Winter Growing: Heating Greenhouses

If you have a greenhouse, you should probably think about getting a heater to keep your plants thriving during the winter months. It is also important to select a suitable heating system and to ensure that there is adequate ventilation.

Greenhouses are wonderful places, especially in the spring when benches are filled with brilliant green starts, and in the summer, its doors and roof vents propped open, with cucumbers trailing from the ceiling and tomatoes ready for picking. But in winter? Not so much. Overwintering herbs and potted plants cluster together for warmth. A few brown, leafless cucumber vines hang from an overhead trellis. Kale and spinach are over-picked and the seeds you planted have yet to sprout.

(C) tinyfarmblog.com

(C) tinyfarmblog.com

It’s a winter-time fact in most parts of the country: greenhouses, even those that might be attached to the house or garage, need some kind of heat source (of course, supplying appropriate light is equally important). My first, only partially realized, greenhouse up in the rain forests of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula needed heating just to keep the humidity down. But in most parts of the country, cold is the problem. You may have built your greenhouse with visions of supplying your family fresh, year-’round greens. But winter growth and germination are difficult when soil temperatures seldom climb out of the low 50 degree level. Sure you can use a heating mat to encourage germination. But even the hardiest green grows slowly — very slowly — when nighttime air temperatures plunge.

The germination mat is one kind of way to bring the temperatures you need to your greenhouse. There are as many ways of heating your greenhouse as there are greenhouses, and some of the new energy-conscious heating techniques (fuel is expensive!) are promising if not proven.

Read more: https://www.planetnatural.com/greenhouse-heating

 

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