This week's 'dig'
Kate at High Altitude Gardening reports a neat thing happening in SLC, UT

You know you're a gardener when...
Blunders with Shoots, Blossoms 'n Roots
Where things either live or die!

Feb 26, 2011



I woke up yesterday morning and the first thing on my mind was, “Oh no! I left the pansies in the greenhouse…uncovered!”

I went out to check on things- needless to say after a night with 16.5 temps in there, the pansies were not happy. I left them out there to fend for themselves after taking the shot of the watering cans! You would think later on that night I would have remembered to bring them in since they were in that picture! I was lucky they weren’t black- pansies are pretty cold hardy though.

I decided a slow thaw would be best, so I placed a clear dome on them for about an hour. Later when the temp had reached 35 degrees, I brought them in and put them under the lights- without the bottom heat. After a couple hours of that I turned the bottom heat on. A day later here is what they look like…


Some look okay, some don’t- we’ll see what happens. I’m sure I’ll see more damage in the coming weeks- glad I started some more.


The other things I had growing in the greenhouse seemed fine, thankfully. I had these covered with the second layer of protection and then last night was so cold that I added a blanket- when I went to bed it was 9.2 degrees in there!

Upon waking this morning I saw that the low had dipped to 0.3 in the greenhouse. Outside was –6. I waited for the temps to get to 35 degrees and then uncovered the bed-



Everything looks fine after it thaws, just as Eliot Coleman writes about in his books- truly amazing! These tests will come in handy when we put up our big greenhouse some day.

The lids that I had to make quickly for the small greenhouse ground bed worked very well-

I really wanted more of a cold frame like lid with it slanted toward the south, but these are the materials I had on hand- they’ll be nice when the plants get some height to them. I made 3 of them for ease of removal, instead of one long one- it would have been awkward to take them on and off for sure. 

The experiments continue- very fun! Which reminds me…I need to check on the winter sown babies to see how they did with this freezing weather!


Happy Gardening,




  • Rosey

    Hi Tessa,

    I like the covers you made for your greenhouse growboxes. It is a good idea! I think your pansies will survive, they are pretty tough plants. When did you start your greenhouse garden and what is in it?

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