Growing profitable crops during the winter
1. Use a heater
This tip just had to go first, of course. Using an electric heater is a surefire way to warm up a greenhouse during the winter. Using one all throughout the cold season can significantly rack up the utility bills, so it’s crucial that you make the most out of your greenhouse to secure a good ROI.
Planting greenhouse crops that can thrive in the winter cold is a great way to minimize heater use and maximize your cold-season profits.
2. Check your insulation
Checking the integrity of the insulation that’s already in place will help boost whatever method you choose to warm up a greenhouse. Make sure that any tears and holes are patched up ASAP. You might also want to install insulation on the metal posts holding up your greenhouse to minimize heat loss by convection.
3. Use heat or germination mats
Heat mats can keep the soil temperature from reaching dangerously-low levels. They do run on electricity, but they’re a good substitute for full-blown heaters that consume more energy.
4. Keep water barrels as heat sinks
For many greenhouse farmers, daylight during the winter provides sufficiently-warm conditions for cool-loving plants to thrive. But at the end of the day, these warm conditions disappear along with the sun, leaving behind a freezing environment that’s not at all friendly to plant life. This, unfortunately, causes many greenhouses to be left completely unused during wintertime.
This can be remedied by making use of heat sinks. Basically, heat sinks absorb energy from the sun during daytime, and then slowly release this as heat throughout the night. It won’t suddenly make your cold greenhouse warm and toasty, but it might just regulate the temperature enough to keep your crops from freezing completely.
Heat sinks can be as simple as plastic jugs filled with water. But for best results, try to use bigger containers like plastic or steel barrels. Make sure they’re exposed to sunlight during the day. Lastly, paint these containers black to maximize heat absorption. Mixing black food color into the water works, too.
5. Light it up
No, we don’t mean light a fire (but if you can somehow find a way to safely warm up your greenhouse with flame, that works, too).
We’re talking about actual lighting. From simple Christmas lights to legitimate grow lights, adding these into your greenhouse will help increase the temperature and keep the deadly throes of winter at bay. Plus, your greenhouse will look absolutely lovely at night as these lighting fixtures illuminate the dull winter landscape.
Do you have other tips on how to warm up a greenhouse in the winter? Share your best advice in the comments below!