Greenhouse heating question

sturgeonguy(5a ON)July 18, 2014

I am looking to use a GH primarily for seed germination and transplant maintenance until they can go into the ground outside of the GH.

I plan to seed into plug trays that will sit on raised benches, and then move those plugs into 4" pots until the plant is transplanted.

I also plan on bringing in some plants in the fall (e.g. hot peppers) and pruning them to allow them to go dormant over the winter, then reviving them in early spring.

My question is, if I am heating the soil to, for example, 75F using radiant tubing under the seed beds (or dormant peppers), will there be enough excess heat to keep the plant tops warm (e.g. 60F when outdoor temp is, say, 10F), or, will I have to have some additional form of heating to warm ambient air. I am only concerned with air temps that are within 2' of the soil.

I will be using temperature probes in the soil to ensure the soil temperature is maintained where I want it.


This post was edited by sturgeonguy on Sat, Jul 19, 14 at 16:07

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The tops can with stand cooler temps,but anything under 35* to 40* might due your plants in if any large amount of time passes at those temps.I think temps need to be above 40* but under 50* to achieve the goal your after,too much ground temps will want to keep the plant growing and needing fed.I have kept peppers in a greenhouse all winter with temps at and above 50*,but had problems with the plants becoming too leggy,I too thought they would go dormant and greenhouse would only allow 70% light.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 2:21PM
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sturgeonguy(5a ON)

As far as managing the dormant plants, they will all be kept completely in the dark with minimal watering. I figured I would have to do some pruning in late winter. They will have their own temperature sensor so as to keep them at a much lower temp than the seeds I'm trying to germinate.

The radiant under-bench heating system allows for some amazing control (when used with temperature controllers from Auber). I just don't know what the temperature degradation will be above the soil.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 4:05PM
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karin_mt(4 MT)

I think it will work, particularly if you cover the plants with frost blankets. IMO the key to greenhouse heating is to only heat the parts the need heating, which in your case is a very small area. By keeping the plants covered you can encourage dormancy and contain the heat. I do this too, only without the heat, and I can get lettuce through subzero winters.

The temperatures you are going for sound too warm for dormancy. 75F soil and 60F air is really warm for wintertime, so I might suggest something quite a bit cooler.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 10:32AM
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