here's my idea...and a question...
I am building a small raised bed...5'X10'. I am going to use 2X3s to frame a greenhouse type cover...5 feet tall in the center. It will be double walled with greenhouse plastic. I have 2 tomato plants (yellow pear and roma) in pots that will soon be placed in the bed to finish out the summer and fall. I'll fill in the rest of the space with a few types of lettuce, a cabbage and broccoli or two, maybe some beets and carrots. Then, I'll see how long I can keep the tomatoes going into the fall. If it works well, perhaps I'll make a few more in the spring.
Now my question...If I wanted to add some heat, what is the cheapest/easiest (I know, not always the same thing) way. I asked another forum about using an electric heat cable powered by a solar fence charger...Someone told me it would not work...something about amps/volts or something. My main requirement is that it NOT be plugged in to our main power source. Can a small solar panel be connected to a car or marine battery, and then to a heat cable? I don't necessarily want to keep the structure at 80 degrees all winter, but I would like to keep a small space sufficiently warm to allow some cool weather crops to grow longer into the fall/early winter, and be able to start again early in the spring. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Kathy in Illinois