Greenhouse

Category Archives for Greenhouse

Greenhouse heater calculator

​How to calculate how much heat a greenhouse needs.

So, how much heat will your greenhouse need during winter? This is a question you have to first answer before introducing a heater into your structure….and that’s where a greenhouse heater calculator comes in.

The secret here lies in figuring out the number of BTUs required to sufficiently heat the space.

As you may know, these calculations are so crucial.

Otherwise, chances of installing an improperly sized heating device are high.

And you know what that means: potentially big losses in harvest and damaged plants

 

What You Need while making greenhouse heating calculations

To begin our greenhouse heating calculations, we will need some basic data:

  • The size of the target greenhouse
  • The lowest outside temperature (expected in your area)
  • The lowest temperature you intend to maintain in the greenhouse.

The Steps

Well, these calculations are pretty simple.

Here are the rest of the steps

Step I: Finding the Greenhouse Surface Area

Start by capturing the following data

  • Height of your greenhouse(=H)
  • Length of your greenhouse(=L)
  • Width of your greenhouse(=W)
  • Height to the ridge(=R)
  • Length of  the roof slope(=S)

Now find your green house’s surface area (S.A.) as follows:

  1. A. = [2 x (H + S) x L] + [(R+H) x W]

Let’s assume your answer comes to 600 square feet.

Step II: Temperature differences

The next step in this greenhouse heating calculation is to find what we call temperature differences (for lack of a better word)

Here you take the ideal temperature you need in your greenhouse then subtract from this the lowest temperature possible in the region where your greenhouse is located.

For example:

Assuming you need a temperature of 70 °F& the lowest possible exterior temperature is 30 °F, you would get this…

Ideal greenhouse temperature: = 70°F

Coldest outside temperature:   = (30°F)

= 40°F

 

Step III: Calculate the BTUs

Now, to get the BTUs, you’ll need to multiply your surface area by the temperature difference:

i.e.BTUs =Greenhouse Surface Area X Temperature differences

Using the figures in our example, you would get 600 x 40 = 24,000 BTU’s

Your heater will, therefore, require 24,000 BTU’s to adequately warm your greenhouse.

And so, 24,000 BTU’s would be my magic figure when shopping for a greenhouse heating system!

Other Influencing Factors that will affect your greenhouse heating calculations

The following variables will affect your calculations:

  • Glazing

Some glazing materials are better. For example, if your greenhouse is built with polycarbonate or double glazed glass, your heat requirement will be 30% less

This means it’s safe to take 30% of your BTU value as your heating requirement.

  • Walling Material

Walls made of brick or cement barely lose heat.

Thus, if that’s the walling in your greenhouse,you will need to go back to your surface area calculation stem and reduce it by ½..

Yeah. That’s right.

For step iii, take ½of your surface area value.

So, if my greenhouse is made of cement, my BTU value would be: (½ of 600)= 300 x 40 = 12,000 BTU’s !

Expert Greenhouse Heating Tips

  • Always repair any cracks or openings in the insulation to avoid cold air from sneaking inside during frost.
  • You can add insulation in an inexpensive way by lining the interiors of your greenhouse with quality plastic sheets.  This also saves on your overall heating costs.
  • A layer of horticultural fleece can further protect your plants on extremely cold nights. That way, you won’t overwork the thermostat
  • Use a thermostat saves money and energy as it puts off the heater during daytime or when temperatures normalize.

Conclusion

A greenhouse heater calculator enables you to accurately determine the heat output your greenhouse heater must have to adequately warm your plants.

This will help you avoid the losses that arise with insufficient warming, for example, lower yields and huge energy costs.

And as you have seen, the steps are so basic.

So, try it and let us know if it helps!

 

high wind greenhouse kits

Best greenhouse for windy area 2018

High wind resistant greenhouses buyer guide

So, how do you get peace of mind when planting in a greenhouse in a windy area?  Well, I think the best greenhouse for windy area should take priority over anything else.

Well, I learned this the hard way:

I live in a very windy area and I always work with greenhouses.

I remember watching in horror, one cold night, as a violent storm brazenly blew off my first greenhouses’ cover resulting in extensive damage to my tulips.

I was left with no choice but to look for high wind resistant greenhouses

So, what  are high wind resistant greenhouses?

High wind resistant greenhouses are greenhouses built with materials which can withstand high winds

Some also have unconventional shapes thereby reducing the impact that wind may have on the greenhouse.

​Greenhouse kits for windy area reviews 2018

Here now is a review of  4 green house kits for windy areas at least from our own experience

1. Ohuhu Large Walk-in Plant Greenhouse,- high wind greenhouse kits

Features
  • Portable greenhouse
  • 3 Tiers-12 Shelves
  • Dimensions: 55.5” (L) x 56.3“(W) x 76.8“(H)
  • 23.4lb weight capacity
  • Zippered roll-up door
  • Material: Heavy-duty steel frame &PE canopy

Engineered to create the optimum growing environment for your crops, this wind-resistant 55.5” (L) x 56.3“(W) x 76.8“(H) greenhouse provide the ultimate protection against extreme weather conditions such as wind, rain, and snow.

Its frame is made of durable rust-resistant steel tubes making it very resilient

It has a total of 12 wired shelves – enough space to place your small plants, gardening pots, and other essential supplies.

It also comes with a zippered roll-up door making it easy to access. Its screened ventilation provides optimum air circulation.

In a nutshell, this portable greenhouse is Ideal for starting your seedlings, protecting your budding plants, and of course for extending your plant growing season.

        PROS
  • check
    Offers plenty of space for your seedlings
  • check
    The 4 lockable wheels make the house sturdy and easier to move around
  • check
    It retains warmth for longer
  • check
    Easier to put together
  • check
    Super sturdy especially once you zip tie your shelves on.

