We are happy to have a new tiny green house for starting plants in, just outside the house. Though we have two larger hoop houses, they are both a good distance from the house and we’ve never felt justified in heating them. We’ve always started our earliest plants inside the house under lights, until the weather gets warm enough to put the least temperature sensitive starts (like onions, lettuce, spinach) out into the hoop house. We really feel like natural sunlight produces much better, stockier plants than those under lights, so we are happy to be able to get them out in the sun early now.
We retrofitted a greenhouse frame that originally had a pre-fab thicker cover. We framed out the ends, making one solid end wall, and covering the rest with plastic.We originally planned to put in a wood stove, with the pipe coming out through the solid end wall. My parents offered us a quartz electric heater for free, so we decided to give that a try instead. We’ve also added some barrels filled with water to store and release solar heat overnight. They seem to help keep the heat more even. The little electric heater is just used at night to keep temps above freezing. We’ll see how our electric bill is affected, and maybe switch it out for a wood stove next year if necessary.We’ve even have nifty ski pole window props!