Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sunroom Greenhouse Conversion Fantasy

So.... I have a sunroom... a crappy one with a metal frame, screened in with cheap dark vinyl-y sheets over the screening to keep out sun or all the cold in the winter and leaks a bit when it rains.

I just had a slight mad epiphany and fantasy that maybe... MAYBE I could convert it somehow into a GREENHOUSE.

Problems though.... it's north facing and there is no good heat source, nor would I or my husband be interested in jacking up our energy bill for a project such as this and changing the crummy screening/vinyl to glass is doubtful as what's the point since the frame is no good.

BUT, I've been musing... could there be a potentially natural method to warm it? Like the huge pile of compost that leans next to the Growing Power greenhouses?

Except I can't really/don't have room/don't think husband or neighbors or authorities would really allow me to do this and keep a hot compost pile next to a dwelling.

Um, what about a sort of compost thing inside the sunroom? Leak proof? Smack dab in the center to dissipate heat and not touch any sides with ickiness?

How much waste would be needed to heat a say, 12x12 space enough for plants to be happy with a somewhat drafty door? (Ventilation, I say!)

Is there a physicist in the blogosphere to help me here?

Could I manage a compost pile in there without it smelling things up too badly?
Or cause a ridiculous invasion of fruit flies?

Grrr.... Hope.... fading fast.... knowing that this probably a very very very bad idea, but so tempting.

Some how, some way may there be a greenhouse in my future using some sort of creativity, luck and hard work on my end here without doing something too mad.


Nell Jean said...

I think a greenhouse is every gardener's dream, except maybe those in really warm climates where it never frosts.

Compost for warming is better suited for cold frames, maybe. Tighter quarters require less total heat. I use water barrels as a heat sink in my little greenhouse, but nights below freezing still require supplemental heat sources.

My mother used to plant late winter crops of lettuce and radishes behind a field terrace that faced south. Where there is a will, gardeners find a way.

Scott & Liz said...

Hmmmm...Compost pile heating...I don't know if that one one will work, but hey what do you have to lose but for a bit of labor.

persephone said...

@Nell Jean-*sigh* I still need to make a cold frame... I really want to do it with discarded windows, but it seems like everyone is hording their windows or getting to them before me nowadays! Darn economic downturn! Everyone finally getting their re-use on!

For now, I just plant in my south facing garden and pray and cover with sheets when needed :)

@Scott- Oh you Floridians and your ever present nice weather! It's really not fair :P