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How to Heat your Greenhouse

How to Heat your Greenhouse

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Heating a greenhouse is a far more complex task than what you might at first imagine. There are numerous factors which need to be taken into consideration in order to heat a greenhouse to the right temperature for the prosperity of your plants and crops.

The main 5 factors to take into account when it comes to greenhouse heating are:

  1. The nature/species of plants you wish to protect
  2. The area in which you live, i.e. the propensity to frost and the outdoor temperature in your area
  3. The availability of power within your greenhouse
  4. Whether or not you have tropical and tender plants
  5. The size of your greenhouse

We will go through these points in detail below, to help you understand how to heat your greenhouse in the right way.


The Type of Plants You Have

Points one and four do overlap, with the temperature required in your greenhouse very much linked to the types of plant and crop that you have.
Generally, it is important to ensure that your greenhouse remains above 3 degrees Celsius at all times in order to remain frost free. This can be a particular challenge in the winter months without the right greenhouse heating equipment.

However, different plants and crops thrive at various temperatures. A little bit of internet research never fails to help in this regard with tender plants like pelargoniums needing to remain above 7 degrees Celsius at all times. Tropical and tender crops like tomatoes meanwhile always require a minimum temperature of 10 degrees Celsius.

Purchasing a number of thermometers is recommended in order to monitor the temperatures being experienced by each of your plants in different sections of your greenhouse. These required varying temperatures can be reached by having the right greenhouse equipment. Heated propagators and carefully positioned heating systems are both good ways of achieving this.


The Area in Which You Live & Size of Your Greenhouse

In the North of the UK or in frost pockets, it is strongly recommended that greenhouse heating measures are put in place to protect your plants.
In instances where greenhouse heating is required, the energy required will naturally differ depending upon the greenhouse size that you have.

Based on our experience, we have found that in instances where the outside temperature is approximately -3.5 degrees, one of our 8 x 10 foot greenhouses will require some 2kw/h of power in order to maintain a constant internal temperature of 10 degrees. Larger constructs will naturally require more energy in order to achieve the same temperatures.


The Availability of Power

When you are planning out your own made to measure greenhouse with Cultivar, we strongly recommend that you take the availability of electric power into consideration.

You should always plan to base your greenhouse within close distance of a power supply. Alternatively, given that you may be planning a greenhouse from scratch, why not employ the services of a qualified electrician to add a direct power supply into your greenhouse?

There are a number of reasonably priced electrically powered fan heaters of varying power and facility available to purchase. These can be floor or roof mounted in a place which is convenient so long as it is not near water sources or where significant watering takes place. The fan facility has the added advantage of improving air circulation, of particular benefit to plants during the summer months.

There are lower wattage heaters such as tubular heaters that will provide sufficient heat to cut the affects of frost. Propane heaters are also effective; once again they are available in different outputs for different uses.

Finally paraffin heaters are still available and although they may be temperamental they do offer heating without the necessity to introduce power into the greenhouse.

Quality levels will naturally vary depending upon the manufacturer, so do your research beforehand to make sure you are purchasing the right model to provide the greenhouse heating that you need.

Based on our experience, we would personally recommend Biogreen.co.uk and hotboxworld.com as reputable sellers to take into consideration. Both of these suppliers have retailers and distributors that offer their products across the UK.