Growing vegetables and herbs in your garden all year round is something we can only dream of! However, in some regions of the world, the colder months can be detrimental when trying to achieve all-season gardening. This is why greenhouse heating – and efficient heating at that – becomes so crucial during the winter.
If the bitterly cold winter climate makes you feel hesitant to pursue your next growing season for the springtime, investing in a greenhouse, and therefore doing some greenhouse gardening sounds like a perfect plan!
What Is a Greenhouse?
When the warm summer weather starts shifting into the chilly days and cold nights of autumn, this is where a greenhouse building comes in handy. Greenhouses provide a warm environment that protects plants from frost.
A greenhouse does an excellent job in creating the best sanctuary for plants to encourage efficient seed sprouting and ensure longer growing seasons. This type of garden building is a highly practical gardening solution, especially for beginners who wish to start their cultivation journey.
Generally, greenhouse structures are naturally warmed through solar radiation during daylight hours, but heat escapes rapidly during the night. Central-heating systems are one method of warming them, but there are some simpler, more cost-effective ways to keep the prices down.
As greenhouses enable your plants to survive all year round, they’re an essential component in any garden. So, we though we’d suggest some of the best benefits of investing in one.
Amazing Advantages of Greenhouses
Apart from all-season gardening, having access to a greenhouse, especially during winter, has some major advantages for budding gardeners.
1. Ultimate Weather Protection
With a greenhouse, not only your plants will be protected against the harsh UK’s temperamental climate, such as seasonal temperature and weather swings (e.g. snow and frost), but also it will guard your produce from the strong winds and cold temperatures.
2. All-in-one Gardening Place
Owning a greenhouse means you have a designated area for plant cultivation. With this great benefit, you can grow anything you wish, from flowers to vegetables. Even better, if your greenhouse offers enough space, it can also act as a storage solution for you to keep your gardening tools and equipment in one place, alongside your greens.
3. Pest Prevention
Pests are one of the common enemies of gardeners. The good thing about greenhouses are that they provide your plants with a place to live in and eventually thrive.
Thanks to its enclosed building structure, this type of garden building is guaranteed to be exceptionally beneficial when it comes to protecting your plants against pests and other predators.
4. Multiple Purposes: The Freedom of Growing Whatever Plants You Want
Growing plants in a greenhouse is not limited to fresh, organic vegetables only. With the warmer and humid environment that a greenhouse can provide, it also allows you to house a variety of flowers and bulbs, including houseplants and exotic plants.
As long as you understand the conditions your plants or seedlings require to survive; you can grow various plants at the same time, or change what you sow every year—adjusting accordingly for your ideal harvest.
Greenhouse Heating: Heating Your Greenhouse For Less this Winter
Once you’ve purchased the right greenhouse for your garden, your next step is to consider investing in greenhouse heating. Although greenhouses already provide a home for your plants against the worst of the winter weather, adding heating system can double the amount of protection, especially for tender plants.
Investing in a good heating system is one of the crucial steps to achieving a successful plant production. To ensure your plants are receiving the right amount of heat for year-round production, the heating system should be providing uniform temperature control without releasing any harmful chemicals. Otherwise, it’ll be of no use.
Electricity and natural gas – including LP gas and fuel oil – are a few of the suitable energy sources.
To provide your greenhouse with a controlled environment for plant production during the colder months, we’ve curated some helpful and eco-friendly tips below.
1. Thermal Water Storage Tanks
Solar heat can be captured throughout the day by rocks and water tanks strategically positioned throughout the greenhouse. Water is the cheapest and most affordable solar heat collector.
Fill black or dark-coloured water drums and place them along the north wall of your greenhouse, to collect heat throughout the day. Even if you employ additional heating methods, water drums make any heating more efficient.
2. Ditch Below Frost Line
Greenhouses can be situated partially underground where there’s a lot of thermal mass available to store energy. Excavate a pit in which to situate your greenhouse. Dig down to just below the frost line, where the soil temperature remains much warmer.
This allows the solar energy that’s stored below the frost line to warm the walls of the greenhouse, even at night.
3. Save the Heat
The easiest technique to heat a greenhouse is to conserve the heat that is already in it. It’s essential to insulate the wall that receives the winds in the winter. This could be the north, east or west wall depending on where you are.
Here are different types of insulation to save heat without costing the environment.
Insulating With a Bubble Wrap
Lining your greenhouse with a bubble wrap is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to insulate the garden building. Our outdoor experts suggest opting for horticultural bubble wrap as it provides stronger insulation, and can also withstand UV light.
Before stapling or taping your bubble wrap in place, make sure to clean the windows first to minimise light loss. You may also wrap your outdoor pots with bubble insulation to protect the rootballs against the freezing temperatures. This is also a great trick to prevent your pots from cracking.
Double glazing may be a bit pricey, but it makes an excellent investment as well as an efficient choice in the long run—cutting the cost of heating your greenhouse in half.
Triple or double glaze the windows, or refit single-glazed windows or panels. Seal the nooks and crannies of the greenhouse, ensuring that it is air-tight everywhere. Use a night curtain of polyethene film or vinyl, to cover the top and sides, preventing heat loss at night.
4. Use A Thermometer
To achieve a successful growth for your next growing season, you must have the right equipment to check and maintain the optimal temperature in your greenhouse. And this is where a thermometer comes in handy!
If your heating system doesn’t come with a thermostatically controlled heater feature, investing in a good thermometer with maximum and minimum readings can be your best bet. Once your thermometer is set, make sure to check it daily and adjust your heater as necessary to maintain a constant temperature and maximise fuel efficiency.
5. Opting for Thermostat
Another way to save money and energy when heating a greenhouse is by investing in a thermostat. Purchasing a manual thermostat is a cost-effective alternative. Still, if you plan to opt for a programmable one, we suggest investing in an electronic greenhouse heater that comes with a built-in thermostat.
A thermostat is a handy greenhouse heating companion, letting you set your heater to come on only when the temperature drops below a certain point.
6. Solar Heating: Passive Plastic Bottles
Passive solar plastic bottles are an excellent cheap alternative to solar heating, keeping your greenhouse warm throughout the colder months. All you have to do is paint the plastic bottles black and fill them with water.
The black paint will help in absorbing the heat during the day. While at night, the store energy is released automatically, which will heat the greenhouse space. For the best results, you may place them around your wooden greenhouse or aluminium one.
Every plant species contained by your greenhouse has a special set of heating and humidity needs. With solar heating proving to be so costly, finding an economical and practical form of heating is an essential aspiration for budget-minded gardeners.
Notice: Please note that this guide is intended to present general information regarding greenhouses for sale. All information indicated are representative and not exhaustive, which means that the results may vary depending on your item, its size, complexity, and other circumstances.
You may or may not follow the guide. By following the guide, you accept the risks and acknowledge the possible invalidation of your manufacturer’s warranty. When in doubt, please ask your manufacturer before proceeding.