Information About Greenhouses

Unheated Greenhouse Growing: How To Use An Unheated Greenhouse

By Amy Grant

In an unheated greenhouse, growing anything during the cold months of winter may seem impossible. Alas, it is not! Knowing how to use an unheated greenhouse and what plants are better suited is the key to success. Learn about using an unheated greenhouse here.

Plants For A Winter Greenhouse – What To Grow In Winter Greenhouse

By Amy Grant

Greenhouses are great for gardening enthusiasts, especially when growing plants through winter. Winter greenhouse gardening is no different than summer gardening with exception to heating. For some ideas on what to plant in the winter greenhouse, click this article.

What Is A Hot Bed – Tips For Gardening In A Hot Box

By Mary Ellen Ellis

Gardening in a hot box has many benefits, allowing you to extend your growing season and giving a warm place to start seeds and root cuttings in a smaller, simpler, more cost-effective space than a greenhouse. Learn more about hot bed growing in this article.

Greenhouse Mouse Control: How To Keep Rodents Out Of The Greenhouse

By Amy Grant

Rodents (in particularly mice) in the greenhouse can become a huge nuisance for gardeners. Since it is a warm, safe place from predators with a water source and an endless buffet for a hungry rodent, these pests can create mayhem for the gardener. Click here to learn more.

Greenhouse Flooring Materials: How To Make A Greenhouse Floor

By Amy Grant

If you are thinking about a greenhouse, you may want to consider options for greenhouse flooring. Floors are the foundation of the greenhouse in more ways than one. For some greenhouse flooring ideas, click on the following article.

Greenhouse Relocation: Can You Move A Greenhouse Somewhere Else

By Amy Grant

A fairly common issue greenhouse owners face is that of growing trees. As trees grow larger, they eventually shade the greenhouse. This may lead one to wonder if moving a greenhouse is possible. It certainly is, although is no easy feat. Click here for more info.

Ridding Greenhouse Of Ants: How To Control Ants In A Greenhouse

By Teo Spengler

Ants are an annoying pest to find in food prep areas of your home, such as your kitchen. However, if you are growing certain plants in your greenhouse, you may be attracting them there as well. For more information and tips on ridding the greenhouse of ants, click here.

Greenhouse Tree Care: Growing Fruit Trees In A Greenhouse

By Teo Spengler

Growing fruit trees in a greenhouse is entirely possible and enables you to bring in species that otherwise might not survive your climate. Click this article for information on the best trees to grow in a greenhouse with tips on greenhouse tree care.

Greenhouse Succulent Care: Tips For Growing Greenhouse Succulents

By Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden

Succulents are easy to grow and handle neglect well. Commercial growers want their slice of the action and are growing the plants in greenhouse operations. Hobbyists, too, enjoy growing greenhouse succulent plants. Click here for information on greenhouse succulent care.

Grow Light Terminology: Basic Grow Light Information For Newbies

By Amy Grant

Those new to greenhouse grow lights, grow light terminology can be confusing to say the least. Fear not, click on the following article to learn some common grow light terms and other useful info that will serve as a future greenhouse lighting guide.

Greenhouse Humidity Info – Is Greenhouse Humidity Important

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

The simple effect of an enclosed garden space combined with focused sunlight creates an ideal growing site. However, greenhouse humidity can often be an enemy in such conditions. Humidity in a greenhouse is important but managing it is crucial. Learn more here.

What Is A Plastic Bag Greenhouse: Tips For Covering Plants With Plastic Bags

By Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden

Perhaps, you’ll be away from home for several weeks or maybe you’re sprouting small seeds that need to remain constantly moist. These situations might call for covering plants with plastic bags, but there are some things you need to know – this article will help with that.

Cold Frames For Seedlings: How To Use A Cold Frame In Spring

By Mary Ellen Ellis

While many people use cold frames to extend the growing season or harden off seedlings started indoors, you can also use a cold frame to start germinating and sprouting your spring seeds. Learn how to do this in the following article.

