Tuesday, February 1, 2011

So much for the warmer than normal winter.

2 Days ago it was 80 degrees, yesterday it was 76, today the high at my house was 28. When I went to bed at 11:00pm last night it was 67 degrees and I found myself putting my plants into the greenhouse and turning on the heat lamp preparing for the impending deep freeze. It seemed wrong somehow. Turning on the heat lamp when it was 67 degrees out.

And then it happened. At 3:00am. I awoke to what sounded like large animals trampling my roof and the wind howling. The wind was absolutely tearing through my yard. I admit I was concerned. The wind had to be blowing at least 50 mph. At least. The rain was pounding. And that sound of animals on my roof? That was the sound of the shingles being systematically ripped from the north side of the roof. But what was I most worried about? My pop-up greenhouse!! I thought for sure the wind was gonna tear that thing up and fling it far, far way leaving my plants in shambles and bits.

I fell back to sleep and I dreamt of my greenhouse blown away, all the plants all torn and crushed. When I awoke, I immediately ran to the window and peered outside. What did I see? Shingles everywhere and my greenhouse completely and totally UNHARMED!! There it stood, plants snug and safe inside. I simply could not believe it. When I was reading reviews about my pop-up greenhouse before I made my purchase, there were reports that this greenhouse had made it through 70+ mph winds with no damage. I took these stories with a grain of salt, tall tales, I said to myself. However, it did make me feel more confident about my purchase.

Last night, the little pop-up greenhouse was put to the test. It was staked down with at least 10 stakes pounded flush into the caliche and clay ground a good 7 inches deep (that was a chore, mind you). And it was roped down at all corners as well. And it stayed put. When the shingles flew away, the greenhouse stood fast. Through 70 mph winds I came to find out from the national weather service. 70 mph winds. UN-believable!

Tonight the little greenhouse has become a little igloo for my plants. The inside walls were dripping with moisture from the heat and humidity and as the sun went down a slight icy crust has formed around the edges where the freezing winds beat down, the icy layer keeping the heat in and the winds out. Will my plants survive in there? I'll find out once the deep-freeze is over, but for now the heat lamp blazes on giving the greenhouse a warm toasty-red glow.

I am also worried about my sagos. Luckily, they are on the south side of the house and are spared the biting North winds. I wrapped them up good with an old car cover. They made it through last year's week of below freezing temps and snow, hopefully they will make it through again. They are planted snug up against the south side of the house, so as long as they are covered, I think they will make it. Other plants in the yard? Those will have to fend for themselves. I'm sure I will lose some. I mean, the wind chills are supposed to be less than zero. LESS THAN ZERO. In Austin. Central Texas. Holy cow. I take back that statement I made about it being more zone 9-ish here. It's zone 8 all the way.


Caroline said...

Zone 8 for sure, and I think we can drop the "b" now, too! That greenhouse is super-impressive. I wonder if they make ones big enough to cover 5 foot lime trees? Ha! I'm sorry to hear about your shingles.

Pam/Digging said...

Bummer about the shingles, but glad your plants are well-protected. Yes, we'll all be moaning about our losses when things warm up again. I hate to think about the poor zone 9 plants I've been playing with.

TheGardenCloche said...

Where did you buy your little greenhouse? Looks cool. Was it easy to assemble. I'm in North Texas, so we're seeing plenty of cold, snow and ice right now. I thought a easy, decent size greenhouse would be cool to have.

Nice complete article. I've seen good success with both cloches and cold frames. I've found they're a little tricky where I am in Texas, because one day it'll be freezing cold and the next day it'll be 75 degrees. Pretty erratic weather. But they certainly do protect your plants.

TheGardenCloche.com | Quality Plant Covers

Lee17 said...


I think they do actually make bigger ones - up to around 8 feet tall I think.


Ugh, yeah, I am already moaning about my losses, but each loss provides a new opportunity for something new and fantabulous. :)


I forget which which website it was that I bought my greenhouse from - I did a search for whomever had the lowest price.

It is a Flowerhouse greenhouse. Here is their website so you can see their different products:


And definately look around if you decide to buy one, because they can be found much cheaper than from the parent website.

As for putting it together, it really does take 2 people because the rods are a little difficult to set up without another person holding the house in place. But it didn't take very long - It took me and my assitant 45 minutes to put it up.