          CONS

  • The assembly directions are confusing

2. Outsunny 12′ x 10′ x 7′ Portable Walk-In Garden Greenhouse  (Deep Green)- windproof greenhouse

Features : Outsunny Portable Walk-In Garden Greenhouse

  • Made of well-ventilated PE cloth
  • Breathable roll-up windows (6) with screens (3 per side)
  • Zippered entry door
  • 4 guy ropes & 4 ground stakes
  • Powder coated steel tube frame
  • Deep Green
  • Dimensions: 12′ (L)x 10′(W) x 7′ (H)
  • Net Weight: 73.9lbs


This deep green,12′ x 10′ x 7′ tent-like shaped greenhouse is designed to be highly portable.

This means you can mount it where you feel it will give the better results. You can as well place it as an emergency to cover crops you feel are going through a rough patch

Its PE mesh clothing will cover your crops at an ideal temperature ensuring their survival despite the prevailing frost conditions

It’s supported by a strong powder-coated steel tube frame. You can also enhance its standing using the 4 ground stakes plus the included 4 guy ropes.

Combined, this kind of support ensures it will not be uprooted by the wind.

And like its predecessor, it has a zippered door which acts as a protective seal while also allowing easy access.

        PROS
  • check
    Has more support and is hardly affected by wind
  • check
    It’s inexpensive
  • check
    Holds up during all weather conditions
  • check
    The windows enable you to monitor your plants from outside
  • check
    Has significantly more room so it can hold lots of plants
          CONS
  • Directions are a bit difficult to follow.
  • It’s not that tall and you may easily touch its top

3. STRONG CAMEL New Wind Resistant Green House 12’X7’X7′ Larger Walk-In Outdoor

STRONG CAMEL New Hot Green House 12'X7'X7' Larger Walk In Outdoor Plant Gardening Greenhouse

Features

  • Size: 12’x7’x7′
  • UV protected cover
  • 6 white mosquito windows
  • 1 door (with a white zipper )
  • Steel tube size (green powder coated)

one of the top rated greenhouse for windy area, this strong camel12’X7’X7’holds up really well even in torrential rain and comes unstuck a 30+ MPH stormy wind.

And it will need minimal reinforcement!

Its powder coated steel structure plus the installed middle rails give it the oomph to stand up against torturous winds.

Further to this, its covering is UV safe and so you can expect it to serve for many seasons now that it’s not going to be damaged by harmful UV radiation.

Going deeper, its ventilation is simple and cool with the handy roll-up windows lined on each side.

Then its door unzips easily to open up the entire greenhouse.

This makes it easier to move shelves in or to push your garden cart in for loading or unloading plants.

Overall, it’s an impressive invention.

        PROS
  • check
    It provides more ventilation ensuring your herbs remain healthy
  • check
    Instructions given are very clear, making its assembly quite easy
  • check
    It has some large space inside so it can hold more and more plants
  • check
    It is absolutely sturdy
          CONS
  • It’s a bit tall and if you are short, you may need support when hanging plants

4. Homewell Mini Walk-In  Greenhouse -3 Tiers,6 Shelves (56″W x 29″D x 77″H)

Features
  • 6 wired shelves (3 per side).
  • Each shelve can hold 75 lbs.
  • Roll-up door (with zipper )
  • Walk-in design
  • Heavy-duty powder coated steel.
  • Clear polyethylene plastic covering
  • Measurements: 56” wide x 29” deep x 77” high.
  • Zipper door entrance

This also proudly claims its place among the elites thanks to its elaborate ‘walk-in’ design.

First, its Strong frame is very well built with anti-rusting heavy-duty powder coated steel. This frame is among the sturdiest I’ve seen in a greenhouse and is sure to resist any potential damage as maybe caused by the vagaries of weather

Its stacked design also enables you to grow more plants within a small space. Remember it accommodates even larger sized plants

The clear polyethylene removable plastic covering makes it superb in not only retaining heat but also in preventing heat from dissipating.

This reduces your heating expenditure as you will need minimum extra heating during frost

Lastly, its zippered roll-up front door is big enough so placing and removing plants is a breeze.

        PROS
  • check
    Its push-fit frame is very easy to assemble
  • check
    Its unique walk-in design offers enough growing space and the necessary ventilation to grow large sized plants
  • check
    It’s very stable and  resists wind admirably
  • check
    Its portable so you can always shift it to new locations depending on your needs
  • check
    Its tall enough so you don’t have to stoop when checking on your plants
          CONS
  • It’s not for a big project

Final Word

Wind can lead to huge losses if you live in a windy area and you haven’t taken precautions such as investing in the best greenhouse for windy areas

Of course, there are a few other controls that can help but nothing beats high wind resistant greenhouses in terms of results.

You now know how they work so selecting a suitable one shouldn’t be too hard.

How to heat a greenhouse with solar panels

​​Solar panel kits for greenhouses

There are several reasons why knowing how to heat a greenhouse with solar panels may benefit your gardening efforts:

  • One, it’s cheaper. Unlike the national grid where you face astronomical power bills, solar energy is a gift from nature
  • Then, solar is considered environmentally friendly and reduces your carbon footprint
  •  It’s very reliable. At no point will you experience cases of power blackouts or brownouts meaning you can bet on it to save your plants all the time

Types of greenhouse solar heating systems

For a start, you need some solar panel kits for greenhouses

Then, you’ve to choose between working with either an active or a passive solar heating system.

  • Active solar greenhouse heating

This type use mechanisms such as fans, blowers, and pumps to improve heat distribution through the entire greenhouse. 

  • passive solar greenhouse heating

A passive system doesn’t have anything electrical within it–the whole process from collection of heat to eventual circulation takes place in a natural manner.

​How do solar greenhouse heating systems operate?

The whole idea is about capturing and storing heat from the sun and then releasing this to your seedlings when they’re freezing.

For this to work, there are several essentials:

Thermal mass:

Solar heated greenhouses rely on a thermal mass for proper functioning.

