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7 messages
01/09/2013 at 09:27

Well September is here and thoughts are turning to heating the greenhouse.  First year we have owned a greenhouse (6x8) and we are unsure how to heat it for overwintering young and tender plants.  We do not have electricity going to it because it is too far away from the house.  I initially thought about paraffin but having a quick look at various websites it seems that they are not very popular for greenhouses because of sooting and expense of paraffin.  I guess the only other option is propane but really don't know.  I am guessing that bubble wrap alone would not be sufficient and how easy (or not) is it to use?  Also worried about ventilation which has been a bit of a problem over the summer.  We only have one automatic vent at the moment but will definitely be getting one for the other window before next summer.  Sorry if this is a silly question but really can't make a decision.  Thanks

01/09/2013 at 09:45

My greenhouse is tiny (6x4) half the size of yours vut I kept it beautifully heated all winter (sometimes down to minus 10 outside) with a paraffin heater designed for cold frames. I bought a plastic container of paraffin and, over the course of the winter, used onky half of it. Total cost £7.

I kept the wick trimmed as instructed (like the wise virgins did) and there was no soot at all. Some condensation of course, but that is only water, and I alleviated that problem by rigging up strings across the panes on the walls and pegging white fleece to them to act as a bit of insulation.

01/09/2013 at 10:41

Thanks waterbutts, a very reassuring reply.  The things I've read previously scared me completely off paraffin heaters.  Running costs hardly break the bank do they, especially if you compare it with electricity I should imagine.  I like the idea with the fleece as well. Much appreciated.

01/09/2013 at 12:29

I started off with paraffin heaters, a long time ago, then progressed to propane gas, then to electric. Paraffin and propane burn to produce a lot of water and condensation which promotes fungal diseases.  If you give it adequate ventilation, heat is going out through the vents. I can guarantee that on the night of the bad frost, it will run out at 3 am and everything freezes. When I had my last greenhouse, I had electricity piped up to it. An electric fan heater has none of the above problems, just the problem of the bill.

I should also add, that you need a qualified electrician, plug points suitable for outside use, and circuit breakers fitted as well. I have a master switch in the garage to isolate the greenhouse and pond pump if necessary.

01/09/2013 at 18:16

Thanks fidgetbones, given the distance of our greenhouse from the house, we would be entering small mortgage territory! I dare not think how much it would cost especially as you say the installation must be carried out by a qualified electrician.  Although electricity is probably the best option I just don't think it would be do-able unfortunately.

01/09/2013 at 18:59

You will think we're crackers because of the way we heated our greenhouse last year - we left rocks on top of the woodburner until they got very very hot, and then carried them to the greenhouse in towels ... we did this because the very cold snap caught us out completely unprepared, and we had just moved so all our plants were in pots ready to go into the new garden in spring.

It worked in as much as it kept the frost off and only one thing really suffered (Bougainvillea, and that's attempting a very feeble comeback) but I have bought a paraffin heater for this year .....

01/09/2013 at 19:34

 have you seen the price of paraffin these day's it cost's a fortune.I have one of those long tube heaters,and it does the job ok.it only uses 300w of power.

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