|Radishes got a bit frost nipped|
So back in the fall I brought a number of plants like the hibiscus and olive tree inside the greenhouse and allowed them to acclimatize to the cooler temps and low light naturally. The pergola was covered in clear plastic and small space heater was set to kick in only if the temperature dropped below 5 C. I enstalled a themometer that also indicates a minimum/maximum temp. Other hardier plants like collards and leeks we left in large bins in the unheated areas and I started some cold crops (rapini, carrots and radishes) in cold frames It all worked wonderfully all through November, December and into January. The hothouse plants were lulled into dormancy and the cool crops were growing slowly but steadily. Sadly I failed to take any photos of it all when things were at the ideal.
Then mid January, we had a week of hard freeze with overnight lows in the minus teens, and whether the small heater couldn't keep up or there was some sort of power failure, the temperature at some point hit minus 10 even inside the supposedly heated area. By the time I discovered it, the damage was done and many of the tender tropicals were a wilted mess. Thankfully I have no photos of that either because it was heartbreaking. I trimmed all the dead and damaged leaves and I'm hopeful that most of them will recover eventually but I'm sure I lost a few.
|Bay laurels survived but not the spider plant|
Surprisingly, the plants in the unheated areas weren't quite as badly damaged and most of them bounced back. I suspect that is because they were in larger planter boxes rather than pots.
I missed the peak on the rapini however- should have harvested it all a few weeks ago!
In the meantime I am happy just to have fresh homegrown produce even when it still looks like this outside.
|Food forest in winter- not much to see!|
Of course it would be even better if the greenhouse was set up with year round temperature controls and grow lights- then I'd be able to produce things like this lovely pomegranate! This one was grown by my coworker Liz in the CAMH greenhouse! Happy Valentine's Day!