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Joined
Aug 27, 2001
Messages
2,968
Location
Western New York, USA
My Carnivorous plant collection is coming up on its 12th winter..
As a bachelor, I had no problems storing my plants for the winter, because I had my own refridgerator! I could stuff it with plants.
(see this thread for the background on my CP dormancy)
http://www.terraforums.com/ib312....t=16597

But now, as a married man, I no longer have that option!
smile_m_32.gif

I was considering getting one of those small "college" fridges..the little cubes, but even those are $100..and too small anyway.

I need a space that stays consistantly between 35 and 55 degrees, thats the goal.
During the winter..November-February.
Indoors is far too warm, outdoors is far too cold.

So in our new house, there is a door from the basement leading into the backyard:

basementdoorlgaw4.jpg


(that isnt my actual door..its just a photo I found on-line to show the type of door I mean.)

Up at ground level, the folding doors are metal, there is a concrete staircase of maybe 4-5 stairs leading down, then a heavy door that opens into the basement.

At the bottom of those stairs, on the other side of the door from the basement, (in other words, at the bottom of the stairwell)
with the door closed..What temp do you think would be maintained all winter?

I could put some serious insulation above the plants, like maybe a piece of plywood halfway up the stairwell, then a heavy layer of leaves on top of that..sealing-in and insulating the lower level from the harsh winter above.

cellar.gif


Some heat would leak through the door..(although probably very little..its a hefty, well-insulated door)
and outside its serious winter..lots of snow and temps anywhere from negative 10 to 30 F all winter..

I could put a thermometer in there, and open the door (into the basement) once in awhile to check on things.

my question is...does anyone have any idea what kind of temps could be expected in a space like that?
would the frigid outdoor air make it REALLY cold?
or would the fact thats its 5-6 feet underground make a more stable temp? If I could have 35-45, 55 tops, it would be perfect..

thoughts?

thanks,
Scot
 
Joined
Jan 5, 2005
Messages
3,252
Location
New Jersey, USA
I cannot answer your question about temps in that space - sorry.

However - as an fyi, I overwinter my Sarrs (zone 6) in an unheated garage where they routinely freeze solid in Jan/Feb.

My VFTs do not like these extreme temps so I overwinter them under lights in a basement room (that reaches low 40's in Jan/Feb)
 

seedjar

Let's positive thinking!
Joined
Dec 11, 2004
Messages
4,067
Location
Olympia, Washington
Sounds like a good plan to me. You may be right about the air from outside being too cold, but if you cover the door with a plastic tarp and some mulch it should keep out drafts; make sure to keep an eye on the temps. I think you're probably right about insulating inside the stairwell, too. And if you can manage to pile a nice big snow drift on it, it should keep things at a very stable temperature.
You can buy digital thermometers for about $12 with probes cabled to them to measure outdoor as well as indoor temperature; you could put the 'outdoor' sensor in with your plants and run the wire under the door. Then all you would have to do is adjust the temperature in the basement accordingly.
Nice picture, too.
Best luck,
~Joe
 
Joined
May 4, 2003
Messages
3,077
Location
San Francisco, CA
Intuitively, this sounds like an excellent idea. But you'll have to verify the tempratures. Maybe drill a hole in the door if you need to?

Casplock
 

glider14

Always a newbie
Joined
Oct 30, 2005
Messages
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Location
Louisville, Kentucky
what if your just kept them outside and put on a bunch of pine needles(mulch)? thats what im going to do.
Alex

EDIT: i also live in Zone 6 (kentucky)
 
Joined
Aug 27, 2001
Messages
2,968
Location
Western New York, USA
[b said:
Quote[/b] (glider14 @ Aug. 10 2006,12:57)]what if your just kept them outside and put on a bunch of pine needles(mulch)? thats what im going to do.
Alex

EDIT: i also live in Zone 6 (kentucky)
Alex,
some people in the northern US have had success overwintering southern Sarrs and VFTs in the ground..
but I think they key is IN the ground..in a bog that is literally below ground level..
that should provide good, stable temps that arent quite as cold as the air above..especially if heavy mulch is applied over the bog..

