Thread: cold protection
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Old 01-10-2008, 05:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
lloyd
 
Location: Mobile, Alabama
Name: Lloyd
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Default cold protection

Along the upper gulf coast temperatures below freezing do occur but generally don't stay that low for more than about 8 to 10 hours per day max. This winter, after having lost all of my pstems last winter, I am trying something new.

I purchased through ebay an 80' kit of roof and gutter deicing cable which I spiral wrapped around one 12' high pstem, a two stem bunch 10' high, and a 3 stem dwarf bunch about 5' high. Each group was then wrapped with cargo blankets (from Harbor Freight, cheap). the short bunch was capped with a black plastic bag. When the temps headed toward 19F I plugged them in about 6 hours in advance. We had 19F one night for about 12 hours, 23F another night for about 8 hours, and 27F another nightfor six hours.

At the end of the cold snap all three groups still showed green for about 8" above the top of the cargo blanket (itself topped at six inches below the last six leaf stems on each plant).

Worked like a charm and fascinating to watch the black bag covering the dwarf trying to act like a hot air balloon the whole time; had to anchor it.

Come March I will unwrap and report.
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