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insulating the bottom of a table top

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insulating the bottom of a table top

Post  walshevak on 2/20/2011, 3:43 pm

I just finished putting together the last box and as I was cleaning up I realized I had a number of pieces of 1/2" styrofoam that came packed with my kits. Enough to line the bottom of one box. My boxes are 8" deep so no problem with space. I'm thinking of next winter when I'll be trying to extend the season with some greens and this could be my hoop house box.

Waste of time? Good Idea? Can't hurt but may not help? Any ideas out there.

I'm going to start stirring up my mels mix now and will check back before I actually fill that box.

Kay
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RE: insulating the bottom of a table top

Post  Goosegirl on 2/20/2011, 3:47 pm

What could it hurt to give it a try? Gardening for me is generally one never-ending experiment..... What a Face
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Re: insulating the bottom of a table top

Post  Furbalsmom on 2/20/2011, 4:42 pm

@walshevak wrote:I just finished putting together the last box and as I was cleaning up I realized I had a number of pieces of 1/2" styrofoam that came packed with my kits. Enough to line the bottom of one box. My boxes are 8" deep so no problem with space. I'm thinking of next winter when I'll be trying to extend the season with some greens and this could be my hoop house box.

Waste of time? Good Idea? Can't hurt but may not help? Any ideas out there.

I'm going to start stirring up my mels mix now and will check back before I actually fill that box.

Kay

Kay, I think the concept of insulating your Table Top from the bottom is great, but I am concerned that if you line the bottom of your bed with styrofoam, you may have an issue with good drainage. I have not tried it, so this may NOT be an issue. Just thought I would throw in my almost 2 cents worth.
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Re: insulating the bottom of a table top

Post  boffer on 2/20/2011, 4:43 pm

I'm in the 'try it and see category'. I insulated the one box that I have a soil heating cable in, and will insulate new boxes that get a heating cable. But all my other boxes are uninsulated. I use hoop houses in the spring and fall, but passive heating is a cold idea without occasional sunshine.
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Re: insulating the bottom of a table top

Post  walshevak on 2/20/2011, 6:12 pm

@Furbalsmom wrote:
@walshevak wrote:I just finished putting together the last box and as I was cleaning up I realized I had a number of pieces of 1/2" styrofoam that came packed with my kits. Enough to line the bottom of one box. My boxes are 8" deep so no problem with space. I'm thinking of next winter when I'll be trying to extend the season with some greens and this could be my hoop house box.

Waste of time? Good Idea? Can't hurt but may not help? Any ideas out there.

I'm going to start stirring up my mels mix now and will check back before I actually fill that box.

Kay

Kay, I think the concept of insulating your Table Top from the bottom is great, but I am concerned that if you line the bottom of your bed with styrofoam, you may have an issue with good drainage. I have not tried it, so this may NOT be an issue. Just thought I would throw in my almost 2 cents worth.

The styrofoam is in strips so plenty of spaces for water to drain. And following Wardnwake, the beds are lined with plastic because of the heat down here. I already tested to make sure they would drain. My back yard is also like a wind tunnel catching the breeze off the cabbage fields down the road. That was another reason I though about a little insulation. But now is the time if I'm gonna try it.

Ran out of steam and only got my compost blended. And of course the forcast is for a windy day tomorrow. Was really hoping to get it done cause rain is in the forcast for Tue.

Kay
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Re: insulating the bottom of a table top

Post  AndreaHall on 2/20/2011, 9:54 pm

I saw this project and thought it would adapt nicely to SFG: http://oneblockdiet.sunset.com/2010/09/building-a-straw-bale-garden.html

I wonder if the roots would be warmer because of the composting bale underneath.
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Re: insulating the bottom of a table top

Post  miinva on 2/20/2011, 10:05 pm

My friend Lori has terrible soil and she wants to plant on straw bales this year. I helped her with container gardening of herbs last year, as well as a couple of tomato plants, and we'll share some of our MM to get her going on bales this spring. Thank you for the link!

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Re: insulating the bottom of a table top

Post  walshevak on 2/21/2011, 9:09 am

lined bed. I'll leave it in, don't think it will hurt and may help next fall,

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Re: insulating the bottom of a table top

Post  Blackrose on 2/21/2011, 10:12 am

Looks good. The only thing I may be concerned about is the chemicals in the styrofoam leaching into the soil. I would have put it under the plastic myself. Very Happy

It's a great idea though. I am definitely curious to hear if it works as I have 2 TT's myself. I wonder if it would work to put some foam house insulation on the bottom of the TT. Maybe even up the sides as well. Hmmmm... got me thinking.
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Re: insulating the bottom of a table top

Post  walshevak on 2/21/2011, 10:43 am

This was strictly an afterthough when I finished putting the beds together and not a done deal yet. But another though! Vermiculite is sold in the insulation aisles of some stores.
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Re: insulating the bottom of a table top

Post  Blackrose on 2/21/2011, 12:22 pm

So, are you thinking maybe you could put a couple of inches of vermiculite under your MM to try and insulate the TT? I wonder if that would work. I still might put it under the plastic though. Just to keep it from getting mixed in with the soil.
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Re: insulating the bottom of a table top

Post  Megan on 2/21/2011, 7:26 pm

@Blackrose wrote:So, are you thinking maybe you could put a couple of inches of vermiculite under your MM to try and insulate the TT?


Expensive insulation. affraid Also, the type sold as insulation may not be food grade???
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Re: insulating the bottom of a table top

Post  Blackrose on 2/21/2011, 7:53 pm

@Megan wrote:
@Blackrose wrote:So, are you thinking maybe you could put a couple of inches of vermiculite under your MM to try and insulate the TT?


Expensive insulation. affraid Also, the type sold as insulation may not be food grade???
That is why I was saying that it may be better under the plastic. I still think scraps of foam house insulation on the outside would work better. Wouldn't look that great though.
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Re: insulating the bottom of a table top

Post  Goosegirl on 2/21/2011, 8:51 pm

To put foam insulation on the outside and not have it look so bad, you could use the stuff that is made for skirting mobile homes - it comes in brick or stone facing and in colors or can be painted. If you know of an abandoned trailer house that still has some attached..... {the only thing better than cheap is free!} What a Face
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Re: insulating the bottom of a table top

Post  Blackrose on 2/21/2011, 11:06 pm

@Goosegirl wrote:To put foam insulation on the outside and not have it look so bad, you could use the stuff that is made for skirting mobile homes - it comes in brick or stone facing and in colors or can be painted. If you know of an abandoned trailer house that still has some attached..... {the only thing better than cheap is free!} What a Face

Excellent idea!

I know of some mobile home parks just north of me. I'll have to look into that before the fall.
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Re: insulating the bottom of a table top

Post  miinva on 2/21/2011, 11:11 pm

We're getting a huge bag of vermiculite, 60 cubic feet (~4x4x4), from a distributor a couple of counties over and my husband is going to use a bunch of it to insulate the clay oven he's planning to build this year. We bought a bag before and sold enough to pay for the bag, and had enough for all of our nine beds and a couple more batches of MM for my herb pots. It's a MUCH cheaper way to buy vermiculite, but getting the bag from there to here is a bit of a challenge Smile We have a trailer that hasn't been on the road in over a year, so I'm hoping it's still road-worthy, and we have to have a neighbor pull it because our farm-use vehicle gave up the ghost. Oh well, it will be worth it Smile

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