Wednesday, October 7, 2009

What lizards know about thermal mass...

Here's a happy report of one small success with the concrete beds. It's now early October with near freezing nighttime temperatures and the concrete beds are performing like a champ already. They warm perceptibly during daytime hours and then re-radiate at night, keeping the soil in the beds noticeably warmer than that on the ground. The slight (15 degrees) tilt to the south seems to be about right...runoff isn't a problem and the sun nowadays is right where the beds can grab big chunks of it.

The plants inside (all cool weather crops) seem more than enthusiastic about being there too. I'm enjoying bumper crops of spinach and chard at the moment and snow peas are probably about one week from ready. Kale and other brassicas are coming on strong too. Carrots look healthy. There's even a rogue tomato and a sunflower in there for good measure.

One challenge I've had with raised beds is that of keeping them watered. However, the cool season goal for this one means that it gets plenty of rain. I do have to baby it a little more during sunny season, but find so far that it's not overwhelming or excessively thirsty.

Will post new pictures soon of this fall bounty!