Category Archives for Indoor Gardening

problems with self watering pots

problems with self watering pots

​Master Tips on Using Self watering pots

Newly planted plants need serious watering to get their young roots going. These days, self-watering plants are all the rage.

And they’re really convenient because they intelligently irrigate your crops when and as needed; preserving water and giving you the freedom to continue with your daily chores without worrying about stunted growth or plants dying as a result of thirst.

You, however, need to be careful because of the potential problems with self watering pots including becoming breeding grounds for mosquitoes and causing root disease.

 

What are self-watering planters?

 A self-watering container has 2 pots: an outer pot which usually holds the water and a second inner pot which usually holds the potting mix.

The wick joining the two compartments allows your plant’s roots to sip water from the reservoir as and when needed.

Most of the contemporary water planters have a separate water reservoir.

 

How self-watering pots work?

GroBucket Garden Kit (3PK) Self Watering sub-irrigated planter insert. Turn any bucket into a Self Watering Container Garden. Create an indoor or outdoor, space saving and portable garden in minutes.The soil draws up water from the outer container (through the wick)- provided the reservoir is full- using the capillary system.

Flooding is rarely a problem with one or more holes helping drain excess water from the crop’s soil.

This excess water subsequently collects underneath in the reservoir.

Other planters come with an overflow hose which ensures that the platform is never swamped.

The container and the potting mix cannot be left to dry out completely as the wick will be unable to draw water causing the roots to wither and die.

For a detailed step by step article on how to make a self watering planter click here.

Let’s look at some of the problems with self watering pots:

  • Potential Concentration of Toxic minerals salts

A major challenge with self-watering planters is the higher concentration of various mineral salts in the planting mix.

This mainly occurs because water is continuously being drawn up the pot from beneath and evaporated via the top which in the end leaves dissolved minerals behind.

These mineral salts build up can eventuallybe harmfulto your plants.

  • They Can Be Rich Breeding grounds for mosquitoes

 Drainage holes are essential in self-watering pots. Unfortunately, they offer a perfect breeding nest for mosquitoes.

Pesky mosquitoes will lay their eggs there and when they hatch, mosquitoes will multiply because of the perpetually soggy conditions.

  • Root rot

Some self-watering planters don’t have an overflow opening.

The water can, therefore, flood the platform and deeply wet the soil.

Eventually, your plant roots will start to rot leading to stagnated growth or plant death.

Another possible outcome is the growth of fungi which will again interfere with the healthy growth of your crops.

 

  • Not All Plants Thrive in Self-watering Planters

Someplants –including succulents and cacti -need to thoroughly dry out in between watering sessions and will suffer if you make a mistake of cultivating them in these planters.

Certain herbs, for example, the rosemary are said to lose their strong taste if grown in damp soil.

On the same note, some flowers such as nasturtiums excel in more balanced environments and fail if putin self-watering containers where the soil is always damp.

 

  • Poor Root Growth

Naturally, plants like spreading out their roots and will push them in all directions- including towards the ground.

Now, self-watering planters have water sitting in underneath the pot so when roots branch that way, they land in pure water.

But they won’t grow there because of insufficient oxygen.

This reduces your plant’s root mass inhibiting healthy growth.

Remedies

Here are some practical ideas on how you can overcome some of the problems with self watering pots

 

  • Mosquito growth

To prevent mosquitoes from breeding from your planter, flush its water after every few days.

You can also plug the planter’s holesusing a pot scrubber to prevent the insects from flying in while still letting water to flow out.

 

  • Toxic Minerals Build Up

Your plant’s leaves (tips) will turn brown and dry if harmful salty buildup occurs.

Removing the water reservoir and flushing the soil with tons of fresh water may help.

You can also be going for a fresh potting mix each planting season.

Also, avoid using liquid fertilizers, time-release fertilizers or water with high salt content for these planters.

If anything, compost is the most recommended fertilizer for crops in self-watering containers.

 

  • Do Your Research

To avoid the frustrations of planting the wrong plants in your self-watering pots, do your research.