Keeping Plants In A Cold Frame – Using Cold Frames For Overwintering Plants

By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

For gardeners, overwintering in a cold frame allows gardeners to get a jumpstart on the spring gardening season, or to extend the growing season well into fall. Interested in learning more about using cold frames for overwintering plants? Click this article.

Cold Frames And Frost: Learn About Fall Gardening In A Cold Frame

By Teo Spengler

You can extend the growing season several months with cold frames and enjoy fresh veggies long after your outdoor garden crops are gone. Click here for more information on fall gardening in a cold frame, as well as tips on constructing cold frames for fall.

How To Clean A Greenhouse – Tips For Sanitizing A Greenhouse

By Amy Grant

Ideally, keeping a greenhouse clean should be an ongoing task, but as we all know, what we should do isn?t always what happens. So how do you sanitize a greenhouse? The following article contains everything you need to know about how to clean a greenhouse.

Greenhouse Location Guide: Learn Where To Put Your Greenhouse

By Amy Grant

So you want a greenhouse. A simple enough decision, or so it would seem, but in actuality there are many factors to consider, not the least is where to put your greenhouse. Correct greenhouse placement is likely your most important consideration. This article will help.

Greenhouse Seed Starting – When To Plant Greenhouse Seeds

By Darcy Larum, Landscape Designer

Some seeds are finicky and require steady temperatures and a controlled environment to germinate. By starting seeds in a greenhouse, gardeners can provide a stable atmosphere for seeds to germinate and seedlings to grow. Learn more in this article.

What Is A Solar Tunnel – Learn About Gardening With Solar Tunnels

By Amy Grant

If you're interested in extending your gardening season but your garden has outgrown your cold frame, it's time to consider solar tunnel gardening. Click on the following article to to find out about solar tunnel gardens and using high tunnels to garden.

Using Cold Frames In The Garden: Learn How To Use A Cold Frame

By Amy Grant

Greenhouses are fantastic but can be quite pricey. The solution? A cold frame, often called the "poor man's greenhouse." Gardening with cold frames is nothing new; they've been around for generations. They have a number of uses and you can learn more here.

Underground Greenhouse Ideas: What Are Pit Greenhouses

By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

People interested in sustainable living often opt for underground gardens, which when properly built and maintained, can provide vegetables at least three seasons out of the year. Learn more about underground pit greenhouses here.

What Is A Hoop House: Tips On Hoop House Gardening

By Liz Baessler

Hoop house gardening is a fantastic and economical way to extend your growing season by weeks or, if you're really committed, all the way through the winter. Learn about hoop house gardening and how to build a hoop greenhouse here.

Micro Greenhouses: How To Make A Pop Bottle Greenhouse

By Amy Grant

If you?re looking for a super fun, yet educational, project for the little ones, creating a 2-liter bottle greenhouse fits the bill. Heck, making a soda bottle greenhouse is fun for adults too! Read this article to see how to make a pop bottle greenhouse.

Greenhouse Irrigation: Tips For Watering Greenhouse Plants

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Greenhouse watering systems are important parts of creating this ultimate growing climate. Use this article to learn more about irrigation in the greenhouse so you can ensure your plants get what they need.

Greenhouse Growing- Introduction

Plant fanatics can't grow enough. We like nurturing unusual plants and experiencing new flowers and vegetables. Once the results of our horticulture adventures are thriving, we are highly motivated to keep them alive for a long time. There's a garden accessory that can help with all this. Have you thought about adding a greenhouse to your property?

A greenhouse allows you to keep tender and tropical plants happy during winter, save on interior lighting by starting seedlings in natural light, and the added space of greenhouse benches gives you plenty of room to grow a wide variety of flowers and vegetables.

"The best reason to have a greenhouse is personal pleasure," said Jay Stanton, Past-President of the Central Pennsylvania Hobby Greenhouse Association and life-long greenhouse grower, " I don't have a growing season, it's with me all year long."

