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How to protect your plants and keep your greenhouse warm for the winter

Winter is an unstoppable force gardeners have a love/hate relationship with. On the one hand, we hate watching our garden die off, and we miss watching green things grow. But, on the other hand, winter is an excellent time to take a break and relax in front of a fire … unless you have a greenhouse! Of course, a greenhouse can only protect plants under certain conditions, and after a point, it’s too cold even for a greenhouse to protect plants. So how do you get the most out of your greenhouse and protect your plants from the cold winter elements?

Build a winter-ready greenhouse

If you want a greenhouse to protect your plants from the bitter cold, you should probably invest in a greenhouse that’s designed to do so. Not all greenhouses are created equal. Not everyone needs a greenhouse to protect their plants from negative degree weather, but some do, and for those of you in that frigid climate, we recommend spending extra money on a cold-hardy greenhouse so your plants can stay warm during those harsh winters.

bubble wrap

Insulate your greenhouse for winter

The sun is naturally going to heat your greenhouse, but if you’re looking to guarantee your plants are safe and warm, there are a few ways you can improve how well your greenhouse holds onto heat. These are also good tips for those who live in colder climates. Sometimes a greenhouse isn’t built for harsh winters, and these tips can help bring another line of defense against the cold.

You can use bubble wrap to insulate the walls of your greenhouse. This is a cheap and eco-friendly way to bring in some insulation. Just start saving the bubble wrap you get in packages and use it in the winter along the walls of your greenhouse.

It doesn’t matter how well built your greenhouse is, and it won’t matter how well cared for it is; there are always holes that crop up throughout the season. These holes in the walls are no big deal during the spring and summer, but when winter rolls around, you’ll want to patch them with some weatherproofing tape. You can also use weatherproofing tape to install the bubble wrap.

The last line of defense for your plant is mulching. Applying a thick layer of mulch around the base of your plants will protect their roots from a life-threatening frost. You can use wood chips, leaves, or a mixture of items from around your home or from your local garden center.

Buy a space heater

If you’re still worried that your plants won’t be warm enough, you can buy a space heater. There are many space heater options out there, and none are better than any other except what you prefer. There is electric, gas, propane, and solar-powered. Pick which you think is best for your situation and find a size that will be able to handle your space. All that information will be within the product specifications, so be sure to read those carefully.

Install ample lighting

Actors used to sweat under spotlights because the bulbs were so bright. You can use this to your advantage in a greenhouse by providing your plants with enough lighting; this way, you’re ensuring they’re provided with enough light for photosynthesis, and you’ll be warming up the space. There are many options out there, and many of these can be put on timers so they automatically turn off and on. This makes life easier on you, and it ensures your plants are getting plenty of light even when you decide to sleep in on Saturday.

plants inside humid greenhouse

Pick the right plants

The best way to have a successful winter greenhouse experience is by choosing the right plants to grow during this time of year. It doesn’t matter how many heaters or humidifiers you have in your greenhouse: Growing hot peppers in your greenhouse in the middle of a freezing winter will be difficult. So to make life easier on you and the plants, choose plants that are already cold-hardy and will taste better when exposed to cooler temperatures.

  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Chives
  • Rosemary
  • Leeks
  • Beets
  • Radishes
  • Garlic

It might be a bit nerve-wracking to watch the outside temperature drop while you have precious plant babies in the greenhouse. But with these tips and tricks, you can go to sleep peacefully, knowing your plants are warm and safe in your winterized greenhouse.

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