Thursday, January 9, 2014

Surviving Florberia

Our deep freeze has finally broken although we had about ten minutes of a snow flurry this morning!   This time we had over 24 hours of freezing temperatures which was a first for us.    I have only been this cold twice in my lifetime.  Once in Wyoming in 1992 and Tennessee in 1993.  I hate cold weather!

Monday my almanac said it was a good day for planting so I worked in the greenhouse planting seeds of tomato, peppers and eggplants.  All of these seed need to be started about 8 to 10 weeks before you plan on planting them in your garden.  Most years we can start planting our gardens in late March.   

After I got the seeds planted, I covered them with plastic and put them on one of our propagation mats set at 80 degrees.  The seeds I have planted need warm soil to germinate. 

I had some nice tomatoes growing inside the greenhouse. Notice I said "had".

I picked one that was ripe and ate half of it and Yeti ate the other half which I thought was pretty cool.  We used to have a Bichon Frise that loved tomatoes.  He would go in the garden and pick him a ripe one from time to time by biting it off of the vine.

Papa Bear was still not feeling his best but worked on the wood-stove to try to save the few plants we had in the greenhouse. 

He finally got it put together and got a fire going in it about 9:30 PM but it was not early enough to get ahead of the freezing temperatures that was already on us.  With all of his efforts of up and down all night long to keep wood burning, our greenhouse was at 32 degrees the next morning.  It was 18 outside the greenhouse with a real feel of 6 degrees..

The tomatoes took a big hit.  This was taken the morning after the freeze.  They look even worse now.  I picked all of the large green tomatoes to fry.

The bananas froze.  I don't know how bad yet but the leaves are gonners for sure.

I don't know about the pineapple yet.  It will probably be several more days before I know if they made it or not.

What really surprised me were the bell peppers.  Just a few of the top leaves looked frostbit but the peppers and all of the blooms on the plants look fine.

I had pinched off some suckers from the tomato plants and planted them to start more tomato plants.  They are still standing up like little soldiers but they were also on the heat mat.  Guess it was just enough heat to protect them.  One little stem broke from a pepper and I planted that to see if it will root like tomato stems do.

Don't forget this summer when you pinch off the suckers to plant them.  You can usually get a second crop of tomatoes before winter hits.  They are free plants and grow much faster than those started from seed.


  1. Mamma Bear,

    The green peppers will survive this, mine did outside and they did wonderfully.
    The tomatoes, well they make try to live if you cut most of the frozen pieces off.

    1. Thanks Sandy. Some of the stem towards the bottom looks good. I will cut them back and see what happens. It sure was nice not having to buy those plastic tasting tomatoes from the store when we wanted a salad or BLT.

  2. Ironically, it was the pepper plants that didn't make it for me. My tomatoes withered but I think the cabbage, broccoli & cauliflower plants made it. I don't get home before dark so I will have to check them on Saturday morning before the rain moves in. Glad to have seasonal temps back. Mama Bear, I love your greenhouse.

    1. Thanks DFW....I think all of my cole plants outside are still alive too. I see green when I have zoomed by the garden in the golf cart on my way to take care of something other than the garden. I was really surprised the pepper plants made it. I always thought they loved hot, hot, and hotter weather. The greenhouse needs to be recovered but that is another story.

  3. Your green house looks amazing! I would love to see more pictures about your green house. I am considering building on at our new house - sunshine permitting. If I missed the post, please send me a link! Look forward to reading about it.

    1. K...We used to have a nursery business so I have a commercial greenhouse. I think it is 36 x 72 feet so it can hold a lot of plants. At this time I only use a tiny part of it for plants and Papa Bear has piled it up with junk. One day I will dig out a disc of pictures and post some when we were in full swing. Before we had this one we had a couple of small hoop houses which are easy to build and maintain without a lot of expense. I will try to find the link and post it for you.

  4. That would be tough keeping a greenhouse warm in that cold. At least you have a stove hooked up for lessor events now. It will be months before I start getting ready to plant things as I only have a cold frame but I see more people putting up greenhouses these days.

    1. SBF...we used to raise tropical plants and have a huge propane heater, fans and exhaust in the gh. Problem is that it needs recovering and I won't go into that expense until we truly use it for a greenhouse again. Papa Bear uses most of it for storage of what looks like a bunch of junk to me. Heating it with all of those holes probably would have burned through 100 gallons of gas in no time and besides that birds have built nest in the heater and we haven't taken the time to clean it. We really need to sell it and get a smaller one but Papa Bear doesn't want to. If Papa Bear would clean it up and we recovered it, we could probably raise another garden inside it during the winter. We usually are not as cold as we were this week and just keeping frost off the plants would have been good enough..

  5. How to Make Pemmican The Ultimate Survival Food

    Invented by the natives of North America.

    Pemmican was used by Indian scouts as well as early western explorers.

    These people spent a great deal of time on the go and depended on having portable, high-energy, highly nutritious, and filling foods that would last for long periods of time without refrigeration.

    Click HERE to Learn How to Make Pemmican The Ultimate Survival Food !

    People really should avert their gaze from the modern survival thinking for just a bit and also look at

    How folks 150 years ago did it!

    These guys were the last generation to practice basic things-for a living-that we call survival skills now.

    Survival Things Our Great Grandfathers Did Or Built Around The House!


Search This Blog