Growing under cover is a little different than traditional outdoor gardening. A good first step to successful home greenhouse growing is determining exactly how you want to use the greenhouse said Stanton. Next, there are location and heating decisions to be made.

An good way to start growing in a greenhouse is use it primarily for overwintering plants that are not hardy in your area and to take advantage of the natural light for seed starting in mid-winter. This approach requires minimal extra heat and no extra lighting.

As you set up your greenhouse, you need to create indoor growing conditions that mimic outdoor growing conditions in more temperate climates. This includes providing air circulation and ensuring that your plants get the nutrients they need.

Stanton says to begin by carefully selecting the location for your greenhouse. "Watch the sun and shade through the course of a year," he said. Find or create a level site that doesn't get any shade from trees or buildings. It's helpful to orient your greenhouse east to west with a clear southern exposure so sun can light the house all day and make the most of winter sun. A brick, stone, or concrete floor will absorb heat from the sun during the day and release it during the night. Also, check local ordinances to see if you need a permit of any kind to add a greenhouse.

Another consideration for site selection is access to water and electricity. It's helpful to have the greenhouse close to your home for easy entry during the winter and for ease of running electric and water to your greenhouse. If there is a location that is sheltered from high winds - but not shaded - this is also a benefit.

After you find a good location, decide how to heat your greenhouse. Both propane and electric heaters are available for small greenhouses. Stanton recommends either a ventless propane or an electric heater for most small greenhouses. For ease and low start-up cost, look for a freestanding electric heater. Depending on the model, you may also need a thermostat that will regulate the greenhouse temperature. Propane is beneficial if you live in an area with frequent power outages. A gentle fan is needed to circulate heat and air.

Stanton said tropical plants do perfectly well in a lukewarm greenhouse with lower winter light levels. He keeps the thermostat on his heater set at 50 degrees year round. Among the plants he stores in his greenhouse are cactus, plumeria, elephant ear and hibiscus. During the winter, due to the cool temperatures and softer light, his plants don't need as much water or care. He goes out to the greenhouse to simply enjoy the sun and plants.

For seed starting, natural light levels happily begin to increase about the same time you can begin to start your seeds. Use heat mats underneath germination trays for seeds you might start in late January or early February. Germination requires a little more heat said Stanton. Tomatoes, eggplants and peppers are among those vegetables that may be started in winter in the greenhouse. Annual and perennial flowers can also be started in the greenhouse in mid-winter.

In some northern climates, a greenhouse makes a huge difference in the amount of produce you can grow by stretching your vegetable gardening season. But perhaps the best benefit of all, is the solace nurturing, seeding and transplanting provides the gardener's heart in the gray of winter. With a greenhouse, all seasons are growing seasons.

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Greenhouse Information Tips

Great greenhouse tips and useful information to
keep your greenhouse running efficiently.

All kinds of Greenhouses

Where ever it is (and whoever its owner may be) a greenhouse
is bound to be one of three things:

  • it is a structure wherein certain plants are grown
    for the purpose of securing their flowers or fruit
    in other words,
  • a flower or fruit factory or it is a general laboratory
    attached to the garden, where plants are
  • propagated, nursed to health when sick, and wintered
    if tender, and grown for use in the dwelling or it
    is an indoor garden with all that the term implies
    of a place in which to loiter as well as to potter
    about a place of real charm and beauty as well as
    a suitable home for the plants which grow therein.
  • In this last character it may be more a conservatory
    than a greenhouse, although a conservatory is not,
    strictly speaking, to be regarded in the same way
    as a greenhouse, since it affords a home only for
    plants grown elsewhere and brought into it for show.

Some of the elaborate winter gardens are of this type
as well, being planned to be continually filled from
growing houses built for the purpose. But the garden
under glass is not of necessity carried on in this double
fashion since plants will grow in it even as they grow
out of doors or in the outdoor summer garden if it is
planned to that end. For the fullest enjoyment of a
garden enthusiast there is no doubt that this is the
better choice, since the varied operations of both gardens
may then be carried on supplementally and a variety
of effects be enjoyed-not identical with each other,
by any means, but along parallel lines.

