Propane + Greenhouse = Year Round Enjoyment

August 27, 2020 ____ Agricultural, Propane Answers

Avid and pastime gardeners alike understand the challenges of garden plants surviving the often cold, harsh and long northeast winters.  No matter what level of expertise, if you enjoy nurturing plants or cultivating your own beautiful flowers, tasty fruits, fresh vegetables and aromatic herbs, then you’ll want to read on. Here we’ll discuss why and how propane can help you achieve in this rewarding hobby or endeavor year round; yes, even in the northeast!

So many people have taken to gardening these days, and there’s almost nothing more gratifying than fresh, homegrown vegetables in winter. Whether a novice or seasoned gardener, propane can provide a stable, warm environment to your backyard greenhouse so you can successfully grow plants year round or get a jump start on the growing season.  Anyone wanting to start a “garden under glass” can find a greenhouse kit type, style and cost to fit their needs, along with the appropriate propane heater to match.

Propane heaters provide unmatched reliability in powering greenhouses. All greenhouses, irrespective of type and size, require consistent conditions inside without the threat of interruption, and all this depends on a reliable energy source.  Enter Propane!  No other energy source can deliver consistent results quite like propane to maintain the specific conditions needed for growing flowers and plants.  In fact, commercial greenhouses typically use propane since the heater provides the facility with multiple purposes, including release of C02 which is a necessary plant nutrient. Also, propane is generally the most accessible fuel source to obtain in most areas.

Because propane is such a versatile fuel source, it can provide heat in many ways so that a greenhouse of any type can benefit and thrive.  Propane can power forced-air furnaces, heating the air and keeping structure temperatures at optimal levels. Propane can also power bottom-heat boilers to warm water needed for growing flowers and plants requiring a warmer soil temperature for their specific hardiness zones. Propane can also be used for dehumidification, pulling unwanted moisture out of the air, reducing plant disease and increasing overall plant health.

Equally important as maintaining consistent temperatures, propane is most reliable in ensuring your greenhouse’s energy source won’t be interrupted.  With a propane generator, your greenhouse can operate anywhere and anytime without local power grid restrictions.  In regions where strong seasonal storms and blackouts are common, standby generators are a greenhouse’s best friend, not just for heat, but cooling as well. They are capable of powering cooling systems for your greenhouse operation, providing even more precision in growing temperatures.  Take full advantage of a standby generator by using it for your home’s backup power and never be caught off guard again.

Propane’s value to gardening doesn’t stop there.  Propane-powered gardening tools like weeders, lawn and garden torches, lawn mowers and leaf blowers keep gardens beautifully manicured while being gentle to our planet and our health.  People often overlook the health risks of fumes emanating from their gasoline mowers, but that doesn’t make them any less toxic.  Replacing gasoline models with propane ones means less mess, fumes, and reduced fuel spillage.

Efficiently Heat Your Greenhouse with Propane

Greenhouses prevent seedlings and cold-sensitive plants from being damaged or destroyed when temperatures drop.  Propane heaters are reliable and effective for keeping your greenhouse warm, and are available in portable and installed heater models.  Taking the following steps will help reduce heat loss in your greenhouse and are recommended before turning your heaters on.

  1. Check your insulation by weather stripping. Also, caulk joints around windows, doors and other openings in your greenhouse.
  2. Heat can escape through worn gaskets so inspect and replace them as necessary.
  3. An automatic vent control that opens and closes vents based on the temperature in your greenhouse can manage heat better than manual vents, and allows for appropriate ventilation where excess carbon dioxide can escape, and oxygen can enter.

Portable & Installed Heater Options

Portable Heaters.  As the name implies, portable space heaters can be moved around and be taken pretty much anywhere. They are relatively lightweight and are especially handy for people who move a lot or aren’t committed to a particular residence.

  1. Portable heaters should be placed on a clear space with level ground in the greenhouse that the heater and propane tank have room, and where they won’t be disturbed or crowded.
  2. After connecting the tank to the heater, open the valve on the tank to release enough gas to light the heater’s pilot light.
  3. Lastly, adjust the heater settings as needed to produce the amount of heat you want. Simply turn off the heater then close the valve on the propane tank when you know longer need the heater.

Installed Heaters. These are permanent heaters installed near your greenhouse.  A reputable propane supplier can assist you with pricing, placement options and the best tank to meet your needs.  If possible, the heater should be mounted low on the interior greenhouse wall for optimal use of heat, where the heating occurs at ground level and rises up to prevent cold spots.  A service team from the propane company will install the tank and required piping to ensure the heater doesn’t leak, then fill your tank with propane.  Lastly, they will test the system, performing a leak check, to ensure the heater functions properly.

For more about the importance of leak checks, click here.

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