How to Heat your Greenhouse Remotely

It all started with a COVID-19 lockdown in March. We wanted to get a head start on our growing season. Then late in the summer months, we decided we’d try to extend our growing season. We’re now into December and still growing kale, beets, peppers, parsley, arugula, leaf lettuce, and chives. Heck, the garlic we sowed for next year has already started to shoot! We thought you might be interested in learning how to heat your greenhouse remotely.

How to Heat your Greenhouse Remotely

Having only recently installed our greenhouse we are finding ourselves learning how best to use it while keeping costs down. If you’re taking on late season gardening in your climate, perhaps you’re also interested to learn how to heat your greenhouse and control the heat remotely.

There are many options for heating your greenhouse. We settled on using a small 1000W heater with a built-in fan. The heater isn’t a very complicated unit, just one of those tiny boxes with a heating coil, fan, and control knobs.

It has a simple dial for the heat level (low, medium and high) and a simple dial for the fan speed. We recommend the following heater for your greenhouse: Pro Breeze 1500W Mini Ceramic Heater

Once we settled on the heat source, we needed a way to a) remotely control the heat source and b) set a regular schedule.

Enter the Geeni Outdoor Duo Wi-Fi- Smart Plug

Purchased from Amazon.ca, our smart wi-fi plug is built by Geeni. It has great weather resistant properties, which is a must in our greenhouse. Our greenhouse routinely registers over 80% humidity, so we needed a controller that would withstand the humid environment.

The installation of the Geeni Smart Plug is pretty straightforward: Simply plug it into a power source and install the application for your mobile phone begin the pairing process. It all took less than 5 minutes for me.

The mobile app is easy to use. You can manually turn off the entire unit or any one of the two plugs on the unit. Also, you can set a schedule for each plug on the unit, allowing you to set a simple on/off schedule for your greenhouse. It also interfaces with smart home platforms like the Google Assistant which we use.

Buy the Geeni Outdoor Duo Wi-Fi Smart Plug on Amazon.ca

We are currently trying out a simple 1h on, 2h off schedule with the hopes that we can keep the internal temperature of the greenhouse between 5C and 10C when our outdoor temperatures are at 0C.

Our first tests prove that on a partially cloudy day (0C to 5C) we can keep the temperatures around 8C with this 1h/2h schedule. On very sunny cold days we can get the temperature well above 10C. We peaked at 16C today shortly after 1h of the heater being on and the sun on our greenhouse.

So what does this all mean?

We’re not totally sure at this point. It means that for the month of November and December we’ll be able to continue to grow hardy vegetables and fresh herbs. We do know that our ability to do this will run out. I cannot imagine we’ll have much success into January, and certainly not in February.

So if you have a greenhouse in your backyard and are interested in heating it late in your growing season, the addition of a heater (buy on Amazon.ca) and a Wi-Fi enabled Smart Plug will certainly help.

If you’re trying your hand at a similar project be sure to let us know how things are going in the comments section below.

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