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The before pictures


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Old 08-16-2011, 02:04 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Default The before pictures

Even though I wont have the access to the money for a few weeks, I can still get some things going. These are the before pictures of the spot where my greenhouse will be located. My first task is to get rid of that dirt mound, then I can begin marking out the area where the greenhouse, and in-ground nutrient reservoirs will located. Also once the dirt mound is out of the way, I can call the city and have them mark where the phone lines run underground. I have a good idea of exactly where it is, and it will probably run right down the middle of the dirt area. Going from the utility pole, to the box on the wall just underneath the breaker box on the house.

Unfortunately it will be right in the middle of the space I need for the subterranean heating and cooling system. But I got some good news yesterday, when my neighbor mentioned they usually place them 6 feet deep. That would be great, because I will only be going down 4 feet deep for the subterranean heating and cooling system. So if that's true, it wont be in my way at all. If not, then I will need to run the in-ground cooling tubs to the left and right sides of the phone line instead.

I took complete measurements of the yard today so I can make some scale mock up drawings on paper of the subterranean system tubing layout. Once I know exactly where the phone line is, as well as how deep it is. Then have the subterranean system drawn out, the next steep is to calculate the amount of gravel I will want for back fill, and have it delivered. The gravel is to aid in drainage of the water that will be from the subterranean system (because our soil is compact). Then I will need to rent a backhoe to dig the trenches for the tubing and vertical stacks, drop them in and back fill it. I also have a electrician coming this week to give me an estimate on installing 2 breakers in the breaker box that will supply power for everything. He's a friend I often hang out and watch Monday night football with, so I know he will give me a good price. Besides I would rather give the work to a friend I know could use the money.

P.S.
Not fun work when it's 110 degrees out, and it will probably be that way until October.

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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 08-16-2011 at 02:14 AM.
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Old 08-16-2011, 04:52 PM
jamromhem jamromhem is offline
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wow, I could never live there lol.. I absolutely adore having a green lawn and it looks like it would take way too much work to accomplish there if even possible lol..

Other than that note It looks like a great spot to start there.
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Old 08-17-2011, 06:17 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Ya, you could have a green lawn, but you would be the only one on the block. They take a lot of preparation, but most importantly they use way too much water. The only places with grass around here are the golf course's.

I wasn't planing to do these drawings on the computer, but it wasn't too hard. Especially since I used a Google sketchup to make the grid that I printed out so I can make the hand made drawings to scale. Each square represents one square foot. Just in case you may be wondering why I left so much space behind the greenhouse (between the greenhouse and retaining wall), that's because city code requires the structure to be 10 feet from the property line. The retaining wall is 3 feet from the property line, so there are 7 boxes (feet) between the retaining wall and the greenhouse structure.

The first image shows the basic layout, "excluding" the placement of the in-ground reservoirs. That's because I'm still deciding on the best placement for them. The second image shows the same layout, but also includes the placement of the "vertical" air tubes for both of the separate Subterranean heating and cooling systems. As well as one layer of the array of in ground cooling tubes. There will be 3 layers of cooling tubes. First one 4 feet deep, second one 3 feet deep, third one 2 feet deep. The black line straight through the greenhouse is where I believe the underground phone line is located, but I'll definitely have it marked before I begin digging (I plan on calling them tomorrow to come out and mark it). I just finished leveling out the area today.
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 08-17-2011 at 06:21 AM.
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Old 08-17-2011, 12:25 PM
halfway halfway is offline
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Looks good GF.

Anxious to see the progress!
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Old 08-18-2011, 09:15 PM
jamromhem jamromhem is offline
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Those looks like some great plans. Are you going to have a real foundation or a wooden framing sitting on the ground? if not a more difficult to move foundation most places don't count it as a structure for the property line purpose.. I know in texas I had a shed 16x12 only 3ft from the line because it was just a wooded frame and no concrete, and by their rules not a perminant structure, because I could move it with a couple jacks if I needed to. That is just a thought...

Also I would be interested in seeing what a temperature probe would tell you at 2ft.. You might have heavier warming at the shallow depth depending on the soil properties. My mother's land would handle that having a clay bed 1ft from the surface and a stream 10ft under (the soil stays cold in 110 degrees only 6 inches down) It might be a good thing to test and would be worth it to avoid future troubles.. The sandier and rockier soils might be prone to more surface heating than dirtier soils. I might be wrong, but it wouldnt hurt to see what the temps are like with just the heat from the sun on the surface.
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Old 08-19-2011, 04:14 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Wow, the book I ordered (Fresh Culinary Herb Production) came today. I only ordered it Sunday night. It wound up only taking 4 days to process the order and make it to my doorstep. That's quick, and was sent "USPS" mail from Colorado to Arizona.

