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Thread: Heating a greenhouse

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Center Point, TX
    Posts
    256

    Post Heating a greenhouse

    Did a un-scientific, but not too bad study last night on the amount of propane I needed to heat my greenhouse. My greeenhouse is 8 by 24 and 8 feet high at the highest point. It got down to about 19 degrees last night. I used just short of 8 pounds of propane as weighed on my accurate balance beam Doctors scale which equates to just under 2 gallons sice propane weighs 4.23 pounds per gallon on average. I pay 1.21 per gallon for bulk propane so it cost about $2.25 cents. Thankfully it doesn't get that cold that often.

    BTW I have a hose and fitting sold to me by my propane dealer that allows me to CAREFULLY fill my own BBQ sized bottles. Contact me if you are interested in doing the same with your bulk tank and I will give the propane dealers name and phone number to you to order and install one for yourself. Sure saves on propane cost. I fill a 5 gallon bottle with 4 gallons for $$5.00. Costs almost $9.00 to fill it at the place in town. They make a large mark up for the service.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Kirbyville,Texas
    Posts
    156
    I have a ventless Vangaurd heater two grate 10,000 Btu I call Vangaurd and ask them about the propane usage They told me I could run the heater on one grate for 20 hours for one gallon of propane and the two grate for 10 hours for a gallon.I heat a 12 wide by 20 long by 7 foot high single layer plastic. My green house is actaully 30 foot long but have a plastic curtain divideing it. I can uasally expect the temp.to raise 8 to 12 degrees per grate.The last two nights I had to use and electrical heater also. I shoot for 55 to 65 degrees.So far I've spent 200 dollars in propane. I'm not happy with this .I'm thinking of putting in a wood heater in my next one along with gas heat .I know it'll be a head ache but propaby going to try it since I have a old wood heater.
    Gene

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Center Point, TX
    Posts
    256

    Gene - do you have a bulk propane tank at your house

    Gene if you have a bulk propane (250 gallon) tank at your house you should be able to add the fill hose to it like I have. Cuts the cost of propane in half.

    A wood heater in a plastic greenhouse is an invitation to have a fire and the creosote given off can kill your plants. Propane is best, due to cost vs electricity IMHO.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Posts
    39
    Hi
    I use the torpeda propane heater to heat my 11 by 40 by 7 ft high greenhouse. I got the automatic heater that is controlled by an thermostat..I just dial the tempature I want to keep it at and the heater kicks on and off automaticly. I use a dryer vent running to the back of the heater for extra oxygen. I also keep a box fan running on the oppsite end of the GH to circulate the air.
    I really like this method and I have used about 70 gallons of propane so far..and had to give 1.65 a gal.
    the heater is a 80,000 btu and throws a lot heat fast so it come on for a minute and then turns off....
    I just wanted to tell my setup for some of you out there..
    steve

  5. #5

    Thumbs up No heat in the greenhouse

    Hi All of you.

    I have no heat in the green house.haven't needed it.

    Firstly let me tell you that my plants have Fire Blight. I still have not cleaned out the Greenhouse yet for that will be a sad sad day.
    Since I will have to throw everything away.

    Even though they have the fire blight, they have managed to stay living, and blooming. The fire blight causes the leaves to turn red and spotted, then fall off, but with chemical treatments, It will cure the fire blight and the plants would grow new leaves again. But they are still infected and can't get rid of it so still have to throw them all away.

    I'm only telling you all that so you will know that this method does work and it was free! FREE! FREE! FREE!
    Usually fleshy plants are the first ones to freeze, and all winter long, not even my fleshy plants have frozen. So that must tell you that it really works!

    When we made this misting bed we outlined our the bed with concrete cylinders. We used these cylinders to outline our driveway, and had lots left over. So I continued with our yard scheme, and used them around the perimeter of the misting bed. We layed them down length wise on the ground. Then winter came and we built a frame, two 2x4's sliced in half. 5 Large coffee cans, around the outside of the cylinders we dug 4 holes stuck a post in the coffee can and added concrete, then covered with dirt. now the posts for my make shift green house were in place. Then we got Lattice for the roof top, nailed it to the frame, made support bars on each side of one 2x4 sliced into 4's. Now we got the entire frame, on the outside of the cylinders. Then we added an empty coffee can on the very top of the roof (this is for water run off)then we added the Visqueen plastic to the green house taping it up on all the corners, (when i wanted to get in the house to treat my plants I just untaped one corner and then retaped. ) The plastic is sitting on top of the coffee can, so there is an elevated roof, and now water will sit and collapse the roof in.

    Then to hold the bottom of the plastic down around the outside of the bed we added more concrete cylinders right ontop of the plastic.

    My plants have not frozen all winter long and we have had several nights of temperatures at 22 degrees. I haven't checked it in the middle of the night to find out what the tempature held steady at, so sorry I can't tell you that.

    We got the cylinders from a Concrete Foundation Company. For all business construction here; they must test the concrete, and to do so they cut out cylinders (circles) out of the foundations, to do the testing. When they are done with them, they set them outside the building for people to take. Most people use them as walls and driveway fillers, and so forth. But who ever knew they would keep my greenhouse heated for free all winter long?

    I'm inclined to think that they help keep it warm because of the shape, they are about 8 inches around and 1 foot long, and nothing but concrete. Each one weighs about 34 lbs.
    They've held the heat very well.

    My azaleas bloomed from December, and are still. My Honeysuckle bloomed in Nov. Jan, and Feb. and the bushes got taller.

    I don't remember the exact demensions I will find out from Hubbie until then I think they are 8ft wide by 12 ft long by 5 1/2 feet tall.

    This coming Winter I plan on making A frame for the Greenhouse out of cinder blocks (concrete) and filling in the holes with bags of concrete; on all four corners of the frame, and am still going to use the lattice roof top. Hopefully this will absorb even more heat from the day and keep them growing.

    Just an idea I thought I'd share with all of you. And Luck that I had with the plants continuing to "Grow" when they should have been dormant, or frozen.

    It was actually a Blessing to discover this, what a shame I can't keep any of the plants!

    What do you think?
    Kathy in Ga.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Kirbyville,Texas
    Posts
    156
    I do have a 150 propane tank I don't use the 5 gallons tanks although they would be nice in case I do run out of propane.

    As far as putting the wood stove in the green house I was actaully going to build a small 6 foot by 6 foot shedout of tin have the fire box door outside this to load it up ,Keep smoke outside the green house when you open the door to load up .Anyway I was going to slant the roof and build a duct about 2 foot square out of tin and put just box fan on a thermost I will also need to design a return duct also at the bottom. I told my wife this she said when its cold and raining you can do it good point I said.
    Hey If I could just save 100 bucks I would be happy I could load it up at night and when the stove cools down than here comes the gas heater kicking in until I get back out there

    We've got some really good results from this question Smart people I say The light bulbs ,cement blocks and the super duper tornado thrower 80000 btu That would be nice
    Gene

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