nannerswolf

Added horse manure compost to heat HFGH, now I have more questions...

The situation:

I have a 6x8 HFGH that is a few years old now. It is not electrified and until I win the lottery, that's not an option. I have been tinkering with ways to heat it during the winter and thanks to a pallet I found and a friend who has horses, I am now the proud owner of a 3'x3'x4' horse manure compost heap taking up the northwestern corner of my GH. After some trial and error (and some terrible puns), I now have the pile heating up to over 100 degrees even though it is 20 degrees outside and about 25 degrees inside my greenhouse. I used to have bubble wrap taped up to most of the roof and sides but the humidity from my new heap was apparently the death knell for the tape (Right now it looks like that scene in ET where the scientists have plastic sheets hanging everywhere.). I can't really dig into the ground there. I have big black tubs of water in there too but they are currently frozen solid. In the summer, I usually pop off a few side panels to keep it cooler and for air flow. I plan to use silicone to seal up some of the roof problems I've started having (I am one of the lucky ones that had shorter panels.).

When we built the foundation and such, we modified the doorway so I can remove the wall there when the door is open. That way I could wheel in my garden cart, not have to lift heavy things at far, etc.

(pardon the mess- I was in a bit of a rush when the end of fall hit.)


My budget for improvements is pretty much zero for this year but I might be able to scrounge a little if really needed. I didn't really research the next step as in depth as I usually do because I wanted to work out the kinks in the heat source first. I often get ahead of myself but this time, I actually got step one to work. I am super excited about getting this to work. At some point, my family is going to tell me to stop texting them the current temperature of my compost heap every day. :)


My multitude of questions:


I plan on making a closed garden hose of water and coiling most of it in the middle of the heap. Then the remainder of the hose will go under my future trays of starts and transplants. I have spent many hours on the internet reading about how to make this work but I am apparently missing some key base knowledge because I've gotten a little lost and the reviews of products are so mixed that I don't want to just buy and try.


1- Will a regular garden hose work?

2- Will this cool down my compost pile too much and throw off the balance?

3- Do I need a pump of some kind or can I just use convection to move the water through? Are there solar pumps that actually work?

4- Does anyone have suggestions for a way to solar power a small fan that actually works (cheaper is better)? Now that I have a much more humid environment, I'm assuming I will actually have to pay attention to that aspect.

5-The internet seems torn on whether putting it inside will kill all my plants. I didn't think it would be a problem because my GH is not exactly airtight. My base is VERY sturdy and I wasn't wanting to mess with it at all. Has anyone ACTUALLY has an inhouse compost heap heater that can tell me how it went? There are a lot of theories out there but I didn't see anyone saying "I tried this and..." I figured I'd try it anyway but would love to hear any experience anyone has on this.

6- I saw somewhere that someone found a tape that still works with the bubble wrap even in the cold and humidity. I was planning to reuse my bubble wrap for a few years and want to be able to take it off for the summer months. Now that I actually need to know what kind of tape to use, I can't find that thread anywhere. Suggestions on tape please?


Thanks in advance for any answers/advice you can give me. I realize this is a lot all at once. I love reading the threads on these forums because everyone is so helpful and nice (and funny). Thanks!




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