A thermal mass is any material that soaks up heat during the day, holds it, and then releases it to plants at their hour of need…mostly at night when they are most likely to be freezing.

The most popular method for storing absorbed solar energy is either to place rocks, water, or concrete facing the sunlight directly so as to absorb maximum heat

Glazing:

You’ll also need clean glazing. And in plenty.

That is the secret to maximizing insolation – the process of drawing heat energy naturally from the sun.

Glazing materials used for all solar greenhouses should permit maximum passage of solar energy into your greenhouse while reducing energy loss.

You can use Glass, Polyethylene, Acrylics or other plastics as glazing material

As a rule of the thumb, your solar greenhouse should have an estimated 0.75 – 1.5 sq. ft. of glazing per square foot (of floor space)

Solar panels:

Solar panel kits for greenhouses are usually made from silicon. They however vary in efficiency as well as price.

Here are the 3 dominant types

Mono crystalline solar cells

These are manufactured from single crystalline silicon. They are dark in color and look like a cylinder.

To minimize costs and maintain performance at optimal levels, manufacturers cut off the 4 sides of these solar cells hence their recognizable appearance

Overall, they are the most efficient solar panel kits for greenhouses 

Poly-crystalline cells 

Unlike their mono crystalline counterparts, poly-crystalline cells retain their 4 sides. Silicon is typically melted then poured into square-shaped molds, forming perfect square shapes.

Thin-film solar cell 

These are created by positioning several light layers of photovoltaic material on each other so as to make the cells needed to complete a module.

​Solar panel kits for greenhouses Reviews 2018

1. ECO-WORTHY 200 Watt  Greenhouse Solar Panel Kit.

ECO-WORTHY 200 Watt Features

  • Corrosion-resistant aluminum frame
  • 2 x100 watt panels
  • 20A charge controller
  • Temperature sensor
  • PWM charging mode (SOC)
  • DC12V & USB 5V
  • Protection against overloads, short-circuits, under-voltage and reverse polarity

This is one of the most durable solar panel greenhouse heating kits. It will withstand storms, snow loads, and will never rust.. all these being made possible by its sturdy aluminum frame

The kit comprises of two 100 watt panels which combine to recharge connected batteries within a short time. And you can also use it to charge your DC lamp and your phone.

Moving on, as you would expect with a top rated greenhouse solar panel, it has an overcharge regulator so it hardly overcharges batteries meaning your batteries will give you service for decades.

It also protects against overload, Short-circuiting, Under-voltage and Reverse polarity

All in all, it’s one of the best in the business.

        PROS
  • check
    Its easier to install
  • check
    The charge controller is very convenient as everything is automated
  • check
    It’s  temperature compensation function is highly precise
  • check
    The kit is very well built and has potential to offer service for many years
  • check
    It offers protection against common problems including short-circuiting
          CONS
  • The charge controller is a bit hard to reprogram
  • Its insulation is very stiff hence making it a bit difficult to snake wires through a camper. .

2. Renogy 100 Watts Eclipse Monocrystalline 

Features of Renogy 100 Watts Eclipse Monocrystalline 

  • Two 100 watts Solar Panels
  • Adjustable aluminum (corrosion resistant) stand
  • Heavy duty handle & latches
  • Fitted with a 30A,4-stage charging controller
  • Temperature sensor
  • Battery voltage sensor.
  • Protective casing.
  • Alligator clips

This comes as 2 100 watts solar panels hence can attain a maximum of 200 watts. Once mounted, it continues to deliver a significant amount of heating even in cloudy environments.

Then, it comes with a robust, adjustable, corrosion-resistant aluminum stand. And don’t forget it also has a heavy-duty handle and holding latches so you are assured of long service.

To avoid overcharge, it’s fitted with a highly effective 4-stage charging controller which perfectly complements other safety features including a temperature sensor plus a battery sensor.

Still on batteries, it’s known to work with a wide range of batteries including sealed, gel, and flooded batteries.


        PROS
  • check
    Continues to charge even in low-light environments
  • check
    The aluminum handle is flexible so you can mount the panel at an optimal angle
  • check
    Thanks to the charge controller, it has a very minimal risk of starting a fire
  • check
    Its alligator clips are easier to connect and remain firm in place
  • check
    It’s works with a wide range of batteries
          CONS
  • Its folding leg mechanism is quite detailed and hence a bit hard to disassemble

3. Giosolar 100W 12V monocrystalline solar PV panel

Features of Giosolar 100W 12V monocrystalline solar PV panel

  • single 100W Monocrystalline Solar Panel
  • Semi-Flexible
  • 100mm special cable (with MC4 connectors)
  • +/-3% output power tolerance.
  • Can be curved to make a 30-degree arc
  • Mounts on all irregular surfaces

Giosolar solar panels are also constructed using highly efficient Mono-crystalline solar cells.

They , therefore, produce a higher charge per module than most of the competition.

Because of its unique construction, this solar PV panel is considered a premier industrial grade module and is very popular with leading greenhouse solar heating experts.

Best of all?

It settles very well even on uneven roofs as it flexes to fit any uniquely shaped roof.

So, if your greenhouse has a curved roof, you finally have a solar panel that can work.


        PROS
  • check
    It very easy to install and use
  • check
    You can mount it on curved/irregular roofs
  • check
    The company has excellent customer service           
  • check
    It withstands adverse conditions including snow loads
          CONS
  • May not be that durable depending on usage

4. 400 Watts  Solar Panel Kit with MPPT Charge Controller (20A), Solar Combiner, Solar Cable.

Features of 400 Watts  Solar Panel Kit with MPPT Charge Controller (20A)

  • 4 100 watt poly-crystalline greenhouse solar panels
  • Solar cable adapter
  • Controller protection
  • Solar power combiner
  • Aluminum frame (heavy duty)
  • Z mounting brackets

Since poly crystalline cells have reduced output rates,they are the best for gardeners in warmer areas

The 400 watts greenhouse solar panel kit is one of the best poly crystalline solar panel kit because it comes with some of the most essential solar heating elements including a combiner, a solar cable adapter, a 20A charge controller, and friendly Z mounting brackets.

