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Vol. 17(2), pp. 2-7The McAllen International Orchid Society JournalFebruary 2016

Early Spring Work

R J Ferry

With the grape arbors built and covered with vines, little attention was required in January-February except for adding a little mulch. As well, the planning, welding, and manual labor done on the back patio during much of last year began to really pay off during January, 2016! It's amazing how much heat is retained simply by covering over a structure with plastic! Just breaking the airflow over the plants makes a big difference in retaining internal heat! Nights when local temperatures dipped to 32°F/0°C, the back patio remained a steady 60°F on the barn side and no lower than 50°F in the southwest area facing the "back forty" and the pecan orchard. Yes, supplemental heating was necessary to keep the internal temperature elevated that much, but merely enclosing the structure with plastic appears to be sufficient to keep the internal heat five to eight degrees above whatever is the outside ambient temperature. With the supplemental heat working, sliding open the downstairs master bedroom's large glass door shows, right close by, the best of whatever is also flowering in the big shade house!

Fig. 1. Trudy wraps a juvenile pecan tree.

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Copyright © 2016 R J Ferry