Extreme Cold: How Did the Greenhouse Radiant Floor Hold Up?

Plants moved to floor of the greenhouse

This is my first winter with radiant floor heating in the greenhouse, and our first extreme cold front of 2024 is here. During my first winter with the Hartley, I had only electric heaters in the greenhouse. Unfortunately, when outside temperatures reached negative double-digits Celcius, the greenhouse temperature fell to 2°C. It was also expensive… Read more »

How Radiant Heat In A Greenhouse Is Different Than Force Air

FLIR image of floor with radiant heat

Radiant heating significantly changes how a greenhouse is heated, and I’ve had to relearn plant placement. With forced air fans, the floor area was cooler as the cold came up through the ground. The middle was warm since that’s where the heaters were directed. And even though heat rises, it was coldest at the top… Read more »

Germination Stations – Heat Mats and Grow Lights

grow lights hanging in the greenhouse

I spruced up my greenhouse with four spiffy new germination stations for 2024. As I have a greenhouse and am only growing for home use, I didn’t think I needed much supplemental light initially. In 2023, I skipped grow lights during seed starting, and everything grew fine, if maybe a tad slow early in the… Read more »

Finally! The Greenhouse Patio and Beds Are In

greenhouse patio in buff brown flagstone

I installed my Hartley greenhouse in November 2021 but had to wait until the summer of 2023 to complete the landscaping around the greenhouse. Part of this was taking the time to think through what I wanted, part was finding someone to build what I wanted to achieve. One of my challenges was to marry… Read more »

Installing Hydronic Radiant Flooring: Greenhouse Heating Update

flir heat map greenhouse

Having lived with my Hartley greenhouse through two winters in Southern Ontario I’ve gained a little experience with how my electric heaters work in extreme cold. Two 17,000 BTU electric fan heaters set at 15C can keep the greenhouse at 10C inside when the temperature drops to -6C. Once we reach -12C the greenhouse temperature… Read more »

First Seed Starts – Greenhouse or Basement?

Seed starts lettuces, chard, spinach, onions

In past years I’ve done all my seed starts from February through May in a small setup in my basement. Now with a new greenhouse, I have room to grow, quite literally. The question is, how early will I want to turn on the heat in the greenhouse? We live in Zone 5 Ontario and… Read more »

Heating the Greenhouse. My First Experiments.

Greenhouse heater

One of the decisions I had to make when building our Hartley greenhouse was how it would be heated. Ultimately I decided to go with electric heaters. While not as efficient as gas, I was way more comfortable with the idea of having two electric fan heaters than I was installing gas heaters. The setup… Read more »

What’s It Like To Get A Hartley Botanic Greenhouse?

Hartley installation complete

Let me start off by saying I love my new Hartley Greenhouse. It’s a dream to have something this beautiful and yet, for me, functional. I still have some finishing details – brickwork which could not be completed before winter arrived and landscaping – but the main structure is up and it’s lovely. So how… Read more »

Window Well Coldframe

Unfortunately my coldframe was full of planted lettuce this spring so that meant no room to put my starter plants out to harden them off. Looking around I decided to use my window wells as cold frames and they worked beautifully.

Great Vase For Starting Coleus Cuttings And More

I found this great small vase at our local grocery store a couple of months ago and thought how cute. Took it home and it sat on the counter for a while. This week it was put to good use holding my first set of spring coleus cuttings. These cuttings came from coleus overwintered from… Read more »