Tri-pane win­dows OK for grow­ing in­doors

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - By Ger­ald Filip­ski

QUES­TION: Is it pos­si­ble to grow herbs in front of win­dows that are triple pane, low-E and UV safe? We re­cently in­stalled new win­dows in our older home and they are all triple-glazed with low-E coat­ing. It is my un­der­stand­ing that the sun’s rays don’t pen­e­trate these types of win­dows, al­though there is plenty of light.

How would I go about grow­ing herbs and should I con­sider us­ing grow lights in­stead of try­ing to use sun­light from the win­dows? I am an avid gar­dener and be­long to our lo­cal hor­ti­cul­tural so­ci­ety. I also work part time in a green­house.

AN­SWER: Thank you for your ques­tion from sunny Regina. Be­cause lowE win­dows al­low vis­i­ble light through, your herbs should do fine. Ac­cord­ing to one of the man­u­fac­tur­ers, Loewen, low-E ar­gon-filled win­dows will block most of the UV light en­ter­ing through the win­dow but al­low all vis­i­ble light to en­ter. The loss of UV light should not af­fect plants. In fact, there are com­pa­nies that man­u­fac­ture low-E ar­gon green­house win­dows specif­i­cally for grow­ing plants.

QUES­TION: Last sum­mer, I saw an Alaskan weep­ing cy­press and was tempted to buy it, but thought I should get some ex­pert ad­vice first. The trees looked healthy, were about two me­tres tall, des­ig­nated Zone 4 and were about $100. I was re­luc­tant to spend that kind of money on some­thing that may only make it a year or two. I looked it up on­line, where it is con­sid­ered Zone 5 and all in­for­ma­tion was from the West Coast.

My 50-year-old maple was dan­ger­ously dam­aged in the July storm last sum­mer, so I have taken it down and would like to put some­thing unique in its place, but I want some­thing that won’t grow to 15 by 15 by 15 me­tres! It would be shel­tered to the east by the garage, to the north and south by two-me­tre fences and houses and to the west by my house. Would that pro­vide enough shel­ter for this sort of tree? I need a new gut­ter on my garage, so I could di­rect run-off wa­ter to the vicin­ity for some ex­tra mois­ture.

Do you think it makes sense to try to grow one of these? Hope­fully, Zocalo was able to over­win­ter them be­cause they had five trees and I don’t think any of them sold. They were down to half off by the end of the sea­son.

AN­SWER: I love writ­ing this col­umn be­cause of the many in­ter­est­ing ques­tions I re­ceive and this is cer­tainly one of them.

I have to ad­mit I had never heard of the Alaskan weep­ing cy­press, so I started do­ing re­search on it. Ac­cord­ing to the ref­er­ences I checked, the plant is hardy to Zone 4A on the USDA cli­mate map, which trans­lates to hardy to -34.4 C. Other ref­er­ences put it as hardy to Zone 4. The plant is not a true cy­press.

Would I per­son­ally plant this in my gar­den? That de­pends on a few fac­tors. First, I would be much more in­clined to try a plant that was priced at $50 in­stead of $100, but that’s me. It would also de­pend on the nurs­ery of­fer­ing a guar­an­tee.

While your de­scrip­tion of how it would be shel­tered sounds promis­ing, I might be more in­clined to try it if it were closer to a build­ing rather than out in the mid­dle of the yard, which I as­sume it will be since it is re­plac­ing a large maple.

You are also ask­ing a guy who reg­u­larly spends money on bor­der­line plants. I have tried grow­ing ev­ery­thing from rhodo­den­drons to but­ter­fly bushes.

For me, the joy is in try­ing to get some­thing to grow where it re­ally is not sup­posed to. A Zone 4 plant is not nearly as much of a gam­ble as one des­ig­nated for Zone 5.

So, to make a very long an­swer short, I would try it. I would make sure I screened the plant from the win­ter winds as well. Don’t wrap it, but erect a burlap screen around it in the fall.

Grow your herbs in pots in a sunny win­dow in­side your home dur­ing the win­ter.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.