[Market-farming] greenhouse heat/root zone mats

Robert Schuler sunnfarm at verizon.net
Fri Feb 9 12:39:00 EST 2007


I have been using hot water bench heating in my propagation house 1000sq ft. for ten years and plan to retrofit all my greenhouses with bench heating. What I like about bench or in the floor heating is that you get uniform heating in every corner and at every plant or pot and it heats better at one half the btu's of hot air heat.
I use an oil fired hot water heater with a 32 gallon tank with a .65 gph nozzel in the burner. In zero weather the water goes out of the tank at 130 degrees and comes back from heating 1000 sq feet at 120 degrees so I loose only 10 degrees of water temp. Next year I plan to run another 1000 sq feet from the same heater.

I just installed biotherm tubing on the bench tops. Its 3/8" od epdm tubing, a 1000 ft roll cost me $275 including s&h... Bob.
Sunny Meadow Farm
Bridgeton, NJ.

Now that I've just about finished rebuilding my greenhouse  (30kX96) 
it's time to be seriously thinking about heat.

Since the fire I've had my 140,000 btu wood boiler rehabed so I'll 
have plenty of hot water.  Before I had the greenhouse layed out with 
five long tables with each table having four runs of pex and each run 
was attached to a different circuit on a manifold.  Not the most 
elegant or comfortable layout but it let me jam the largest number of 
flats in the smallest space.

However, I've been looking at different products out there and I was looking at
http://www.radiantroots.com/  and his mats.  Has anyone used these? 
or another commercial hot water  root mat?  This one doesn't look all 
that more expensive than buying pex and rolling it out on the tables.

Also, any good cheap, efficient ideas on tables besides those pieces 
of trellis available at home despot  put up on cinderblocks  (or in 
my case old bee boxes).  Actually I was using heavy metal (I'd bought 
from a local greenhouse supply company) for the table tops put on 
cinderblocks  (and beeboxes).

so my concerns are tables

and

heating,  particularly root heating systems.

and

a nice plan for laying out tables

Thanks.
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