How Can I Make Better USe of My Greehouse ??

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Helena, May 6, 2005.

  1. Helena

    Helena Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    north central Pennsylvania
    Have a greenhouse approx. 14' long and 8 feet wide. Plastic dome type you install yourself. Put it up about 4 years ago.. Works fine. But...here in the mountains of north central PA I can't start my seeds in it due to the weather and the house is filling up fast with seedling trays. I have thought of putting a heater in it...but did one time and the wick went bad and spent Mothers' day cleaning black shoot off the whole thing. A real mess. So...it isn't really air tight as the barn cats "winter' in it and are able to come and go as they please under the bottom spots on the ground. Temp this morning at 7 AM was 40..we have had some unusal warm weather. yesterday aroung 65 but it won't stay this warm this time of year. I could run an electric cord and put heat lamps hanging all over the greenhouse and then sit and watch the electric meter spin...but would be willing to do that for those few short weeks. At this point I use the greenhouse to put the seedlings in about 3 weeks before going into the garden. Anyone have any ideas ???
     
  2. MaineFarmMom

    MaineFarmMom Columnist, Feature Writer

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    Maine
    I heat my 12 x 24 greenhouse with propane. I keep the heat at 40° or above at night. During the day I turn the heat off unless it's cold and rainy. I'd like it to be at least 60° during the day. I use it from March through December. This winter I'll keep cool weather crops growing in cold frames inside the greenhouse as long as I can.
     

  3. Chris in PA

    Chris in PA Well-Known Member

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    I also have an unheated greenhouse. I am in Southern Pa. There is a good book out called "Four Season Garden" by Elliott. He has some great ideas. He suggests cold frames inside the greenhouse, and other great ideas. We are working on making ours more tights. We are going to try to make the north side solid material and perhaps the lower part of the walls. We shall see how it works. We won't start until closer to fall. You can also try a heating mat under anything you want to start. It is the soil that needs to be warm, not the air for germination. If we get a cold snap I cover everthing with a light weight covering. It holds the heat of the heat mat near the plants.
     
  4. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Location:
    Missouri
    Once things are up they will tolerate colder temps,well, most stuff except peppers which really pout if chilled. We use a milkhouse electric heater with thermostat and it keeps our greenhouse about 45-50 at nite. We also have a fan hanging from roof to circulate heat since warm air rises. Believe me, we've had a horribly strange spring with record low temps and frost way past our usual date but no lost plants inside....outside a different story!! On really cold nites we throw Remay over the tenderest plants just in case. We just plan on a higher electric bill in March/April :) DEE