This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Mr. Fowler's article about steam heating for greenhouses in December number, is in the right direction. It is throwing money away to pay two dollars for what can be bought for seventy-five cents. I saw how steam worked last winter in greenhouses, and I never saw healthier roses and plants of every description than those grown with its aid. I made up my mind then after noting how well everything did with steam, that I would not build another house without it. I took out hot water boiler and flues, and put a ten horse power boiler in to heat four houses, each twenty-two feet by sixty. Now to heat this amount of glass well it takes two hot water boilers, double amount of pipe; besides, hot water pipe is four inch, where steam pipes are only one inch, except main pipe which is two inch, from this the one inch pipe gets its supply. The price for steam heating is, boiler $200; pipes and fittings, $400; or everything complete in working order for $600; and if put up last year when iron was lower in price, perhaps it would not have cost $500. For hot water it would have cost me at least $1,500 or more, with less satisfaction. It takes less time to tend to fire, and less fuel.
Mostly all florists here will use steam after this; they all see it is a success, and all are wondering why it was not used before this date for structures of this kind. Five or six florists here put in steam last summer, and others that possibly can will put it in next year.