Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Sooty greenhouse incident

On Monday I had a seed sowing marathon: all the brassicas, flowers, celery leaf and leaf beet, herbs and peas, as well as potting up some tomato seedlings. I have nearly run out of surface space and there are still lots of tomato, chilli and pepper seedlings to pot up.

Anyway as it was forecast to be a chilly night I thought I would try out my new parafin heater (foreground), well, bought last year actually but not needed until now. I wish I had read the instructions thoroughly before lighting up. If I had I would have spotted the line: "do not allow the flames to burn above the level of the burner bridge, or the wicks will dry out and smoking may occur" and I would not have come down the next morning to find the greenhouse full of black smoke, with every visible surface covered in a layer of black soot, including the outside of the glass. Still, the thermometer read a minimum of about 8 degrees, so nice and cosy!!

I had to go to work so as soon as I got home I set to and cleaned up. The glass is a lot cleaner and there is slightly less soot around but I'm still coming out with black hands every time I touch anything. I have tried it again with the flames at the right height and there was no smoke or soot this time but it wasn't nearly as warm - thermometer said it went down to 0 degrees. More experimentation is required.

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