07 January 2010

Major Freeze

I was in the process of writing about the life cycles of plants in the landscape - when they bloom, when they die back from the cold, etc. We had some temps near freezing and a few of the plants I expected would be fine, weren't and vice versa. I hadn't gotten around to finishing that post when we got a week of lows around 20 and highs in the 40s.

I brought in a lot of our succulents off the front steps - most of those are tender. I wouldn't worry about them in near-freezing temps, but 20 degrees? I hadn't put up the plastic in the garden area yet, so I grouped a bunch of plants together against the house and draped a quilt over them - they're doing fine. The ferns in our shade garden got pretty fried, except for the hardy ones I got on clearance at Lowes - they look good. I guess the other ones may come back in the spring, but I think I'd rather have the ones that stick around through the winter. A few things that I considered houseplants have managed well. I guess they're something called dragon tree or Dracaena. They look tender, but they've stood up well to the cold. I was told that the garlic I planted in the fall would die back during the winter, but it hasn't happened yet.

There is one plant I forgot about in all my preparations. I've got a citrus plant in the front yard that I didn't protect for several days. I finally went out there and put some plastic over it last night. Since buying a lemon tree from Darren this fall, I have changed my approach to citrus. I think I'm willing to grow them in pots, so I can protect them during the winter by moving them into the garage. I had decided to wait until spring to put it into a container. When we find one, we'll probably get some kind of rolling cart to put plants on, to make it easier to protect them in the winter. I also got a lesson in the need for row covers after seeing the lettuce and broccoli this week. It's all a learning experience and I'll be prepared in the future.

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