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In the climate of the middle lane, growing vegetables has a number of difficulties. In the open field, even growing spring seedlings often requires the use of at least the simplest greenhouse.
And the desire to get two harvests per season, and even more so a year-round harvest, requires the construction of a greenhouse with heating on the site.
Why heat a greenhouse?
Such a question may seem rhetorical, however, when deciding to invest in heating a greenhouse, the owner must firmly know what results he is pursuing, and what advantages the invested forces and funds will give.
- The most important factor is the ability maintaining optimal temperature and humidity in the greenhouse... Such an artificial microclimate can significantly speed up the growing period of seedlings and adult plants, increase seed germination and protect seedlings from the harmful effects of the external environment.
- Heating the greenhouse allows you to grow any crops, regardless of the latitude of the site and the season, even in the most severe frosts. The greenhouse allows you to increase the flowering season of ornamental crops, and even grow fragile tropical plants.
- When using heating, it is easy for the owner of the greenhouse to regulate the frequency of crops, and even their number.
- The factors listed above, in addition, significantly increase the profitability of the site and increase the profit obtained if the greenhouse is used for a commercial purpose.
Over the history of the operation of these garden buildings, many ways of heating them have been invented, which can be subdivided according to a number of criteria. This article will not consider the method of natural heating using solar energy, since this method does not require the use of complex technical means.
The main task with this method of heating is the correct choice of a place for building a greenhouse, the use of the most optimal shape of the frame and the use of light and heat-reflecting dyes or materials in places with the least solar radiation.
For the rest, the gardener can only hope that the number of hours of sunshine will be enough to maintain the optimal temperature in the greenhouse.
Other ways to keep the greenhouse at an optimal temperature are more complex.
The simplest and, probably, the oldest and most favorite way of heating a greenhouse by gardeners is biological, i.e. heating using the heat generated by biological materials during decay. This method attracts land owners not only for its simplicity, but also for its low cost.
In addition, when using this method, one more goal is achieved - the soil is fertilized with mineral fertilization. Most often, the most diverse combinations of plant waste and manure, which have the ability to generate heat in reaction with air, act as biologically active substances.
Reference: Based on the practice of use, pig manure is able to maintain a temperature of + 14-16 ˚С for 70 days; horse manure keeps the temperature + 33-38 ˚С for 70-90 days; cow dung generates heat for up to 100 days, capable of maintaining a temperature of + 12-20 ˚С in a greenhouse.
Plant substances also give good results. So, sawdust for 14 days can warm the soil up to +20 ˚С, rotted tree bark for up to 120 days keeps heat in the range of + 20-25 ˚С.
Heating a greenhouse with the use of technical means is more energy-intensive, but also more practical, since it eliminates the need for a constant change of biological mixtures in the structure, and also gives much more stable indicators, so necessary for growing a rich harvest.
Technical heating methods can be divided into a number of subspecies, depending on the energy sources used.
We warm ourselves with electricity
Electricity is now available in almost every corner of the country. Its cost may be higher than the cost of other energy sources, but ease of use, high efficiency, and the possibility of using economical heat sources speak in its favor.
- The simplest way to heat a greenhouse using electricity is using a fan heater... Convenience, simplicity and low cost speak in its favor. It does not require any re-equipment of the greenhouse - it is enough to bring in the electric cable and put the heating device in the optimal place. At the same time, the movement of air does not allow moisture to accumulate on the walls, and the heat itself is distributed evenly.
Such heating is easy to do with your own hands. As a minus, it should be noted the harmful effect on plants that will be in the immediate vicinity of the fan.
- Cable heating with the help of electricity, it is also easy to use and good heat distribution, combined with the ability to automatically control the temperature. However, its installation is far from an easy enterprise and only the owner with certain special knowledge and skills can cope with it on his own. Or you will have to use hired labor.
- Warm greenhouse with infrared panels it is quite simple to organize, and it will significantly reduce costs due to the high efficiency of these devices. In addition, the popularity of IR panels is promoted by the ability to increase the percentage of plant germination confirmed by research. The long service life of such heat sources is also important - up to 10 years.
Important: When using infrared panels, they should be arranged in such a way that their radiation covers the entire area of the greenhouse. This is due to the fact that infrared rays do not heat the air, but the soil, and then the heat spreads throughout the room. Most often, a checkerboard arrangement of panels is used.
As the name implies, this method of heating a greenhouse uses water. In this case, we are talking about the fact that pipes are laid in the greenhouse, through which water circulates as a heat carrier.
At the same time, water heating can be carried out in several ways - using solid fuel boilers (working on coal, wood, peat, woodworking waste, etc.), gas boilers and boilers operating on liquid fuel.
In some cases, the greenhouse can be connected to the central heating system of a residential building. There are a lot of advantages of this type of greenhouse heating. These include the relative simplicity of the heating scheme, sufficient availability of materials, the possibility of using the most accessible and cheapest type of fuel in a given area.