Actually there is a greenhouse for every kind of place
and person. And there is sound reason for every kind
of place and person having one for a greenhouse is,
not in any sense of the word an extravagance, save as
it is made one in the manner of handling. To the large
place it is an essential adjunct of both the ornamental
and practical gardens to the medium sized establishment
it is a valuable addition to these and to the tiny
plot of ground around a suburban home it is practically
a multiplication of opportunity by two at any rate,
if not by four or five. And going one step further it
is a garden where there is no ground at all since the
roof of a city residence will furnish an ideal site.
Similarly, it may require the time of several men, or
only one or it may be its enviable owner’s own particular
hobby, sharing the heat of his house and not dependent,
therefore, upon separate stoking and occupying him
in his off hours. If it is to be cared for in this way,
however, it is well to say at once that it should be
small for, like a garden, a greenhouse may easily be
large enough to get out of hand and never be entered
in again!

The kind of greenhouse, which is decided upon, will
of course govern its location very largely. The purely
working glass, fiberglass or ploycarbonate house should
be placed where its relation to the garden that it serves
makes for the highest degree of efficiency in handling
the plants as they go in or come out and apart from
this consideration there is actually no other, as far
as the building itself is concerned, aside from the
vitalness of its freedom from shade of trees or near
by buildings. It must have unhindered light and sunshine.

With regard to the garden’s appearance and design,
however, the location of a building of such aggressive
character is of tremendous consequence, and demands
the most thoughtful care. For improperly placed it may
irreparably mar the entire garden picture and yet,
given proper thought, can be a most attractive acquisition.

Fitting it to the Place

Much study is now being given to greenhouse design
from an architectural as well as from a practical standpoint,
and structures that are pleasing in appearance have
been developed fit to assume a place in the garden scheme.
So it is no longer necessary to hide even the strictly
utilitarian building. But unless the greenhouse can
be made an acceptable unit of the general scheme and
not obviously an afterthought it is better not to let
it appear at all, but have it obscured by proper planting.

On small suburban grounds it must of course take a
relatively prominent place and may become in effect
an addition to the home. In this connection a transition
from dwelling to greenhouse by means of a glass corridor
will usually solve the problem of their relation to
each other by separating them enough to allow each its
individuality which is far better than any attempt
to weld them into a single unit. As a matter of fact,
they cannot be so welded, and the effort actually to
bring them together may be to the detriment of both.

Sunshine to the fullest degree is of course requisite.
Choose a site, therefore, where this is insured and
permanently so. The angle of sunlight incidence at noon
on the shortest day of the year is 22 degrees therefore
the greenhouse must be kept beyond this angle’s distance
from anything on its south side. Be careful also to
choose a well drained spot and a comparatively high
one, for poor drainage and damp conditions generally
are breeders of mildew and with this handicap in surroundings
it is practically impossible to maintain the proper
atmospheric conditions under the glass.

These conditions being observed the points of the compass
may be disregarded generally, though if fruits on trellises
are to be grown the trellis should run north and south.
This will mean that where it is lengthwise the house
itself must run north and south, but where it is crosswise
the house will run east and west, bringing the trellis
north and south.

Its Shape and the Frame

The type of frame most generally in use today is the
modified curved eave, whether the structure is an even
span or a lean-to. It has very attractive rooflines,
gives a maximum of light to the plants, and allows ample
side ventilation above the benches. As to the form of
the house there is no question about the superiority
of the even span and there is seldom any good reason
for building anything else. The lean-to may of course
be the only thing that will fit in certain restricted
places, but if it can possibly be avoided it should
be. Even when the greenhouse is to be attached to the
garage or wing of some existing building, it may perfectly
well be even span and stand end on instead of being
only half a house with excessive roof height standing
side on. Plants growing in a lean to are bound to ”
draw ” or lean strongly in one direction because
of the uneven distribution of light, and the difficulty
of proper ventilation.

