Hot bed???

Polytunnels, cold frames, greenhouses, propagators & more. How to get the best out of yours...

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Pa Snip
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Re: Hot bed???

Postby Pa Snip » Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:12 am

Updated my reading of this thread earlier and I have since been wondering if there have ever been any cases of
Hot Bed Spontaneous Combustion

All sorts of images come to mind :roll:
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Re: Hot bed???

Postby mr-cecil » Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:22 am

LOL
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Re: Hot bed???

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Wed Mar 02, 2016 5:45 pm

I've started the hot bed with the latest batch of hen hut cleanings and compacted it and watered it. I put a polythene sack on top and it feels very hot and there is a strong smell of ammonia, so something is happening. I can't find my soil thermometer to test it, but will follow MW's instructions and add compost when it cools down a bit. I might start a couple of squashes off, or buy one to save time. It is so hot that it should be helping to keep the temperature in the border above freezing anyway.
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Re: Hot bed???

Postby mr-cecil » Sat Mar 05, 2016 5:46 pm

I've put a max and min thermometer in the polytunnel and one on top of the seedling tray sitting on top of the hot bed. It seems the hot bed minimum is about 5'C higher than the polytunnel minimum (the thermometer in the hotbed itself is now registering 30'-35'C)
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Re: Hot bed???

Postby Pa Snip » Sat Mar 05, 2016 8:09 pm

Mr C and Plum

As a matter of interest what are the dimensions of your respective hot beds
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Re: Hot bed???

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Sun Mar 06, 2016 8:03 am

Mine was about 3ft cubed but has sunk a bit now.
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Re: Hot bed???

Postby mr-cecil » Sun Mar 06, 2016 3:04 pm

Mine is about 3ft wide, 2 ft 6 inch long and about 18inch deep (a good part of it is in the ground).

I expect mine will just fizzle out more quickly than Pa Snip's, if it does I might just turn it over and add some more straw.
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IMG_6459.JPG
top of the hot bed before I put plastic trays on top
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12809648_10154113576084406_4262420045660322320_n.jpg
hot bed with trays on top, convered with plastic (open at the front to allow air in)
12809648_10154113576084406_4262420045660322320_n.jpg (100.97 KiB) Viewed 5417 times
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Pa Snip
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Re: Hot bed???

Postby Pa Snip » Sun Mar 06, 2016 4:18 pm

mr-cecil wrote:Mine is about 3ft wide, 2 ft 6 inch long and about 18inch deep (a good part of it is in the ground).

I expect mine will just fizzle out more quickly than Pa Snip's, if it does I might just turn it over and add some more straw.


I've not made one yet Mr C. It is still just a consideration

One reason I have been in two minds is we do not have a poly tunnel or greenhouse to make one in, not sure how effective I could make an outdoor one.

Got an idea I am toying with though
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Re: Hot bed???

Postby hilary » Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:03 am

Hi,
I was just wondering could you confirm by what you mean by horse muck, I now have access to purely the droppings, skipped out of the field/shavings, rather than the straw, droppings and urine which is what was always known as horse manure.
I suspect it is the latter which has the heating properties but would be interested if the pure droppings worked in a hot bed. Sorry to be so pedantic (or anal !) but I have noticed a difference when applied to the general compost heap and it is harder to get proper horse manure with so many stables using shavings instead of straw a lot to do with the huge bales I guess.

Hilary
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Re: Hot bed???

Postby mr-cecil » Sun Mar 13, 2016 7:15 am

The stuff I got was bagged up at the side of the road says "free horse manure".

In the bags, it seemed to be mostly muck, and very little straw and possibly some saw dust.

I guess you can add your own urine ;)

Note my hot bed temperature seems to have peaked, but it is still warmer than ambient
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Re: Hot bed???

Postby Pa Snip » Sun Mar 13, 2016 7:25 am

For a hot bed the use of horse manure is contrary to what we might normally want to achieve.

Normally before using horse manure we want it well rotted down.
In the case of hot beds the experts say it should be as fresh as possible.

After more consideration, and a trip out locally to try and find some fresh manure, I have decided I am not going to try and make a hotbed
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mr-cecil
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Re: Hot bed???

Postby mr-cecil » Thu Apr 14, 2016 9:25 pm

I've now got various bits of fungus growning out of the hot bed. Should I just leave them be, or do you think I need to get rid of them?

Note the soil temperature in the hotbed is still about 4-5'C warmer than the soil temperature right next to it.
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Re: Hot bed???

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:04 pm

I've dismantled my hotbed. Can't be bothered with it. I might try it again next year.
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Re: Hot bed???

Postby Pa Snip » Fri Apr 15, 2016 6:57 am

Can't say as I blame you PP

The more I read about putting one together the more it appeared to be such a phaff.
Project definitely on the abandoned list.
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The danger when people start to believe their own publicity is that they often fall off their own ego.

At least travelling under the guise of the Pa Snip Enterprise gives me an excuse for appearing to be on another planet
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Re: Hot bed???

Postby MattW » Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:11 am

Ah I knew there would be posts on this in here!

With the family down with flu I’ve been muck picking the fields this week which has coincided with acquiring some scaffold boards to make three new beds.

It’s like the stars aligned!

How much success have people had since this thread ? Any more tips?

Cheers
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