Winter greenhouses can be a real challenge, but it can be done. Plants, like people, cannot thrive in poor atmospheric conditions. When the sun is bright it is easy to keep the air inside the greenhouse fresh, despite the freezing temperatures outdoors. The greenhouse traps more than enough heat to warm the plants. During sunny days, slightly open side vents or roll down one door an inch or so from the top. On very windy days be sure to close vents and doors on the windward side, sealing them completely during heavy snowfall and storms. Always keep your roof clear of snow. On cold nights, artificial heat keeps air in motion. Leave only a small cracked opening in a door or vent. During long spells of cloudy weather you will need to use artificial heat during the day to maintain your ideal temperature, which is determined by the plants you are keeping. You can find the perfect temperature for your plants by reading as much as you can about each variety you keep. Placing several pails of water inside your greenhouse can raise the humidity. Some plants will need more than others. Another thing to study is how much water your plants need during the winter. They will need some, but maybe not as much as in the summer. -Just don't forget to water altogether. Avoid drafts, sudden changes in temperature, or dry, burned out air. These conditions will surely stifle any plant's growth. A large thermal mass, usually water or rock can be used in your greenhouse to absorb and store heat during the day. At night this stored heat is released, warming your greenhouse. A 55- gallon drum of water works well in a walk in greenhouse. Placing a heating pad beneath the drum will generate additional warmth. Adjusting the vent openings will change the inside temperature reading. Always use extreme caution when using electrical devices. Keep away from water in case of electrical shock or fire.
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