Arctic cold in Arizona

For the THIRD time we hit single digits this winter.

2/3/11 -- prepared for another cold night

Tuesday it was incredibly windy, all the water and ice on the greenhouse roof got blown off.  There went our insulation … I was not happy!
We brought the seedlings in pots and trays into the house (the adobe greenhouse is FULL!) and I'm sure glad we covered the seedlings in the greenhouse beds and the tomatoes with blankets.
Tuesday night was colder than expected, it went down to 5 degrees outside and 19 in the greenhouse.  We have no idea what the wind chill was, but it was COLD!  The blankets did the trick, all the plants survived.
The forecast for last night was even colder — 12 degrees in Kingman and we're usually about 10 degrees colder.   So I put the Mr. Heater on an almost empty propane bottle and covered the seedlings and tomatoes again.   By around 9 pm we were at 6 degrees, then it “heated up” to 12, and then temps started to drop again. Fortunately no wind.
Around 11 pm I fired up Mr. Heater to let it run until the bottle was empty.  It was still going at 6 am.  The outdoor low was 4 degrees and of course the plants are fine.  Surprisingly, even the raised plastic covered salad beds are looking great.  Looking forward to salad tomorrow and we have a few red tomatoes to pick too.
So we hope this is the LAST cold spell for the season.   To put this in perspective, last year our season low was 17.  And we thought it was a cold winter last year, with freezing temps all December.
I wish there was a Mr. Heater with a timer.  Since we're off the grid, we can't use electric heating unless we run the generator all night.
We're ready for spring!
Many seedlings in the greenhouse beds have real leaves now and all we need is sunshine.

Our carport shadehouse converted to greenhouse

Last spring we cleared a foreclosed lot and got to keep just about everything there:   barbed wire, stakes, t-posts, fencing, bbqs, a huge metal framed sign,  linseed oil and just so much “stuff”.   We had a huge load for the dump and still have tons of metal and buckets of fittings and bolts.
Among the “stuff” were pipes and connectors for a carport.  As dust devils blew across the lot frequently and our little tomato cage (about 5 x 8′) was overflowing, we finally assembled what we had and realized that we were missing a few pieces.
We set it up as a 14 x 14′ structure with a flat roof, high enough to walk inside without bumping your head.

8/20/10 shadehouse

We had the rigid plastic for the ends from my old porch roof, shade cloth and only had to buy a few 2 x 4’s.

It worked surprisingly well!  Too bad we didn’t set it up earlier.

Snakes liked it too: Continue reading “Our carport shadehouse converted to greenhouse”