Sunday, 17 March 2013

How to plant out seedlings in deep freezes of the winter

 The excellent ways that Permaculture can help us increase soil temperature!

In cold winter days of -13ºC, the soil remains unfrozen and seedlings of peas and broad beans are growing alive and well, under a thick cover of black plastic, peatmoss and inverted plastic cups.

It is a very cold morning. Soil is frozen solid but not underneath a thick plastic cover, near a  sheltered corner.

The cover has a triple layer: black plastic + peatmoss + black plastic
Under the both layers of plastic, there is a thick layer of peatmoss
Under the thick cover, there are seedlings covered by recycled plastic cups
The seedlings are alive and well, almost unfrozen. They are sheltered by a little bit of peatmoss.
Here is a close up of a pea seedling. Very much alive and well.
The soil is not frozen.
Even seedlings of broad beans are growing well under the moss mulching.
Further out in the garden, there is a cold frame, to protect from the winter winds.

The outdoors temperature is -13ºC (around 8 ºF). It was colder during the night.

Inside the cold frame, there is a layer of peatmoss over the black plastic that covers the soil.

Under that layer, the seedlings are also protected by inverted plastic cups.
The temperature near the seedlings is just slightly below freezing point (around -3ºC or 28 ºF), much milder than the outdoor temperature.

The soil is unfrozen and seedlings are very healthy and protected, under the cover.

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