Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Back in the Freezer Again

No, not this freezer.

This one.


Icicles on the glass flower fountain from Glass Gardens Northwest. Even the bee ball floating in the top has a skirt of ice, making it look a bit like Saturn.

Our temperature outside this morning at 9:03 was 25 degrees F.

A couple of weeks ago, during our first freeze of the fall/winter season, I learned that when the temperature outside goes down into the 20s, my sole electrical heater can't keep the temperature in the greenhouse much above 40 at night. I bought a second electric heater, but discovered that I couldn't run both on the same electrical circuit without tripping the circuit breaker. My solution was to buy a propane heater, which I turn on only at night, after about 10:00-10:30. It runs on two one-lb. propane canisters, which it uses up overnight, running out just as the sun comes up. With the propane heater and the electrical heater, the temperature overnight goes up into the mid-50s. I don't know how much the electricity costs that the electrical heater runs on, but the canisters cost $12.99 for a package of four, which means to run the propane heater on below-freezing nights costs $6.50. I'm betting that's quite a bit more than the electricity costs, otherwise our electric bill would be astronomical.

Propane heater

Electric heater

The temperature in the greenhouse last night at 10:30 was 43.1 (Ignore the non-DST time on the clock).

Half an hour later, after turning on the propane heater, the temperature has risen to 50. It will rise to the mid-50s and stay there all night.

Once the sun rises, the temperature out in the greenhouse rises naturally into the 50s, and sometimes 60s and 70s. I disabled the vents on the windows, so that they no longer open when the temperature hits the 60s. I figure the hotter it gets in there during the day, the longer it will retain that heat at night.

In other news, my Datura that I rescued from the garden to over-winter inside the greenhouse have bugs. I don't know what kind, but they leave sticky stuff on the leaves, so I think they might be woolly aphids. Does anyone know for sure? Time to start applying some kind of insecticide.

Here's the underside of that same leaf.

They're also on one of my Brugs, and I'm sure if I do nothing, they'll eventually overtake all of them.

And now some good news: I dug up one of my Digiplexis 'Illumination Flame' to over-winter inside the greenhouse. Basically I just cut it back to the ground, dug the rootball and stuck it into a big nursery pot. It's producing new shoots, so I guess that means it's still alive. Keep your fingers crossed that it survives to be planted again outside in the spring. I really love this plant and don't want to be without it.

And my Aloe glauca is still flowering too.

I hope wherever you are, Dear Reader, that you are staying warm.