracked or unused aquariums that are stashed in attics, garages and closets everywhere have a perfectly good use on a homestead of any size and any where. They are a dime a dozen at garage sales, flea markets,dumpsters and curb sides the world over and to buy a small 10 gallon one brand new it will only set you back about 10 bucks.Not a bad price for a mini hot house that is lightweight, easy to clean, able to be moved and never needs repairs.
One method of using the aquariums is inverted over the top of plants out in your very early spring or late fall gardens. Here, I am able to use them all winter long and keep a few greens alive under the aquariums. Though they do not grow much during the winter months, as soon things warm a bit the plants under it begin growing immediately. When temps warm enough during the day (over 40) I tip the tank up and then put it back down at night.If I dont the plants will cook in there. Small container plants can also go under them to give them a boost in the early spring and you an earlier harvest on some of your veggies.
Once I know the over wintered greens and herbs are not going to get any more super hard frosts for an extended period of nights I bring the tanks into the greenhouse and they become my small cold frames in the greenhouse. Since space is limited in there rather than trying to lift them up and down daily I sit them upright and place my seed tray or cups in there where I can water from the bottom and on real cool night cover with a layer of plastic and blankets if need be. If you dont have a greenhouse you can do the same thing out side and either invert it over your seed pots or trays or use as above and cover on very cold nights.
I do not have enough old aquariums hanging around the homestead to move all my baby plants to the greenhouse real early, but I can move a fair amount and not have to worry about them freezing on our still low 20 degree nights.