Saturday, January 7, 2012
This is Wink's brainstorm--he and neighbor Jim dug this 4 foot wide, 15 inch deep trench before the snows came. We've been anxiously waiting for the melt so we could finish working on it. Today we got it lined and insulated. The four inches of soil that's supposed to go in next is still frozen so we're hoping this weekend's storm gives us a miss. We still have to lay piping and hook it up to either a solar or propane heater, and a pump to circulate heated water under the pots.
The idea is to provide bottom heat for the fruit trees (arriving in a few weeks) while the tops stay cold and dormant. We'll pot the trees and sink them in the trench, then pile on compost, mulch--whatever isn't frozen. If this doesn't work we're giving up on bareroot fruit trees. Last winter we lost virtually the whole shipment of 150 plants--but we're counting on not seeing -35 again for a long, long time.