February Is Cold, But How Warm?

February Solar Temps Compared To Ambient?

Here in Richmond, Va., we have finally gotten a Winter Blast that reminds us it’s still, Winter. But, we have also achieved about an hour and 20 minutes of daylight. Check your gained time here at the USNO website, just fill in the blanks. What’s that mean to a gardener? Well, it’s like this. The angle of the Sun is rocketing from low in the South, back to East, basically. The soil temps from this angle is warming up. By the time Forsythia blooms in March, we will have 2 hours gained. But the ambient temp now is around 11, and the real feel is about 0 to -4. Was worse the other day, and tonight, worse yet. But the Sun is helping in this February blast.

Last week I had pipes freeze. No way to get anything to the well house and tank to apply heat. so, I took a digital thermometer and placed in the shade a few minutes, and as it got down to 50 degrees or so, I then put it in the direct Sun. It jumped up to 75 degrees. Now, I have done this next thing before, and it works. I took 3 large mirrors, and pointed them all at the inlet pipe and accumulator tank under the house. Had to readjust every 45 minutes or so, but from around 11:30 to 2:30, the water came back. The well house is on the North side of this old house. I could feel the heat every time I stepped in front of the mirrors, and it was warm inside that pump house. Pic below is of my endeavors. The pipe is behind tank.

Frozen

The next thing I had to try after the snow, was to see if on the same North side, if I could use the same method melting an ice dam. Here’s the pics of that chore. Before and after, about 3 hours time. Just an experiment, wasn’t going to do them all!!

DSCN1356DSCN1359DSCN1362

What’s this have to do with Gardening? Everything. For Hoop Houses, Green Houses, Cold Frames, Solarizing your beds, if you can’t get heat to them in an untimely cold blast, find a mirror and use the Sun to your advantage. Place a few jugs of water inside, and point the mirrors at the jugs. They will get to 75 degrees this time of year. There, that’s it. A little work, but save the crops and your work if you get caught in the ice.

 

Grow Bags… Wait a Minute!!

Recycle Thing..

I have seen something lately that kinda disturbs me, and folks are falling all over it. These “Grow Bags” look like the latest “fad” out there. But I’m kinda wondering about something in the marketing. They are claimed to be, “Degradable“… What’s that? Fall apart soon? So, I saw them at a box store, and found one open. I played with it, felt it, and remembered about something I had . And man are they expensive. But I had a notion, that I had seen and felt this material before. So I went home, and found the “thing” that I had saved for something up-cycled… I have a few. I knew I saved them for something, and of course, something, gardening.. I have a video on Youtube showing one. Free is simple. Look in your kitchen and see things different to use as a growing in thing!!!!

Up-cycled Grow bag video.

Getting Garden Ready

It’s Time!

Time to start thinking of that plot again, are you going bigger, same, smaller? Don’t know where to start again? If you need help in planning, correcting, or just don’t have time, I will be your Personal Garden Coach. Hiring me for any gardening advice or help can allow you to achieve better results, Water Gardens, starting a community garden, new DIY projects, garden beds, containers, last years problems, indoor seed starting, and the list goes on. Everyone has different situations, and as a Personal Garden Coach, it’s my job to get you on the right track. Hiring me is a better way than wondering if, the whole season. I am available within 10 miles of Glen Allen, Va., for personal consultation, a little help, or just more gardening education and ideas. Fees vary from one-on one to groups of 10 or more. Have a community room or a central home? Groups are cheaper, and everyone gets answered.

If you are interested in my help, email me at Kevin@Kevinsgarden.com . It’s time to start!!

Apartment Balcony Gardening

Balcony Gardening Basics

So you live in an apartment and want to have a garden of some sort. I can help with the basics, and get you growing, vertical. If you can’t grow down, grow up! It’s easy after you see what you can do, simple things as daylight, racks, space, and a host of more info can be learned by hiring a Personal Garden Coach. I have helped masses of community gardeners convert their blank canvas space into a balcony oasis. Water features, veggies, and several low profile gardens.

If you are interested in hiring me, within 10 miles of Glen Allen, Va., I am available for the month of February for Balcony Gardening. If you have a few in your community who are interested, get with your community manager and let’s have a group lecture. Fees vary from one-on-one to groups of 10 or more. February is the time for Small Space Gardeners, and if you want to start your veggies indoors, we will cover all that as well.

Email me at Kevin@Kevinsgarden.com to discuss having classes.

Farmers Almanac Links

My links to the Farmers Almanac. Newest one out now about Seed Starting, there is an error in editing, but I emailed them about fixing it. Sorry!!

http://farmersalmanac.com/home-garden/2014/08/25/putting-beds-bed/
http://farmersalmanac.com/home-garden/2014/10/13/october-gardening-chores/
http://farmersalmanac.com/home-garden/2014/11/03/rake-not-rake/
http://farmersalmanac.com/home-garden/2014/12/29/garden-damage-control/
http://farmersalmanac.com/home-garden/2015/01/30/seed-starting-basics/