A handy owner can make such heating on his own. The disadvantages include the complexity of temperature control when using solid fuel boilers. Gas boilers give the best performance to maintain an optimal environment.
We warm with air
In this case, as the name implies, heated air acts as a heat carrier.
- Heating with the use of gas catalytic burners, which heat the air in a greenhouse while burning natural or bottled gas, is quite often used now in practice. Cylinders are used in cases where heating is needed for a short time, for example, in cases of frost.
- Another type of air heating is similar to water heating, only in this case perforated polyethylene sleeves are laid from the fuel boiler, through which warm air is supplied to the greenhouse, heating the soil.
- And, finally, heating the greenhouse with a good old stove-stove. Despite the primitiveness, this method should not be written off. Its cheapness, simplicity and efficiency speak for themselves.
Do-it-yourself greenhouse heating
- Biological heating. For its device, the use of horse and cow manure is considered ideal, since they have the longest characteristics for generating heat. Plant mixtures are often used - 75% of fallen leaves are mixed with manure, or 30% of decomposed peat is added to 70% of manure and then treated with a urea solution at a concentration of 0.6%. In the spring, before the biological mixture is placed in the greenhouse, it must be warmed up. To do this, shovel it and moisten it with water or mullein.
Sometimes hot stones are used to speed up the process. A few days later, the process of heat release begins, as evidenced by a rise in temperature to 50-60 ° C. After that, in the greenhouse in place of the beds, a fertile layer as thick as a shovel's bayonet is removed. Then the actual manure or the mixture is laid. If you use cow dung, then a layer of brushwood up to 10 cm thick should be laid on the sawdust, this will increase aeration. Hotter manure is placed in the center, and colder manure along the edges. Manure is applied at the rate of 0.3-0.4 cubic meters per 1 square meter of area.
After a couple of days, when the manure settles, another portion should be added, which should be sprinkled with a thin layer of slaked lime, which will enhance the heat release reaction and at the same time prevent the appearance of fungi. Then the fertile soil returns to its place in the form of a layer 20-25 cm thick. After a few days, plants can be planted in the soil.
- With stove heating first of all, you should determine the place where this heater and chimney will be located, taking into account the observance of fire safety measures. In addition, it should be borne in mind that plants should not be located in the immediate vicinity of the stove, because the radiated heat can be detrimental to them. When installing the stove, insulating materials should be used in the place of construction of the foundation and adjacent walls of the greenhouse. The chimney is usually designed to be as long as possible in the greenhouse. This makes the best use of the heat dissipation. Needless to say, combustion products should not enter the greenhouse, and in the room itself, measures should be considered to maintain optimal humidity and fresh air access.
- Having made the decision to heat the greenhouse with electricity, first of all, work should be carried out on laying a separate power cable to the construction, which can withstand a load equal to the total power of the heating elements used.
In this case, it is necessary to use safe insulation and lead the cable to a separate packet switch. When installing heating elements (fan heaters, infrared panels, air heaters, etc.) in a greenhouse, their characteristics indicated in technical data sheets should be taken into account - power, heating area, direction of radiation, etc.
It is also worth considering that if a decision is made to use a cable as a heating element, work in an already built greenhouse will be quite laborious, because To lay the cable, you will need to remove the top fertile soil layer, create the necessary cushion for the cable and then return the soil to its place.
- Water or air heating greenhouse can also require significant labor costs. When installing it, you will have to build a place for a heating boiler, as well as the actual water or air circulation system. Before starting work, it is worth creating a heating scheme in which to reflect the location and the necessary slope of the circulation system, if necessary, include a pump in the water heating scheme if there is no possibility of natural circulation.
An existing stove heating can be used as a simpler solution. In this case, a water tank is mounted on the stove, to which pipes with heated water circulating through them are supplied.
- Gas heating it is quite simple to arrange if you use gas cylinders. In this case, one should take into account the explosion and fire hazard of such systems in case of violation of the rules for handling gas equipment. Therefore, when laying gas hoses in a greenhouse, it is necessary to carefully check all joints and connections. If you want to use gas from the mains, you will have to obtain appropriate permits from the regulatory services. As in the case of electric heating devices, when placing heating devices operating on natural gas in a greenhouse, their technical characteristics should be taken into account, that is, the heating area, the direction of the flow of heated air.
Reference: With sufficient technical complexity of the greenhouse gas heating device, it has a significant advantage: when natural gas is burned, carbon dioxide is formed and moisture is released, which are so necessary for plants. This creates an extremely favorable environment for their most active growth and development.
As can be seen from what has been said, heating a greenhouse can be arranged in a variety of ways. In this case, it is imperative to take into account the duration of the period when it is required to maintain heat, the size and design of the room, the availability and cost of energy sources. Only after that is it worth making a final decision on the application of a particular scheme.
You can look at the heating systems for greenhouses and greenhouses in the following photos: