The polar vortex this year left many Americans shivering in temperatures as low as minus 28 degrees. It was so cold that even the postal service in states like Minnesota suspended their services. If we humans are struggling to actively keep ourselves warm during winter, what about our crops?
Whether you’re protecting your plants with a simple greenhouse or luxury greenhouse, you have to take extra steps to keep them toasty. Even winter crops need warmth to grow. Here’s how you can keep your plants and crops comfortable.
Install a Greenhouse Heater
Greenhouse heaters are a surefire way to keep your crops warm during the winter. However, you have to consider the energy source and positioning. Heaters come in gas, oil, electric, or coal variants. Your choice depends on which resource is abundant in your area.
If you live somewhere in Wyoming or West Virginia, opt for coal. Live in Texas or California? Oil or gas is your best bet. If you’re afraid of exhaust from gas, coal, and oil heaters, get an electric one.
Position your thermostat at plant-level so it can get accurate readings. Like the one you have at home, keep your greenhouse thermostat away from direct sunlight to prevent its sensor from going haywire.
Reinforce Your Windows
Your greenhouse windows let sunlight in, while protecting your crops from the elements. But is it enough? Check the glass for cracks and seal them with putty immediately. If you want to double down on heating, literally do so by double glazing them.
Double glazing means having two layers of glass in one window. This technique reduces heat loss in your greenhouse. If you’re on a budget, replace your panes with multi-wall polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is a plastic material that comes in two, three, and five-wall variants. Apart from being affordable, they’re durable, and they diffuse sunlight evenly. No more worrying about hotspots.
Composting has been practiced for over 2,000 years now. You probably now that it’s a way to introduce nutrients to your plants. But its process also creates heat that insulates your crops. You can buy compost from your local gardening store and spread it on top of your soil.
You can also create your own compost pile in your backyard. Although you can add to a compost pile in the winter – freezing temperatures prevent it from breaking down into ‘soil’, so plan way ahead. Compost can be made from a mix of dead leaves, flowers, sawdust, newspapers, banana peels, and more. Don’t add any dairy or meat because they will rot and attract pests.
You also need a bottomless bin to store them in while keeping them on the grass. Pile them in the bin and add water for moisture. It will take around four to five weeks before the compost breaks down into a soil-like consistency that you can then incorporate into your crops. Feel free to throw in more scraps into the pile so you will have a steady supply.
Keeping your greenhouse warm can be physically and financially tough. You’ll spend a fair amount of cash on acquiring new equipment like a heater and double glazing. You’ll also be in the harsh cold while maintaining your greenhouse and compost. However, all those efforts will be worth it once you get a bountiful harvest.
Get Your Dream Greenhouse
The best way to protect your garden is by keeping them in a greenhouse. Conservatory Craftsmen offers beautiful glass rooms for your plants with their luxury greenhouses. We build using the latest technology and the finest materials.
Get your dream greenhouse with us today.