  • Root rot

Obviously, you’ve to go for a self-watering planter with an overflow opening. You can also drill one.

Using a more porous/airy soil also minimizes root rot.

Expert Tips when using self watering pots

  • If you have a large planter, try to reduce evaporation by covering the soil top with mulch.
  • Planting using moisture-retentive soil mixes help to decrease the frequency of refilling.
  • Also, soil for growing in self-watering containers should be light, friable, and well-drained to encourage excellent growth.
  • Never leave self-watering containers out after a heavy frost. Otherwise, the water pot in the base may freeze and expand making the chamber to break.

And if you must store them outside during winter, ensure you first drain the base completely dry.

  • The best size of self-watering pots to use depends on the plant(s) you are planning to grow.

Generally, you should pick the biggest container available since it will hold more soil which means a bigger root growing space and improved root growth.

  • You can reduce moisture loss (from leaves) by using an umbrella to protect plants from punishing midday heat.
  • Flowers, vegetables,and herbs have unique nutritional requirements, so use the recommended dry granular fertilizer for the type of crop you are growing.

Also,use it as per the package directions.

There is a wide variety of self watering pots in the market,  as a matter of fact you are spoilt for choice, so choose wisely.

Aquaphoric Self Watering Planter (5”) + Fiber Soil = Foolproof Indoor Home Garden. Modern Decorative Planter Pot for All House Plants, Flowers, Herbs, African Violets, Succulents. Easy / Looks Great.

 

 

Wrapping It Up

Yes, self-watering planters drastically cut the amount of time you spend watering your crops and sets you free to pursue your other chores.

However you could face potential problems with self watering pots such as poor root growth, toxic minerals buildup, and fungi.

Some helpful remedies include using porous soil, flushing your potting mix with lots of water,and plugging the planter’s drainage holes with a pot scrubber.

Others include thoroughly researching your plants and going for a planter with an overflow.

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
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    Offers plenty of space for your seedlings
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    The 4 lockable wheels make the house sturdy and easier to move around
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    It retains warmth for longer
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    Easier to put together
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    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
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    Has more support and is hardly affected by wind
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    It’s inexpensive
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    Holds up during all weather conditions
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    The windows enable you to monitor your plants from outside
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    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
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    It provides more ventilation ensuring your herbs remain healthy
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    Instructions given are very clear, making its assembly quite easy
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    It has some large space inside so it can hold more and more plants
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    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
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    Its push-fit frame is very easy to assemble
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    Its unique walk-in design offers enough growing space and the necessary ventilation to grow large sized plants
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    It’s very stable and  resists wind admirably
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    Its portable so you can always shift it to new locations depending on your needs
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    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
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    Its easier to install
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    The charge controller is very convenient as everything is automated
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    It’s  temperature compensation function is highly precise
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    The kit is very well built and has potential to offer service for many years
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    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
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    Continues to charge even in low-light environments
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    The aluminum handle is flexible so you can mount the panel at an optimal angle
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    Thanks to the charge controller, it has a very minimal risk of starting a fire
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    Its alligator clips are easier to connect and remain firm in place
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    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
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    It very easy to install and use
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    You can mount it on curved/irregular roofs
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    The company has excellent customer service           
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    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
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    This solar kit’s cable adapter makes it very easy to install
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    Its versatile and can be mounted in homes, cabins, or even boats
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    Its controller protection works well
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    It delivers optimal power efficiency thanks to its Solar power combiner
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    It doesn’t rusk
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    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.

Grow light bulbs for indoor plants

​18 cheap led grow lights that work

Like in life, being smart in your garden can save you big bucks. For example, we know that even through LED grow lights are traditionally costly compared with fluorescent lights, incandescent lights, and high-intensity discharge lamps (HID), you can still unearth some pretty cheap led grow lights that work.

And this applies to every other gardening accessory. Okay?

Now, you know us.

We like showing you practical ideas. Stuff that works.  And so we recently set out to discover the available cheap led grow lights for sale.

