Friday, January 16, 2009


When I got up this morning, the digital thermometer on the deck read 3.8 degrees. Those of you reading this in Montana (hi, Becky) or New England,or the Arctic Circle won’t find this temperature too remarkable. Here in Virginia, though, it’s the main topic of conversation.

Normally, I would have only a casual interest in this because garden is sleeping and I’m in the house (sitting on a radiator, no doubt) waiting for spring. This year is different, because I have the greenhouse full of rose cuttings and small plants. Roses are not tender like tomatoes or peppers, so temps below freezing for a few nights should be fine. This sort of frigid weather, however, can freeze everything solid and I could lose everything out there.

Up until the last two nights, I have been doing fine heating the greenhouse with two oil-filled electric radiators. These do a good job keeping the inside temperature at least 13 degrees above the outside temperature -- which is fine when the low temp is 20 - 25 degrees, like it usually is. With the reality of temps near zero in the forecast from earlier this week, I knew I had to add something else to the plan. I borrowed a small propane heater from my neighbor, and all has been fine. As long as I keep a steady supply of propane on hand, the greenhouse will nice and toasty.


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