The all aluminum frame house is naturally the most
expensive to build, but as maintenance costs practically
nothing and repairs are nil, its first cost is soon
more than compensated and thereafter it is daily a
gain over the hoop house. Greenhouse glass must be the
pure white variety, and here again, as with the material
of the frame, quality is economy and the “double
thicks” glass, which weighs twenty-two ounces to
the square foot, should be used if possible. Glass that
is still heavier is often used in the modern houses
where the framework calls for large-size sheets. Ground
glass has been used for exotics, but in general it is
better to use the clear glass and depend for shade when
it is desired upon light fabric drawn across the span.
Summer shade for the roof must be provided for, and
there has been nothing better devised than a rolling
slat screen. Commercial houses of course freely practice
White washing or some such brush-applied shading material,
especially, but it is unsightly and does not, moreover,
allow for the entrance of the sun when you wish it to
enter. In practice the wash is put on the outside in
early summer and the weather removes it by late fall.

Keeping Things Warm

The very heart and soul of the greenhouse is its heating
system. It will make no difference how perfect its appointments
and its construction, nor how skillful its attendant,
nor how beautifully it is planned, if its heating system
falls short. It is then a dead thing as dead as a tomb!
In greenhouse heating, as in all others, it is desirable
to provide for greater capacity than the figures show
will be actually needed, since it is always more economical
to run a fire in check than under draft. Then, too,
there may come, once in a decade or so, a season of
untoward severity, during which only the excess heat
that has been figured on will save the night, if not
the day.

Unquestionably it is a wonderful idea, this greenhouse
one of turning summer into winter and temperate regions
into tropical and converting. Sunshine into flowers
or luscious fruits, generally right against the calendar.
Yet it is timely to remember right here and now that
this is not exactly what happens in a greenhouse. As
a matter of fact, gardening under glass is not simply
protected from the weather gardening, wherein the work
is carried on with the same materials as are used out
of doors but rather it is gardening with very special
materials in most cases, as well as under highly artificial
conditions. In the greenhouse three of the four factors
of garden work are controlled, but the fourth is quite
beyond control. Temperature, soil, and moisture are
adjusted as delicately as necessity demands but light
still remains outside the reach of all our cunning and
what is more, light is diminished always, however cleverly
we may build, quite apart from the fact that normally
light diminishes greatly in winter, just when we expect
the greenhouse to be most active! So that while we control
the three and increase these however we will, we diminish
the fourth in spite of everything and create, therefore,
something quite different from any outdoor conditions.

A New World Opens up

Realize, therefore, that you do not need to confine
yourself to the plants of our outdoor gardens that we
may bring in and establish in gardens under glass-but
also a whole world of plants of another character (many
the result of careful and long breeding or selection)
which must be as carefully studied as new worlds always
are, in order that their requirements shall be understood
and met. Moreover, these plants come from widely different
places, and require a great deal more than simply protection
from cold to enable them to grow so far from their native
clime and condition and they are not all of the same
taste and temperament, either-not by any means. Some
like much moisture and heat, others need little of either,
and still others come between and will be satisfied
with no extremes. This can be easily met by a careful
selection, according to the proposed temperature of
your greenhouse or else by having a series of ”
compartments ” run at the different temperatures
to meet these varying needs. Of course your own common
sense tells you not to expect to grow everything that
may be fancied in your greenhouse, simply because it
affords protection to things that are not hardy in your
latitude. You will attempt growing only what you make
definite provision for when you are building.

How to Heat a Greenhouse in Winter

Passive Solar Heating

Greenhouses, hoop houses, and cold frames depend on passive solar heating to keep the temperatures up. The heat radiating from the sun penetrates the plastic or glass and is trapped in between the panels. For this to work, your greenhouse must be strategically placed to capture the maximum amount of solar energy. Most scientists recommend that the greenhouse is oriented towards the south.

