Am I suffocating my plants?

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Am I suffocating my plants?

Post by tmo » Sun, 28 May 2006 00:51:34



Last night, with the weather forecast predicting lows in the 40s, a
friend suggested I cover my tomato and pepper plants. I put dry cleaner
plastic over the tomatos and glass jars over the peppers. This morning,
with the weather forecast predicting showers and highs in the mid 50s,
I decided I could just leave the plants covered. I figured the plastic
would divert any rainwater to the base of the tomato and I could water
the peppers tomorrow.

Now at work, however, I began to wonder if leaving the peppers under
the glass jars would deprive them of oxygen? The plants are small, not
more than 4 or 5 inches tall and the jars are inverted resting directly
on the soil.

Should I have removed the jars, or at least raised them slightly off
the ground? And are the tomatos ok?

Tia,
tmo

 
 
 

Am I suffocating my plants?

Post by Salmon Eg » Sun, 28 May 2006 03:19:07


On 5/26/06 8:51 AM, in article

Quote:

> Last night, with the weather forecast predicting lows in the 40s, a
> friend suggested I cover my tomato and pepper plants. I put dry cleaner
> plastic over the tomatos and glass jars over the peppers. This morning,
> with the weather forecast predicting showers and highs in the mid 50s,
> I decided I could just leave the plants covered. I figured the plastic
> would divert any rainwater to the base of the tomato and I could water
> the peppers tomorrow.

> Now at work, however, I began to wonder if leaving the peppers under
> the glass jars would deprive them of oxygen? The plants are small, not
> more than 4 or 5 inches tall and the jars are inverted resting directly
> on the soil.

> Should I have removed the jars, or at least raised them slightly off
> the ground? And are the tomatos ok?

> Tia,
> tmo

You worry too much about oxygen. In sunlight, plants produce oxygen--not
consume it. If you are worried about such things, oxygen which is not used
in quantity is in about 20% concentration, while carbon dioxide which is
used in quantity by green plants is in less than 0.1% concentration.

Bill
-- Ferme le Bush

 
 
 

Am I suffocating my plants?

Post by Penelope Periwinkl » Sun, 28 May 2006 05:20:37



Quote:
>Now at work, however, I began to wonder if leaving the peppers under
>the glass jars would deprive them of oxygen? The plants are small, not
>more than 4 or 5 inches tall and the jars are inverted resting directly
>on the soil.

>Should I have removed the jars, or at least raised them slightly off
>the ground? And are the tomatos ok?

Oxygen isn't a problem, but heat might be. Think about how hot a car
gets on a sunny day. If you get home and they're wilted, give them
some water and see if they perk up the next day.

Penelope
--
"Maybe you'd like to ask the Wizard for a heart."

 
 
 

Am I suffocating my plants?

Post by tmo » Sun, 28 May 2006 07:08:49


Phew,
I guess I'm so obsessed with oxygen I just figured my plants would be
as well.

This is my first yeasr planting vegetables so there is much to be
learned.

Thanks for your replies.

-tmo

 
 
 

Am I suffocating my plants?

Post by Towerin.. » Sun, 28 May 2006 10:18:48


"Last night, with the weather forecast predicting lows in the 40s, a
friend suggested I cover my tomato and pepper plants. I put dry cleaner
plastic over the tomatos and glass jars over the peppers."

Plastic is not a good material to protect plants from frost or freeze.
Cold is easily transmitted through it and plant tissue will be damaged
where there/s direct contact.

Glass cloches work well, but should be removed or propped open in the
morning to prevent overheating during the afternoon.

 
 
 

Am I suffocating my plants?

Post by tmo » Thu, 01 Jun 2006 00:39:24


Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately it was around 7:00 in the evening
when I was advised to cover the plants so there weren't a lot of
options.

A couple of follow up questions:
1. where does one find cloches for plants about 18 inches tall and
maybe 12 inches in diameter?
2. At what temperature can I stop worrying about needing to cover the
plants (tomatos, peppers & cukes) at night?

TIA,
tmo

 
 
 

Am I suffocating my plants?

Post by cloud dreame » Thu, 01 Jun 2006 01:12:14


Quote:

> Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately it was around 7:00 in the evening
> when I was advised to cover the plants so there weren't a lot of
> options.

> A couple of follow up questions:
> 1. where does one find cloches for plants about 18 inches tall and
> maybe 12 inches in diameter?
> 2. At what temperature can I stop worrying about needing to cover the
> plants (tomatos, peppers & cukes) at night?

My tomatoes and peppers are in a greenhouse where it has gotten down to
3 degrees celcius (37F) with no problem. I won't put them outside until
I can be assured of a night time temp of around 8 to 10 degrees celcius
(around 50F).

Your local nursery might have some climate control items - you are not
limited to glass cloches (which would most likely be no good for plants
that big).

