Organic Gardening

Get dirty, have fun and grow more food with great gardening tips from real-life gardeners.

Add to My MSN

Quick Tip: Preparing Your Potted Garden for a Hard Freeze

11/19/2013 10:06:00 AM

Tags: portable greenhouse, container gardening, winter gardening, Ohio, Melodie Metje

When a hard freeze is in the forecast, it is time to pick the last of the tomatoes, peppers and eggplants and clean the plants from the garden! 

Portable Greenhouse for Pots

All the tomatoes, peppers and eggplants should be harvested before the vine is killed.  Green tomatoes can be made into fried green tomatoes (I love a spicy fish breading on mine), pickled, or stored in a dark place to ripen.  You can bring your pepper plants indoors and they will flower and produce for weeks.  They will survive the entire winter and get a one to two month head start on next year's season.

You can compost any garden debris that is disease free, but dispose of any diseased plants in the garbage. Only high sustained temperatures will destroy the spores and it is not worth the risk of spreading into next year’s garden.

This is the time of year to put a coat on your potted plants that you are going to leave outdoors. The best place to locate your plants and greenhouse is close to protection and on the south side of the house in full sun. Putting the greenhouse against the house will help keep the temperatures warmer for your plants.

I have my portable greenhouse over my three Earthoxes that contain kale, celery, French dandelion, spinach, lettuce, blood veined sorrel, and garden purslane. It is also best to make sure the pots are sitting directly on the ground.  I have my pots placed next to our outdoor kitchen and on the concrete patio.  The outdoor kitchen wall and concrete patio absorbs heat during the day to release overnight, keeping the temperatures from dipping inside the greenhouse.

I put five 1 gallon jugs filled with water and spray painted black inside the greenhouse along the outside edge. I have 2 on each side and 1 in the end.  The black will help heat up the water during the day.  These will help moderate the temperature inside the greenhouse overnight.  Make sure you have the edges of greenhouse secured to the ground (there is an internal flap all around the inside of my greenhouse that I placed the milk jugs on to hold the flaps down).

The biggest risk with a greenhouse? Overheating! The sun’s rays are quite hot on a cloudless day. I open the vent on my greenhouse when it is sunny and in the 30’s. I will unzip the front door flap when it gets into the 40’s.   In the 50’s, the cold crops really don’t need any protection.

For more potted and small space gardening tips, see my blog at VictoryGardenOnTheGolfCourse.Blogspot.com.



Related Content

Four Season Garden Explained

If you have wondered what a four season garden is, the definition is simple. It is a garden that you...

What Keeps Farmers Busy in the Winter?

Wintertime for a farmer is full of projects and planning.

Goat School Goes International

Goat School will be traveling to British Columbia and then to Ohio in September.

End-of-Season in the Greenhouse

As winter descends a three-season hoop house is weeded, compost spread, and a straw mulch applied. N...

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 







Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.