But just talking a CP pot, out on a porch or deck, and covering it up with thick leaves or pine needles..wont work.
(I tried it..they died.)

If you take a mannequin, wrap it in layers of thick winter clothes and coats, stick it out in the middle of a field in North Dakota in January when the air is negative 30 degrees,
the maniquin under all the thick clothes will be..
negative 30 degrees..
All the insulation in the world wont help if there isnt a big mass keeping the temp constant, (like the planet Earth)
or some internal heat source..which pots of CPs dont have in the winter..

so..from what I have read, CP dormancy *can* work up north, IF the plants are *in the ground* and heavily mulched..
it *wont* work if they are just in pots above ground and mulched..its not the same thing..
(unless your climate is warmer than Rochester..in which case it might work fine..I just know it wont work here..)

Scot
 

vft guy in SJ

VFT and Drosera lover
Joined
Jun 30, 2003
Messages
1,503
Location
Merced, California
Well, untill winter gets here and you can take temp readings, any suggestion here is going to be a guess at best. I would suggest though that you postpone the annual haircut you give your plants untill you know for certain how cold it really gets. If you can't get it cold enough you will probably be better to leave the winter foliage on the plant and simply install a fluorescent fixture into the space to keep photosynthesis going.
 

jimscott

Tropical Fish Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 14, 2003
Messages
18,810
Location
Western New York
LOL! Love the pictures.

And being about an hour away from you, this winter I took my buckets of mini-bogs to the attic, as was, by the SW window, and placed them there from December through March. The only losses I sustained were two, very weak Lowes rescues of VFT's, which may have been dead beforehand.

Everything else came back just fine, one by one. I had tow types of S. purpurea, Dana's Delight, alata, D. rotundifolia, two types of D. filiformis, D. intermedia, D. binata, a cobra lily, and an aquatic utrics.

Things got cold, but not too cold to kill anything. As the photoperiod and temps increased, they all woke up, on their own. I jus watered them enough to make sure they didn't totally dry out. No fungicides were necessary. Very easy and incredibly successful approach.
 

glider14

Always a newbie
Joined
Oct 30, 2005
Messages
3,956
Location
Louisville, Kentucky
[b said:
Quote[/b] (scottychaos @ Aug. 10 2006,8:32)]
[b said:
Quote[/b] (glider14 @ Aug. 10 2006,12:57)]what if your just kept them outside and put on a bunch of pine needles(mulch)? thats what im going to do.
Alex

EDIT: i also live in Zone 6 (kentucky)
Alex,
some people in the northern US have had success overwintering southern Sarrs and VFTs in the ground..
but I think they key is IN the ground..in a bog that is literally below ground level..
that should provide good, stable temps that arent quite as cold as the air above..especially if heavy mulch is applied over the bog..

But just talking a CP pot, out on a porch or deck, and covering it up with thick leaves or pine needles..wont work.
(I tried it..they died.)

If you take a mannequin, wrap it in layers of thick winter clothes and coats, stick it out in the middle of a field in North Dakota in January when the air is negative 30 degrees,
the maniquin under all the thick clothes will be..
negative 30 degrees..
All the insulation in the world wont help if there isnt a big mass keeping the temp constant, (like the planet Earth)
or some internal heat source..which pots of CPs dont have in the winter..

so..from what I have read, CP dormancy *can* work up north, IF the plants are *in the ground* and heavily mulched..
it *wont* work if they are just in pots above ground and mulched..its not the same thing..
(unless your climate is warmer than Rochester..in which case it might work fine..I just know it wont work here..)

Scot
will do! thanks!
 

jimscott

Tropical Fish Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 14, 2003
Messages
18,810
Location
Western New York
You could also go with Wildbill's heavily mulched approach. He's in Connecticut, but that's a warmer climate.
 
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