[Market-farming] heat cables

Beth Spaugh lists at rhomestead.com
Mon Feb 16 21:04:14 EST 2015

There was discussion that some folks used roof gutter deicing cables for 
bottom heat.  How warm do these get?

  I just set up an 8 x 16 foam "table" with 200 feet of the cable. 
Before putting plants on figured I'd better test. The cable barely gets 
warm, certainly not hot.  I was planning on using this in my unheated 
hoophouse to keep seedlings from freezing at night.  I can't see that it 
will put out near enough heat, fast enough.  I have it on a "cube" 
thermostat, to come on at 35 and off at 45.  I was planning on keeping 
the whole thing full of flats, and that the heat would come up through 
the plugs, making nice warm roots. Seriously doubting this will happen.

Hopefully after this week we will be done with frequent below zero 
nights.  I know that with frequent daytime sunshine, under row cover it 
seldom gets below 15.  Because of condensed ice on the bottom of the row 
cover.  If it doesn't freeze I don't know that I'll get that extra 
protection.  But I do have three layers of ag-19 row cover plus a light 
plastic, and can lay foamboard over the top (sides just row cover and 

Those who have used these -  please chime in with your experience. Thank 

Beth Spaugh
Rehoboth Homestead, Peru NY
http://rhomestead.com      http://www.facebook.com/rhomestead

"How we eat determines, to a considerable extent, how the world is used." -
Wendell Berry

"Without power over our food, any notion of democracy is empty." - Frances
Moore Lappe

It's not that nice guys finish last. They have a whole different notion
where the finish line is. - unknown

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