It is always good to have a small greenhouse in the backyard and harvest your own vegetables or pick your own flowers. However, when winter time comes, there is a need to heat up the greenhouse to prevent the plants from freezing. Heating a small greenhouse can become expensive if you only rely on a furnace. It is a good thing, though, that there are other ways of heating a small greenhouse in addition to a furnace, so you do not have to run it all the time, or at least you do not have to run it at full blast. Here are some of the cheaper ways to heat your small greenhouse during the cold times of the year:
- Seal the greenhouse to keep the cold wind out. Of course air is needed, but during the colder time of the day, close the doorways and windows of the greenhouse to keep the warmth from leaking out. Use plastic cover to let the sunlight in during the day. Place a bucket of water inside the greenhouse to maintain humidity.
- Turn on those light bulbs. Heat is generated by light bulbs aside from illumination at night, and installing them closer to the plants will be very helpful. Just do not hang them too close to the walls of the greenhouse (especially if these are covered with plastic cover), and make sure they do not touch the leaves of the plants. Just like how light bulbs help in incubating chicken eggs, it works in greenhouses as well. You can use wither the yellow light bulbs or the fluorescent shop lights. These are inexpensive and safe to use.
- Heat up with candles. As an alternative to space heaters, you can light up candles and place them inside tin cans with holes on it. This will keep the candle burning while conserving its heat. It will produce a significant amount of heat in a few minutes. Use vigil candles and place them within a few feet from the plants. Make sure you monitor the candles and place them on an area that is non combustible to avoid accidents. When using alternative heating methods, you will need to check your greenhouse once in a while over the night, especially if you use candles. Be sure you have a fire alarm system installed for your safety.
- Lay the pots on plant heating mats. This may seem expensive at first, but using the heating mat over time will make it worth it. Heating mats are useful if you have seedlings. The heat that is generated will come up through the soil, which is good for seeds to germinate and for seedlings to grow.
- Maximize the sunlight’s power. Use black pots for your plants because black absorbs sunlight and converts it to heat. If your pots are in another color, paint it in black. Another way to use sunlight for heating is to place water in black buckets. Let the sunlight heat up the water inside the bucket, and in the evening, the water will expel heat inside the greenhouse.
- Use small, efficient space heaters. Choose a space heater that has a reliable thermostat so you can set the temperature and not worry about frying the plants overnight.