Its design is such that it will optimize the wiring through the entire system so as to enhance its power efficiency.


        PROS
  • check
    This solar kit’s cable adapter makes it very easy to install
  • check
    Its versatile and can be mounted in homes, cabins, or even boats
  • check
    Its controller protection works well
  • check
    It delivers optimal power efficiency thanks to its Solar power combiner
  • check
    It doesn’t rusk
  • check
    Comes with mounting brackets
          CONS
  • Not the best with very chilly areas

Factors to consider when buying solar panel kits for greenhouses

When choosing solar panels for your greenhouse, you need to be more careful so as to identify the best possible product

Here are some considerations;

  • The size of your greenhouse

The system you will install will depend on the size of your greenhouse will need more powerful panels.

  • What you will be growing.

Each crop needs a specific level of heating. Be sure to go for a choice that can supply enough warmth to your plants.

  • Presence of useful controls

Controls such as overcharging controller, mounting brackets, and temperature sensors make your panel more reliable and safe and may sway my opinion

  • Ease of installation

Needless to say, solar panel kit should provide for direct mounting

  • Versatility

Some panels are built in a way that you can also mount them on a cabin, a boat, or an uneven surface

How to maximize on Your greenhouse solar panels  

Here are some tips you can employ make your greenhouse solar heating panels more efficient:

  • Your panels should be facing south
  • They should be mounted at an angle to receive maximum sunlight
  • Your greenhouse should be fully insulated
  • Your panels should not be covered by shade
  • Add panels when necessary.
Wrapping up

Knowing how to heat a greenhouse with solar panels can drastically reduce your greenhouse heating cost.

In addition, solar energy is environmentally safe and also very reliable.

When installing a solar greenhouse heating system, you will need solar panel kits for greenhouses, a thermal mass, and some glazing material

If you feel we missed something, kindly contact us or drop us a comment.

Propane wall heaters with thermostat and blower reviews 2018

​5 Propane wall heaters with thermostat and blower ​

When the colder months come, it’s time for you as a greenhouse owner to think of ways to protect your plants from the destructive frost…options are many but as we will see later, propane wall heaters with thermostat and blower stand out because of their low running costs, availability, and efficiency.

Indeed, propane wall heaters for greenhouse are by far more popular compared with traditional paraffin based units and definitely are as efficient as the  electrical greenhouse systems.

Now, in this article, I will be taking you through some of the best wall mounted propane heaters for your greenhouse.

We’ll also know what to look out for when buying propane wall heaters with thermostat and blower

Let’s delve right in;

Propane wall heaters with thermostat and blower reviews 2018

1. Mr. Heater Vent Free Propane 30k BTU, Blue- ventless propane wall heaters

A true buddy for your crops, this propane heater covers an extended heating surface (750 sq. ft.) and has a thermostat with a handy automatic low ODS (Oxygen Depletion Sensor)and an easy to start electronic ignition

Producing 30000 BTUs, and with all these handy features, Mr. Heater vent free convection heating system nudges your plants back to life shortly after you mount it.

With advanced features including a low-oxygen auto shut-off and an extra-large heating area, this heats and cares for your plants till they can stand on their own.

It’s another fantastic option for heating small greenhouses.

        PROS

  • check
    Heats evenly ensuring that all your crops survive
  • check
    It produces results soon after installation
  • check
    It runs quietly
  • check
    The unit is easy to mount

          CONS

  • A bit hard to turn off

2. ProCom Dual Fuel and Vent-Free Blue Flame  – 30,000 BTU

This gives you more flexibility. One, you can power it from natural gas or using propane fuel

Then, you can control the thermostat either manually or set it to run automatically based on your crop needs

Then, if you want to improve the circulation of heated air across you greenhouse, it provides you with the option of installing a blower (sold separately).

​It circulates warm air evenly leaving each and every plant fully satisfied.

The pro-com dual fuel vent-free propane heater is one of the most impressive small greenhouse heating systems

It gives you more options and superbly beats away the chill leaving your plants flourishing.

        PROS

  • check
    You can use either natural gas or propane
  • check
    It very safe to use thanks to the integrated oxygen depletion sensor
  • check
    Heats as much as 1100 sq.
  • check
    Works superbly even minus the blower
  • check
    Pretty simple to install

          CONS

  • The front is made of fragile glass

3. Sure Heat Dual Fuel 30,000 BTU Blue Flame Gas Heater with Blower and Thermostat

Still, on heating a greenhouse in winter without electricity, this Sure Heat Dual fuel 30000 BTU is one of the most robust propane greenhouse heating systems.

Running on either Liquid Propane or Natural Gas, it heats as much as 1000 square feet with vigor as well as producing enriching CO2.

Its thermostatic control turns the blower on/off automatically so as to keep your greenhouse at desired temperature

It also comes with a functional Piezzo ignition and the essential ODS (oxygen depletion sensor) hence is regarded as one of the safest.

This is one of the safest propane greenhouse heaters with thermostat. It results in a cleaner burn, heats evenly, and is generally more reliable.

        PROS

  • check
    It’s has enhanced safety features
  • check
    It heats the entire greenhouse efficiently
  • check
    Works well even for large greenhouses
  • check
    It’s easier to ignite
  • check
    It doesn’t fail anyhow thus its considered more reliable

          CONS

  • The pilot starts to turn off after sometime

4. Dyna-Glo 30,000 Propane Tank Top heater

This is one of the ​highly rated radiant tank top propane heaters and once installed on your propane tank, it radiates heat in all directions ensuring that all your crops are catered for.

It also offers an adjustable heat angle so you can always target any emerging cold spots.

