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Thread: heating a very small greenhouse

  1. #1

    heating a very small greenhouse


  2. #2

    let stry this again

    I have one of those little plastic tent greenhouses with my tropical HIB in it..I plan to keep it on the patio for the winter but I know I need little heat in it.any ideas..thought about those little ceramic heaters and the milkhouse kind but can't really use an ext cord with those and they might melt the plastic!...what about some kind of lights? maybe a string of those big c7 clear chritmas
    lights? help

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast

    I'm so sorry to take so long to respond. I have been in overload.

    I use the ceramic heaters in my greenhouse and patio in the winter when the temperatures are right around 30-32, but I don't trust them much below that. Also, if they come into contact with the plastic for any reason, they could burn it.

    You could use a light bulb and extra cover on the really cold nights, but it's a matter of how cold your patio gets. Lights also get hot, so keep them away from the plastic. Again, they will only work for a certain range of temperatures.

    For really cold weather, I would imagine that you would want to heat the patio.

    How cold does your patio get in the winter?
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Central Indiana Zone 5a
    Blog Entries


    Just how small is small? If it's as small as the one's I've typically seen advertised, I just don't think you'll be able to heat it and keep the temp at a constant 45 -50 degrees to keep your Tropical Hibs alive, at least not in zone 5.

    If it's big enough and there's enough room left you can try placing several lidded 5 gallon buckets of water inside as a heat resivour; also try wraping the whole thing with bubble wrap and then another layer of 4mil plastic sheeting, this could add considerable insulation against cold and wind.

    I also once read where a lady hooked up a hand held hair dryer to a thermostacially controlled timer and kept her small plactic "greenhouse" perfectly warm all winter. If you know someone who does home heating they might be able to help you figure out how to do this.

    Something else I just now thought of is underground heating cables, the type used in seedling beds. If you can insulate the floor of the green house as well as the shelves/benches and then lay down the heat cables, they might keep the roots from freezing, they'd also help keep the buckets of water warm. You couls also use aquarium heaters, the submersiable type, in the buckets of water to keep it warm. You'd have to use a fairly high wattage, say at least 150 watts and have one in each bucket of water, turn them up to at least 80 degrees and maintain the water level. You'd be amazed how much heat these will give off. During the day, when the sun is out, the water will be heated by the sun and save some wear and tear on the heaters.

    The X-mas lights you mentioned don't burn hot enough to heat anything, so for get them, but a 100 watt light bulb in a metal reflector can give off a lot of heat, especially in an enclosed, small area.

    You might try a combination of the three, bubble wrap and an extra layer of plastic on the structure itself, the aquarium heaters in 5 gallon buckets of water and the 100 watt work light.

    Hope this helps give you some ideas; they say we zone 5ers are in for a nasty winter again this year.

    Last edited by Rebecca; 10-24-2003 at 07:12 PM.
    Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.
    - R. Buckminster Fuller

  5. #5

    thanx but

    I should have specified ...this is one of thoses small reach in greenhouse with shelves and a plastic zippered cover...so far Ii think a light bulb in one of those reflectors is the way to go...thanx 4 all your input

  6. #6
    there are those "heating blankets" for plants that you can always use. You just place your pots on top of them
    John S. Wagner
    As for me and my mouse we will serve the Lord.

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