Sunday, January 4, 2015

Winter Chill Garden LifeHack for your Nursery

The New Year is here, and the Winter Chill has no doubt kissed your garden with a layer of frost. 

There is a beautiful serenity in nature at this time of year; we don't get to hear as many birds chirping, bees buzzing, or critters crawling.  As peaceful as this seems, it also means our garden can go into an unrecoverable hibernation unless we put in a little effort.
If you're anything like me, you may like to plant seeds throughout the year, failing to pay attention to the ideal season for germination.  Fortunately my California climate lends itself to this year-round-gardener mentality.  The weather is not typically extreme.  This New Year's Eve, however, the Southern California Wine Country had a generous snowfall which coated the region.  Nature's confectioner dusted the mountains, vineyards, and rooftops with layer upon layer of powder.
As I grabbed my phone at 3:30 am on New Year's Eve to photograph the phenomenon (the last snowfall was 10 years ago), I immediately thought of my nursery and the tomato and herb babies I planted in the Fall.  Thankfully I had brought them indoors and Nature is still on my side.  

I developed a little Garden-Hack, a mini-makeshift Green House which may come in handy if your garden ever experiences a sudden chill.  I call my plants my babies because that's what they are!  My babies need the nurturing sunlight, but not the chill.  I'm not sure how this sudden Winter chill will affect my nursery, but I'm hoping to share my luscious tomato and herb creations in a few months!

Mini-Nursery Green House
Cost: Minimal

Old Screen Door or Window Screen
Plastic Wrap (reusable)
Pipe Cleaners or Wire

Find an old screen door or window screen which you can cut up, or purchase screen material at your local home improvement warehouse.  Place your potted plants in a sunny area on a plastic saucer or large makeshift cachepot which can serve as an anchor for your screen.  Cut a large piece of screen which will fully cover well over the top of your tallest plant.  Use pipe cleaners or wire to connect the wire to the bottom of your planter:  be creative!  Now cut a piece of plastic wrap (can be reused) large enough to cover the entire screen.  Your mini green house will protect your plants from pests and will retain soil warmth and allow your plants full access to the Sunlight.  Be sure to bring your plants indoors or into your garage/storage space in order to avoid a freeze. 
You can always purchase a pre-made greenhouse or make a more elaborate one with PVC or wood, but this is a quick lifehack when you don't have all weekend for a hands-on DIY project!


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