16. February 2019

Garden DYI: Making a hotbed with wool

I'm so happy with this project! This is the first time I have tried building a hotbed with wool, it seems to have worked really well so far. I'm excited to see how it develops!

Ett lock av plast tittar fram ur en hög med ull och är delvis täckt av en lila filt.

I made my hotbed with wool and chicken manure and insulated the bed with wool around it too.

 

It's been about a week since I made my hotbed with wool. This project has been very exciting for me since it's my first time using wool like this. But so how did I make it? Watch the video below to learn how it's done!

 

 

 

I decided to add some soil and start sowing. The upper sections of my hotbed are now around 80 degrees (26 degrees Celsius), while the layers underneath are even warmer. My goal was to sow when the temperature reached somewhere between 70-85 degrees (20-30 degrees Celsius.) The temperature will go down a bit when you add a layer of soil too.

I'm going to be traveling a bit in the near future too and I need my family to help me take care of the bed. I think it will be quite easy work this coming week though, with up to 45 degrees (8 degrees Celsius) outside and temperatures above freezing at night. There's no need to water the bed the first few days, the condensation is good enough. All you need is to let in some air at times, depending on how warm it gets in the hotbed. I think my family will remember to put a blanket over the lid every night, and then remove it in the morning too. If they were to forget, it's not such a big deal. It's still pretty hot in the polytunnel after all.

 

More about hotbeds

I have done a few live streams on my Swedish YouTube channel where I measured the temperature day by day. I will probably do something similar on my English channel Sara's Kitchen Garden too. Right now, I have a large hotbed outside, several smaller ones in my polytunnel and an extra one I reserve for plants during the cold spring.

 

Learn more about hotbeds here: Making a hotbed in my polytunnel

 

What is a hotbed?

A hotbed is simply a bed that has been built with a large pile of organic mulch on top. When the material starts to decompose, it will generate a lot of heat (the amount depends on what material you decide to use.) Some type of manure and straw is usually a good choice, this will help speed up the heating process.

I make my hotbed with wool in winter when the daylight starts to come back so that my plants get a chance to grow. Just add a layer of soil on top of your pile and then you can start planting your vegetables. Using a hotbed is really effective, I can sometimes start harvesting my vegetables many weeks before it's time in the other spots in my garden.

Many people swear by horse manure and straw. This combination will get you a warm hotbed relatively quickly. You can use many other materials too of course. I hope you will try making a hotbed with wool too. Good luck!
/Sara Bäckmo

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