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Pak choi may be my new favorite winter veggie. This made a tasty stir fry. It's growing really well in 70's daytime and 40's nighttime. Does anyone know how well it can handle freezing temps? It can get down to 20F here.

By CrazyQuilter7
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I do not speak from experience, but they are said to tolerate a light frost, which to me means 30 degrees. If it is a single night or two going to the low 20's, you have easy options for protecting a few. Brassicas differ one from the other a bit in terms of winter hardiness, so varieties might also. The thing I just recently figured out is the why of their hardiness--they are biennials that are grown as annuals--they would not flower and make seed until their 2nd year.

DavidDuhon Level 7 Nov 15, 2019

One reason I'm growing things in pots is so I can move things around to the best seasonal microclimate. The winter crops do better in full sun, but the summer crops need afternoon shade when it's 95F, windy and 15% humidity. Yes, making a tent over a pot will be easy.

I think the technical definition of light frost is from 28-33F. Of course, hardening off as apposed to sudden freeze also enters into it. BS Crop/Soil science here.

@CrazyQuilter This coming spring, I will have the light cold frame that I will use for flats of seedlings,so that I can roll them into our garage when needed. In our garage, after a single night of a cold plunge, it is about ten degrees warmer in the morning that it is outside.

@CrazyQuilter yes, but there is enough margin of error in predictions that the extra two degrees is a wise caution. And one of the lesser publicized aspects of climate change is the increased volatility of weather patterns, which to me suggests that our ability to predict weather--which is based on past patterns--will be impaired. Happy gardening.

@DavidDuhon Been thinking I'd like a portable cold frame to go over one raised bed so the winter veggies grow a little faster. But it would have to be very lightweight and easy to store away over the summer.

@CrazyQuilter I got mine from craigslist, about 4x4, some of that high tech double layer glazing (think corrugated) and it is light and works well, but while I was happy paying 75 for it, I think they run $250 new. Johnny's Selected Seeds has one that seems to be out of stock, but look at the picture, it would not be that hard to buiild. I use their row covers and hoops--and they collapse in snow, so more for spring than fall. and one can build one, but working with wood and the glazing of you choice is tricky, and a proven design might be good, but even a 4 x 4 foot one gets a bir heavy.

@CrazyQuilter Oh, and Elliot Coleman--he is the man--I think his book on all that is the 4 season greenhouse. But do look on Craigslist--you might get lucky

@DavidDuhon I am making the error of adding up what my lettuce and snow peas are costing me over the winter in money and effort. But what hobby is cost-effective? My homegrown lettuce tastes so good that the few times I buy mixed greens in the store, I end up throwing out the last half because they are so bitter.

@CrazyQuilter I am a minimalist in terms of my gardening, always asking how can I do this well with less, and how can I get double use our of a tool or crop. When I was a commercial grower, it was done with fork, shovel and rake, and I did up to about 120 5 x 20 foot beds. But yes, it is about the experience broadly isn;t it? I get pleasure in the doing, in looking at my garden, and in enjoying what it produces

@DavidDuhon What I need is for someone with tools to visit. If I had 2 wood triangles for the ends, I could make a frame with PVC pipe and lay skylight panels across. I only have a max 8 hours of freezing temps.

@CrazyQuilter you likely want anywhere from 8-12 inches before the triangle starts. Craiglist is a good place to look for things to use as glazing, but they get heavy--I would not want to be moving a sliding glass door around all the time. One of the simplest things I have seen used cinder blocks (so some thermal mass and no carpentry skills), and had the window set within the interior of the box--so it sort of stair stepped, and then below the last row of blocks at the high end, there was a lip inserted that the window could rest on. the bottom rested on the last row of blocks on the low end. Let google be your friend, but there are more bad designs than good ones and never trust a design that is claimed to be rediculously cheap and easy, lol/

@DavidDuhon I've been thinking about block ends. I just now found 6ft X 26 in polycarbonate corrugated roof panels that might be enough for my mild winters. $17. would need 3. Would it work to drill holes and attach to a pvc frame with zip ties? I could probably move that without hurting myself.

@CrazyQuilter sounds like a hardware store question, lol--there are issues of wood shifting shape and moisture and perhaps even expansion of the panels--that is, you might want to consider hardware rather than ties. This guy elkins uses ties a lot with coroplast (corogated plastic) which is what a lot of political signs are made of. You might get some good ideas from his work [elkinsdiy.com]