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Standing Water Heats Greenhouses

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Team Making It visited the Clemson Student Organic Farm in Calhoun Downs recently. We talked with The farm manager,  Shawn Jadrnicek, and filmed his  innovative  designs for passive heating systems that   keep the   greenhouses warm in the winter with a minimum of fuel use.   One concept is small lagoons located directly in front of the greenhouses which reflect heat back into the plastic structures during the winter when the sun is low. I asked if these lagoons didn’t cause horrible mosquito problems in the summer. But not to worry,   Shawn have it covered. He collects mosquito minnows from the nearby ditches and puts them in the water features. His experience is that female mosquitoes preferentially lay eggs in the lagoons where the larvae are gobbled up by the fish and their actual mosquito problem has decreased with the addition of these managed standing pools of water. 

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.