Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cold Night Prep in Florida

It's only going to reach 55 degrees today, about 20 degrees lower than it has been. Tonight we might get below the freezing mark, which is not a common thing - Thank Goodness!!

I will be bringing several potted plants into the house possibly for the next two nights. The hardest part is getting every"one" indoors and making sure to get them back outdoors. Also, several newer transplants will need to be covered with sheets overnight. I will also get some cuttings from the various coleus plants to have new plants if the outdoor ones die.

There is also a heavy wind expected which can really dry out the plants and make them more vulnerable to the cold. I will water everything deeply at the height of the heat today. I also need to make sure all the ponds are at capacity. The cold air speeds the evaporation and both my ponds as well as a couple I work with, are about 2 inches down.

A quick note, do not feed fish in the cold. Eating in the cold stresses their systems and can make them sick. I have a plec in a tank on the veranda as well as my worm condo. Both need some additional heat and wind protection. The plecostomus is a tropical fish that prefers water temps around 70. This morning the water temp was 62. Not too bad considering the air temp went down into the upper 40's last night. But there is a huge difference between 48 and 31! I have another tank heater (somewhere!) and I'll find it and get it into the tank as well.

The way I deal with the worms is to wrap the condo in large, rubber backed rugs. Remember to leave the air holes clear. I may also warm some wet newsprint and lay it in on top just before I retire. And then I cross my fingers.