Greenhouse Heating Suggestions??
Hopefully in the not-too-distant future I'll have a greenhouse and was wondering what you greenhouse owners would recommend for cheap heating at night. Temps could drop to single digits in the winter time.
my advice? dont..
dont get a greenhouse.
you dont say where you live, but if it's anywhere north of Virginia, a greenhouse is simply not practical in the winter..you can use it spring summer and fall, but you cant heat it all winter, unless you dont mind paying $500 to $1,000 a month to do it..there is no such thing as cheap heating.
where do you live?
Right now I live in CA but I may be moving back to NY eventually. So do you use a greenhouse 3 out of 4 seasons and then bring your plants inside in the winter??
Not in NY..in NY you simply dont use a greenhouse at all!
Originally Posted by icemansyr
For Spring and Autumn, its not necessary..the plants do just as well outside.
and in the Summer and Winter, a greenhouse cant be used at all..
its far too hot in the summer, and far too cold in the winter.
in this climate, people simply dont use greenhouses..
you see virtually no "hobby greenhouses" in the North East..or across the upper midwest or in Canada..only nurseries or garden centers use them..
rather than repeat myself, here is an old thread with more details:
Thanks for the link, Scot. Growing outside sounds great but what do you do if you are growing highlanders? It won't get cold enough outside at night for their liking, right?
Around here, most people grow Neps indoors all year long..
Originally Posted by icemansyr
you might get some ideal outside temps for a few months of the year, when they can go outdoors, but they are tropical plants, and are happiest with steady, realible temps every day of the year, with very little variation..you just cant get that outdoors, unless you live in..the native climate of the plants!
If you really want to grow highland neps, forget about outside, and forget about an outside greenhouse..you need an indoor grow chamber, where you can control every hour of the plants life..
There are some ways to try and make the heating that you do have a little cheaper, like load the greenhouse with things called "thermal mass." Thermal mass is material that soaks up heat energy, without actually changing temperature to much, these are beneficial because it holds and sucks heat during the day, and at night, when the thermal mass is much warmer and has more heat energy than the surrounding air, it starts to release that heat. Thermal mass consists of things like, gallons of water, Cinder blocks, bricks, and some large dense plastics.
Another creative way to help heat the green house is by simply digging a pit were the greenhouse is (this can be an anuall thing if your GH is mobile) and lowereing the whole greenhouse into the pit. It should help in getting more consistent temperature because the ground is so well insulated the geothermic heat is going to help somewhat.
The way my dad helps heat the chicken coop, is he built this interesting device, all it is, is a large box, with a window, so it looks kind of like a screen door, plus a door right behind it that you can see. The inside is painted black. It heats up in the sun, you could use a pressure system with water, but my dad just uses a small fan, facing inward to the chicken coop (or you could use a toob) The fan is solar powered, so when the sun is out the fan starts up and the heated air that moves through channels is directed into there. The air, even though it probably has somewhere around only 5-10 minutes to heat up as is moves through the channels it gets to about 80-90 degrees in that time.
Another way, sometimes improbable but my neighbor who owns a greenhouse does this. If you have a spring or natural run off in your location (for instance my neighbor has a spring that goes through his yard) He runs the water accross a channel inside the green house, since the water is almost always 42-50 degrees, it helps a lot with heat, plus added humidity helps keep the heat in.
So anything that you can do to help retain heat, or keep passive heat will in the end make a difference, still however there is no practical and cheap way to heat a greenhouse, not if you want the temperatures higher than 50-60 degrees, especially at night
Hope this helps
I live in Washington state and had the same issue. We ended up building a 24x30 foot shop. Insulating it with r19 in the walls r30 or something in the roof. Using a heat pump to heat and cool. I have about 15 plant stands and 50 shop lights. Right now. Heating is about $200 a month in the middle of winter and cooling is $125 in summer that is including my grow lights.