Regular readers of this blog know how much I love and baby my in-ground lime trees. I know, I'm crazy, the lengths I go to! But there's nothing like a fresh homegrown organic lime for making Margaritas. Last year, despite our best efforts we lost the key lime in the February freeze. The Bearss lime survived, but suffered severe damage. Luckily, it rebounded in the spring and is even larger than it was last year, but bore no fruit this year at all. So I'm trying once again to protect this lime tree from tonight's possible freeze, in the hope she'll reward us with fresh limes this coming spring.
Yesterday, I went down to Zinger Hardware and bought a pop-up greenhouse: a Planthouse 5 from Flowerhouse. This is just like the one Ronny Bell raved about last year on his blog, The Lazy Shady Gardener. Jack helped me move a raised bed away from the left of the tree, then put together the greenhouse and helped me lift it up and over the lime tree.
Here she is: the luckiest lime tree in the world.
The greenhouse is as easy to put up as a tent. The waterproof Gro-Tec material lets in 75% of available light. The greenhouse has front and back doors, both with screened inner panels. In the morning, I'll unzip the doors so the tree doesn't suffocate.
There are two tiny Velcro doors for a hose or power cord.
The 5' x 5' by 6.5' greenhouse is just big enough for the lime tree and a few potted plants like my aloes, a Meyer lemon and a couple of cacti. As the folks at Flowerhouse suggested, I'm using a small ceramic heater (purchased at Breed & Co.) to keep it warm inside. If this turns out to be a good long-term solution, I'll have to prune the lime tree to keep it small enough to use this greenhouse year after year.
Fingers crossed that this works better than our makeshift rebar-and-frost-cloth greenhouse from last year!
Words and photos © 2009-2011 Caroline Homer for "The Shovel-Ready Garden". Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.