Monday, December 31, 2018

Snow Is Heavy, Frost Shelter is Flat!

Engineering Failure: Will the Plants Survive?

We had several inches of snow overnight in late December. Light fluffy powder snow that squashed my frost cover!  More snow and sub-freezing daytime temperatures are forecast so I am going to wait until that is over before I dig down to see if the plants are alive.

It's flat.
 It's clear that I need some vertical support for the arches. I wasn't even thinking of possible snow weight, because high winds were the immediate threat. 

This on-line snow load calculator says there were 50 to 60 pounds of snow being held up by slender wires and some frost cloth.

Will the Plants Survive?

I hope so. I'll post when I find out. Read more!

Monday, December 3, 2018

How Do Frost Cloth Covers Trap Heat?

Garden Science

The leafy greens in the raised bed are thriving under the frost cloth tent. They've been planted out about a month and I am harvesting leaves. Harvest one leaf per plant and I can decorate a sandwich. Salads will come later.
One Month's Growth of Bok Choi

I always assumed that frost cloth worked by trapping heat under it, with stored heat from the ground keeping the air temperature above freezing. But I got curious and when I had the plants uncovered to water and weed them, I put a wireless remote thermometer under the tent.

Temperature? I recorded the temperature under the cloth and from an online personal weather station a block away periodically from 2PM until about 1PM the next day.
Read more!