frantic and irritated over portable greenhouse :/
please help, i beg of you.
i bought myself a cheap-o greenhouse for christmas (well, comparatively cheap over fancy polycarbonate ones) with the reasoning that its cold protective abilities for my potted frost-tender plants would probably approximate those afforded by the leave-the-plant-outside-but-toss-a-blanket-over-it method (i.e. around 5 degrees F of protection), but with more convenience than that method (and especially more convenient than the other method, lug-the-heavy-pots-into-the-garage). the intent was to leave the greenhouse's frame up year-round but remove the plastic covering from april-october when it is totally useless in this hot climate to have the thing baking in the sun and empty inside (unless i want to repurpose it as a kiln).
this is the one i purchased:
BUT IT SEEMS I HAVE GONE AWRY SOMEWHERE. it is actually less effective than the blanket method. while the greenhouse heats up nicely during the day, it doesn't retain a smidgen of heat at night. at the coldest time of day (early morning) when i take my readings, the temperature greenhouse is actually 2-3 degrees F COLDER THAN THE OUTSIDE AIR!
i had not heard of this phenomenon before buying the greenhouse (thanks to some internet sleuthing, however, i am now well informed but a bit too late--i can't return the thing).
i am dubious as to whether jugs full of water will bring this greenhouse up to par. i'd like to know before i spend hours filling up jugs.
i even had hopes of setting up a table in the greenhouse and starting all my seeds there. see, i have outgrown my usual seed-starting area in the spare bedroom (one 125W cfl, which i've been using to light three trays). i now have five additional trays (overzealous seed and tray-buying on my part) and nowhere to accommodate those excess five. i need to sow seeds by next week. i was counting on this greenhouse. i've been terribly naive.
in your opinion, is it better to:
a. ditch the greenhouse, go back to covering plants with blankets or lugging them into the garage (we have about 20 frosts a year), and buy another couple bulbs to expand indoor seed-starting?
b. fill up them jugs and invest in a small space heater?
(as an aside, i am also curious which is more expensive: running several 125W bulbs for 14 hours a day or a space heater for 10 hours a night?)
thanks for bearing with me and reading this entire screed. i am new to greenhouses, don't have a lot of extra money, and am starting to second-guess this decision.
This post was edited by ydfz on Sat, Jan 4, 14 at 2:17