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To those of you that use unheated structures to over winter

Posted by us_marine cali-z9b (My Page) on
Sun, Nov 4, 12 at 17:04

Ok so I have a small green house made out of plastic that is just barely big enough to walk in to and move around a little in. If I don't use a heat source what are ways that will still allow natural heat/sun in but keep it above freezing as well? I'm thinking about experimenting to see how much a coconut palm will really need to survive a winter here using as little as possible before actually spending a lot on a heated green house.

What makes me think it might be possible is the fact that in an enclosed area that allows sunlight in the temps can easily be 10-20f above air temps outside on sunny days. Even though our winters are mostly cloudy we still get a fair amount of sunlight. That should be just enough to get the palm through until the weather warms up. That is if the night time temps can be kept above freezing and warmer than each nights low since they are on the cool side. So what are ways to keep them up? Or would I have to wrap the palm with a frost cloth on nights with a frost warning?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: To those of you that use unheated structures to over winter

I have a Malayan Dwarf. My typical protection method involves wrapping a towel/cloth around the fronds, tying the outside of the cloth to keep the leaves together, and putting a cardboard box (pretty large) over it. It works in my climate.

Theoretically, the more ground heat you can trap, the better off you'll be. They don't like the soil getting cool/cold.

When the box is no longer big enough, I'll probably opt for the pvc structure with cloth around it. Not sure where I'll go if the thing gets over 40' tall. Guess all I can do there is coach it into growing close to the ground so the a large portion of the trunk is easy to cover and keep warm.

RE: To those of you that use unheated structures to over winter

Containers of water will heat up during the day and give off heat during the night. Black containers work the best. You should be able to adapt that principle to your particular circumstances.

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