Last year I bought a large roll of bubble wrap and hundred or so small bulldog clips with a view to wrapping the greenhouses externally rather than internally, as I found the Alliplug clips I had use to hold the bubblewrap internally the previous year did not consistently hold it in place and the sheets were forever falling down. It was a pretty mild winter last year and it never seemed quite necessary enough to take the extra precaution of wrapping the greenhouses up; this year though, having just gone through the second of two periods of below freezing nights I decided that perhaps I really ought to make the effort to get them done, even if the proverbial horses had already bolted.
It was easy to clip the wrap onto the frame with the bulldog clips, but there was no way I can reach the higher parts of the roof and the sides that abut the fences are out of bounds too so the greenhouses are only partially wrapped. Hopefully it will make at least a small difference – and that a small gust of wind doesn’t just rip the whole lot off! Perhaps I will try it internally again next year, as the bubblewrap on my previous attempt was not as wide as I would have liked and it had to be used horizontally.
Both greenhouses have a tubular heater which is timed to come on for a twelve hour period although I only have the timer switched on when low temperatures are forecast. Having just read a suggestion in Gardeners’ World magazine that a bucket of water in the greenhouse will help to boost temperatures by absorbing heat during the day and releasing it overnight there are now buckets in both too! It should all help – unlike the Golfer who was really in the doghouse earlier in the week when I went for my morning ramble and found one of the greenhouse doors open…. He had been measuring glass to replace a broken pane and presumably forgot to close it again, leaving trays of precious seedlings and cuttings at the mercy of -1.7°C overnight temperatures… Aaaaagh!
Needless to say, I was not best pleased as the vast majority of my autumn sown seedlings were still in there, and as you can see from my list of 2016-17 sowings I have been very busy sowing and nurturing and really didn’t know how well any of them could stand up to a single night of temperatures like this:
Fortunately they don’t seem to have suffered and the Golfer has had a lucky escape – especially as he would have to have built his own doghouse before he could sleep in it… In fact, the only sowing that has suffered at all in the colder temperatures of recent weeks is Panicum ‘Frosted Explosion’ which turned up its toes a few weeks ago – and indeed it has been intriguing to see late November sowings of larkspur, viscaria and Stipa tenuissima germinating, albeit taking over a month to do so. These may well be my last sowings until February, and trawling through and organising the rest of my seeds is a task that needs to be done pretty soon so I can assess what I have and haven’t got and plan a further sowing schedule of sorts. It certainly doesn’t take long for the cycle to start again, does it?