Member Since: 12/09/2015

recent comments

Re: What's the Best Way to Heat a Small Greenhouse?

If at all possible, mulch the perimeter of the greenhouse as this slows down the creep of cold (thru the earth). I have 6' heavily (4-6") mulched paths around the entire ghouse. I use dark red wood mulch on the front and sides but bark peeled from firewood on the back (the business/ugly side).

Folgers coffee 'cans', the red plastic ones with the black lids are filled with water and set where ever I can fit them, even on the veggie bins themselves (I use donated cattle mineral tubs to grow tomatoes). These coffee 'cans' are incredibly solar resistant as far as deteriorating, I have have many in use now for several years. Other types of plastic coffee cans do NOT hold up to the sun, most last only 1 year before the lids crack.

Mountain Dew bottles are good too. They are the only ones I know of that have colored plastic. When they are laid on their sides, they can soak up a lot of sun, plus they fit better in some spaces than the coffee cans, like in 5 gallon buckets.

BTW, my veggie customers donate most of these items.

I have added an insulation layer of ghouse type sheet plastic. My beams are 4" square, plastic covered panels outside, now sheet plastic inside. Was quite a project but well worth the effort and money. In the summer the panels are removed and the plastic sheeting inside is rolled up, simply supporting the roll with baling twine hung on a screw. The roof insulation and the areas from the top of the panels to the roof stay in place year round.

My ghouse is now 40' long by 33' wide. In the pits of winter I add a layer (or layers) of floating row covers over the plants, making sure that the covers reach the ground to trap the earth heat.

I am about 100 miles WSW of STL, MO, so winters are COLD here. I have kept pepper plants going thru 3 winters using these methods, yes, same plants for 3 years. These peppers are in 5 gallon buckets and go outside at the appropriate time.

Before I came up with all this, I tried 3 oil filled space heaters and when my first electric bill (ghouse on a separate meter) came in at $180.00 for one month, I pulled the plugs. Electric Coop here, so electricity is 'cheap', but not cheap enough to heat a ghouse!!

Several other extremely low cost things I use, but not sure this will go as I have never before responded to an article, so quitting now.