​Cheap led grow lights for sale

1. Dual Head LED Grow Light,10W 360°- ​

This has an innovative dual design meaning that it has 2 groups of LED grow lights and 2 switches to control each set.

So, you can set them to work either solely for one or simultaneously for two plants.

Then, since your plants’ light needs may differ, it has two adjustable luminous levels so you can easily meet each of your plant’s actual lighting needs.

Last but not least, its 360°adjustable gooseneck will allow you to twist the light into any angle that you feel serves your plants right.

Overall, it’s a highly promising grow light

2. Albrillo LED Grow Light -5W, 3 Dimmable Modes, 360° 

Shining brightly in this is first and foremost the 3 brightness levels/modes- low/medium/bright- so you dim your lights according to your requirements.

Then it has a massive 23pcs of high-quality LEDs perfectly mixed to meet all your growth needs.

The 6 blue one cater for the photosynthesis process. The 6 white boost coloring while the last 11 red are for blooming and your fruits

And it still has the famous 360º adjustable arm so you won’t struggle with positions.

This could delight plants in your cellar, balconies, home, darkroom, greenhouses, or your office desk

3. Toplanet 75w Full Spectrum Growing light Lamp panel

Now, plants in hydroponic greenhouses are more light sensitive so for them you need to get it right.

This LED grow lamp is one such. It’s bigger and so it sheds light in a more balanced manner while reaching all corners of the targeted range thus ensuring that your crops grow uniformly.

In addition, it’s constructed on aluminum back plates which effectively reduce internal heat buildup.

So this light is more durable and will give your plants service for longer.

This could be the lamp kit for to make your hydroponic greenhouse plants flourish.

4. Osunby LED Grow Light 45W UV IR Plant Grow Light

Also impressive is this recently upgraded grow light.

built with full spectrum, it one of the few high luminous LED grow lights that produce perfect wavelength to nurture your plants all the way from seeding, germination, vegetative and flowering.

Not only that.

Its coverage is adjustable so you will comfortably set it at the correct height depending on the current growth stage.

Furthermore, it’s one of the easiest to assemble.

It’s another of shining hope for your herbs.

5. Lovebay 3 Head 15W,LED Grow light 360 Degree

Featuring 9 Red light and 6 Blue lights in a trio of beautiful heads, this lovebay 3 head 15w LED grow light produces targeted wavelengths wherever you mount them.

Its 3 head design has other advantages like a 360°coverage even the hidden parts of your garden will be sufficiently lit up.

  Apart from covering an expansive area, you will enjoy the fact that you can independently control each lamp heads thanks to the handy set of 3 switches- one for each head.

In a nutshell, this is a life savior for your crops

6. Newforshop 30W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum UV&IR

Coming with a stable UV and IR function, this is another outstanding cheap led grow lights that work.

Its UV function will kill all the bacteria which stunt your plant’s growth while its IR function helps in promoting the all-important cell division subsequently resulting into healthier growth during your plants’ vegetation & flowering phases.

It’s made of high-quality aluminum shell so you can be sure that the kit will deliver long and effective service

Finally, it has an innovative lock assembly for mounting so positioning is easy as 1-2-3

7. SOLMORE 3Pc 1.6ft/strip LED Plant Light

In Comparison with the rest of the cheapest led grow lights online, this has a softer light bar meaning its very user-friendly.

In fact, because of its super-versatile design (3 grow strip light pieces plus
a 12v DC power adapter), you can install it virtually anywhere and still get excellent results

I mean it’s not just a just for plants- it can work for bedrooms and in plenty of other places.

This is another cheap led grow light that exceeds expectations.

8.  LED Plant Grow Light, Dual Head, 360 Degree

Having 2 heads and a total of 10 LEDs (4 blue bulbs + 6 red bulbs), this is yet another of the wonderful cheap led grow lights for sale.

Its premium headlamps are built in a way that you can set them to target specific areas meaning you can use them to reach hidden plants or those that have left behind by their peers

Then, its twin set of on/off switches are conveniently positioned so you will find them easier to access and also safer

Plus obviously, you can manipulate each lamp flexibly using its switch. This helps whenever you want to deliver custom lighting for specific plants.

