Baby it’s cold outside part 2

18 Dec

It’s been a bit warmer during the daytime for the past couple of days, but at night it’s still been freezing!

Early in the week, I got a bit freaked out about my balcony garden, remembering that a couple years ago some of my plants literally froze – we managed to revive most of them, but some of them never made it. I was determined not to let that happen again, especially since I’m looking forward to eating many of these plants.

So I asked for advice from my girlfriend’s mom, who has a lot of experience with urban gardening. There are of course the typical options, like covering plants with sheets, or sealing off the balcony opening with thick plastic or a blanket. But she also offered up a suggestion I’d never heard of or thought of – stringing up Christmas lights around the plants. The lights emit just enough heat to keep the plants from freezing.

Although I’m sure this wouldn’t work in colder climates, it seems to be working well in Oakland. My plants look just as happy and healthy as ever – plus, my balcony now glows:




2 Responses to “Baby it’s cold outside part 2”

  1. BMac December 19, 2008 at 12:53 pm #

    I’m jealous of your container garden! I’ve got plenty of room at my rental for a container garden, and would love to have yummy edibles from one. My wife has some containers but focuses on decorative stuff only thus far. Maybe this season I’ll get involved and start a food producing container garden w/ her. Any suggestions where to start?

  2. Becks December 19, 2008 at 1:10 pm #

    You should definitely try it out – it’s easier than you might imagine. I highly recommend growing potatoes – they are by far the easiest and least sensitive plants I’ve grown. Just half some old potatoes and put them in some dirt.

    For the winter season, I also recommend any kind of greens – chard, spinach, kale. I’m trying out beets but will have to report back later about how that goes.

    Once the spring and summer arrive, cherry tomatoes are great. Squash is super easy if you have room for it. Any kind of peas or beans are generally hearty as well.

    Good luck and let me know if you have any questions.

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