It’s adequate to warm a range of 15 X 25 square feet and offers you multiple variable heat controls (from 11,000 to 30,000 BTU’s))

Thanks to its convenient hand wheel, it’s easy to connect.

Finally, it fits almost all 20lb. propane tanks.

These are portable, inexpensive, and convenient radiant heat tank top greenhouse heaters

We like that they work with different tanks.

        PROS

  • check
    Offers better heating angles
  • check
    Installation and removal super easy
  • check
    Relatively inexpensive
  • check
    Works with different tanks
  • check
    It’s easy to carry around

          CONS

  • Propane tank sold separately

5. Southern Burner Vented Propane Greenhouse Heater (Set-Back Thermostat)- vented propane heater with thermostat

This has 2 thermostats so it allows you to set different day and night temperatures.

On top of this, the thermostat is fitted with an adjustable clock which comes in handy when setting the right timing intervals, especially when changing from the daytime to night settings.

It offers a temperature range of between 35 to 75 degrees so you can adjust it to the optimal level depending on the crops you have in your greenhouse.

With 2 thermostats, this expertly heats greenhouses. It’s also versatile and will work with either L.P. gas or natural gas

It’s also very portable.

        PROS

  • check
    It circulates warm air all uniformly over the greenhouse
  • check
    The 2 thermostats work excellently
  • check
    Works with L.P. gas or natural gas
  • check
    It’s very lightweight hence portable
  • check
    Adjusting the temperatures is a breeze

          CONS

  • A bit costly

Advantages of propane greenhouse heaters?

  • Propane gas is cheaper hence these heaters are economical to run
  • They produce a C02-important in plant’s photosynthetic process
  • They are readily available
  • They aren’t affected by blackouts or pipeline interruptions
  • Propane gas is considered an Eco-friendly energy source

Disadvantages of propane greenhouse heaters

Factors to consider when buying propane greenhouse heaters

There are several factors that you need to pay attention to when selecting the​ propane wall heaters with thermostat and blower

  • Size of your green house

Bigger greenhouses will automatically need more heating. This means you have to pick a heater with more BTUs

  • Ease of installation

Luckily, most of these types of heaters are very easy to install. But some of them will force you to hire some to help with installation

  • What are you growing?

Some crops need more heating. Knowing the plants that will be in your greenhouse beforehand is therefore very important

  • Geographic location &environmental conditions

Knowing how many months your greenhouse will need heating is also important. And one of the ways of telling this is by following the weather patterns of the location of your greenhouse

This also helps you know the likely difference between in-house temperature and the temperature outside

Conclusion

It’s clear from our propane greenhouse heater reviews that propane-powered heaters remain one of the cheapest and highly efficient greenhouse heating methods

They are also readily available and definitely very easy to install.

So, why go for expensive heating methods while you could save you bucks with propane wall heaters with thermostat and blower?

​https://growtheherbs.com/garden-tools/

https://growtheherbs.com/lawn-care-faq/

how to heat a greenhouse without electricity

Cheapest way to heat a greenhouse: How to heat a greenhouse in winter for free

​Cheap ways to heat a greenhouse without electricity

​The astronomical monies involved with some of the traditional greenhouse heating methods have led researchers to relentlessly pursue pocket-friendly alternatives…..especially with farmers eagerly ​awaiting the invention of the ​cheapest way to heat a greenhouse. ​

We have also been on a similar mission here at growtheherbs.com ..although we choose to go a step further- and also find out how to heat a greenhouse in winter for free.  

Well, the good news is that we have already come across some functional money-saving options.  

Paraffin heaters, compost, Bubble wrap, DIY systems, and thermal mass are just some of the effective and cheaper greenhouse heating methods.  

Here now are our insights into how to heat a greenhouse in winter for free (or almost free).

a. Heating your greenhouse using Paraffin

A paraffin heater can supply the warmth your plants are desperate for during winter.

Provided your greenhouse doesn’t extend more 8ft in length, you will find paraffin powered energy convenient

Also, mind the following:

  • Heating demand should not be too high(maximum of +5c )
  • Outside temperature should not go below -6c

With these conditions, your paraffin heater greenhouse will readily save your herbs from the biting cold.

Where to buy paraffin greenhouse heaters

You can buy a good paraffin heater from the teeming online stores, local garden stores, and in some cases, from manufacturers direct

​Paraffin greenhouse heaters Reviews 2018

Here are the top paraffin greenhouse heaters from Amazon

​1. Parasene Superwarm  Heater

This is ideal for heating a 6ft x 6ft greenhouse. It delivers continuous burning and will help your plants remain super warm despite the chill.

Like other paraffin heaters, it’s cheaper and very easy to use.​

This is another functional economical anti-frost heater for small greenhouses. Since it’s so light, you can place it at any preferred spot to maximize results.

        PROS

  • check
    Works well
  • check
    Highly portable
  • check
    Straightforward application

          CONS

  • Not for bigger spaces
  • List Element
  • List Element

b. Compost For Warmth- heating a greenhouse with compost

Compost is one ​important input for gardeners

Beyond nourishing your plantation with essential nutrients, compost has another major advantage: heat

This is what happens:

As it chemically dissolves, compost releases energy as heat. This can even rise above 1000F

As such, your plants can benefit a lot from manure during the winter.

The sweetest news is that heating a greenhouse with compost is almost 100% free- if you know how to prepare it

And in case you are unsure of how to use compost to create a powerful water heater, here is a nice guide.

The Compost-Powered Greenhouse Heater: heat a greenhouse using compost

Author Gaelan Brown in collaboration with engineers and top compost experts has researched and written a very informative manual on the various refined ways of composting.

If you are looking at using manure to heat your greenhouses, this is a complete trainer.

It trains you how to make high-value compost organically while generating reasonable combustion-free heat.

And it’s very practical thanks to the numerous case studies, step-by-step illustrations plus photos

So, if you are thinking long-term cheap greenhouse heating, this could prove to be a smart investment.

