New Winter Box

kwilliam10February 28, 2011

Hi all,

I wanted to share my latest project. I've been meaning (since Fall) to build a nice Winter Box, for the back deck. I FINALLY got around to it. This is sort of a SFG/Winter Box posting.

First, I had to build the box:

The box does not have a bottom, So I stapled weed block liner, to the inside. Then I put in about an inch of pebble stone. Next, I stapled in a chicken wire layer, so I would have something to attach the heating wire to:

I followed up with about 9 inches of Mel's Mix. This worked out perfectly, because I needed to trade out the soil from my potato towers. So the towers will get the new soil.

Then the glass tops (note the rubber gasket all around the frame.) I used the rubber gasket for garage doors (from Home Depot.):

I wish I had done this earlier in the Winter. But, I was too busy. I wound up planting two rows. The back row, all but the back/right square, is five different types of lettuce. Front left section is spinach. Front right is carrot.

Hope this all works out. Right now is midnight (Feb 27th), in Maryland. Granted, we are having a bit of a warmspell right now...but the surface temp, inside the box, is about 48 degrees. This temp appears to be holding steady.

I don't know what I will do with the far left section of the box. The overall dimensions are 8' x 2'. The right section is 6' x 2'. The angle of the glass is about 12 degrees. The left section will probably be flowers, in the Spring...but not sure. I don't have glass for that I have to wait for the full Spring temps.

Can anyone think of anything I've left out? Any recommendations?

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Well....I realized last night, that I forgot one vital component. Last night got down to 28 degrees, outside. My box fought it off gallantly, but did drop to 34 degree at the soil surface. I SHOULD have put insulation panels around the inside, and bottom (since this is sitting on the raised deck).

I'm sure I am planting late enough that I'll survive this oversite, through to the changeout for next Winter's crop. At that time, I'll remove the soil/stones/heater elements...and insulate. I'm hoping with the insulation, heater elements (and ultimately adding automatic glass openers), I'll be able to have lettuce/spinach/carrots all Winter.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 10:40AM
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The container still looks good! Looks like a large cold frame - except the soil and all is already built in.

You are right - having a layer of sheet insulation would have helped - although I wonder how long it would hold up in the soil.

Here is a link that might be useful: BsnTech Gardening Blog

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 3:18PM
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Yeah. For tonight (another below 30 degree night), I just put a heavy blanket over the glass.

I was shocked today... I opened the glass about 1/4 of the way. The outside temp got to close to 50 degrees....but the box still had a high of 107 degrees (even with the glass partially opened.) I have to get a better feel for the temps, and how much I need to open the glass.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 8:53PM
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