Planning Your Winter Greenhouse Setup

The advantages of having a winter greenhouse are obvious when it’s cold outside.  A winter greenhouse extends the growing season for farmers and gardeners alike, creating the opportunity for a larger overall harvest.

Greenhouse in winter

Greenhouse in winter

How it works is fairly simple: The sun warms the air, plants and soil during the day, and then the greenhouse traps some of that heat and protects its interior from dropping night temperatures. The greenhouse must be sealed, however, for that work. Only ventilation fans and intakes can be sources for fresh air. With supplemental lighting and some heat, a “‘controlled” environment is now achievable.

A controlled environment is one in which outside factors like temperature extremes, dry conditions or long periods of darkness are not allowed to adversely affect crops growing within it — all these factors are set and controlled by the cultivator. But the grower must create and maintain an environment that nurtures plants completely—just because the air temperature feels right doesn’t mean the soil or water temperature is actually ideal for the plants.

Optimal Lighting and Heating Options for Winter Greenhouses

Adding lights and above-air heat can actually result in a decrease in production of up to 40%. When supplemental lighting and root zone heating are added to the mix, however, these problems disappear. Ambient air temperature should not be your main focus. Whether soil or soil-less gardening is your thing, root zone temperature plays a huge factor in determining the end result. Find a way to warm up the water or get a radiant flooring system if you want to increase crop production in your greenhouse in the winter months.

Written by: Eric Brandstad

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  1. Hosting

    August 23, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Marijuana that is grown in a greenhouse is particularly well-known for being more potent, so as long as you grow your marijuana from seed with strong genetics, you will find yourself with a very high-quality bud at the end of the growing season. This is precisely why more and more people are switching to greenhouse growing setups instead of indoor grow rooms or outdoor setups.

  2. Eli

    April 5, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    I grow in a greenhouse that is uncovered during summer. I grow 10.5 months of the year in lower great lakes. Greenhouse is built on a hugelkultur bed. The wood was charged first like biochar or compost. The wood compost gives off heat co2 acts like sponge to water plants. Also have geothermal to heat underground from heat at top of greenhouse. My north is insulated and acts as thermal mass and shaded in summer. Have a rocket mass heater in greenhouse. The greenhouse is bermed to keep warmer to and stop heat loss. Also have skunk cabbage planted. It makes its own heat. For February auto flower grow. I grow photo period plants rest of year. Shorter flowering time plants for last of harvest in beginning Dec.

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