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Candles in the garden?

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Candles in the garden?

Post  desertgirl on 4/22/2010, 8:56 am

I have covers on my SFG, but the weather is due to turn a little chilly the next couple of nights (down in the 30's). I read somewhere that one could put a votive candle inside to ward of frost (in a bowl of water to decrease fire risk).

Has anyone else heard this? Any other ideas to protect my hard work?
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Re: Candles in the garden?

Post  Retired Member 1 on 4/22/2010, 9:01 am

Yes, I've done that before with mixed results. But I was working with a larger area and the sudden freeze was accompanied by high winds that still freeze-burned the plants on the north perimeter. But the ones in the centre and south side did fine. I put the candles in the votive holders and then in clay plant pots to prevent being blown out by the wind. That part worked great.

I've also used a kerosene lantern in a small greenhouse that worked great and burned 20 hours. But depending on the heighth of your cover, might be too much heat.

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Re: Candles in the garden?

Post  desertgirl on 4/22/2010, 10:38 am

Mine are just 4 foot by 4 foot. You think a couple of candles would do it?
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Re: Candles in the garden?

Post  choksaw on 4/22/2010, 1:28 pm

get some old milk jugs or soda bottles pain them pitch black and fill them with water put them out in the sun for a few days, black attracts the suns heat and the water wamrs up when frost threatens place the warm water bottles in the covered garden and they will radiate heat most of the night
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Re: Candles in the garden?

Post  Retired Member 1 on 4/22/2010, 1:40 pm

@desertgirl wrote:Mine are just 4 foot by 4 foot. You think a couple of candles would do it?

If it's supposed to get in the low 30's, I use four to six votives for that size, depending on the height. Remember that heat rises. More if your cover is particularly high. You won't burn anything since I doubt your cover is airtight. Excess heat will escape.

I agree with Choksaw about the milk jugs, but it sounds as though the freeze/ cold temps are now, so you wouldn't have time to get the jugs warm. You could also fill milk jugs with hot water and put out. That might do as well.

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Re: Candles in the garden?

Post  LaFee on 4/22/2010, 1:58 pm

I used to use the old-style Christmas lights to protect my citrus trees in Florida.

The big bulbs generate enough heat under a blanket to keep the worst of the frost off.

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Re: Candles in the garden?

Post  desertgirl on 4/22/2010, 3:01 pm

AAAAAA
They just announced a possibility of snow tonight! Husband is suggesting heat lamps-what do you think?
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Re: Candles in the garden?

Post  Retired Member 1 on 4/22/2010, 5:32 pm

Do you have an old quilt that will cover the cover? Get as much insulation over it as possible. If you can get electricity to the area, then a 60 watt incandescent bulb will do you fine. A heat lamp might be overkill. Remember that snow will insulate, so if you have a quilt, then plastic over that so it doesn't get wet, the snow will actually help keep the plants from freezing even without supplemental heat. But I'm with you about trying to supplement the heat.

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Re: Candles in the garden?

Post  desertgirl on 4/25/2010, 11:09 pm

Just thought I'd share; we put 4 candles in each covered grower (the tall kind in glass, like they use in churches). No damage to my plants at all, and it got down to the low 30s. Whew!
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Re: Candles in the garden?

Post  Retired Member 1 on 4/25/2010, 11:21 pm

Great! Thanks for letting us know.

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Re: Candles in the garden?

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