9. Dual-lamp Grow Light Autien 36LEDs 4 Levels 3 Modes Timing(3H/6H/12H)

Now, this is quite interesting- especially its timing feature. As part of giving you full control of your plants’ lighting, it allows you to light in intervals of 3, 6 or 12 hours depending on your needs.

Also, it has plenty of dimming settings so as to fit whatever you need- remember some plants don’t enjoy harsh light while others thrive under such lights.

Moving on, its mounting clip is significantly large and will securely hold your lights wherever you set them.

Another cool feature is that you will be able to turn its two heads separately or together.

In summary, it works expertly and is easy to mount.

10. ACKE LED Panel Plant Light PCBA, Grow Light

Some of the grow lights can truly stretch your patience when you come to the assembly.

If you, like me, hate such over-complicated products, then you will be happy to meet a very basic but super-functional grow light in this LED slim panel light.

Its LEDs, connectors, and wiring are all surface mounted to a sheet metal with hanging holes already drilled making its installation the easiest.

Still, it’s safe -just gets comfortably warm and not too hot to touch.

And it works wonderfully for the price.

11.  TaoTronics LED Full Spectrum Grow Lights

The TaoTronics LED full spectrum Grow Lights are highly rated in terms of build quality. They have very good heat sinks (thermal efficiency) especially within the 46-50w LED light bulbs range.

And even if you leave them running 24/7, you will still easily touch anywhere without feeling the heat.

We also love that they are compatible with almost all the standard E26 / E27 sockets plus 100~240V AC so you don’t need a special lamp- in fact, a free E26 standard socket is included

Lastly, they generally offer better dissipation thanks to their umbrella design

12.    Shengsite 50W LED Plant Grow Lights  UFO 250 LEDs

One of the ways of awakening stubborn seeds from their deep slumber is to get a powerful, super-blight light.

And this 50W super bright LED fits the bill.

Comprising of 250 top quality LED Beads (186 red LEDs and 64 blue LEDs), then you are assured of getting the light you need to jumpstart their growth and at a befitting light spectrum.

So, when the misty raining and snowing days come, you empower your plants to fight back using this energetic lighting system.

For outdoor plants, you may need to cover the plants with winter covers and frost blankets.

13. UNIFUN 45W LED Grow Light Plant Bulbs

The recent version of this 45W Grow Light has been equipped with both the UV and IR functionality making it a rich resource for your herbs during all growth stages.

It has also been improved to attain peak wavelength with 4 peak bands of Red/blue/UV/IR supplying everything your crops desire for a bumper harvest.

Still, being high performance LED grow lights, they are completely quiet again thanks to the upgraded cooling system.

Well, looking at it, you wonder if you could really ask for more.

14. Triple Heads Portable LED Grow Light, 360° Flexible Goose neck-

The competition among the cheapest led grow lights online is cut-throat with each of them having something unique to be proud of.

For this, it is the manual stepless dimming. If you are wondering how it helps, well, it allows you to adjust its brightness to match that demanded by your plants as they go through the motions of growth.

Then, you will easily control each of the 3 headlamps from the user-friendly triple separated switch

So, generally, it’s another effective, convenient and safe option for your indoor garden, succulent plant, greenhouse, hydroponics or even soiled based horticulture.

15.  Ppunson 10W Dual Head LED Grow Light

This has 2 headlamps and contains 10 LEDs (6 red and 4 blue LEDs).

So, how is it?

One, it’s quite sturdy. Two, the hanging clip is metallic and foam padded so it doesn’t scratch whatever you hang it on.

Coming to size, it shines very well especially when your plants are young and since the necks are more flexible, it usually stays in place.

The dual switches also help you to comfortably control the direction and lighting from each lamp.

It’s a chic pink in appearance so even in your office, it showers not only light but also beauty.

