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Poly tunnel heating for bedding plants

I've got a bit of a problem I was given loads of old seeds by an elderly relative. I planted them all as I assumed only a handful would come up, but I've ended up with over 3000 bedding plants, and i've got about 2000 more than will need pricking out. My 10x12' greenhouse is crammed, so I've built a temporary polytunnel out of a couple of old tent frames and a plastic sheet i got on eBay, it's 9x30' roughly . Last night it went out to check the temperature in there at about 11pm and it was just above freezing, I quickly went and got a couple of 1KW electric heaters and put them in there but they barley made a difference but going forward i think i will need to heat it otherwise i'm going to loose the lot. I was thinking of a 5KW diesel heater from a campervan, runs on red diesel which is quite cheep, but is 5KW going to be enough? or will i need 2 or even 3? Incidently my greenhouse has 3 massive water tanks under the bench and a large heat sink under the ground so heating is not really a problem it only droped to 6°C last night, but the poly tunnel is a bit of an issue. 

Posts

  • It really depends on what you want to do with the grown up plants. Do you have plans    for  them? With the world situation at the moment it is going to be difficult to rehome them, even to give away.
    If money spent of fuel, availability of fuel etc. is not a problem, do you still want to spend that money on plants you will ultimately have to put on the compost heap. It is a shame to think of losing all of them but this year may be the only option. They will need a huge amount of compost to pot on , feed to keep them going and time to nurture. It is a huge number of plants, especially as they seem to be very easy to germinate.
    It is your call.
  • We've got a fairly large garden so normally buy a few hundred bedding plants ourselves for baskets, tubs and borders, also my mun and dad both buy a lot so hopefully they will beadle to use a few hundred. I've also had a huge amount of interest from neighbours and people in the village, that say they would buy them from me. Compost is not an issue as I make my own, I've got 8 large compost bins on the go and I normally end up giving it away as I've got surplus. I'm a bit of a hoarder so I've got loads of pots and trays kept aside, the only think I've needed to buy is as box of 1000 plants labels. Time is on my side at the moment as i'm off work for the foreseeable future, and it's given me something to keep me busy, and could be a welcome bit of extra cash. I've always been into gardening but mainly fruit and veg and just buy bedding plants in. This is the 1st year I've grown them and i can't believe the success rate. I've got lobeilia, verbena, antirrinum, begonia, celosia, nicotina, cosmos, coleus, marigold, petunia, gazania, mimulus, plus my normal crop of tomatoes, cucumbers, beans and peas, and the geranium and fushia cuttings i took last year have nearly all taken.
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