16 Genius Ways To Insulate Your Greenhouse For Year-Round Growth

As the air chills and frost nips, gardeners know it’s crucial to keep their greenhouses warm. A well insulated greenhouse can save up to 30% on energy costs. This article will guide you through easy insulation tricks to keep your plants thriving all year long.

Get ready for a greener winter!

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Why Would You Want An Insulated Greenhouse?

Having an insulated greenhouse for year-round growth provides several benefits, including maintaining a warm and stable environment for plants, reducing energy consumption, and protecting delicate plantings during harsh weather conditions.

These methods can help ensure the optimal growing conditions for your plants throughout the year.

Benefits of keeping your greenhouse warm

Temperature Control:Insulation helps maintain a stable temperature within the greenhouse, reducing the risk of temperature fluctuations that can stress plants. It keeps the greenhouse warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, promoting optimal plant growth throughout the year.
Energy Efficiency:By reducing the need for additional heating or cooling, insulation can significantly lower energy consumption and costs. This is particularly important in climates that experience extreme temperatures.
Condensation ReductionProper insulation can reduce the amount of condensation that forms on the inside surfaces of the greenhouse. Excessive condensation can lead to plant diseases and structural problems in the greenhouse.
Extended Growing Season:Insulation makes it possible to extend the growing season by protecting plants from the cold in winter months. This can be particularly beneficial for growing plants that are not native to the local climate.
Improved Plant Health and Yield:A stable and controlled environment can lead to healthier plants and potentially higher yields. Plants are less likely to experience stress, leading to better growth and productivity.
Cost Savings:Although there might be an initial investment for insulation materials and installation, the long-term savings on energy bills can be significant. This makes insulation a cost-effective strategy for greenhouse operation over time.

DIY Methods For Building an Insulated Greenhouse

Seal any gaps and cracks, insulate the entrance, and use bubble wrap to insulate the interior. Install an energy curtain, build a windbreak, add thermal mass, and consider using compost as a heat source.

Protect plants with horticultural fleece or mulch, and consider converting raised beds into cold frames or hotbeds for added insulation… These simple steps will take you from zero to an insulated greenhouse!

#1: Seal any gaps and cracks

Sealing gaps and cracks is a crucial step in creating an insulated greenhouse. This helps retain heat and prevent cold air from entering, ensuring that your plants can thrive all year round.

  • Examine the structure carefully for any small openings or fissures, especially around windows, doors, and where the walls meet the foundation.
  • Use weather stripping or caulk to close spaces around window frames and door edges to create a tight seal against drafts.
  • Apply expandable foam spray in larger gaps or holes you might find along the greenhouse’s base or in corners where different materials meet.
  • Check the glazing on panels; if they’re loose or damaged, secure them with fresh clips or replace broken panes immediately.
  • Attach foam insulation tape along any seams between polycarbonate panels to block out chilly breezes.
  • Install door sweeps at the bottom of outside doors to prevent cold wind from sneaking in beneath them.
  • Reinforce areas around vent openings with appropriate insulation materials such as UV – stabilized polythene to maintain temperature control while still allowing airflow.
  • Regularly inspect for new cracks, especially after extreme weather events, as part of your greenhouse maintenance routine.
See also  Greenhouse Shade Cloth 101: The Secrets to Rapid Plant Growth & Protection

Where To Buy: Amazon

Features & Specs:
– Comes with 1 spray can (12 ounce)

– Reusable for up to 30 days

insulated greenhouse

#2: Insulate the entrance

To further enhance the insulation of your greenhouse, consider insulating the entrance to prevent heat loss and maintain a consistent temperature inside. Here are several methods you can use to insulate the entrance:

  • Install weather – stripping around the door frame to create a tight seal and prevent drafts.
  • Apply a clear plastic film on the entrance door to add an extra layer of insulation without blocking natural light.
  • Hang heavy – duty thermal curtains over the entrance to block cold drafts while still allowing for easy access.
  • Use a double – door system with an air gap in between as an effective way to minimize temperature transfer.
  • Build an insulated vestibule or airlock at the entrance to act as a buffer zone against outdoor temperatures.

