Bahhh cold and powerless

SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)February 7, 2014

This more of a whiney rant than anything as yesterday we had -30 temps and were basically without power from 7 am till 9pm. While I have a generator and was able to power my house I was not able to get power to my grow room, of course all my extension cords were on the job site. All my tomatoes, cucumber, radish, carrot, melons, pea and bean plants succumbed to the cold and half my leaf lettuce looks like it will fall over too. Of course fruit was starting to set on everything.... I can sure sympathize with you folks and mid summer frosts now.

I sure hope this is the last of it for the year!

SCG

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davidcalgary29(2b)

What a shame! The beauty of gardening, though, is that we get to start over again after weather disasters.

I'm thankful to say that I've never experienced a mid-summer frost (I live too far north for that; summer nights are too short). I've wondered what it was like after the big freeze in '87, when many in central Alberta lost everything in the middle of July.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 12:50AM
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twrosz

SCG, I'd say it's more than good reason to be upset! Hey, I know you're intending on planting tons of roses in the spring, I imagine that you get plenty enough snow to protect them from the cold? Pretty much had lost 2/3 rds of our snow during the big January thaw. Of course, I loved the mild temps, though much longer and the front lawn would have begun to show.

"All my tomatoes, cucumber, radish, carrot, melons, pea and bean plants succumbed to the cold and half my leaf lettuce looks like it will fall over too"... SCG, what kind of set up do have that you're able to grow all these things so early? What about bug problems, how's the power bill? Other than a vast amount of rose seedlings and some early sown first year blooming hollyhocks, that's all that yet sits in my sunny south window ... but, spring is on the way!

Davidcalgary29 ... yes, I remember that July frost in the 80's, I had been travelling south down to Calgary and was amazed to see all the blackened gardens! I think Edmonton and further north had missed out, as my garden had escaped damage. Though, that early '80's August arctic blast and snowfall had gotten everyone right down into Montana. Good thing we had experienced a very warm summer and the garden had matured early, orange pumpkins and all, though snow and an overnight low of -5 C was a shock to the system!

Terrance

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 2:21PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Davidcalgary29, Yeah I could start over but they wouldn't mature by the time i need the lights for my flower and veggie seedlings. Always next year. Worst part is trying to find melon seeds locally.

Terry, Actually we don't usually get that much snow here, hopefully enough. I also plan to plant them a little deeper (graft 6" down) and they will get a solid 3-4" of bark mulch.

My set up is pretty simple. I have a 4'x8' sheet of plywood as a table and have 2- 48" 8 bulb T5HO fixtures over it with an additional 4 48" single bulbs I hang for side light when the plants get tall. I have a bunch of other light fixtures and am experimenting on what works best. Metal Halide and HPS produce more heat than I would like.

*knock on wood* I have yet to have bug problems. Let the bugs be forewarned that I am not afraid to use sprays, especially in a closed environment.

Power bill isn't that bad because of the lights, the heaters burn more electricity than anything. Although I plan on adding extra styrofoam this week. I calculated the lighting cost at about $12/month and my heaters cost about $30 due to the lack of insulation. Pretty cheap hobby IMHO and it takes the winter blues away.

SCG

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 3:12PM
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shillanorth Z4 AB

That`s a major disappointment/let down to have to deal with. What a shame. All you can do is keep looking forward. I was intrigued by your description of your setup - any chance of a picture?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 8:23PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

shilla, I can take a photo tonight when I go out to water. I can assure you it is as rudimentary as it gets. I set it up this way so I could figure out what I wanted to build.....just never got around to it. The bonus of the way this is set up is that it is very easy and fast to add and remove lights.

BTW, does anyone have any cantaloupe or honeydew melon seeds they want to trade?

SCG

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 8:54PM
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shillanorth Z4 AB

That`s a major disappointment/let down to have to deal with. What a shame. All you can do is keep looking forward. I was intrigued by your description of your setup - any chance of a picture?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 8:55PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Here are a few pics from my phone.

This shows the hanging nails, timer and plugs

What is left after the cold snap, resowed radishes in the round pots since they are a short crop

and the table

Sorry can't do much more for pics as the room is too small to get back far enough....second thought tomorrow I will go out with a wide angle lens if you would like.

SCG

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 11:59PM
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intotheark

that is most unfortunate
i saw your weather the night before,
and was surprised how low it was forecast to be

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 7:50PM
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twrosz

SCG, thanks for posting the photos of your setup. That lettuce looks really good and healthy ... and tasty! I think I'll later sow some to transplant out into the garden.

I sure don't imagine that you experience -30 C in your region all that often and I hope there's not too much damage done to the more tender of plants and trees. Here in the Edmonton region, despite the very cold temps received, we're fortunate to generally have reliable snowcover.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 1:39AM
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shillanorth Z4 AB

Thanks for the photos SCG - I don`t visualize well from descriptions so that cleared things up for me just fine!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 4:02PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Sorry it took so long to get back on this.

Terry, yeah -30 isn't common but it seems we always hit that temp at least once a year.

Shilla, Like I said it is very simple and rudimentary. I have recently picked up some left over plywood from work and plan on making something before I start all my annuals.

Crazy weather for here, -32 two thursdays ago and +12 the past one....I am so anxious for spring!!!

SCG

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 1:51PM
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luckygal(3b)

Sorry to hear about the loss of your plants but lesson learned - the cost of extra extension cords is small compared to your loss.

I'll quote something someone told me when we moved to this zone 3 from the more hospitable climate of the Okanagan - "you've gotta be tough to live in the north" and it's definitely something I think about more in winter!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 1:45PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Again I am sorry, I forgot to add this pic ( and a terribly phone one)

This is the thermostat that I use to control the heat under the lamps, my germination pad and fan control...they are sort of expensive but the electricity they say are amazing. To clarify it can't control 3 zones but I have one for each use.

If it isn't clear as mud please ask and I will try to help

SCG

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 9:53PM
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