16. Dual Head UV & IR 20W Grow Light, 40 LEDs

Yet another of the cheap led grow lights that work well, this comes with UV & IR functionality and contains 40 LEDs (8 blue LEDs, 26 red LEDs, 4 UV LEDs and 2 IR LEDs).

It’s Rigid but highly flexible arms have rotatable tubes that make its light distribution very complete whether aimed at a single plant or even 2 small plants simultaneously.

And its strong clip grips very well. Note that they have foam pads so you can safely attach it to your office desk or anywhere else for that matter.

Provided you move it around, it will serve even your big plants- just as well as bigger lights.

You and your plants will definitely be very happy.

17. OxyLED LED Grow Light Bulb(E26 12W 3Blue/9 Red LEDs)- led grow light under 200

Topping all the features in this is the awesome Temperature Control. You see it has been constructed with aluminum heat-sink which works marvelously to maintain high-intensity temperatures at the levels that plants like for growth and protection

Of course, it has the usual goodness of great LED grow plants like producing a balanced bundle of lighting (It has 12 LED- 3 blue and 9 red) so you would expect that.

Then, it’s quality engineering and is compatible with the E26 sockets so you don’t have to spend more on special lamps.

All in all, this stands tall in this price range.

18. 2-in-1 LED Plant Growing Lamp with 360° Flexible Gooseneck

Having a 2-in-1 base, this can clip to almost any surface. It can also hang tightly from walls, counters or any other surface.

It has 5 super bright LEDs (2 blue and 3 red) and emits the ideal wavelength for full, blooming and luscious plants.

The lamp’s gooseneck makes it very versatile and allows you to direct light whichever way you please and without having to relocate your system.

This is essentially a nice little gem that caters for your indoor plants when natural sunlight won’t suffice

To maximize your yields without breaking your bank in paying astronomical electricity bills, pick one of the cheap led grow lights that work.

Our list covers some of the most, high performing and cheapest LED grows and should offer you a great starting point.

You can drop your further questions in the comments area. We will be happy to answer them.

Related reads 

What is the cheapest way to heat your greenhouse especially in winter?....... Find out ways you can reduce the cost of heating a green house here.

How do you set up a grow room in your garage? This article will come in hardy.

Top electric heaters for heating greenhouse in winter

What are the ​correct heating mats for seed germination? Read this.

11 cheap decorative urn planters that you will love.

Cheap decorative Urn planters have quickly become a must have home décor accessory amongst other urban farming methods like herb seed pod kits, grow bags and many others.

Apart from keeping you in touch with nature while you live in an urban setting , they offer so many other benefits that come about as a result of growing your own herbs and vegetables.

If you are looking for a planter that will not only provide herbs but carry a statement, the following unique urn planters are a good choice.

Cheap decorative urn planters

1. Regal Art & Gift Frog planter piece- 

Regal art and gift products come in six different styles and are of high quality, durable and lightweight. It has the dual functions of acting as sanctuaries while at the same time acts a plant pot.

The products are made of magnesium oxide formulas are each piece is hand painted with a unique finish that is both stylish and weather resistant.

It is sold by Hour loop and fulfilled by Amazon online stores. As a plus, gift wrappers are available.

2. White Porcelain Petite French Country Style Claw piece-small urn planter

The white porcelain petite French, foot bathtub/ vintage flower pot/ soap dish is a product from the MyGift online stores, fulfilled by Amazon.

With the old French script written on the bathtub, the addition of the weathered edges highlight the popular French decorating theme.

The classic white of the bathtub is contrasted with the outline which is dark brown with an added flare of the rustic script.This piece can double up as a soap dish, accessory tray or even a display item.

This planter is recommendable for use with succulent plants.The piece weighs approximately 4.8 ounces.

3. Vintage Pedestal Style Tabletop Gray Metal with decorative carved edge- cast stone urn planters

Another excellent piece from My Gift stores would be the vintage pedestal style tabletop.  This one is a gray metal succulent urn planter which is a decorative carved edge type.

