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Thursday, March 21, 2013

25 #$%@ing Degrees Garden Freeze: What to Do?

Managing a 25 #$%@ing Degrees Garden Freeze

So... I apologize for the expletive but come on! My third 25 degree night or colder here in the suburbs.  My shelf greenhouses are filled minus the tomatoes that bit the dust to the frost last week. Most of my plants can handle a few degrees of sub-freezing weather but tonight will be 25 degrees or colder.  I am already 3 week behind planting.

Morning Light Snow - The Rusted Garden Blog

I appreciate some of the feedback I got from my last video and posts. Everything from xmas lights to small kerosene lanterns or jarred candles as additional heat sources. I decided just to go with letting today's sun warm the inside of the units as much as possible and I simply wrapped it up. It already had a 2nd layer of plastic around it. I added a very heavy quilt on top and another layer of plastic around it. I just need to keep it around 29 degrees.

Heat Rises - A Heavy Quilt and More Plastic Wrap

My goal is to protect the plants inside as to there is no stem or root freeze. We will see.  I was also lucky enough to wake up to a light snow. I am in Maryland Zone 7 and the day temperatures are suppose to average mid 50's and the night upper thirties. It hasn't been like that for the last several weeks and this week is no better. Today was about 35 degrees.

Plastic Cups for Some Frost Protection - The Rusted Garden Blog

I have plants in the ground that are all cold weather plants. They can frost and freeze a bit. However, I don't want them to have leaf damage or worse. The plastic cups do create a few degrees of protection and the earth is well above freezing. I am actually going to fill my watering can with hot water tonight and douse them around 10 PM.  The water will cool quickly as not to harm them but it might provide and hour or two of warmth which I define as above 32 degrees. We will see. Here are the pictures of my first battle with Mother Nature.

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