Heating the Greenhouse

rocket stove


As the temperature starts to drop, we find the need to bring a little extra warmth to our greenhouse. But instead of purchasing an expensive electrical heating system, we decided to employ several alternative heating methods.

The first of which being one that, coincidentally, was already there. Once the season started coming to a close and our plants were nearly spent, we started to make an inside compost bin. When plants start to break down and decompose, they put off a natural heat. So, it only made sense to use what we already had as a supplemental heating source. Secondly, we recently acquired two large rain barrels that we painted black. During the day, the sun and heat from the greenhouse heat up the water in the barrels, which retain and emanate the heat throughout the night.

We are also going to try our hands at making some simple “Rocket Stoves” out of some tin cans that were given to us.  These should hold some fires for a brief time.  Hopefully enough to retain some heat within the greenhouse before they go out and help add additional warmth.  Last year, there was once where we did drop below zero on our temperatures! The third step is simple- we roll up the sides of the greenhouse and close it up several hours before dark. That way it can heat up a little before the outside temperatures drop below freezing.


So far so good, and with a little luck, we’ll avoid the same snafu’s we had last year and have a full, productive growing season this winter.