Keeping Fruit Plants Warm During Winter (zone 9)
I live in Orlando, FL (zone 9). I currently rent, but when I do buy a house, it will have a yard big enough for my fruit trees (which are currently potted). I have exotic plants like imber (mangosteen), breadfruit, sugar apples, jaboticaba, pitagnatuba, rollinia, canistel and more. I hope to be able to afford to build a conservatory, and I am open on converting an outdoor pool into a bed for my trees.
Even being in zone 9, the winters get too cold for some of my plants. I was trying to think of ways to warm up the soil. Our winters rarely dip below 50, but in very RARE cases have gotten to the lower 30s.
I was brainstorming possibly inserting metal buckets into the yard and when it gets cold, filling them with water and using bucket heaters. I heard there are bucket heaters that shut off if the water drops below a certain level (fire prevention). When these buckets were not in use, I would drain them and use a plug to cover them.
I'm just throwing an idea out there. Any thoughts or better suggestions?
Some bucket heater links: