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Author Topic: Upgraded cold frames for growing trees.  (Read 929 times)

Citradia

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Upgraded cold frames for growing trees.
« on: October 09, 2017, 05:00:27 PM »
My seedling Changsha is getting too tall and Rio Red on FD is bigger this year. Will cover them in 4 mil plastic and have one side to roll up on east side of structure to vent on warm days. Space heater with thermo cube in each. Plan to disassemble the Rio Red frame next to house in spring and put up again next fall; used screws.




cory

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Re: Upgraded cold frames for growing trees.
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2017, 06:53:09 PM »
Looks nice.
Cory

Millet

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Re: Upgraded cold frames for growing trees.
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2017, 09:02:40 PM »
Looks like it should work.  Mr. Texas had a temp. greenhouse he put around his tree, during a cold snap.

Tom

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Re: Upgraded cold frames for growing trees.
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2017, 11:02:03 PM »
Looks great. Nice job !

Citradia

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Re: Upgraded cold frames for growing trees.
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2017, 05:52:25 PM »
Thanks!

eyeckr

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Re: Upgraded cold frames for growing trees.
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2017, 08:45:41 PM »
Functional and ornamental! Two thumbs up!!

lebmung

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Re: Upgraded cold frames for growing trees.
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2017, 06:06:10 PM »
A lot of work!
Use double layer polyfilm, it will be 30% warmer inside. And at the base mulch with dry leaves.

LaCasaVerde

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Re: Upgraded cold frames for growing trees.
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2017, 09:05:24 PM »
Great job on your cold frame!   

Citradia

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Re: Upgraded cold frames for growing trees.
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2017, 01:21:48 PM »
Thanks!

SoCal2warm

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Re: Upgraded cold frames for growing trees.
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2017, 04:15:45 PM »



That's a Satsuma mandarin in there, and although kind of flimsy this should be more than suitable for zone 8. Also notice there are some water containers inside to help hold heat.

Millet

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Re: Upgraded cold frames for growing trees.
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2017, 09:52:43 PM »
SoCal.  if you dye the water black, or paint the jugs black the water will absorb much moer heat during the day.

arc310

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Re: Upgraded cold frames for growing trees.
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2017, 11:10:18 PM »



That's a Satsuma mandarin in there, and although kind of flimsy this should be more than suitable for zone 8. Also notice there are some water containers inside to help hold heat.

nice! where did you find that frame at?

Tom

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Re: Upgraded cold frames for growing trees.
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2017, 01:14:29 PM »
SoCal2warm, Iím worried about it getting too hot in your cold frame. The clear plastic can get over 100íF on a bright day. Donít forget to water more than probably usual because the soil will dry out quickly. The more you can vent on hot days the better. How cold can you expect in this location at night ? Southern California is one thing but zones 8 and 10 confuses me.

Iíve had terrible luck painting plastic black. Dyeing your water black might be easier. Iím also worried about your yellow leaves. Iím afraid they are all getting ready to shed and then you will have a problem....

Tom

Citradia

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Re: Upgraded cold frames for growing trees.
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2017, 09:02:43 PM »
I think I've seen socalwarm's greenhouse at Big Lots. I'm pretty sure it has a zipper-type door that opens to vent. I would like to have a quick set up green house like that, but I get high winds on top of the mountain here in winter, so I have to have heavy frame work for my coverings. I use black plastic garbage cans, 32 gallon, and spray painted some 5 gallon buckets and some gallon milk jugs to pack around my trees in winter. The black paint flakes off after a few years but so what. I have found that unless the water container is right up against the plant, there is not much thermal protection/ benefit. The plant tissue higher than the top of the water barrel tends to die off with the deep freeze. I've also noticed that when it is extremely cold, single digits or zero Degrees F, unless you have a heater in your plastic covered enclosure, the temperature in the enclosure will drop a degree or two every minute or less even with water barrel and jugs of water in there. Water barrels help some, but I don't think they are as influential as as they are touted to be,at least not in extreme cold situations. I still do them anyway!

Citradia

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Re: Upgraded cold frames for growing trees.
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2017, 09:06:32 PM »
Addendum: I also think filling our enclosure with water containers helps to take up volume of air space inside enclosure which is less air for my heater to have to heat up.

Citradia

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Re: Upgraded cold frames for growing trees.
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2017, 03:16:26 PM »
Well, I put up plastic around the big grapefruit frame last night because supposed to rain all day today and then freezing temps and snow next weekend. Didn't stake the frame down yet. Well, the "rain" ended being a full blown mountain-top hurricane blowing from the east instead of west like cold fronts always do except for today, and I come home to the whole greenhouse upside down and over the cliff in front of the house, held up from rolling 100 ft down slope by a large Rowan tree. Had to dismantle entire plastic roof,door, siding, all pipes of roof destroyed. Branches busted on grapefruit tree. I'm really close to pulling the tree out of the ground and slamming a camellia or rose bush in the hole.

LaCasaVerde

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Re: Upgraded cold frames for growing trees.
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2017, 04:25:32 PM »
Sorry to hear of your experience. All of us dedicated to preserving our citrus go to extreme lengths not to loose them in the winter. In a similar situation Id did the following- It will work to save your tree with minimal effort/time.  It is very fast and saved mine during a night time failure here. Gave me enough time to rework existing cold frame

1 stick 1 3/8 fence rail
1 recip saw with metal blade
4 sticks 1.0 inch pvc 10 foot

Cut metal pipe 1.5 feet each. hammer these into ground . Pull back out and clear ground stuck in pipe out. Reinsert pipe into ground. This will be the sleeve for the pvc pipe.  Do this at 12 oclock , three oclock, 6  oclock and 9 oclock positions around tree. Now bend pvc pipe and insert into metal pipe sleeve that is in the ground already. If wind is strong there add additional sleeves and insert pvc pipe. Tie together all pvc pipe at the apex of the bend. Throw over poly cover and way down bottoms with lumbar rock... Quick, cheapsolution.

Hang in there

scroll down this link and you will see me pointing to the metal sleeve and pvc pipe insert for visual aid.
http://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php?topic=21606.0
« Last Edit: October 23, 2017, 04:33:19 PM by LaCasaVerde »

Citradia

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Re: Upgraded cold frames for growing trees.
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2017, 09:18:57 PM »
Thank you. I've already been doing this except with lengths of rebar stuck in ground to place the 10 ft pvc pipes on. Some of my trees are too tall now for 10 ft pipe and last year I even lengthened pipe to 15 ft lengths. It's difficult to cover and uncover 7 trees almost every other day in this method, often in the dark and sometimes in freezing rain/ snow storms. The framed-out greenhouse with one side to roll up/down and tape shut is much easier to manage once set up. The problem with my new structure is that it wasn't tied to the ground, yet. I went out today and got more rebar and hardware to attach it to frame after driving spikes into ground on all four sides. I can't sink the 4x4 vertical posts into ground because the two legs of it near house are sitting on the rock gravel French drain along side foundation of house. Planned on staking it down, just didn't know it would take flight in less than 24 hours after putting plastic on it. I'm putting a wood pyramid shaped roof on too with 2x2s; then won't have to worry about pvc possibly collapsing under snow again like it did one year in my high tunnel. No more high tunnel for me by the way. Those ichang and trifoliate hybrids down in the orchard are on their own this winter.

Citradia

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Re: Upgraded cold frames for growing trees.
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2017, 09:29:53 PM »


This is one of the Rio Red grapefruit that got knocked off my tree today when the greenhouse tried to follow Dorothy and Todo to Oz. Skunky smell and didn't taste good, dry. Not ripe, but tried it.

LaCasaVerde

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Re: Upgraded cold frames for growing trees.
« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2017, 11:56:07 AM »




Ive moved to canopy fittings and  1 3/8 pipe primarily on cold frames. The Canopy fittings for high roof pitch can be used over and over each winter. This design will shed water, snow off the roof during winter and is strong. The tree pictured is a blood orange tree over 10 feet tall. Easy to attatch poly to with pvc snap clamps. One side of the rood is designed to roll open during warmer weather to allow heat to escape. Thid way the enclose stays covered the entire season except for the roof section. Reduces cover uncover time drastically.  This design can be enlarged to cover full size trees.

The trick to this for me is to oversize the frame so I can get 2-3 seasons each time. I burned myself out a few years ago trying to redo all the cold frames each Sept/October-

Citradia

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Re: Upgraded cold frames for growing trees.
« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2017, 07:13:13 AM »
LaCasaVerde, pvc snap clamps sound interesting. I'll have to look into that. We redid the roof last night with four 2x2s pitched into pyramid shape and spiked frame down with rebar. Sinking posts into ground when one can as you did there is the best option. How did you make your roof door out of plastic sheeting and attach to pipe frame? Snap clamps?

LaCasaVerde

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Re: Upgraded cold frames for growing trees.
« Reply #21 on: October 25, 2017, 10:06:14 AM »
I wrap all the sides in one piece of poly secured by snap clamp. The roof is 1 seperate peice. The cold frame is oriented so one of the 45 degree roof sides is oriented south. The north sloping roof is clamped permanatly. The The south side I cut a piece of pvc pipe the width of the roof plus 2 feet... roll the south side poly up in it when not in use. Then roll it down and snap clamp back on. Use snap clamp to attatch poly to roller pipe. The weight of the pvc pipe keeps the poly in place allowing me to snap clamp the door tight. Have to have ladder handy but only takes 2 min vs what it used to take me...too long 
I used this fellows idea for the roof roll up- you can somewhat get a picture of what Im talking about but on the South side of the roof not in his verticle application:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WyoIrVic2z4

This year Im going to use an IBC container full of water and place it in the structure with the Blood Orange tree as its heat source.

Citradia

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Re: Upgraded cold frames for growing trees.
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2017, 07:19:42 AM »
I used to roll up both sides of the roof of my first frame house using 2x4 with edge of plastic sheeting stapled to it. Would weight the board down when roof in place with cinder block on roof. High winds here would actually lift the roof and dump the block onto the ground. I now staple the entire roof and sides down and leave one of four walls as an unstapled door that has 2x4 stapled to ground end of plastic that I roll up and hang on hooks to vent tree. Door side on east side since high winds usually from north west in winter. I need the wall door to access tree for fruit harvest in December and January.

SoCal2warm

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Re: Upgraded cold frames for growing trees.
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2017, 03:35:22 PM »
SoCal2warm, Iím worried about it getting too hot in your cold frame.
Not really a worry. Where this is located it's completely overcast 80% of the time in the Winter. Without that direct sun the temperature gradient between inside and outside isn't that high, maybe 6 degrees at most. Ironically it's the chance sunny days we have to watch out for, because when the sky is completely clear that means there's no moisture and cloud cover to prevent the temperature from dropping at night. It dropped down to 19 to 15 degrees last Winter three different times, each of those nights followed a completely clear and sunny day.

Citradia

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Re: Upgraded cold frames for growing trees.
« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2017, 07:42:54 PM »
This is the repaired Rio Red grapefruit frame. Notice the taped up side from damage to plastic when it took flight.  Salvageable.


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« Last Edit: October 26, 2017, 08:03:01 PM by Citradia »

 

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