Recommendation: Tapix Plastic Sheeting

Where To Buy: Amazon

Features & Specs:
– 10′ x 25′ 6 Mil in plastic sheeting

– Made of heavy duty polyethylene


#3: Insulate the foundation

Insulating the foundation is crucial for maintaining a warm environment in your greenhouse. Here are some effective methods to insulate the foundation:

  • Use foam board insulation to cover the bottom of the walls and keep out drafts.
  • Apply weather – stripping around the edges of the foundation to seal any gaps where cold air could enter.
  • Consider burying a layer of insulation material, such as rigid foam boards, around the perimeter of the greenhouse to create a barrier against cold temperatures.
  • Install insulated skirting or a frost wall beneath the greenhouse to help retain heat and prevent frost from penetrating the ground.
  • Use gravel or crushed stone as a base layer under the floor of your greenhouse, which can act as thermal mass and help regulate temperature fluctuations.
  • Opt for creating an insulated barrier by adding layers of straw or hay around the exterior foundation walls to provide additional warmth and protection.

Recommendation: SmartSHIELD Foam Insulation Roll

Where To Buy: Amazon

Features & Specs:
– 48″ x 50′ White insulation roll

– Dimensions of 600″L x 48″W

insulated greenhouse

#4: Insulate the north-facing wall

Insulating the north-facing wall helps to retain heat and protect plants from chilly winds. Here are some effective methods to insulate the north-facing wall:

  1. Apply a layer of UV – stabilized polythene to create a barrier against cold drafts.
  2. Install twin – wall polycarbonate panels for better insulation while allowing light to penetrate.
  3. Use bubble wrap insulation on the interior for an additional thermal barrier.

Recommendation: DGSL Polycarbonate Twin-Wall Panels

Where To Buy: Amazon

Features & Specs:
– 14 pieces

– Dimensions of 23.6″H x 12.2″W x 0.16″T


#5: Insulate the interior using bubble wrap

Insulating the interior using bubble wrap can provide an effective and economical way to maintain a warm temperature within your greenhouse during colder months.

  • Measure the interior dimensions of your greenhouse to determine how much bubble wrap you will need.
  • Cut pieces of bubble wrap to fit each window and panel inside the greenhouse.
  • Secure the bubble wrap to the interior of the greenhouse using clips or adhesive tape, ensuring that it covers the entirety of the glass or clear panels.
  • The trapped air pockets in the bubble wrap act as insulation, helping to reduce heat loss and maintain a more stable temperature inside the greenhouse.
  • Bubble wrap also helps diffuse light, preventing hot spots and providing more even distribution of sunlight to your plants.
  • Regularly check for any tears or damage in the bubble wrap insulation, repairing or replacing as needed to ensure its effectiveness throughout the winter months.

Recommendation: Large Bubble Wrap

Where To Buy: Amazon

Specs & Features:
– 24 inches wide and 65 feet long

– Made of clear polyethylene

insulated greenhouse

#6: Install an energy curtain

To keep your greenhouse warm and energy-efficient, consider installing an energy curtain. This will help regulate the temperature inside the greenhouse, reducing heat loss and providing a more stable environment for your plants. Here are the steps to properly install an energy curtain to insulate your greenhouse:

  • Measure the dimensions of your greenhouse’s interior to determine the size of energy curtain needed.
  • Purchase an appropriate-sized energy curtain made from durable, UV-stabilized polythene or other suitable materials for greenhouse insulation.
  • Install the curtain track or hanging system along the length of the greenhouse structure, ensuring it is securely anchored.
  • Hang the energy curtain from the track or system, making sure it can be easily opened and closed for ventilation and temperature control.
  • Adjust the curtain as needed to create a snug fit against the walls and ceiling, preventing drafts and heat loss.
  • Use a pulley system or mechanized controls, if desired, to automate opening/closing of the energy curtain based on temperature or time settings.
  • Regularly inspect and maintain the energy curtain to ensure it remains in good condition and functions effectively throughout all seasons.
See also  How To Build An In-Ground Greenhouse For Under $250

Recommendation: PureFit Outdoor Curtains

insulated greenhouse

Where To Buy: Amazon

Specs & Features:
– Dimensions of 84″L x 52″W

– Made of light-filtering polyester


#7: Build a windbreak

To create a windbreak for your greenhouse, consider the following methods:

  • Use dense shrubs or trees such as arborvitae or Leyland cypress to block prevailing winds.
  • Install a slatted wooden fence to divert wind away from the greenhouse.
  • Position the windbreak at a distance from the greenhouse that is 10 – 15 times the height of the windbreak itself to maximize its effectiveness.
  • Ensure that the windbreak is high enough to provide protection for the entire structure.

