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Thermal Mass Window Gardens

 
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Thermal Mass Idea
I was not sure where exactly to post this question, passive solar, gardening, hydroponics, biophilic design, or upcycling as what I want to do applies to all.  But I thought the knowledge I most need to answer my question would reside with the thermal mass folks.

Here’s my problem.  I have a long great room of kitchen, dining room and family room along the south side of my house.  There are 2- 5’x5’ windows, 1 4’x4’ window and a sliding glass door.  I love the light and warmth.  However, this is a home that was not constructed with any thermal mass other than drywall…even the floor is wood over a crawl space.  So, usually by noon, the room is too warm and the blinds are closed.  Eventually, I would like to add some decorative rock to the long wall on the north side of the room, but with the cost that is a few years out.



So, my idea is to make window gardens in the 2 largest windows and have the container bottles be as close together as possible.  My question is to the best growing medium to use – most of the mediums I have seen are regular soil, to straight water, to some other hydroponic medium.  I obviously want to have the most heat stored.  A brown soil would absorb the heat better than water, but I could obviously paint the bottles any color I want.

Please, any advice about growing medium or any other thoughts on this project would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Going sideways on your question, have you thought of insulation in the ceiling, under the floors and in the walls.
The first one will help a lot and is easy.
The floors will help about 17% and is awkward but easier if you use solid insulation  [ sheets ]
And the third can be difficult.

Heavy drapes and pelmets over the windows work very well also.
 
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