Heat a Hoop Greenhouse
Greenhouses have grown very popular over the years. Aside from being popular, a greenhouse is considered a valuable asset of one\’s garden. It allows a plant lover to grow plants that cannot be grown out in the full sky view. Not only that, a greenhouse ultimately protects the plants from the bad weather.
When you have a greenhouse, the most important thing to consider is how to control the temperature inside the greenhouse. Greenhouse plants will prosper according to a certain range of temperature. Venting the heat away from a greenhouse is easy but creating heat inside the greenhouse is quite a task. For commercial greenhouses, they normally use expensive heaters or radiators, and as for a small hoop-style greenhouse the heating can be created by using simple materials such as compost, bubble wrap insulation or water in rain barrels.
What you need:
- Garden hose
- Meat thermometer
- ¾-inch plywood
- Black rain barrels
- Bubble wrap
- Floating row covers
- Mason jars
- Garden cloches
- Firstly, you need to dig a series of trenches with a dimension of 3-feet long by 3-feet wide through the hoop greenhouse.
- Next, to fill the trenches with one part of it with manure while the other two parts with sawdust in order to create compost. Then, you have to water the compost mixture using a garden hose and ensure that the compost is as wet as possible like a wrung-out sponge.
- Every few days, you must check the compost using a meat thermometer. Whenever the temperature drops below 120 degrees, you need to turn the compost inside out with a shovel. Then, you need to cover the trenches with a sheet of ¾-inch plywood to create walking paths over them.
- The greenhouse exterior needs to be covered with polyethylene bubble wrap thus providing a light and removable insulation. During the daylight, leave the bubble wrap on for creating additional heat inside the hoop. As for tender plants, you can also use a bubble wrap for creating much smaller heating tents inside the greenhouse. During night time, you have to cover the plants using floating row covers so that it will be protected against the changes in temperature.
- Upturned mason jars or bell-shaped glass jars could also be used to cover plants thus creating a mini greenhouse within your hoop house.
- In order to increase Thermal Mass, you have to purchase an opaque black rain barrels or even a reconditioned steel drums either from a garden center or your local hardware stores.
- Next, fill in water into the barrels before placing the rain barrels at central points around your hoop greenhouse to enable them to absorb maximum amount of sunlight. You can also use them as legs for potting benches or seedling tables. By doing this, the rain barrels will definitely absorb solar energy during the day and radiate it back during night time.