Editor’s Note:

Follow this manual 100% …you should soon be enjoying free heating!

C. Store solar-based energy in a thermal mass

Another cheap and common way to heat a greenhouse is to utilize thermal mass (sometimes called a heat sink).

A thermal mass is simply any material that can store thermal energy until the temperatures decline when it will start releasing the stored heat into your greenhouse.

When selecting, choose the right material- that’s because some hold heat better than others.

For instance, water holds roughly 2 times the heat that concrete holds, and as much as 4 times what soil holds and is most preferred

Using water as a thermal mass

Water barrels are excellent when used as thermal mass due to their higher heat capacity.

You can fill a reasonable number of 55-gallon drums with water then stack them on each other.

You will have created an energetic thermal mass.

Ensure you stack the barrels where they can access direct sunlight- mostly facing south

Also,put them near tender plants since they need more warmth when the temperature drops off

Alternative materials

If the Floors of your greenhouse have been made from compressed gravel or concrete, then you already have your thermal mass

Also, the soil in your raised seedbeds can also add thermal mass.

Another thing, if you have been growing using an aquaponics system — where fish and plants grow symbiotically —the fish tanks can double as thermal mass

D. Insulation

The simplest way to protect your plants from cold is by insulating.

Depending on your budget and what you’re cultivating, you can insulate with either:

  • A regular bubble wrap
  • A Horticultural bubble wrap
  • A horticultural fleece
  • A regular bubble wrap

Covering your greenhouse with a layer of insulating bubble wrap helps.

A bubble wrap functions as an added shield against frost beside restraining the heat inside.

For wooden greenhouses, you can use push pins to fasten the wrap against the wall

If your housing is metallic, use special fasteners to twist it the frame.

In case your glazing is glass, moisten suction cups and press them against it –they should work.

Once you wrap up all the walls plus the roofing, don’t forget to seal any wrap joints with scotch tape- this avoids potential heat loss.

Remember you’ll need to ventilate your greenhouse.

So be sure to line the vents separately (or at least one) to allow them/it to open.

This trick works wonders for both heated and unheated greenhouses.

  • A Horticultural bubble wrap

You can also choose to take the horticultural bubble wrap route- these types of wrappers are considered tougher, longer lasting, and are UV-stabilized.

And they definitely give better results

To give you a better idea of how these work, here is a review of the most recommended horticultural bubble wraps

1. Duck Brand Original Protective horticultural Bubble Wrap -Single Roll

This features a unique air lock technology and is revered for its ability to maintain consistent cushioning against freeze.

It’s also one of the longest lasting and so you will use it for many more winters.

When installing, it wonderfully conforms to your walls and even awkward corners.

With its outstanding air lock technology helping to reliably guard against the freeze, this could be an amazing gift for your crops.

Remember you can also use it for many other purposes at home

        PROS

  • check
    Conforms easily around awkward corners
  • check
    Hold heat longer hence protect your herbs better
  • check
    Easy to install

          CONS

  • Smaller size bubbles

2. Reflectix Staple Tab Horticultural Insulation Roll

This has a special construction.

It has twin layers of toughened aluminum foil that reflects as much as 97% of radiant heat

The center layer is made of polyethylene thus making it more reliable and stronger

It’s therefore perfect in insulating greenhouses using radiant heating systems.

Thicker and with a reinforced construction, this does well to insulate radiantly heated greenhouses

It’s considered a reliable and cost-effective greenhouse heating solution.

Editor’s Note:

Finally when the cold is gone, carefully take down the bubble and store it- next winter will find you fully armed.

        PROS

  • check
    Easy to cut and wrap
  • check
    Made of Non-toxic (Fiber free)
  • check
    Very durable

          CONS

  • Doesn’t come with staple tabs
  • Horticultural fleece

Moving away from the bubble wrap and the horticultural fleece, another handy option is by covering your suffering plants using a horticultural fleece.

This is particularly recommended as an additional insulation during those nights when it’s extra-cold

As usual with covers, remember to remove your fleece during daytime to afford your veggies a chance to breathe and also to receive essential light

  • Use an economical renewable energy powered heater

Harnessing the sun and storing solar energy is your first step towards‘free’ heating.

But if you need additional heating, the underrated rocket mass heater could offer a fantastic solution

If you ask those who have used it, they will tell you that this is a super-efficient improvisation from an ordinary wood stove.

This is what it does:

Rather than exhaust hot air straight through the chimney like standard wood stoves do, this customized wood stove will first circulate the hot air past a mass of brick,cob,  or even stone before being exhausted out.

The air will warm the mass, hold the heat before subsequently radiating it back into your greenhouse.

It will continue warming even if your stove is no longer burning.

A rocket mass heater is mainly a DIY system; you will need to investigate the appropriate design for your greenhouse from the many plans and explanations available online.

one can also consider cheap  Grow light bulbs for indoor plants

​Looking at the options, we can say that the search for the cheapest way to heat a greenhouse has been quite successful.  

But rather than stick to one method, it’s recommended that you experiment and see what works for you.  The good thing is that even if not all are 100% free- some of you had actually asked how to heat a greenhouse in winter for free- the little investment in terms of labor, time, and materials pays back big in the long run.

 Otherwise, this is clear evidence that you don’t have to burn a hole in your pocket to grow food in a greenhouse.

heat mat for plants

Heating mats for seed germination reviews 2018

​Heat mat for plants

Heating mats for seed germination have become a necessity for the modern day farmer. And this is with good reasons.

A good heat mat will speed the rate of seed germination thus reducing time, stimulate root growth and also increase the total output of the seedling germination overall  increasing productivity.

The other major advantage of using seed heat mats while germinating your seeds is that, you can germinate your seeds during winter or germinate them indoors. This is an important attribute to consider especially for indoor farmers that want to grow their herbs and vegetables throughout the year.

