On greenhouse maintenance in winter


On Wednesday morning, I stuck my head in the greenhouse to see what was happening. It was mighty cold out; the night before had been nearly the coldest yet. I have to keep reminding myself that January is indeed our coldest month: even though the sun is tipping back toward the sun, earthly forces’ll keep things cool for a while yet, even if it was 80* when I seeded the beds last weekend!

I found it was indeed cold in there. The trusty thermometer was frost-covered, and registered a chilly 18* as the low the night before. And as you can see, the condensation on the inside of the plastic freezes readily when it gets really cold out and in. It was a veritable ice palace, at least until the sun warms things up.

I keep a bristle-brushed push broom in there. It’s what I use to pull the snow off the top of the house (by either poking it gently from within or pulling it down outside). I’m not worried about the snow hurting the plastic; I am just trying to let as much sun in there as possible. It IS fun poking the snow from the inside: that condensation I mentioned is usually plain old rain, and I end up getting a bit of a soak when I hit the plastic.

At this time of day on this cold day, the condensation under the Reemay has frozen, too. One should never, ever pull the Reemay off in its frozen state: you’ll end up pulling a plant leaf or two with it. It’s tough, though, not being able to take a peek! I just have to wait until late afternoon. The frost will be long gone; the salad and veggies will be quite perky and delicious by then. It’s really an interesting transformation, that change of temperature, that swing of the sun on its track of the day. Like the gardens in the summer, I just wish I could spend a whole day just sitting in there, watching things happen. It’s a pity I have other things to do.

4 responses to “On greenhouse maintenance in winter

  1. Good things come to those who wait! Oh a greenhouse would be wonderful right now!

    Katie at GardenPunks

  2. Oh, I wish I had you as a neighbor! Considering growing lettuce in the window! Need greens!

  3. I need one of these. I builted a hoop in the garden two years ago and it did well, although the broccoli succumed to a fungus. Too much heat, apparently.

  4. Katie: They ARE great! I wonder how many lovelies you could pull out of one in CA. LOTS I would think….

    Stacie: Try growing it in the window! As long as it’s kinda chilly near the window they will probably grow quite well. Before the greenhouse, I would grow my lettuce seedlings in the sun in the unheated garage…in February!

    Ed: You DO. It’s why I keep blathering on about mine: to get more year-round gardeners out there. Even those in nice toasty warm climates like D.C.

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