Gilbert Fritz

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since Sep 13, 2013
Denver, CO
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Recent posts by Gilbert Fritz

No, I didn't carry the experiments any further. After I realized that the material was not suitable for outdoor raised beds I stopped working with it.
3 weeks ago
Well, it has been a while. I strained a muscle in my abdomen and haven't been doing my gardening work this past year. But I'm finally ready to start planning my next steps with the greenhouse.

The mouse problem is serious and ongoing. I've decided that the structure simply isn't well sealed enough to be a real year-around greenhouse; critters and pests just build up. (The way I build the retaining wall means that there would be no efficient way to block out critters.)

So I'm planning to use it as a two season (Spring and Fall) greenhouse with a removable cover. During the Summer, I'll use it as a giant trellis for squash and other vines, with shade loving crops underneath. In the Fall I'll put the plastic on to extend some things, then take it back off over Winter to let the cold weather deter pest build-up, and then recover it in the Spring for seed starting.

I'll still use the IBC/Radiator set-up to balance temperatures when the cover is up. When the cover is not up, I'm thinking of using the IBC as a giant Kratky hydroponic tank!
3 months ago
I have a very strong greenhouse plastic with an embedded cord scrim. In fact, it is so tough that when I tried to pull it away from a staple, it wouldn't tear around the staple.

My greenhouse is built of metal hoops with wooden end walls, and the plastic is pulled tight around the edge of the wood and then stapled to it. Right now, I've got trim boards nailed over the wood to hide and strengthen the plastic edge.

The plastic is coming to the end of its lifespan, and I want to attach it differently next time, so that it can be easily removed and replaced.

What if I put small plastic grommets through the edge of the plastic and then drove large headed nails through them into the wood? Do you think this would work?

The way the structure is built I can't easily use wiggle wire channels.

3 months ago
Thanks Paul and Nicole! That's very helpful.
So a few years ago, I wrote an essay-like blog post. I'm now considering cleaning it up and submitting it to a website for publication, but I don't want to run into copyright problems. I realize that everything on here is copyrighted by The essay would probably be edited significangly fromt he original blog post, but similar enough that somebody could tell the difference. Would this be OK if I included the line "an early version of this essay was posted a"? Or not?

The post in question is:
No, I never had time to try to scale it up. Sorry I'm not more help!
9 months ago
Most Bananas need 18 months of growth to produce fruit. Each stem grows to a certain size, sets a bunch of bananas, and dies, to be replaced by new stems. The problem is that in your climate, the stem never gets 18 months. You could try to protect enough of the stem through the winter and get Bananas the second year. Some people put a big cage around the stem and fill it with leaves to overwinter the stems. The contraption has to be kept dry so that the stems don't rot.

I'm sure people who have grown Bananas can give you more advice.
It didn't go very well, because the liner leaked and it proved impossible to track down and patch the leak. So I can't tell how it would have worked otherwise.
1 year ago
Right, it is going to be more or less closed, just running from the IBC to the radiator and back.
1 year ago
I finally got the IBC tank into place in the greenhouse. Before I fill it up and figure out how to connect the pump and radiator, I'm trying to figure out how to keep algae from growing in the tanks. Any thoughts?
1 year ago