There are many different types of seed heat mats in the market today and generally they are quite affordable, more so when you consider the cost vis a vis the benefits.

If you are an hands on person and don’t mind doing the work, then you can also easily construct your own heat mat.

Have a look at this video and be the judge.

​Nevertheless if you want to concentrate on your core objective i.e farming then check out our review on the ​top rated heat mats for seed germination.

​Heating mats for seed germination reviews 2018

1. Jump Start CK64050

As the name suggests, this germination station comes with a heat mat, thus one price for two, to the benefit of the consumer.

The one thing I like about the jump start CK64050, is that not only does it give you full control of successful germination of your seeds, it’s also not expensive to operate. This is because it has low wattage of 17 watts thus the impact on the electricity bill is negligible.

The germination station has a water tight tray with 2" humidity dome while its heat mat is ‘UL listed and is water proof.

If the other winter greenhouse heating solutions are failing your seedlings, this greenhouse germination station could be the one to make a difference.It has one of the ​highest rated heat mats in the market, a tray and a convenient 2” dome.It’s good not only for heating but also humidity control

With it, you have more than a fair chance of growing and sustaining your garden.Here you get a waterproof heat mat, a 2" humidity dome, a watertight base tray, and a 72-cell seedling insert. It offers a comprehensive solution to your greenhouse planting and heating efforts.

        PROS

  • check
    The product also comprises of a dome and water tray that has holes for easy drainage.
  • check
    It has an even heat distribution thus even germination rate for the seeds.
  • check
    It’s good for both indoors and out door since the cover protects the seedling from external elements.
  • check
    It is easy to set up and has an instructions and growing tips manual.

          CONS

  • It does not include a lighting system. Thus one will need to buy a grow light if you intend to use it indoors where there is no light.
  • The covers are also a bit flimsy so a little care is needed when handling it.

Yet another of efficient greenhouse heating methods, this performs exceptionally well in holding the temperature at a level conducive for plant growth.

It’s strengthened with an alloy nikrothal heating cable and an extra film insulation to ensure that it won’t scorch your roots.

It also produces revitalizing dew which goes a long way to help crops grow in a humid environment.

This is one of the few 5-star rated greenhouse heating pads.

It manages to consistently maintain temperatures at approximately 10℉-20℉ above the existing air temperature- perfect for germination!

        PROS

  • check
    Water resistant and Convenient long power cord
  • check
    Heats evenly and has an energy efficient design
  • check
    Good quality

          CONS

  • Doesn’t come with a thermostat

3. Super Sprouter Premium Greenhouse Propagation Kit

The Super Sprouter Premium Heated Kit is an all-in-one greenhouse heating set with a grow light and heating mat.

It’s known to produce immediate results.

So, your seeds or cuttings will warmly embrace growth as they enjoy tender care from the combination of the grow light and the heat mat.

An effective all-in-one greenhouse growing kit, this Super Sprouter Premium Heated Kit makes your seeds to quickly shoot up and thrive.

The heating mat combines very well with the grow light to ensure your plants survive unscathed.


4. Garden Smart Waterproof Seedling Heat Mat with a Digital Thermostat

Featuring a digital temperature thermostat, this allows you to set the optimum temperatures for each crop.

And it will then maintain these temperatures till your seedlings attain desired growth.

It has a durable construction, its waterproof and can work almost everywhere- greenhouses, indoor gardens, and nurseries.

The Garden Smart seedling heat mat specifically targets the root area and does an excellent job of ensuring proper germination

Its digital thermostat allows you to set and maintain the ideal temperature for each plant.

        PROS

  • check
    Waterproof
  • check
    Versatile- you can use it almost anywhere
  • check
    Warms evenly

          CONS

  • The thermostat LED screen a bit small

Wrapping up

To germinate well, your plant roots must also be warmed. Greenhouse heating mats also known as heating pads- are a cheaper and a more convenient option as they specifically target the roots.

Related reviews and guides

​led grow lights for indoor plants
Electric greenhouse heater with thermostat

Electric greenhouse heaters with thermostat

​Small Greenhouse heating systems

The one major obstacle to successful greenhouse farming is the winter chill. But it’s something you can easily overcome with the right small greenhouse heating systems

The good thing is that you have a number of options including some very cheap heating systems.

For today, I want us to focus on electric greenhouse heating –by far one of the most popular.

But first, there are a few things you need to know about heating your greenhouse using electrical methods.

Here they are:

  • Whatever device you pick- fan heater, lamp, mats etc. - ensure its stable that is, installed firmly and in a place where it’s not going to be disturbed.
  • Do not mount any electrical heating gadget near a flammable material.
  • Follow installation and safety instructions to the latter.

Some of the popular electrical methods of heating a green house include fan heaters, heating mats, cables and more.

​Electrical small greenhouse heating systems

Greenhouse fan heaters

Electric fan heaters offer an efficient way of heating your greenhouse- especially those thermostatically controlled.

And with heater ratings starting from 1 Kw all the way to 3 Kw, you should easily get a suitable heater for your greenhouse.

Here are some top electric heaters for heating greenhouse in winter.

1. Bio Green greenhouse heater- ​​

If you are looking for an electric greenhouse heater with thermostat, this floor-standing greenhouse heater could be a great option.

It outputs 1500w and can heat a radius of 120 ft² thoroughly.

 Since it comes with a thermostat, it is very energy efficient and will help you save your hard earned buck.

A powerful, energy-efficient, and wide coverage electronic fan heater, the bio green electric heater is very close to the best electric heater for greenhouse.

It could be the liberator for your suffering plants.

        PROS

  • check
    Circulates air very well
  • check
    Waterproof and Easy to move around
  • check
    Saves energy (and money) and heats a bigger radius

          CONS

  • Takes a bit of time before warming


2. Lasko  Stanley Pro-Ceramic Utility Heater - portable electric heater with thermostat

With a unique pivoting feature, this sends warm air where it’s needed the most.