It has an aura of European elegance, neatly handcrafted in order to give the impression of distressed stone.

With a small hole at the bottom, water is allowed to drain out therefore promoting healthy plant growth when not being used as a planter, it can be a very ideal statement for any shelf top.

Its heart shaped carved trim makes it a perfect planter for vibrant greenery, blooming flowers like jasmine and or dynamic succulents.

4. Oreala Fairy Garden Planter. 

The fairy garden planter is a masterpiece from Oreala which is any faity lover dream come true. They offer a beautiful and magical effect,  whether used indoor or outdoor.

Being made of strong plastic it has been made to withstand the harsh elements of the weather.

It is super easy to work with and a few weeks outside gives it a complete camouflage with your garden, making it look all natural.

The delivery is prompt with guaranteed customer satisfaction, with money refunds on service insatiability.

5. Turtle planter piece.- weather resistant urn

With the height of creativity soaring through the ceiling, what would prove it more than the Turtle planter from What On Earth. It is ideal for succulent and small plants.

It is made of sturdy polyresin with a weathered finish. It ca be used both indoor and outdoor, but with its weather resistant qualities, it can survive outside all year long.

With its small compartments, you are allowed to make dazzling displays of flowers of your favourite plants.

Then again, with its 21” long and 15” wide kind of stature, who is not going to see this dazzling piece in your garden?

6. Indoor-outdoor head resin.

If you are the type that likes bold and beautiful with a sense of appreciation of art, well then, this Art and Artifact piece might just be the thing for you.

The head of a lady is a great piece of display which also doubles up as the plant potter. It is well designed to give an artist charm and calming effect.

It is sturdy and stable, which keeps it upright during plant maintaining processes and avoids any unnecessary damages or mess.

It is made of string resin composite that makes it weather resistant and remarkably durable.

Also, it has the option of directly filling up the head with dirt or alternately filling up smaller pots then fixing it inside the head.

It can be used both inside the house or on the garden on patio.

Its delicate art designed features give charming and calming effects. It can be used as a display centre piece or a planter or holder. It has a prompt delivery service

7. Giraffe planter: Safari pieces.

 For the outdoor junkies, the giraffe planter from Oriental would be the perfect fit missing from your patio or garden.

It is made from durable polyesin which makes it a hardcore with the harsh weather elements.

It is made with a natural textural design and has a drainage hole to help in healthy propagation of your plants. This would be the dramatic flare you just need for your garden.

And it has prompt delivery so you do not have to agonizingly wait for your package.

8. The Christopher Knight Home.

For the antique lovers, this piece from Christopher Knight Home would be a heaven sent accessory to your garden or indoor shelves and countertops.

This piece is made from molded plaster and is therefore weather resistant.

It does have a drainage hole that you can cover to prevent dirt from falling out.

It weighs approximately 7-10 pounds, which allows for easy transportation and set up.

9. Tinksky Cute Hedgehog.

For those fairy lovers and those in love with life of the woods, this heavenly piece from Tinksky would be the one for you.

The Hedgehog Flower Sedum Succulent Pot Planter which also doubles up as a Bonsai Trough Box Plant Bed Office or Home Garden Pot Decoration.

It can be used as a fleshy kind of shelf or a storage box if you don’t like the idea of putting it out in the garden. It is made of resin and is therefore as durable as it can get.

10. Yorkie Planter – Outdoor Dog Urn Planter – Cute Garden Statue.

For the dog lovers, it cannot get any better. With the Yorkie planter from Bits and Pieces, you have got youself a cute outdoor gig statue to make everyone envious. It has been crafted in steel with a rustic bronzed patina.

The planting pot is 4 1/2″ in diameter with a height of 11″ *13 1/2″. However, it was not designed to be sturdy.  Therefore, it would not be recommended to put anything that is heavy.

11. Starburst Design Ceramic Flower Planter Pots / Decorative Plant Containers with Saucers.

This pieces are a courtesy of My Gift. Each flower pot is made of steady ceramic with a glossy finish in white. 

