What do you think about this?

honeybunny2(Z9TX)October 8, 2012

My husband told me he is going to seal the single car garage next to the old house. It has has basket weave siding, he will staple thick plastic inside the walls. It doesn't have any floor, just dirt. He said I can store all my plumeria and tropical plants inside. I am worried, since there is no lighting. They will all be in the dark. I will put a small heater inside, because there is no insulation( but can only turn on when I am there). The house attached is up about 3 ft with tin surrounding it. Last year I had them in his 3 car garage, but we did not even had a freeze. What do you think, will this work? We already have tons on acorns falling, so it's going to be a cold winter. I am scared to do this, but do not have a choice. Do you have any suggestions, as to what to do to help my plants. I wonder if I get over head light( there is no lights currently in the garage). He is a retired firefighter, and will not let me leave christmas lights on, or a slow cooker unless I am there. I do not live at the coast, and would have to drive down to turn on lights or the heater. I have quite an investmest in new plants, and would hate to loose them. Any suggestions will be apprecaited. 95% of my plants are new, and need to remain in the pots for another year before I can bare root store them. 5% I was planning on storing bare root, but now think they would have a better chance if I put them in pots in this new storage area. What do you think? I had everything planned, but now am lost. Please any suggestions that might help. Barbra

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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

Hi Barbra,

Interesting. Can't help you too much.

But,tropicals will need light. Can't you at least add some cheap fluourescent lighting on timers -- maybe four units or so? and maybe a small fan to circulate air. The lights will give out some heat and should be fairly safe.

But if you are not allowed any electrical devices, I'm sure plumerias will do OK as long as you don't leave them in there more than 3 or 4 months or so. And as long as it doesn't freeze, but you know that. Does it warm up in there in the daytime?

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 11:36AM
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just install a skylight (4' long)or two. I got one in my garage. Plenty of light during the day.

tc, George

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 3:29PM
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Tough one Barbara - I left mine in a shed in San Antonio and lost them all one year. In the garage they were fine, (no heater) and the reason I believe was the 2 walls of insulation. The more of it, the better. If there's any way you could insulate it a little more I think that would help a lot.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 9:39PM
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Barbra, unless we get another bad two-day freeze like two years ago, you should be okay at the coast. The roof overhead combined with the dirt floor should be enough protection for the light frosts you're likely to see at Rockport. The whole thing will be enclosed in plastic, right? That should be fine. Is the structure on the north side of the house? That would be my only big concern if there is a hard freeze.

A fan is a great idea, and more important than light, since many people store their plumies in the dark over winter and they wake up just fine. But if you can't leave anything electrical going while you're gone--safety first!--then hopefully it will be enough protection to bring them all into the center of the structure huddled together. You can also pile up some mulch around the pots after they're tucked in.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 9:44AM
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You might mulch all around the pots to help insulate the roots.It's what I do to my cannas in pots.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 10:18AM
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Thank you, these are all great ideas, I will definitely get the 2 lights for overhead. The garage carport does not have an outlet to plug them in. I think there is one on the front porch. I will buy those lights this week, and take down next weekend. I do not plan to put the plumeria up until after Thanksgiving. Barbra

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 11:12AM
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Andrew Scott

HI Barbra,
I kept the bulk of mine in the basement last winter, and after hauling them all in last night due to this arctic blast we have had, I can see that most will be beack in the basement AGAIN! MY only problem was that last year most of the pots were wet, and again the same this year! I began moving them onto the porch once I realized we were going to have non stop rain for over a week. The other thing I have learned is not to trust the weather man!!

My spare bedroom looks like something straigt out of a Jurassic Park or Indiana Jones movie..I can barely move in that room right now without knocking something over. Hopefully in a week or so, pots will be dry enough to be stored in the basement. There is very little lighting there but it is heated from all the exposed pipes that run into the heater.

Good luck Barbra!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 1:15PM
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I think you will be ok with the plastic. The basket weave siding and then the plastic will create an insulating air pocket. I would also have some lights put in and on a timer. I doubt you will need a heater unless its a hard freeze and you will know about that with enough warning.

Would G be ok with a thermostat controlled heater which only operates when temperatures go below a set point?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 11:02PM
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K, where can I get a thermostat controlled heater? Maybe that will not be an option, since there are no outlets in that space. If I was there I could unplug the lights, and plug in the heater. I could drive down and baby sit my plants thruout a freeze. Barbra

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 8:23AM
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Remember Emerson sticks his in a dark, unheated garage where they stay for at least 3 months. I drag mine in at the first freeze and about 1/2 end up in the storeroom until spring, no light, no water.

Dormant plants don`t need light. They have no need for light or water.

I`d wrap a layer of insulation inside the plastic,a very thick layer of newspaper on the ground for insulation-at least our ground doesn`t freeze, let the plants get nice and dry and pack `em in. Wrap a few layers of newspaper around the pots and tape it to help insulate the roots.
Any small seedlings/cuttings take home where you can keep them warmer. Then a nice glass, or bottle of wine and quit worrying.

Tally Ho!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 9:35AM
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Tally thanks for the information, I did not know Emerson kept his in the dark, I feel so much better knowing that.
I planned to put carpet on the ground before I put them down. I can certainly put newpapers between the pots, for extra protection. I am going to ask Gary tonight to see about putting lights and a heater inside. I like the insulation inside the plastic idea too. I will let you know what he says. Barbra

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 1:54PM
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I am getting the overhead lights and the tempature controled heater. He will staple thick plastic against the basketweave siding. I am really excited, my plants will have their own place. I might even start moving them in before we get a freeze warning. Barbra

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 2:08PM
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