I was reading an article on Capsicum species, aka the peppers, when the author of the article mentioned how he used a basalt rockery to maintain heat around his plants in order to help them grow in a healthy manner outside despite his cold climate. He went on to explain that the rocks absorbed and retained heat during the day, releasing it for several hours even after the peak sunlight hours and this helped the peppers maintain the heated environment they loved so much for a longer period of time, basically keeping them warm when sunshine wasn't enough for warmth.
So, I figured I would ask you knowledgeable permies about the use of basalt in what I would suppose is a form of designing a microclimate for heat loving plants. Is basalt the best rock to use for something like this or is there another material even more suited to slowly capture and release heat to plants than rocks? How would you set up a design that would benefit the most plants? If you do this in a greenhouse, would it make it even warmer and more humid inside, and would that even be a good idea? Assuming you had the means to build a greenhouse, would you all even recommend a rockery, considering the greenhouse might do the same job better?
I just thought this was an interesting concept, and wanted to see if anyone knew more on this subject that I was just now hearing about.
Where you are doesn't determine where you will go, only where you'll start.
Companion Planting Guide by World Permaculture Association