how do you heat your greenhouse?

cynthianovakNovember 8, 2010

I've used propane and electric heaters...I wonder what y'all do.

thank you


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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

I am interested in the responses as well, Cynthia. I will have a new greenhouse this year, and have not made a decision as to what kind of heat I will use. My plant room has never had to have heat of any kind because it so heavily insulated, but it will be a different story with the greenhouse.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 9:02AM
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We make a makeshift greenhouse every winter by covering a canopy. I use a portable electric heater.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 10:27AM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

Thanks, Ruth ...........this is what I thought would be best. I am sure there are many days when NO heat is required, especially if we have a mild winter.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 11:18AM
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I have electric heat and a swamp cooler and a misting system in my GH. The heat and swamp coolers have thermostats. The misting sytem has a humidistat. Everything works together to maintain steady temps and moisture levels inside the GH year round.

Without the mist, the heater dries out everything in the GH including the bricks on the floor. I have also noticed that since I had the mist system put in, it runs quite frequently, an indication that the swamp cooler doesn't provide enough moisture to prevent plants and soil drying out excessively. I tried using a household humidifier in the GH last year, but it wasn't enough either.

Carrie, I didn't know you got a greenhouse. I'm so sorry I can't come over and see it this weekend. How big is it? Can you post a pic of it? Please tell me all about it. Cheryl

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 12:04PM
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We use the kind that looks like an old fashion radiator and has some sort of oil in it. I leave 2 of them on low to high during cold nights. I use long extension cords that I need to replace this year.

I also use a thermostat the is in the house so I can see the lowest temp and humidity. I have not noticed these heaters dry things out.

I have a hole at the top of the GH that I need to cover over. If we were to build again we wouldn't make it 10 ft tall! Live and learn....c

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 12:25PM
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tx_ag_95(7/8 Lewisville)

I use an electric space heater, very carefully! Last winter I plugged it in without remembering that it had been moved the last time I watered -- I realized the mistake when I smelled hot plastic and found two pots with melted holes in the side and one crispy plant. I wish there was a better way to heat the greenhouse, but I haven't found it yet. I prefer to turn the heater off when no one's at home, thankfully it rarely stays cold enough for that to be a problem.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 12:45PM
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dcarpenter(z7 DFW/TX)

I use an oscillating electric heater only at night. I turn it on around 8:00 p.m. and turn it off first thing in the morning. Even with the harsh winter we had last year, everything made it.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 3:05PM
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An electric space heater works great as long as it is one of those with a thermostat that will shut off when it reaches a certain temp. It should be sitting on something like a paver so it's stable and won't topple over. But if it should topple over it needs to be the type that automatically shuts off.

Also, if you're using a heater, you need a fan to move the warm air around. Otherwise your hot air builds up in a hot channel, pooling at the highest point directly above the heater, and plants farther away from it will still freeze.

I use three fans, the largest one is mounted near the ceiling peak opposite the heater and blows directly at the heater. This forces the warm air to circulate all around the GH. Four feet below it is a small oscillating fan that keeps air moving in constant random patterns. On the floor I have another small oscillating fan that keeps the coldest air in the GH from settling down low.

My GH is only 10' x 12' so keeping it at a steady temp and moisture setting isn't very hard. If it was larger I'd probably use more fans. Generally though, it's not necessary to keep the temp any higher than just above freezing for most plants to thrive through the winter. The only ones you'd want to keep warmer than that would be seedlings and very tender tropicals.

I have astigmatism, that's why my pics are all tilted, but you can see the swamp cooler and the heater mounted directly above it in this one.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 3:24PM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

Your greenhouse is cleaner than my house, Cheryl......

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 11:13PM
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I was thinking the same thing! It looks great. Is it real glass? It's beautiful in every way!

Ours is homemade and adapted to a metal roof after losing 2 to heat and hat and it is curcled by 3 1-4" Didn't want dogs to tear it up in pursuit of some little rodent child of god. I guess that's why I need more heat. Fewer trees near it this year should mak it warmer when I need it.


    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 1:00AM
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Lin barkingdogwoods

Cheryl, I love your greenhouse! Can you do a post about it with photos and where you got it, etc.? It looks lovely!!!

The greenhouse I had in Euless was attached to one wall of the house, and I had a small portable heater in there set as low as it could go. I have a clock that has a remote sensor for outdoor temps - I put the sensor in the greenhouse so I could keep an eye on temps.

Last winter when I was without power for 3 days during one of our snowstorms, I first heated it by opening the window to the bedroom and the heat from the fireplace kept the temps about 45 that night. The next day I bought a kerosene heater, which did very nicely.

I think a backup, non-electric heater is a must.


    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 6:23PM
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PKponder TX(7b)

Wow, have a beautiful greenhouse!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 10:58PM
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I've heard that christmas lights work really well. just strung up around pots or throughout the greenhouse. they aren't suppose to put out that much light and still keep enough warmth. Has anyone tried them? my bananas got ants and I can't bring them inside, i'm worried they'll all die

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 6:15PM
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I have been using heat lamps and a radiator style oil heater like mentioned above. It kept my 14X21X14 or 16ft tall at peak around 40 degrees during low thirties. I was scared of my electric bill and now the horrible arctic front is coming in tomorrow, so DH installed a wood stove! We will see how that does tomorrow. We have a wood stove in the house that is our only heat so I am familiar with how they burn. I am looking forward to seeing how it works out. We'll have to get the oak logs up here, as the mesquite burns too hot and fast.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 12:41AM
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PKponder TX(7b)

I have a cold frame that is 7 X 3 and around 3 feet tall and I'm heating it with an old lamp and 100 watt bulb. Fingers are crossed that it will be warm enough for the coming arctic air.

kylieann512, are you planning to cover the bananas in addition to the lights? A lot will depend on the cold hardiness of your bananas.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 8:14AM
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cynthianovak did the lamp do?

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 7:05PM
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PKponder TX(7b)

My tropical taro is still green :-) I did cover the cold frame with an old blankie.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 7:21PM
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