Updated: Jun 20
Hello there !
I gave a webinar on managing energy costs in a winter greenhouse. For those who missed it, you have the recording right here. The PDF of the presentation is available at the end of the blog.
Growing in a winter greenhouse is still an area that is beginning to be explored. It's been around for years, but there are still more questions than answers.
In the webinar, I present what we know about it in 2023. We don't know everything, but at least we have some ideas of greatness!
I talk about principles to keep in mind, but I know that theoretical principles are often difficult to apply on the farm. So I'm trying to make these principles as concrete as possible so you can reuse the ideas in your project!
If you're wondering if this is relevant to you, here's what you can learn:
How to choose your greenhouse location for winter growing
How to reduce your energy costs
- Climate control
- Electric heating
How to optimize your heated space
- Very brief
- This could be a presentation in itself!
You'll also see some prototypes of projects we've undertaken. We don't have the resources to do everything, so if you're interested in a project, drop me a line. Your feedback is our best tool to know what to do to help you!
I've already received a lot of questions, but the thing that's gotten the most attention is the low-cost thermal screen idea. This is a quick draft, but I'm still available if anyone wants to implement this in their greenhouse.
A few points remain to be determined:
The angle required for the wires to be in such a way that gravity will unfold the polythene when the motor unrolls it.
Is one wire per arch enough to support the fabric?
Any other things?
And finally, to use this investment from the beginning when growing in a winter greenhouse until the maturity of the tomatoes, we must see how we can install the cables supporting the weight of the tomatoes under the horizontal rollup. It must support several tons of plants, but it is done in greenhouses with thermal covers so we should be able to find it!
Do you have any questions about growing in a greenhouse during winter? Contact us! We'll get you answers to the best of our ability!
If this is your first year and you're wondering what grows in the winter, Sarah, my lovely colleague and editor, has written an article on the top 10 winter crops. Maybe it can help you?
I hope these ideas help you with your project. I encourage you to share your ideas and results. Together, we can move forward faster!
(Here's the PDF of the webinar presentation)
PS: David Silberberg informed me that, in the US, the NRCS has energy-saving programs for farms. I thought this information might be of interest to some of you.
PPS: Here's the page with all the information on the concept of a climate battery greenhouse by Brian. This project was undertaken in late 2017 to provide a low-energy consumption means of controlling the climate in our 30x96 high tunnel. It is primarily used for winter protection of in-ground grown fruit trees not typically grown in Pennsylvania's climate.