I have a large glass reptile cage that I acquired. Since I do not fool
with reptiles I had thought about using it as a sort of mini green
house or hot frame to start seedlings etc in ..........Its approx 48"
x 18" x 20 " high, has slightly tinted glass on three sides, with a
plexiglass hinged top which seals relatively snug. In the two sides
and back are adjustable vents.
How do you think this would work for a mini green house?
Would the clear glass side be better suited for exposure to the sun
or shuld I orientate it so the sun goes through the tinted portion.
The tint is not dark, just a light shade of grey.
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The most important element in a greenhouse is ventilation. With no
ventilation, a greenhouse in the sun is a death sentence to anything
inside. You won't believe how hot it can get. They have automatic lids
for cold frames that lift when it starts getting warm inside. You
either need one of these or someone who will keep a watch on it. During
the growing season there is not problem since the lid can be left open.
But during the winter it is a constant battle to keep the plants from
freezing and from cooking. Also, a greenhouse needs a source of heat in
the winter so the plants don't freeze on cloudy days and at night.
The ideal use for this would be propagation of woody plants. Put the
cage in the shade with a good open view to the north so it gets lots of
light but NO direct sunlight. Then you can take cuttings of things like
rhododendrons in the fall and root them in here. I knew a woman who did
this with mason jars. It would be much easier in your snake cage. For
more information on this, look up "Nearing frame". The essential
elements are no direct sun, northern exposure and a good moisture seal.
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Sounds ideal. In the UK they are called cold-frames, and very widely
used by gardeners. Being portable you can move them around to suit your
needs. Some people place them over an earth bed but I prefer to stand
them on concrete and plant in pots or trays because it's easier to judge
watering and spot slugs. In spring, in a sheltered spot out of direct
sun, I use mine to germinate seeds and cosset the seedlings, especially
things like courgette and corn until after l;ast frosts. In summer I use
the frames in a partly-sunny spot to strike cuttings . In winter I use
them to shelter anything in a pot that needs extra protection, and
plants like succulents which don't mind cold but hate a lot of rain.
Usually in winter I have the cold frames in a sunny place out of the
wind. I use the lid to adjust the airflow and temperature. On cold
winter nights you can cover the whole thing in an old quilt or something
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