Greenhouse Heating: How To Heat Your Greenhouse For Less

Growing vegetables and plants in your greenhouse all year round may seem tough. During the colder months, your fresh produce may die or the quality may start to decline. Achieving all-season gardening may seem daunting at first but it’s entirely possible.

Investing in a greenhouse can provide the perfect opportunity to give gardening a go. Especially when a cold snap hits. Even then the cold winter climate can be controlled and used to your advantage.

BillyOh 4000 Lincoln Wooden Clear Wall Greenhouse

What Is a Greenhouse?

A greenhouse can come in handy for all types of weather and seasons – especially when the nights start drawing in and autumn creeps closer. Greenhouses can provide a warm environment for your plants. This includes protecting them from frost damage on cold nights.

Owning a greenhouse has plenty of benefits. From longer growing seasons to efficient seed sprouting, you’ll never run out of perks. Having a greenhouse is one of the most practical gardening solutions you can find.

Greenhouse structures are naturally warmed throughout the day from the sun. However, heat can escape during the night. There are plenty of cost-effective methods to keep your greenhouse warm. You don’t need to invest in central heating.

Keep reading to find out about some of the incredible advantages greenhouses have!

Glass greenhouse with plants inside

Amazing Advantages of Greenhouses

Your new garden greenhouse can provide so many other incredible benefits. This includes keeping your plants warm and safe throughout the cold bitter months. Once you’ve found the right plants to grow in your greenhouse, take a look at some benefits below!

1. All-in-one Gardening Place

Having a greenhouse means you’ll have your own designated area. Perfect for growing some incredible plants. It’s also the perfect place to keep all of your gardening tools and equipment in. A greenhouse can be ideal as a storage solution!

2. Pest Prevention

When you’re gardening, pests and animals can often be your biggest enemy. From beetles and caterpillars to foxes and badgers. Keeping those pesky pests away can seem difficult. However, with a greenhouse, this will be instantly solved.

Thanks to a greenhouse having an enclosed building structure, animals and bugs will have a harder time getting to your plants. Leaving your plants able to thrive even in the colder months.

3. Multiple Purposes: The Freedom of Growing Whatever Plants You Want

With a greenhouse, you’ve got plenty more options when it comes to what you can grow. It’s a common assumption that greenhouses are only for vegetables. In fact, you can grow some beautiful plants and flowers with a warmer climate inside the building. This can even include exotic plants.

Understanding the conditions is the most important part. Once you’ve looked into the key factors for growing in greenhouses you can grow whatever you desire. Make sure to look into what each plant needs as well!

Greenhouse Heating: Heating Your Greenhouse For Less this Winter

There are so many great options if you’re looking to heat your greenhouse. For example, adding in a greenhouse heater can provide endless benefits. But some of the below methods can still be done in a greenhouse without electricity.

A great advantage of adding in a heating system is being able to provide better protection from cold snaps. Plants can’t survive in cold weather. When plants freeze, the water inside the plant cell expands and breaks the cell wall. This means they can no longer carry nutrients.

The added protection is perfect for those more tender plants and delicate plants. This is great against even the worst of the cold winter weather. A heating system will overall protect your plants from dying due to frost damage.

Heating

Having the right greenhouse heating system is important. This can help you achieve successful plant production. A heating system can ensure your plants are getting the right amount of heat. Perfect for year-round growth. Greenhouse heating costs don’t need to be expensive. If you’re looking for an electric heater for your greenhouse, there are plenty available.

The heating system won’t release any harmful chemicals into your greenhouse. You’re also provided with constant temperature control as well.

If you’re looking to be sustainable, electricity and natural gasses are great energy sources. This includes LP gas and fuel oil.

Read below to find some key eco-friendly tips on heating your greenhouse!

Water bucket with water splashing

1. Thermal Water Storage Tanks

Water tanks as well as rocks, capture and lock in heat. Placing these around your greenhouse can generate heat back into your garden building. Water is the cheapest solar heat collector, as well as the most affordable. These large containers of water can do so much for you by keeping in the natural heat!

To achieve this, fill black or dark-coloured gallon drums or gallon buckets and place them along the end of the wall. Black retains heat better than any other colour. This is because dark colours, such as black, absorb all of the wavelengths of light, reflecting none of them back to our eyes. This is a great way to preserve solar energy and ensure an electric greenhouse heater isn’t needed.

