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PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2004 9:52 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 9:46 am
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Location: San Antonio
I am tired of draging all our plants into the garage every winter. I am thinking of keeping them on my patio and forming something around them to protect them. Any ideas would be great. Jen


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2004 12:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2004 9:25 pm
Posts: 147
Location: Maryland zone 7
Hi Jen,
I see no one has replied to your question, and though I don't have the answers for you, help should be available here. Do read the Instructions and FAQ's.

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/strucs/

Newt

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When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 11:28 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2003 11:48 am
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Location: Irving,TX
We have done this for several years because I got tired of bringing in plants too. It's a little bit of work but, it's worth it.

You will need some 2x2 boards (you can use 2x4 if you have it but, since this is a temporary structure 2x2 works fine), wood screws, a staple gun (or thumb tacks/small nails and a hammer), and heavy weight translucent plastic - it comes on a big roll from the hardware store and the thickness is like that of a shower curtain.

Build a frame by attaching the end of each 2x2 with screws every 2-3 feet to your patio cover. (If you don't have a patio cover you can secure your frame to the fence but, will have to construct it so that it has a pitched roof in case it rains. ) Then, connect them with 2x2s horizontally for support. Be sure to leave an open section for entry.

Now unroll a section of plastic and begin attaching it to your frame with staples as you wrap it around. If you don't have help, cut the plastic into sections to form each "wall". Don't leave any gaps and allow for an overlap (2-3') at the entry point. Secure the top of the flap with a staple and a thumb tack or two down the seam to make it easy to re-open. The bottom of the flap I usually hold in place with a rock or a couple of bricks.

I always group the plants together snuggly to make watering easier and to minimize the size of the structure we have to build. Make sure to leave enough space around the perimeter of the plants so that they don't contact the plastic. Only water when the soil feels dry to the touch which may be different for each plant. Don't overwater or you are asking for fungal problems.

When freezing rain, snow or sustained temps below 32 are in the forecast, I use a space heater with a thermostat on the lowest setting that also has an aoutomatic shut-off should it be tipped over. The heater will dry-out the plants more quickly so, be sure to monitor that.

My husband bought an indoor/outdoor thermometer with remote monitor from Radio Shack so we can keep an eye on the temperature of the "greenhouse" without going outside.

Hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 11:30 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2003 11:48 am
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Location: Irving,TX
Sorry, that was really long!

Also, after strong winds check to see if anything needs resecuring.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2004 4:44 pm 
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Posts: 354
Location: San Antonio,Tx
jenintx,

Hope it's the back porch and not the front.

Here's what Dad did for Mom years and years ago and still works with little trouble and maintenance.

1] Install 'J' hooks in to the outer perimater of the roof overhang of the porch about every 3-4 feet.
2] In the 'J' hooks, install 3/4" electrical conduit as a rod.
3] Use new or used clear plastic shower curtains and metal curtain rod hooks to hold and slid along the conduit rods.
4] Additional 'J' hooks can be used to hold the hanging baskets.
5] For really cold temps, use an electric space heater having a thermostat set at a low temp. just enough to keep thing above freezing.

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