Each planter has a drainage hole but with an associated saucer to prevent damage and unsightly mess than can be caused by water dripping on your surfaces.

This pieces can be used to grow herbs in your kitchen or a succulent herb for your living room.

The dimensions of each pot are 4.3″ in height with a diameter of 5.2″. As an added bonus, this package comes with multi purpose towels.

Whether for your indoor or outdoor decor, this cheap decorative urn planters offer an exclusive feel of the earth in miniature form.

Due to their size, you do not have to get dirty maintaining it, compared to an actual flowerbed. So its all the beauty with lesser the effort.

Ensure you find one that suites your style.

Window Sill Herb Garden Kits

​How to choose an indoor herb garden kit

Limited space need not be a hindrance in satisfying your itch to start a garden. Neither should time or climate. A perfect alternative would be a smaller indoor herb garden. To liven up your windowsill or office shelf, picking the best Window Sill Herb Garden Kits available would be the thing to do. Your dinnertime menu too will be all the better.

Herb garden kits come is all shapes and sizes. As such, picking an appropriate windowsill herb garden kit that suits your needs may be a challenge.

This article hopes to lighten your choice making. This is through the presentation of four excellent choices for you to pick one that meets your needs.

Alternatively, pick all four to act as an indoor window sill herb planter kit for each of your rooms in your home.

​Window Sill Herb Garden Kits review 2018

1. Window Garden Rustic Charm Herb Trio Kit -  indoor garden kit

This indoor kitchen herb garden kit brings a unique handcrafted ceramic planter that adds old world charm to any windowsill. It will compliment your kitchen décor too.

This windowsill herb planter measures 15.8 by 5.2 by 6 inches in dimensions and weighs 3.75 pounds.

It conveniently comes with three cups of fiber soil that allow roots to breathe and plants to flourish.The soil consists of microscopic straw-like fibers.

Its porosity enables root sprawling and stretching, allowing plant flourishment. This soil does away with purchasing and lugging around bags of heavy pot soil.

Simply add fertilizer and hydrate pot discs in a dish to keep your windowsill garden lush and vibrant.

A germination bag keeps your seeds warm and moist while the fiber soil has over watering prevention traits. A detailed instruction manual, for guidance through the entire growing process, is included.

The process involves hydrating fiber soil through a watered dish, planting seeds into the soil, and germinating the seed with placement of a plastic bag over the pot.

Finally, ensuring seeds remain moist is crucial so watering and applying fertilizer when required is important.

Do not grow your cherished herbs in flimsy cheap pots. This indoor kitchen herb garden kit has impressive packaging and quality components, ensuring this kit impresses anyone receiving it as a gift.

        PROS
  • check
    Kit has basil, sage, and chives herbs. 
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    Very clear instruction manual in color, diagrams, and pictures. 
          CONS
  • Herbs not interchangeable although you can change seeds. 
  • Soil lacks nutrients and fertilizer is required.

2. Aquaphoric - ​ Self Watering Planter

 This indoor window sill herb garden kit gives you attractive and innovative growing solutions.It takes advantage of sun energy to bring joy from the power of plants all year.

Growing plants on your windowsill gives you something to eat and admire as you breath the healthier air they bring.

It comes in vibrant colors and sleek lines that compliment homes, condominiums, or apartments. You have choices of decorative pot colors that complement home décor and chosen plants.

Convenience arises from its two-quart fiber soil, a superior plant growing medium, which allows your plant roots to breath. This kit has self-watering traits.

A water level indicator informs you when to and how much water your indoor houseplants need.

Its passive hydroponic action system creates ideal growing balance, between water and oxygen, around your plant roots.

This prevents flooding and under-watering of plants. This kit is 7 by 7 by 6.5 inches in dimensions, made of plastic, and weighs 1.3 pounds.

With this indoor window sill herb garden kit, you do away with soggy roots or wilted plants that arise from under or over watering plants.

