Homemade Greenhouse Heaters

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You may provide heat to your greenhouse and protect your plants in extremely cold weather using a homemade heating system. There is no need to purchase expensive greenhouse heaters. Use heaters you have on hand in your home---portable utility heaters work best. Calculate the heat needs for your greenhouse first, using an online greenhouse heat calculator, then set up the appropriate number of heaters.
Heated greenhouses offer a way to grow tropical or Mediterranean plants outside their natural, temperate habitat and to protect them from harsh winters. Use a few household fans to help circulate the heat around your plants and keep them happy.

Things You'll Need

  • Greenhouse heater calculator
  • Portable utility heaters
  • Thermometer
  • Power outlet or batteries
  • Portable fans
  • Measure your greenhouse and enter that information into an online greenhouse heater calculator in order to determine the correct size and number of heaters to use.

  • Locate a power outlet and use a power extension cord, if necessary, to plug in your heaters. You may also use battery-powered heaters. Space the heaters evenly apart in your greenhouse and keep them at least two feet away from any objects or the sides of the greenhouse.

  • Set up fans---one fan per heater---throughout the greenhouse to circulate the warm air over and around your plants.

  • Place a thermometer in an area away from the heaters and out of direct sunlight so that you may monitor the temperature of the greenhouse.

Tips & Warnings

  • Research your plants' needs to determine the appropriate temperature range.

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References

  • "California Master Gardener Handbook"; Dennis R. Pittenger; 2002
  • Photo Credit onion greenhouse image by Alex Motrenko from Fotolia.com
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