Leevalley.com ships to both the US and Canada and has several options
like these cool little plastic cloches with a hole in the top:

http://www.leevalley.com/garden/page.aspx?c=1&p=10536&cat=2,2030

Or these frost protectors (that fit your dimensions):

http://www.leevalley.com/garden/page.aspx?c=1&p=10535&cat=2,2030

I also cut up my old row covers and use them as protectors for my potted
plants.

  ..

Zone 5a in Canada's Far East.

 
 
 

Am I suffocating my plants?

Post by TQ » Thu, 01 Jun 2006 07:30:04



Quote:
> Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately it was around 7:00 in the evening
> when I was advised to cover the plants so there weren't a lot of
> options.

> A couple of follow up questions:
> 1. where does one find cloches for plants about 18 inches tall and
> maybe 12 inches in diameter?
> 2. At what temperature can I stop worrying about needing to cover the
> plants (tomatos, peppers & cukes) at night?

You can stop worrying completely about frost damage to tomats, peppers, and
cukes about a week after the average date of your area/s last frost.

One thing all gardeners should keep in mind about frost is it can occur when
the morning low temperature is forecast as high as 38F (~3C) with lighty
wind b/c temperature readings are taken ~5' AGL (~3m) and it can be 6F
(~1.5C) colder on the ground.

 
 
 

Am I suffocating my plants?

Post by Penelope Periwinkl » Thu, 01 Jun 2006 11:28:10



Quote:
>Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately it was around 7:00 in the evening
>when I was advised to cover the plants so there weren't a lot of
>options.

>A couple of follow up questions:
>1. where does one find cloches for plants about 18 inches tall and
>maybe 12 inches in diameter?

If all you're looking for is temporary frost protection, throw an
old sheet doubled up, or an old towel over the plants. I keep a
stack of old linens for just that purpose, although I use them
more in the fall than the spring.

If you want an early start, you might try one of the "Wall O'
Water" type products.

http://www.wallowater.com/

http://www.seedsofchange.com/garden_center/product_details.asp?item_n...

http://tinyurl.com/c3p4q

Most seed companies carry some. Or you can get the smaller ones
of these: http://www.flowerhouses.com/intro.shtml

Quote:
>2. At what temperature can I stop worrying about needing to cover the
>plants (tomatos, peppers & cukes) at night?

Be careful rushing your peppers, they really don't like having
their feet cold. I wait until there's a week of 50 F night's in
the long range forecasts before I'll put mine out. Oh, they'll
probably do ok in cooler weather, but they do become more
susceptible to disease, and often don't produce as well as they
might for the rest of the season.

As to the other, in the fall when I'm trying to extend the
season, I cover mine if the temperatures are going to be 35 F or
below. Also, if the wind is blowing and it's in the low 40's, I
will probably cover enough of the ones on the windward side to
make a wind break. Cold wind can be almost as bad as frost or a
freeze.

Penelope

--
You have proven yourself to be the most malicious,
classless person that I've encountered in years.

 
 
 

Am I suffocating my plants?

Post by Pat Kiewi » Thu, 01 Jun 2006 18:39:28


TQ said:

Quote:



>> Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately it was around 7:00 in the evening
>> when I was advised to cover the plants so there weren't a lot of
>> options.

>> A couple of follow up questions:
>> 1. where does one find cloches for plants about 18 inches tall and
>> maybe 12 inches in diameter?
>> 2. At what temperature can I stop worrying about needing to cover the
>> plants (tomatos, peppers & cukes) at night?

>You can stop worrying completely about frost damage to tomats, peppers,
and
>cukes about a week after the average date of your area/s last frost.

>One thing all gardeners should keep in mind about frost is it can occur
when
>the morning low temperature is forecast as high as 38F (~3C) with lighty
>wind b/c temperature readings are taken ~5' AGL (~3m) and it can be 6F
>(~1.5C) colder on the ground.

Also take note of the sky and the dew point.  

In my experience, those late patchy frosts have come on clear nights with
lows predicted for the upper thirties and dew points near 32 F (0 C).  

--
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.
(attributed to Don Marti)

 
 
 

Am I suffocating my plants?

Post by TQ » Fri, 02 Jun 2006 09:52:59



Quote:
> Be careful rushing your peppers, they really don't like having
> their feet cold. I wait until there's a week of 50 F night's in
> the long range forecasts before I'll put mine out. Oh, they'll
> probably do ok in cooler weather, but they do become more
> susceptible to disease, and often don't produce as well as they
> might for the rest of the season.

Amen.

Peppers and tomats will survive just fine when night-time temps dip below
50F (10C), but they won/t thrive.  My experience has shown season-long
production is much better when the plants are set later than sooner when the
wx has taken a turn for the warmer.

I prefer to wait until the average low temp is at least 55F, which in my
Zone 7 mid-Atlantic coastal plain woods is mid-May.  Trouble is, one never
knows in mid-March when I/m sowing seeds in flats under lights whether the
target temp will happen a week early (like last year), a week late (like
this year), or right on time (like the long-term average).