My how the time flies by! It’s January already and getting close to the time to start prepping for the garden this spring! however, after this extreme cold and snow this past week here in st. louis.. it is hard to believe spring is only a few short months away.
Sadly the hoop house hasn’t be able to keep the heat in well enough to keep the carrots alive. The Brussels sprouts are hanging in there, but not sure how well. The greenhouse has done much better at keeping the heat in with the plants not showing any sign of frost on them at all.
We’ve had some record low temps here recently with it dropping to -8 and -11 two nights in a row with a record 9+ inches of snow in one day as well. I have the greenhouse up. It is set up over one 4′x8′ garden bed with lettuce, spinach, & cilantro growing in it. I was quite concerned that even with all the effort I took to cover the plants inside the greenhouse it would get to be too cold for them. Thankfully all looks well even after the cold temps this week!
The photo above photo was taken after two nights of -8 & -11 temps (-30′s wind chills).
For the nights when the temp drops well below freezing I have been placing an additional frost blanket over the plants & also four water jugs to put off some heat as well. (the jugs of water were frozen solid when I came out to check on them the third morning in this photo) I also packed the snow in around the sides of the greenhouse to keep any drafts out as well. Lastly, the plants needed some water desperately so I watered them with a few buckets of warm/hot (not too hot to burn them) water before I covered them up to hopefully rase the temp of the soil before the temp drops.
The burlap is still under the cilantro sprouts in the front b/c I planted the seeds on nov 22nd and had some trouble keeping the green house warm enough to get them to sprout. A few days after thanksgiving were in the upper 40′s and they shot right up in two days before I was able to remove the burlap.. boy they can grow fast when they get the heat they need! They haven’t grown much since those few warm days. (the lettuce, spinach, & radish seeds were planted 10/21/13)
The lettuce seems to be doing the best in the winter weather. The radishes are quite small, but quite tasty! (according to my neighbor.. i don’t really like radishes) The spinach is slow going, but alive and well. It should be a wonderful crop come warmer weather!
I have 2 temp /humidy sensors in the greenhouse to keep an eye on the temps. the sensor above the frost blanket got to a low of 9 F. I am guessing under the blanket didn’t get quite that cold looking at the plants, but the sensor stopped syncing (of course!) but when I went out at 11a when it was 14 outside plants under the blanket already up to 46 F with the sun according to the actual screen on the sensor. Time for a salad!!
I’ve been getting a lot of this year’s seed catalogs in the mail the last few weeks. I’ll post a a list with favorites here in the next week! Can’t wait to start planning for this year’s garden!