If you’re like me, then you’re an avid gardener and plant enthusiast. While most of my plants overwinter outside in the garden, I do have quite a few of them that I keep in pots. I try to bring them into my house at the end of each season and they do indeed fit, but I’ll be the first to admit that it can make for a quite for quite the cluttered living area. Another problem that I’m a bit more shy to admit is that it inevitably invites insects into the house that have been living in or on the potted plants all summer long – the most prevalent and resilient being fruit flies.
What if there was a different solution for storing potted plants over the winter if you don’t have a greenhouse? Well, this year I put some thought into it and I’m happy to say I came up with a solution – and that is to put them in my garage. Of course, most garages aren’t heated, so that was the main task to overcome. All said and done though, it’s been undeniably worth the effort.
Is There A DIY Solution?
If you or someone in your family is graced with the gift of handiness, you may be wondering if there is a do-it-yourself solution to making your garage a little more bearable during the winter. You may be quite surprised to hear that there are a few solutions you can whip up on your own terms. They range in complexity from simply adding a bit of insulation to somewhat intense heating devices that will take a bit of know-how and elbow grease. While these make-shift heaters are not for the weak-hearted, they are not too complex in construction. You just have to know how to use all of the tools and techniques required to put the pieces together, and most of the components can be sourced for relatively little money.
Is DIY Worth It?
Of course, the answer to this question depends on the route you go with as well as the goals you’re looking to achieve. If it’s fairly easy to insulate your garage – in other words, you won’t have to rip down any sheetrock to install it – then it may well be worth your efforts to go the DIY route. That said, once you start going down the path of making an actual DIY heater you have to put a lot more thought into whether or not it’s worth it. If you have someone in your family who is particularly handy, then you’ll probably be able to know with confidence whether this is the right route for you or not. In most cases though, this is just going to be a lot of effort when you can just use store-bought heaters to get the job done. Not to mention that DIY heaters can easily be extremely hazardous if they are not made, used, and maintained properly.
What Are The Alternatives?
I was delighted to find that there are fairly affordable electric garage heaters for exactly this purpose readily available at local hardware stores. These units tend to run in the hundred dollar range, and they put out quite a bit of heat. They’re a wonderful solution because you can adjust the heat setting and the direction of the fan. Since you’ll be needing to contact a licensed electrician for the installation anyway, you can have them put the heater on a timer, a switch, or best yet a thermostat.
All in all this upgrade cost me less than $1,000, which was more than worth it to get the extra space for my plants. Not only do I now have a great place to store more of my potted plants, but I can also start seedlings early on in the season here to get a jump start on my vegetable garden for the coming year. Give it some thought, it might just be the solution for you!