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Water as thermal mass for a very small low tunnel/cold frame

13 years ago

Hello everyone,

In the past I have build a very small cold frame over my tomatoes, and it worked great. This is about 10ft long, maybe about 5 ft wide and 5 ft tall... it's just three 10ft .5" diameter PVC pipes anchored by rebar with cheapo clear plastic stretched over the top. My tomatoes have loved it and grow much better than they would outside.

Anyway, I've always put a lot of 2 liter soft drink bottles filled with water to help keep the tent warm at night. Since I more or less gave up soda pop recently I don't have those bottles anymore. I was wondering if getting from free plastic buckets from the local bakery or restaurants and filling those with water would work as well. The buckets would not be transparent, so I don't know if they'd heat up in the sunlight enough to be useful. Would dark colored buckets work better than white ones?

Also, if you think that the thermal mass this would ad is not enough to help at all, I won't be upset if you can demonstrate this is the case. :)

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