Re: [gardeners] gardeners Digest V1 #442

George Shirley (
Mon, 08 Feb 1999 18:58:18 -0600 wrote:

> <<Home Depot the other day and saw some really neat polycarbonate sheets, 46
> inches wide by 12 feet long, fellow there said they were available in several
> widths and lengths.>>
> George,
> That's what we used when the earth quake a few years back took out much of the
> glass in our green house, then a nasty storm finished it off.  We used
> stainless caps to make it water tight.
> Now we need to figure out a good energy effiecient heating method.  Was it you
> that was investigating heating via steer manure?  Suggested that to my
> husband, NOPE not a possiblity!

Wasn't me, no steers on the property. <G>

> When we bought the house 22 years back the
> former owner used gas to heat his orchids in there.  He did expieriments for
> Rod McClellan.  Anyway capped the line as it was leaking.  Anyone try gas
> heating to maintain the heat.

Have a friend with a small greenhouse that is heated by a thermostatically
controlled gas heater. Many of the commercial greenhouses I've been in are either
heated with gas or a gas-fired boiler that puts steam through piping in the
greenhouse. The second method is pretty expensive unless you use a gas-fired hot
water heater with quick recovery.

> I think it shouldn't go below 55F, but not
> sure.  We've had many a night below 30F this year and have lost at least a
> dozen citrus and my prized avocado looks very sad.  Guess Spring will tell the
> story.
> Mary-Anne

I think the temperature to be maintained in the greenhouse is going to be
dependent upon what's growing and you want it maintained. A friend used to have
several orchid greenhouse over in east Texas and he maintained them about 75F. I
try to keep my small greenhouse above 35F when it gets cold but I'm just trying to
keep from losing plants, not to get them to grow very much. Will have to put the
heat back on in there on Friday night as they are forecasting low-thirties
Saturday morning and then back up into the seventies again on Sunday. It hit 82F
here today and I was mortally tempted to turn on the air conditioning but sweated
it out.