It has a rugged, durable construction plus a rubberized, comfort-grip handle which make it one of the best portable heaters for any space- not just the greenhouse.

The adjustable thermostat combined with its 3 comfort settings allows you to set the most comfortable temperature for your greens.

And you can heat up to 1500w if need be!

This is a handy compact heater.

It’s reasonably priced and very good in keeping your crops warm during the harsh winter months.

It could be the way to go!

        PROS

  • check
    It's light and highly portable
  • check
    Adjusts easily and Comes with a thermostat
  • check
    Extremely efficient and top quality

          CONS

  • Not easy to clean

3. Dr. Heater DR218-3000W  - 3000 watt space heater

If your structure is spacious and you want to save every plant, you need a more powerful heater.

This Dr. Heater produces a massive 3000W and since it’s an infrared heater, it heats instantly.

Plus it ensures heat penetrates to the deepest root thus keeping your tender crops warm and thriving

The Dr. heater infrared heater does a professional and thorough job. It heats the entire space very well helping your tender plants to rediscover their shine.

It’s a fantastic option when your plants need more.

        PROS

  • check
    Needs very little maintenance
  • check
    It’s waterproof
  • check
    Portable and has lots of heat

          CONS

  • A bit pricey

4. Patton PUH680-recirculating utility heater


We also found this a potentially very good choice because it heats so well.

And of course, its safety tip-over feature means it can’t fall over your plants.

In addition, it protects you from burning using some 2 guards located in front of its heating coils.

You can set it to run a low output of 1000w or a high of 1500w depending on your plants

This is a multi-purpose utility heater.

It has an automatic thermostat, 2 heat settings (1000w/1500w), and comes in a durable rugged steel housing

 This works brilliantly in warming up small greenhouses.

        PROS

  • check
    Safe heater and Comes with a thermostat
  • check
    Portable
  • check
    Inexpensive

          CONS

  • Not for large spaces
  • Not waterproof
  • Electric Greenhouse heating lamps

Greenhouse heating lamps are also excellent if you want your cuttings or seedlings to sprout faster.

They maintain heat at the levels that cheer up your plants and make them grow faster.

While researching this greenhouse heating system guide, I came across a few quality electric greenhouse heating lamps.

Comfort Zone CZQTV5M Ceiling Mount-ceiling mounted electric heaters

The comfort zone ceiling mount heater is a 2-in-1 greenhouse accessory. You can use it as a halogen light or a 1500w heater or both.

And you easily control it by pulling its control string.

The other thing, you can mount it anywhere since you can tilt it up to 90 degrees to have the heat reach the areas which are most affected.

It has a low setting of 760w and a high of 1500w

With a high-efficiency quartz element, this provides immediate heat plus lighting when necessary.

Then, since it’s adjustable, you can position it to heat and/or light spots where you feel your plants are more affected.

        PROS

  • check
    Easy to mount
  • check
    Directional heatingaAutomatic heat control
  • check
    It’s a lamp cum heater

          CONS

  • A bit bulky

Benefits and uses of electrical greenhouse heaters

By installing the right small greenhouse heating systems, you are assured of thriving plants even during the cold.

The alternative is to ignore heating or use sub-standard warming methods and of course, you won’t like the results- chances are that you will have to wave goodbye to your beloved herbs.

So, the biggest benefit of investing a heating system for your greenhouse is that you can continue growing throughout the year- with you vegetables doing well season in season out.

Where to buy electrical greenhouse heaters

You can access a variety of excellent electrical heating systems from online stores such as Amazon, eBay, Wal-Mart and others

Also, some of the manufactures have dedicated sales websites- though they only sell their own.

Still, your local gardening stores could offer more options.

  • Greenhouse heating mats

Let’s now talk about seeding:

To germinate well in winter, your plant roots need to be warmed.

One of the heating options for ​germination are the heat mats or if you like, heating pads.

Mats encourage seed germination plus the essential root formation by supplying an even base heating that works wonderfully to keep the soil warm

And once heat rises, they also supplement the heating in the rest of the plant as well.

Our team investigated a number of greenhouse heating mats and here were the findings.

  1. Factors to consider when selecting an electric greenhouse heating product

Regardless of whether it’s commercial or just a hobby, you need to identify a gadget to efficiently heat the space during the cold winter months.

Here are some considerations

  • Maintenance cost

Whatever you pick- be it a amp, a fan heater, or a heating mat; ensure it doesn’t breakdown anyhow and that it requires minimal maintenance.

Again this saves your crops, money, and time.

  • What are you growing?

The temperature needed in your greenhouse vary with the crop.

Cool-weather crops - like lettuce, cabbage, and broccoli-excel during the winter months, as they require reduced heating to thrive.

Warm-weather crops –such as tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers -are not as successful in colder climates, since your heater must work harder to maintain the right temperature for your greenhouse

If your area has varying temperatures, grow warm-weather crops during warmer months then shift to cool-weather crops in colder months.

  • How much heating will you need?

You can easily know which heater will be perfect for your greenhouse by finding the volume of heating needed to keep plants warm i.e. The BTUs (British Thermal Units) required.

You calculate the needed BTUs then pick a heater with the BTU rating to match.

  • Ease of mounting

Some heating units need special mounting hardware while others come with everything.

Pick that which can be conveniently mounted.

  • Thermostat

An electric greenhouse heater with thermostat is much easier to work with as it automatically controls heating – coming on when temperatures start sagging and going off when everything is heated well.

This reduces your involvement and saves you a lot of stress

  1. Summary

You are spoilt for choice when we come to small greenhouse heating systems - from lamps, fan heaters, and all the way to heating mats, you surely should get something convenient with your crops.

And an electric greenhouse heater with thermostat offers more convenience as heating runs almost on autopilot.

So, what are your experiences with modern greenhouse heaters?

Let us know in the comments.