        PROS
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    Kit lets you meet precise water and nutrient needs for your plants 
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    Kit comes with an excellent instruction manual in color, with diagrams and pictures 
          CONS
  • Soil has minimal nutrients. You need to fertilize your plants 
  • Water indicator gauge tends to get stuck sometimes
     

3. Grow 5 Herbs From Organic Seeds with Nature’s Blossom's Herb Garden Starter Kit -  A Complete Set W/ Everything a Gardener Needs to Grow Culinary Plants indoors

This indoor window sill herb planter kit gives you all you need as you grow five culinary herbs from seed.

It has top growing success rates within the market. Its seeds are entirely organic and non-GMO. They have been open pollinated and grown naturally within the United States.

It is a fun gift ideal for fresher gardeners, allowing them to grow a culinary herb garden with ease.

It lets you spice up your kitchen with fresh homegrown herbs. These include basil, parsley, sage, thyme, and cilantro.

The kit works well both indoors and outdoors in gardening. Kits have five units each of organic herb seed packets, seed starting biodegradable growing pots, and compressed soil discs made of unique coir mixture.

A kit also has five plant markers and a systematic instruction manual, all gift-wrapped in a sleekly designed box so it can be a perfect gift for a loved one. The product will occupy 8 by 4.5 by 7 inches in dimensions and weigh 11.2 ounces on your window sill.

This outdoor or indoor window sill herb garden kit lets you experience endless possibilities as you grow unique herbs right from seed to harvest.

There will be no need for prior experience or additional tools to work this kit.

        PROS
  • check
    Lets you grow and taste fresh herbs picked from your own herb garden. 
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    Package has all essentials to grow herbs indoors with no additional tools needed. 
          CONS
  • Over watering plants may create a mold menace. 
  • New package requires close to ensure each item is present, including the right units.

4. Window Garden Edible Fairy Garden Kit with an Enchanting Fairytale and Accessories

 

Window Garden Edible Fairy Garden Kit with an Enchanting Fairytale and Accessories

These types of herb growing kits for the children help, through hands-on creativity and stories, children to learn how to grow and nurture their own mini vegetable gardens.

With this kit, the edible mini vegetables are ready for the dining table within ten days. It has an enchanting fable that talks of Blossom, a butterfly fairy’s fantastic journey.

Its glittery fairy components consist of adorable color coordinated accessories. The beautiful package contains an iridescent Butterfly Fairy, a unique 15 by 6 inch acrylic dish, sea glass, real moss, fiber soil, and flower picks.

Other components include the fairly story, spray bottle, micro-green seeds and a detailed instruction manual.

It has a design that engages children, through storytelling, to grow their own mini microgreen vegetables in an indoor garden. The micro-green baby vegetables shoots are ready after ten days of growing near a window.

The seedlings bring crisp textures, busts of vivid colors, and intense flavors that will transform your favorite dish into a nutrient rich gourmet experience. These seeds have their own food supplies they augment from soil, water, and light.

This green kit measures 15.2 by 6.5 by 2.3 inches in dimension and weighs 2.1 pounds. This is a lovely Christmas or birthday gift for a young child who loves fairies and gardens.

It presents a parent and child with a simple activity to undertake together.

        PROS
  • check
    A perfect gift for young children exploring gardening. 
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    Easy to set up from a detailed diagramed instruction manual 
          CONS
  • Scrutinize the package closely to ensure each item is present and in working condition. 
  • Adult supervision is necessary for the children using this kit.
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

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    Works well
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    Highly portable
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    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
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    Made of Non-toxic (Fiber free)
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    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

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

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    Water resistant and Convenient long power cord
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    Heats evenly and has an energy efficient design
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    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

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    Waterproof
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    Versatile- you can use it almost anywhere
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    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

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    Circulates air very well
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    Waterproof and Easy to move around
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    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

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    It's light and highly portable
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    Adjusts easily and Comes with a thermostat
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    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

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    Needs very little maintenance
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    It’s waterproof
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    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

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    Safe heater and Comes with a thermostat
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    Portable
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    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

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    Easy to mount
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    Directional heatingaAutomatic heat control
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    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.