To heat, or not to heat? That is the question

So, here I am debating whether to heat the greenhouse through the winter, or if the cost of heating it would seriously throw the price of my veg even higher than that of my eggs. (And they are on par with the ones from the Golden Goose at the moment).

The plastic greenhouse that used to be on the patio, but used to blow over about once a week is now covered in bubble wrap, and inside the big greenhouse.  The orchid collection is currently camping out in there, but will they survive the winter, or will they need additional heating? It’s all a big mystery.

Paraffin heaters are cheap, but apparently they create moisture, so all your plants potentially go mouldy. Not ideal – I have enough of a challenge getting the stuff to grow as it is, without putting some other potential plant killer into the mix.

I’ve Googled to try to find out what the pros and cons of heating the greenhouse would be, but can only seem to find answers from the depths of the USA, where they’ve had 10 feet of snow. We don’t tend to get that much.

So, for a greenhouse in the Midlands, UK, is it worth the bother or expense of heating it, or should the greenhouse-within-a-greenhouse arrangement be fine?

Answers on a postcard please…


6 thoughts on “To heat, or not to heat? That is the question

  1. Dick Strawbridge – he of “Its Hard Being Green” fame – created a neat system using a heat sink in the floor of the greenhouse, powered by a tiny photo voltaic panel, a car battery, and the fan from an old computer. I keep meaning to do it in my greenhouses, but I’m no techie, so haven’t got round to it yet!

      • I’ve just realised that I didn’t answer your question “ist it worth it”!

        I guess it depends on what you want from your greenhouse. If its just to protect tender plants, probably not – unless they’re very expensive/rare.
        Even with heating you probably won’t get many crops between November and February because plants, like chickens, need a certain amount of daylight to be productive (no idea how many hours), unless you get into daylight bulbs and timers/light sensors. However, from mid-Feb onwards you can extend your growing season with a bit of heat – and you can get your seedlings off to an early start. Dick Strawbridge’s thing was pretty simple – and sunshine is free!

      • Thanks for that. I think I’m going to see how the bubble wrapped small greenhouse idea works. Have looked at my seed stock and apparently there are a few things I can start off in January, so that may be a project for this weekend. I think that the more you learn, the more you want to find out – if that makes any sense.

  2. Pingback: To heat… that is the answer | chooksandroots

  3. Pingback: Insulating the greenhouse | chooksandroots

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