We, my son Tom, and I built a 96ft X 30ft greenhouse for growing and selling tomatoes this year. We have one rocket stove and were in the process of building another on the north end. Cold weather hit here in Big Spring, TX. We have a kerosene heater going to keep the plants alive.for two more days. We run it about 15 minutes every 3 or 4 hours. It leaves a mild smell of kerosene. Will this harm the tomato plants? Tom n John
Aloha Tom n John
I wouldn't be so concerned about the kerosene hurting the plants as I would about someone going into a greenhouse full of invisible, odorless carbon monixide, keeling over and dying before anyone else noticed. Any kind of combustion heater in your greenhouse that directly burns something, without a completely enclosed exhaust vent to the outside, will exhaust carbon monoxide and particulates directly into your greenhouse. Unless you have a LOT of new air coming in from the outside (and this creates a problem, because this would be COLD air), this is not a great idea. Please be really careful!
There's a whole series of articles on energy-efficient greenhouses here, starting with #135: (http://www.friendlyaquaponics.com/support/newsletter-back-issues/). Hope it helps.
Aloha, Tim Mann/ The "Friendlies" in Hawaii
The warning is well served on a forum like this. We only fire the kerosene heater, get out, leave it on for about 30 minutes, and go in to turn it off. Will only need to do this one more day. By the next time a cold spell hits, we will have adequate heat. The tomato plants and fruit made it through this cold spell.
As a matter of interest, we just introduced earth worms to the growing beds to keep them clean. Have put 3 large worm beds in the greenhouse to raise worms for the fish. Hope this works out like we expect. Tom n John
Please keep me posted through this forum; I'd love to hear your ongoing progress. Aloha, Tim..........
Just make sure your venting your carbon monoxide.