I called 1-800-stake-it yesterday, and they made the arrangements to have all the utility's come out and mark underground lines. It takes 2 days for all of them to respond, but they'll be done by Friday night. The phone line is the only one I expect to be in the area I will be digging in. They marked it today, and it's exactly where I thought it would be. I wont be able to dig within 2 feet of it on either side. That's fine, that is what I expected anyway. My friend the electrician also tells me it's probably only a foot or so down (FYI).

Also My friend (the electrician) came by yesterday to give me an estimate. I expected 2 breakers to be enough, but he advised me I would want/need 3, because the portable AC (I don't expect to use much), should be on a separate breaker because it will pull about 15 amps, and one breaker wouldn't be enough to run everything else (pumps, fans, propagation lights). So I'll be getting three 20 amp breakers installed. It will run me about $250 to install the breakers, hook up a junction box below the breaker box, run the wires through the electrical conduit to the greenhouse, and finally wire the the water proof outlet boxes I setup in the greenhouse (with all GFI outlets).

The greenhouse will be attached to the ground by sliding the 2 inch electrical conduit frame into 2 1/2 inch electrical conduit buried in the ground. The same way the metal frame is attached to the ground in the pictures attached. The biggest difference in the in my greenhouse from the one in the pictures (besides the actual size) is I will be using electrical conduit instead of metal fence post tubing. And the doorway will be on the long side, rather than the ends. The base wood framing will be pressure treated wood so it wont rot.

The greenhouse floor will basically be packed dirt. However it will have a couple of layers of weed control screening to keep down soil borne pathogens and pests within the greenhouse. I may also add a layer of crushed rock (Arizona Decorative Rock), it will take about 2 tons if I do. The gray rock is only $20 a ton, and I will probably order extra when have it delivered for subterranean heating and cooling system back fill (for better drainage of the sub T system).

The reason I'm not going with permanent flooring isn't a property line, or city code issue. It's for my moms sake, I want everything removable. I don't want to take out the greenhouse and leave a ulgy cement patch in the middle of the yard. The property line issue is because of the easement between property that allows the city access to the power line poll. It's not illegal, or even uncommon for people to encroach in that area. But should the city need access to it, and there is no other way, they can tear down anything in their way at will, and without paying to replace it. So if you do build in that area, you build it at your own risk (like my neighbors wall). I just want to avoid those issues, so I wont be building in the easement area. However if I decide to place a in ground reservoir there, I plan to leave space so I can build a solid bridge over it they can drive their trucks over.

I may in the future (money permitting), decide to install pave-stone flooring in the greenhouse (perhaps even around it). But when I expand to another location I will probably go with a decomposed granite (Stabilized Decomposed Granite and Crushed Stone Stabilizer) or traditional cement flooring. The decomposed granite is supposed to be just about as hard and smooth as cement, but cheaper and nicer looking.

After taking some measurements today above the retaining wall, and considering the 4 foot wide 275 gallon water tanks. It just wouldn't be reasonable to put it just behind the wall. In order to do so it wouldn't be more than 1 foot away from the retaining wall, and thus wouldn't provide enough insulating effect. I am considering farther back behind the wall, as well as between the bushes. That would be about 6 to 8 feet from the wall. The ground is too hard there for me to tap a poll down to get a temp reading. I would need to dig it out by hand, or rent a electric post hole digger. I will try to get some fittings to hook up the hose to PVC tubing, and try to bore out a hole with water pressure. But it's probably going to be to rocky for that to work.

I know from experience here that you don't really start to feel the cool earth until about 18 to 24 inches deep. That's from when I dug the 30 inch deep hole for the reservoir for my tomato's. Though my concern with ground temps behind the retaining wall are because it's on a hill and I'm not sure how that affects the ground water there. But I have always planed to artificially aid in ground water anyway. I'll be placing soaker hose around the in-ground reservoirs near the surface. Placing it a few inches down, and surrounded by sand to aid in drainage, as well as help keep the soaker hose from becoming clogged from dirt.

Then connecting the soaked hose to a automatic hose timer, and setting it to run for a few minutes at a time, once or twice a day. That will keep the sub soil wet all the time, and give me the maximum geothermal effects without using too much water. I will also keep track of the nutrient temperatures, both with and without the use of the soaker hose. I want to see just how much effect it actually adds, as well as how much water it needs to get the maximum effects. And I can use that experience and data for a larger scale operation later.
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