Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Heating the greenhouse

The weather forecast says we’ll be a might bit chilly for the next few days. We’ll be in the teens tonight and tomorrow night and down to somewhere around 7 degrees by Friday morning. When it gets cold like that for a few days, it’s hard for the tender greens in our unheated greenhouse to survive. A couple of winters ago, I lost some beautiful romaine when the cold settled in for a few days. I hope to avoid that this year.

I set up a small wood stove in the greenhouse this afternoon. I’ll keep a fire in it while it’s cold the next few days and nights. greenhouse with chimneyWe bought this little box box stove stove through Harbor Freight several years ago and installed it in our fireplace in our home in Illinois. That winter fuel prices went up drastically, and we cut back on heating expenditures by burning wood.

Some of the other uses this little stove has seen include providing some heat in the garage one winter and generating smoke for a homemade smoker last November. Other than that, it’s not been used for anything.

For the greenhouse installation, I used a ten foot length of “stovepipe” I created from a piece of aluminum siding. Tstove in greenhousehis creation was previously used with the smoker, providing an opportunity for it to cool before entering the smoke chamber (I was cold-smoking some cured venison roasts). To this makeshift piece, I attached a few odds and ends chimney pieces that I ran through a piece of roofing metal affixed over the window opening in one end of the greenhouse. In the photo, the thermometer hangs from the ceiling, and there is some smoke in the air, mainly from the paint burning off the two foot section of new chimney pipe I used.

Malchiah and I lit a fire in it this afternoon, and I’ve added wood a couple of times this evening. How well it does tonight will determine whether or not I’ll decide to cover the plants Thursday night. Earlier, it was keeping it 20 to 25 degrees above the outside temperature. That’s not too bad considering there’s only a thin layer of plastic between the inside and the outside. I also set up a box fan in the greenhouse to help circulate the air. 

If the addition of a little heat keeps the plants happy, I’ll be happy, too. It won’t cost me much of anything, and it was easy to install.


Jordan Flynn

Thats a great low cost set up. How did it do over night?

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