  • 4 year clear 6mil green house film
  • Greenhouse film
  • UV protected
  • 6 mil thickness
  • clear to allow light to get through

In addition to that, you must use materials that allow most of the light in such as poly-carbonate products. Next, you must insulate your greenhouse to prevent heat loss. Finally, for your passive solar heating system to work, you must have a way to store the heat absorbed during the day and release it at night. Heat sinks are one of the best tools to serve this purpose.

Heat sinks use water to trap warmth and release it slowly. There are numerous advantages to using water for heat sinks. One of them is that water can hold up to four times more heat than air. It is readily available and a more economical way of heating without electricity or gas. At night, as the temperature plummets, the heat absorbed by the water vessels is lost into the greenhouse. Therefore, the temperature inside the greenhouse is a few degrees warmer than the outside, even during cold months. All this without electricity!

Use Concrete to Heat Without Electricity

Another method of trapping heat without electricity is using concrete or rock. The concrete acts as a thermal mass to absorb heat. It is best placed at the wall opposite to where the sunlight penetrates through the plant house. The release of this heat helps to keep the plants warmer during the cold winter season thus efficiently playing the role of electricity at a much cheaper price.

Heating with Compost

A layer of the coiled rigid black plastic water pipe is placed in between the layers of compost to heat a greenhouse. The cinder blocks (2nd and 3rd photos in sequence) are removed when another layer of compost is piled on, so as to keep the coils in concentric loops and avoid tangling. – Source

Building a bio reactor heater is an easy greenhouse idea. It is cost-effective and uses readily available organic material. The bacteria that break down organic material generate a considerable amount of heat that can be circulated throughout the greenhouse.

Wondering how to produce heat without electricity? Well, the compost heating system relies on heat exchange. Tubes filled with air or water are buried beneath the compost pile. Compost will not only heat your plant house but also contribute to the fertility of your soil, thus offer you the best greenhouse conditions.

The disadvantage with this method is that a large compost pile is needed to generate enough heat for the greenhouse. Therefore, composting is a heating solution that is more effective in farms with large amounts of organic waste.

Another technique to utilize compost is the hotbed technique for small-scale farmers. It involves digging a pit, preferably two feet deep and six feet wide. Then fill the hole with manure, wet it and let it sit for a few days while frequently turning the manure. Once it is hot, cover with soil and plant the seedlings you want to grow in a greenhouse.

Rocket Mass Heaters

A rocket mass heater is a high-performance burner that is encased with a thermal mass such as ceramic, brick, or stone. As the rocket mass heater is being heated, it transfers heat to the thermal mass which retains the heat hours after the fire is extinguished.

The burner uses wood for fuel and is up to eight times more efficient than a conventional stove. Combustion in the burner is complete due to the increased draft in the burning chamber. For this reason, it is environment-friendly since it uses less amount of fuel and produces less smoke. Therefore, it is an effective way of heating without electricity or gas.

Shared Heat

Another creative idea on how to heat a greenhouse during winter is constructing it against a building with which it can exchange heat. An example of this is building a winter greenhouse against a huge chicken coop. The heat produced by the chicken will heat the greenhouse and vice versa. The trick is to ensure temperature exchange during cold seasons and limit the transfer during summer. During warm seasons, you can restrict heat exchange through ventilation


Keeping your greenhouse warm is crucial if you want your plants to survive the winter. Since now you are well versed with the different techniques of heating a greenhouse without electricity, experiment and see what works best for you. Observe your greenhouse and know where you can make adjustments or additions. You can also combine several techniques for more productive results.

Did you benefit from our tips on how to keep a greenhouse warm in winter helpful? Any more tips on how to heat a greenhouse in winter that you can add? Let us know in the comment section below.

Author’s Bio : Tommy is a content writer and gardener. He studied landscape architecture at Cornell University. Apart from writing and garden, he loves sport, travel, and even craft. Find him on LinkedIn .

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