Trying to grow tomatoes this winter, Any advice?

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7 years 10 months ago #522761 by Hawkspur

RichardW wrote: Even with the thermal mass this inland South Island climate is not warm enough to keep tomatoes alive through winter, it stops frost on the inside though. I grow my plants inside the house during winter


It is possible. It can be done in Canada,so will be possible here, but it requires a lot of thermal mass and a lot of insulation both in the glazing and separating the thermal mass from the outside environment so the stored heat is not lost.

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7 years 10 months ago #522771 by RichardW

Hawkspur wrote:

RichardW wrote: Even with the thermal mass this inland South Island climate is not warm enough to keep tomatoes alive through winter, it stops frost on the inside though. I grow my plants inside the house during winter


It is possible. It can be done in Canada,so will be possible here, but it requires a lot of thermal mass and a lot of insulation both in the glazing and separating the thermal mass from the outside environment so the stored heat is not lost.


If mine was double glazed it would help, but the 4m wide tunnelhouse runs south- north which i think is wrong, it needs to be facing north with thew south wall higher than the north wall so as to catch the sun better, also the south wall needs to be curved from ESE around to WSW so it catches the first of the winter sun till the last of the daylight , if the back wall was painted black also to help heating but then that wall would not need to have the sun hitting it during summer

Running superfine Merino's for 15 years drench free and seed grower, sold through www.sentinelsgroup.co.nz/


Inventor of Watson multishears www.watsonmultishears.co.nz

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7 years 10 months ago #522776 by Hawkspur

RichardW wrote: If mine was double glazed it would help, but the 4m wide tunnelhouse runs south- north which i think is wrong, it needs to be facing north with thew south wall higher than the north wall so as to catch the sun better, also the south wall needs to be curved from ESE around to WSW so it catches the first of the winter sun till the last of the daylight , if the back wall was painted black also to help heating but then that wall would not need to have the sun hitting it during summer [/size]


Yes, a long east west axis gives a bigger solar gain. If the south wall can get direct sun, it is much more effective as thermal mass.Colour has been shown to be not as significant as having direct sun.
Polycarbonate sheets with many layers of cells are a lot better than double glazing. Not only are they fairly high in R value, up to about 2 before getting ridiculously expensive, they scatter the light which gives a better spread of it through the glasshouse.
If the curve is done to reduce the surface area and therefore heat loss, it would help, otherwise, it might decrease gains as much as it increases them in other ways.

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7 years 10 months ago #522833 by Xu
Thanks for your advice. I am growing inside the house as well. The temperature seems more stable inside at least it is the situation in Auckland.

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7 years 10 months ago #522834 by Xu
Thanks for the recommendation. I will try the Sweet 100 next time if it is a success. After all, I guess the growing environment is more or less the same no matter the variety.

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7 years 10 months ago #522835 by Xu
I agree with you and have studied the benefits of polycarbonate sheets to build a greenhouse. I am thinking about a 8mm double wall one. Do you think it will suitable for the climate in Auckland? I plan to import some from Asia cause the local price is very high.

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7 years 10 months ago - 7 years 10 months ago #522837 by tonybaker
sweet 100 is def the choice, in my tunnel house top of south island i have self seeded plants about 10cm tall now.
What you need is lots of thermal mass as it is the nighttime temp that causes the problem, daytime temp is usually OK in a tunnel house. If you are not careful about venting the heat during the day, the plants will be reluctant to flower.

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)
Last edit: 7 years 10 months ago by tonybaker.

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7 years 10 months ago #522839 by Xu
That is great to find someone who can grow tomatoes at the same time. I will listen to your advice and pay attention to the over heat problem. Thanks.

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