Saturday, December 17, 2016

Weather change coming!

Hello, everyone.

Today the weather is very warm--the prefrontal heating as I call it. Tomorrow it will be colder than today, by about 35 degrees F. And Monday we will probably not get out of the 40's (F) at all.

It reminds me of winters some years back, when I'd dig out all the incandescent light strings in the house, and all the worn-out bedsheets, and do things like this:

Tomatoes wrapped against the cold in February 2011. Right hand plant needed two sheets.

At night, we plugged in the extension cords.
We're not supposed to get that low this time, only in the tip-top of the 30's, so I probably won't wrap tomatoes. We did haul the potted frangipane up onto the porch, out of the wind, and draped it with incandescent C7 bulbs. And the orchids are coming inside for most of the week.

User tip, in case you are looking at sudden near-freezing weather and want to cover up a tender garden plant: bring your fabric all the way to the ground and weight it down with rocks. No openings at the top, especially not the kind of openings where if the plant had eyes it could see the stars. (Much of the freeze is by radiation of the existing warmth out to space. Overhangs or old sheets block the radiation.) Bonus points if you tie or safety-pin the fabric so it won't inflate in the rush of cold wind when the front arrives and blow over. (Or completely away!)

Down here, where it almost never freezes, we have our water service going through the air on the way into the house. These pipes need to be wrapped in fabric.

I remember in the 1983 killing freeze, we didn't know that. Our water pipe froze. I got to take a table lamp outside, and a cardboard box, and get the lamp inside the box. The wind was blowing a lot, and I had to drag a bag of BBQ charcoal out to the hose bib to hold the box against the wall so the pipe would thaw out. (Ah, memories.)

In the 1989 killing freeze, the water line was wrapped, but the air got so cold that the faucet froze that part of the line inside the wall. At least that time the wind wasn't blowing away my impromptu warming setup apart!