Some frits are waking up
Tue, 03 Mar 2009 11:49:57 PST
On 2 Mar 2009, at 11:48, Jane McGary wrote:

> I laid sheets of microfoam insulation . . . directly on top of the plants
> and pots inside the frame . . . 

English gardeners who kept tender plants in frames (cyclamen, iirc) placed a 
single layer of newspaper over them before shutting the frames down when 
serious cold threatened. (Perhaps someone reading remembers the same article 
and can give us a reference: iirc, the glass over the frames was heavy salvaged 
plate glass a good fraction of an inch thick. Does that ring any bells with 

And let us not forget the hobos, tramps, and bums of yore who knew that 
stuffing a sheet of newspaper under their outer clothing greatly improved their 
comfort in cold weather.

It doesn't take much to give tender plants effective protection from hard 
frosts. The key element is that the earth itself acts as a source of heat, at 
the surface about 50F (not a very warm source of heat!), so if the flow of heat 
upwards and outwards can be retarded even a little, the temperature in a frame 
will go up.

Following that line of reasoning leads me to believe that the size of frames is 
important: individually they should be as wide and long as you can afford 
wothout making access to the back or middle overly awkward.

What are the dimensions of your frames, Jane?

Mine are 48×32" boxes made of thick yellow cedar with Coroplast covers.

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate
on beautiful Vancouver Island…

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