No longer moist!
Since building the Idiot Greenhouse, I’ve been fighting a battle against condensation. At first, of a morning, the roof seemed to have a few drips on it. Then a few more. Within three of four days, even venturing in there resulted in a drenching. If you touched anything, it can showering down like a thunderstorm. If you coughed, the floodgates opened. One day, my mobile rang while I was creeping around, and I ended up having to call out the bloody coastguard!
Now, in the big book of garden knowledge, it states that condensation is a key factor in diseases of the greenhouse. That’s obviously diseases that live in greenhouses, not diseases that greenhouses catch. Imagine that, cirrhosis of the glazing. Well, anyway, the big book of knowledge was based upon unfortunate souls who purchased greenhouses rather than making them from old crap. It recommended fans, steam heat, automatic vents, dehumidifiers, ionisers, ironing boards and a whole heap of other pointless shit, totally ignoring the fact that some of those consulting the big book of knowledge might have just cobbled together a structure on a barren patch of mud.
In the end, I did what most sane people do, and used the big book of knowledge to wipe my arse. Have that, so-called Doctor Hessayon! In fact, if I ever met Doctor Hessayon, I’d do what I always do whenever I meet a doctor who isn’t a real doctor, and ask him about the pain in my bollocks.
Stage one of the plan was to finally lay some slabs on the damp earth. I figured that reducing the local mositure was a good place to start. Then I realised that the flimsey roof was creating problems. It is very thin and single skin, and it had no insulation. When the dew point was reached, the external cold air and the internal warm air where literally pissing all over my ceiling.
Stage two was to introduce an air gap by fitting a second ceiling…
I used a light meter to check that the light level hadn’t fallen. I expeted there to be a few hundred lux difference during daylight hours, but there wasn’t! It was around 10 lux, which is more or less negligible.
The second ceiling cut down the amount of condensation significantly, and what was there was between the two ceilings. I left a vent gap at the back so this would dry out during the day. It also raised the temperature a few degrees. However, I still wasn’t able to use the bloody thing as night temperatures were -5 degrees, and my rhubarb seedlings had already frozen.
Was I happy? As happy as a dog with two dicks. I was so happy, I popped into a local farm that grows herbs to have a chinwag with the bloke that runs it, and that’s when I saw her. She stood out, dazzling in all her glory, the sun falling on her in a pool of radiance. She was beautiful, curvy and sexy. She oozed class. I wanted her, there and then, and I knew, no matter what it took, I was going to have her.
And I did. Have her, I mean!
She, my friends, is the Bio Green Phoenix pictured above. She’s a pure 2.8kW of thermostat controlled fan with heating element. She keeps the greenhouse warm and dry. She blows when she needs to blow, and the rest of the time she just shuts up. She’s ideal, and everything I dreamed she’d be. Since she arrived, I haven’t seen a single drop of condensation, even on the outer skin of the roof. The temperature in the greenhouse has never fallen below 4 degrees, even on a -6 degree night, and she’s only on the lowest setting, at the lowest power.
And her arrival means only one thing: I shall be sowing in February this year.
Sniff my Phoenix, you mother-lovers!