Recommendation: Privacy Windscreen

Where To Buy: Amazon

Specs & Features:
– Dimensions of 72 x 0.1 x 600 inches

– Made of polyethylene


#8: Add thermal mass

Adding thermal mass is a great way to regulate the temperature inside your greenhouse. Here are some ways you can incorporate thermal mass into your greenhouse to help maintain stable temperatures:

  • Place water – filled containers, such as barrels or drums, around the greenhouse to absorb and release heat as needed.
  • Use stone or brick flooring as it has the ability to retain heat and radiate warmth during cooler periods.
  • Include large rocks or bricks within the greenhouse to capture and release heat when temperatures fluctuate.
  • Integrate concrete or clay walls for their ability to store and emit warmth, helping to moderate temperature changes.
  • Employ dark – colored materials like tiles, paving stones, or bricks; these materials absorb more heat during the day and release it at night.

Recommendation: Rain Water Barrel

Where To Buy: Amazon

Specs & Features:
– Dimensions of 24″L x 19″W x 34″H

– The frame is made of recycled plastic


#9: Make a flower pot heater

To make a flower pot heater, you’ll need two clay pots, one smaller than the other. Also, a 4-inch candle and some nuts and washers for assembling. Here’s how to do it:

  • Place the larger pot upside down on a stable surface.
  • Put the smaller pot on top of the larger one.
  • Thread a bolt through the drain hole in both pots, securing it with a washer and nut.
  • Place another washer at the bolt’s end inside the smaller pot to support the candle.
  • Light the candle and put it inside the smaller pot.
  • This setup releases heat that can help keep your greenhouse warm during chilly nights.

#10: Protect plants with horticultural fleece

Protect plants with horticultural fleece to provide a protective layer against frost and cold temperatures.

  • Ensure the fleece is securely anchored at the base of each plant to prevent wind from dislodging it.
  • Use horticultural fleece to cover vulnerable plants such as tender greens, herbs, and flowering plants during chilly nights.
  • Strategically place the fleece over planters or raised beds during unexpected frosts or snowfall. Securely tie down the fleece to protect plants from harsh winds and storms.
  • Cover sensitive crops like tomatoes and peppers with fleece to safeguard them from sudden temperature drops.
  • Insulate young seedlings with horticultural fleece to shield them from frost damage in early spring or late fall.
  • Extend the growing season by using horticultural fleece to protect delicate crops through the colder months.
  • Elevate productivity by utilizing horticultural fleece to maintain a warm microclimate for heat-sensitive plants.

Recommendation: Plant Cover

Where To Buy: Amazon

Specs & Features:
– Dimensions of 10x50ft

– Made of light and breathable material that protects plants


#11: Use mulch to insulate plant roots

  • Protect plants with horticultural fleece to shield them from the cold weather.
  • Mulch is an excellent natural insulator that helps regulate soil temperature and conserves moisture, benefiting plant roots throughout the year.
  • Spread a layer of organic mulch such as straw, hay, wood chips, or leaves around the base of plants to provide insulation and protect them from extreme temperature fluctuations.
  • Mulch also helps suppress weeds and improve soil health by adding organic matter as it decomposes.
  • When applying mulch, ensure not to pile it up against the stems or trunks of plants, as this can invite pests and diseases. Instead, keep it a few inches away for proper air circulation.
See also  5 Smart Thermometers You Need In Your Greenhouse (2024)

Where To Buy: Amazon

Specs & Features:
– 18 quarts of orchid bark to mulch your plants

– Size of bark chips about 3/8″


#12: Keep individual plants warm with cloches

To keep individual plants warm with cloches:

  • Place the cloche over the plant to create a mini greenhouse effect.
  • Ensure the cloche is properly vented to prevent overheating and promote airflow.
  • Use glass, plastic, or row cover fabric as materials for your cloche.
  • Remove the cloche during warm days to prevent excessive heat buildup.
  • Monitor moisture levels within the cloche to avoid excess condensation.
  • Adjust the position of the cloche to allow for optimal sunlight exposure.
  • Inspect plants regularly for any signs of stress or damage caused by the cloche.
insulated greenhouse

Where To Buy: Amazon

Specs & Features:
– 30 pack of garden cloches

– Size of 7.7 inches in diameter and 8.7 inches in height


#13: Grow plants in raised beds

  • Raised beds provide better drainage and create a warmer microclimate for plants.
  • Elevating the soil warms it more quickly in the spring, allowing earlier planting and extending the growing season.
  • The increased exposure helps the sun heat up the soil, making it ideal for heat – loving crops like tomatoes and peppers.
  • Install hoops or frames over the raised beds to support insulating materials during colder months.
  • Use row covers or frost blankets to protect plants from freezing temperatures and extend their growing period during winter.
  • Incorporate compost into raised beds to produce natural heat, maintaining warmth for plants even in cooler weather.
  • Consider using straw bales around the edges of raised beds as an additional layer of insulation.

