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  • Frost protection

    It's that time of year again when I think it's always a juggle carrying things out by day and back into the house at night, this method obviously has a cost but I'm finding it is so much less stressful and much less effort.

    In the last few days due to the low freezing overnight temps I've been using fleece and an electric heater with a frost setting to keep the temperature from doing harm. (Though I don't think it was needed last night.) Thankfully it seems to be keeping the plants ok. I have pretty much all my peppers, chillies, my overwintered plants, early tomatoes, tomatillos and a few other frost-sensitive plants all in the greenhouse. The spring-sown Chillies and peppers are in a heated propagator so they are ok, but the cherry toms are planted out in the border and would be at risk. They had a slight touch of cold last week with a couple of plants with some floppy leaves, but seem to be holding their own.

    For not so critical plants, eg potatoes in tubs I've been doing the normal covering them with fleece and all are look well so far.

    How's everyone else managing?


    Fleece around the outside and over some things, heater in the middle
    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    We are doing the hokey cokey - 'in out, in out and (try not to) shake it all about'. But I am looking forward to the day when they can all go into the newly erected greenhouse. Those cherry toms look a lot more advanced though than any of mine with flowers already. Hope no more sharp frosts.

    Comment


    • jayb
      jayb commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes It's the shaking it all about that brings me to tears!
      They were started too early and got too big and straggly, though they are not too bad now and most have flowers on the second truss, though whether they set fruit is another issue. The second week of April is supposedly are last frost date here, we had a couple of frosts at the beginning of the week. Yes, hopefully, nothing too harsh to come. Is it still frosty at night with you? I can imagine how exciting getting the greenhouse up in your new garden will be and getting growing in there.

    • Galina
      Galina commented
      Editing a comment
      Last frost date is the middle of May so I am told. Probably safe at the beginning of May in the greenhouse. Right now from nothing a week ago, cherry, pear, plum, black currant and apple are flowering, all at the same time. The first daffodil has opened together with the first tulips. Strange!

    • jayb
      jayb commented
      Editing a comment
      Sounds gorgeous and must be lovely seeing it all come alive, plus although strange it must be quite an intense sight seeing them all bloom together. The daffodils are long gone here and narcissi are mostly all faded.

  • #3
    I moved the rest of my chillis and tomatoes out yesterday as the nighttime temperatures here weren't forecast to go below about 6C for the rest of the month. Not to be taken as any kind of guarantee I know! But a relief to get them into fuller light.

    I covered those that were already out there with fleece on Monday and Tuesday nights when temperatures dropped to 1C or 2C but left the covers off on Wednesday when I think it was 3C or 4C and they seem to have been fine. I haven't before monitored quite as closely at what temperature they start to get distressed but so far so good. My very old heater seems to be working just in case anything under about 2C is forecast .....

    Your preparations look very thorough, Jayb, and obviously with no chance of moving your tomatoes if frost threatens, it makes very good sense. I think I'm living a little more dangerously! ,

    The next decision will be when to plant the tomatoes in the soil of the polytunnel after which there is really only fleece to resort to. It's too big to heat I think . Also perhaps a polytunnel loses temperature a bit quicker than a greenhouse?

    But lots of fingers crossed for all of us doing this juggling/Hokey Cokey

    Comment


    • #4
      If your tomato plants are still of a size to be able to cover with fleece should it be needed you might be able to steal a little time, I'm not sure how feasible it might be to wrap each tom individually? I must admit at this time of the year if the met office forecasts anything 8 degrees or under we might get frost here, though they tend to be light and chances are greenhouse or polytunnel will keep it off. But....

      Comment


      • Jang
        Jang commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes, they're quite a bit smaller than yours.
        Interestingly if anything we tend to be a degree less severe than forecast, although not to be counted on of course

      • Galina
        Galina commented
        Editing a comment
        Fingers crossed.

    • #5
      I've planted a number of chilli's on the soil in the second unheated greenhouse they seem to be coping with the weather.

      Comment


      • #6
        Good to know clumsy. What a change in just a week, I've started planting some peppers out in the greenhouse though there is a frost heater which I think can come out today. Yesterday I moved the overwintered peppers and chillies from the greenhouse to the poly-tunnel, I've left them in their pots.

        Click image for larger version

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        Comment


        • Jang
          Jang commented
          Editing a comment
          They look amazing.
          Over-wintering indoors is a new idea for me and one I was too late to cotton on to this last year. I've hoped one or two might survive in the greenhouse, but they don't. This next year I'll definitely be finding a place indoors for a few.

        • clumsy
          clumsy commented
          Editing a comment
          Wow very impressed. The experiment well worth it now. Look at those chilli's ready to harvest.
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