TIP: Collect rainwater in a water barrel if you’re looking to be eco-friendly. Make sure you get some water pipes for this!

2. Below Frost Line

Greenhouses are able to be built partially underground. Building your greenhouse below the frost line can help increase the heat, this is because there’s lots of thermal mass available to store energy. The ground below the frost line is much warmer.

The frost line is the point that marks out where the groundwater in the soil will start to freeze. In the UK, the frost line is 0.45m below the surface. 

This method will provide heat to your greenhouse at night. Keeping the greenhouse temperature above freezing. The soil can be a great heat source.

Bubble wrap on a window

3. Save the Heat

The easiest way to provide a warm environment for your greenhouse is to preserve the heat already in the building. Loss of heat can cost you both money and energy in the long run. Keeping in the heat from greenhouses doesn’t have to be a difficult task.

This means making sure the walls which are most affected by the wind during winter are covered carefully to reduce heat loss.

Here are some great ways to save heat in your greenhouse

  • Insulation – To achieve this, you use bubble wrap insulation. Go around your walls with a layer of bubble wrap. This is a cheap and effective way to keep the heat in. Use horticultural bubble wrap for this. It’s cheaper, longer-lasting and can even withstand UV light.
  • You can even wrap your potted plants in this bubble wrap to provide the plants with extra warmth. This can also prevent your pots from cracking. If bubble wrap isn’t available to you, plastic sheeting is another great choice.

Another great benefit of putting up bubble wrap insulation is its flexibility. You can take this down in the warmer months if it’s needed.

TIP: Remember to clean the windows before filling your greenhouse with bubble wrap. This could reduce the ability for light to get inside your greenhouse.

  • Double glazing – Although this popular method can be more expensive, it can be a great option in the long term.   This extra layer of glazing might cost more upfront, but can save you lots of money in the long run!

Thermometer in plants

4. Use A Thermometer

Having a thermometer can ensure you have accurate temperature readings inside your greenhouse and you’ll never have to guess.

This is great if you have a heating system without a thermostatically controlled feature. Check your thermometer daily and adjust the temperature accordingly.

5. Opting for Thermostat

A thermostat is a great investment and an effective method if you’re looking to save money and energy. Having a thermostat is perfect if you’re looking to be able to set a heater. You can schedule this to come on only if the temperature drops below a certain point. This means you won’t be wasting energy or damaging your plants.

6. Solar Heating: Passive Plastic Bottles

Passive solar plastic bottles are a great cost-effective alternative to solar heating. This involves saving some of your plastic bottles and painting them. The ideal colour is black, then you can fill them with water.

Darker colours help absorb more heat, meaning at night, the heat will be retained and released automatically. It’s best to place these all around your greenhouse for amazing results. This is a cheaper alternative to water tanks. Although similar to the tanks, this option means you can reuse recycled bottles. You’re also able to place these along walls, saving you much-needed floor space.

Results can vary depending on your plants and produce. Each plant has a different need of its own so looking into each specifically is vital. All of these methods are great examples of cost-effective and efficient heating. Many are even eco-friendly.

Don’t forget to take a look into what you can grow inside your greenhouse so the exciting part can begin. Then head down to your local garden centre to dive into all the amazing plants and seeds available.

Make sure your greenhouse is sat on an even base – you can even find out how to build a base online or hire a builder.

Shop Greenhouses

The best way to do this is to recycle. Save the heat you already have or use plastic bottles. Both methods can be found above.

It can be helpful to heat your greenhouse in winter. Some plants will need some warmth to survive. Plant growth rates will slow down in winter though.

No. Your greenhouse will always be at least 5 degrees warmer than the temperature outside. This is without even heating your greenhouse.

Yes. Depending on what you grow, you may need to heat your greenhouse. You can grow in an unheated greenhouse still, but check up on which plants need heat first.

It's beneficial for your greenhouse to get at least 6 hours of sun a day. Especially in winter. Positioning your greenhouse is an important first step towards heat efficiency.

Yes. Water is best for this. Water placed in a black drum or plastic bottles will continue heating your greenhouse, even at night.