Recommendation: Quictent Raised Garden Bed With Cover

Where To Buy: Amazon

Specs & Features:
– Dimensions of 71″L x 35.4″W x 12″H

– The frame is made of metal and the cover is made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC)

insulated greenhouse

#14: Convert raised beds into cold frames or hotbeds

To convert raised beds into cold frames or hotbeds:

  • Lay clear plastic over the raised bed to create a greenhouse – like environment.
  • Use straw bales or insulation boards around the perimeter to retain heat.
  • Place a thermometer inside to monitor temperature changes.
  • Open the cover during warm days and close it at night to maintain temperature.
  • Consider adding heating mats for additional warmth.
  • Ensure proper ventilation to prevent overheating on sunny days.
Here’s everything you need to know about cold frame greenhouses:
How To Build A Cold Frame Greenhouse You Can Be Proud Of…

#15: Use compost as a heat source

Compost generates heat as it breaks down, providing a natural source of warmth for your greenhouse.

  • Create a compost pile in your greenhouse using organic waste such as vegetable scraps, leaves, and straw.
  • Ensure the compost pile is located away from plant roots to avoid overheating or causing damage to the plants.
  • Monitor the temperature of the compost to ensure it reaches optimal heating levels for the greenhouse.
  • Utilize a thermometer to gauge the internal temperature of the compost and adjust airflow or moisture levels if necessary.
  • Maintain and turn the compost regularly to promote even decomposition and consistent heat production.
  • Consider using multiple smaller compost piles strategically placed throughout your greenhouse for more uniform heating.

#16: Use snow to create an insulated greenhouse

Snow can be utilized as a natural insulation around the exterior of the greenhouse to help regulate temperature during winter.

  • Create a snow bank around the perimeter of the greenhouse to act as a barrier against cold winds and provide additional insulation.
  • Build up a layer of snow on top of the greenhouse to add an extra insulating factor and reduce heat loss through the roof.
  • Compact snow against the base of the greenhouse to prevent drafts and help maintain a consistent internal temperature.
  • Regularly monitor and replenish the snow insulation as needed, taking advantage of any fresh snowfall to reinforce the protective layering.

Insulated Greenhouse Tips: Setting Realistic Expectations

Setting realistic expectations for greenhouse insulation is crucial. Understand that while effective insulation can significantly extend your growing season and protect your plants from harsh weather, it may not always provide a tropical environment in the dead of winter.

It’s essential to recognize that maintaining consistent temperatures during extreme weather conditions might require additional heating systems or other advanced climate control measures.

When insulating your greenhouse, remember that the goal is to create a stable and moderately warmer environment rather than an excessively warm space. It’s important to continuously monitor the temperature and adjust insulation methods accordingly to ensure optimal plant growth and protection throughout the year without overstraining your resources.

Here are some amazing misting systems for you to consider:
How To Choose The Best Greenhouse Misting System For Plant Growth

Conclusion

In conclusion, having an insulated greenhouse is essential for maintaining a warm and stable environment for plants. Implementing DIY methods such as sealing gaps, using bubble wrap, and adding thermal mass can effectively regulate temperature while reducing energy consumption.

Consideration of insulation materials and long-term benefits will result in cost-effective solutions to sustainably nurture your plants throughout the year.

Here are our favorite accessories to boost any greenhouse:
14 Best Greenhouse Accessories That You Need In 2024

FAQs

What are the benefits of insulating a greenhouse for year-round growth?

Insulating a greenhouse helps maintain consistent temperature and humidity levels, protects plants from extreme weather, and extends the growing season.

How can I effectively insulate my greenhouse for year-round growth?

You can use materials like bubble wrap, polyethylene film, or insulated panels to cover walls and roof, seal any gaps or drafts, and install thermal mass such as barrels of water inside the greenhouse.

Will insulating my greenhouse increase energy costs?

Proper insulation can actually reduce energy costs by minimizing heat loss in colder months and reducing cooling needs during warmer months.

Can I grow any type of plant year-round in an insulated greenhouse?

While proper insulation creates favorable conditions for various plants, it’s important to consider specific temperature and light requirements of each plant before planning year-round growth.

Do I need professional help to insulate my greenhouse?

With basic DIY skills, you can effectively insulate your own greenhouse using readily available materials without needing professional assistance.

insulated greenhouse
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Jason Watson

My initial goal was to protect my loved ones from harmful pesticides & help them enjoy nature more. Now, I want to tell as many people as I can about what I've learned... I hope that I can inspire you to help cool our planet with your own little slice of paradise 🌱. Let's do this together!


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