I would like to cut back all the dead branches and stuff. Do you folks think we are done with the cold snaps and it's safe to prune?
Thanks for your input. Mary
I wait until mid-April, but I'm lazy :)
We often have one more freeze in early February, so you might be too eager.
Dang! I hate ugly dead plants. THanks LazyOne. Valentines' Day it is then.
February 15th is considered to be the last threat of frost. The long range weather forecast for Mesa shows night time temps in the 30"s for five days in a row starting January 29th.
Thanks me. Where do you get those long range forecasts?
Here is a useful site, which has been surprisingly accurate in Tucson's microclimates. It has been within a degree or two from my actual temperature measurements. The below is for Phoenix, you can also see other NWS offices at http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/psr/
1. Goto http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/forecast/wxtables/?wfo=psr.
2. Under "Select Weather Format" pick "1" (which will give you hourly forecasts for temperature, immensely important in cold nights ).
3. Enter your zip code and click "Go".
You might want to bookmark this page (after clicking Go) and setting your options the way you like them. The page automatically updates. Again, I have found this to be extremely accurate in its forecasting. Of course, considering we are still in a "La Nina" event, anything is possible.
Any 'forecast' beyond 10days is usually just the typical/historical average high and low temps.
marymcp I get them from accuwather.com. Long range forecasts can change but on the whole they are fairly accurate. Type in your City and State where you see "Mesa AZ" and you can get your city's forecast.
Here is a link that might be useful: Accuweather
pgde, thanks for that tip on the hourly format. NOAA is my default weather check but I had not seen that hourly format before. You're right, it's useful as a gardening tool.
I'll check Accuweather too.
I love hearing about all of these weather websites--thanks for sharing them. Like a lot of gardeners, I'm a weather nut.
I usually do my spring pruning at the end of February. I should try to wait longer but once things really start re-sprouting I can't stand watching sprouts form up at the top where I know I'm going to trim something off, LOL.
Here's to hoping Jack Frost is gone for the year. :)
Oh, the one thing I DID trim already was the haystacks that were my lantanas, LOL. I wanted to trim them off before the leaves come off easily and make a crunchy brown mess. I trimmed all of the lantanas back to about 4 inches. It's NOT the recommended procedure, but for me it's worth the risk just to have them cleaned up now. If we get zapped again they'll be more vulnerable than if I hadn't pruned them, but I wouldn't be crushed if I had to replace them so I just went for it. They'll come back just fine if we get no more frost, and will probably be fine even if we do.
I wouldn't recommend it, but it's what I did. There's my guilty confession for today. :)
Take care everyone,
Grant.... I did the same thing... cutting back my lantana. Of course, remorse hit when the second cold snap hit. They look dead. So, I have decided if they don't come back, I will just replace them.
AZbookworm, good luck with your lantanas. That's the one plant I just need to trim back when it's damaged as the fried leaves fall off all over if I let them go.
Let's all compare notes to what bounces back and what doesn't. My biggest "concern" really is my popcorn cassias, but they're always a gamble long term, and so quick to bloom from seed it's not a big deal either way--their best quality is also their worst: they're winter bloomers so when they get zapped they get ZAPPED, LOL.
I'm most happy that my Echium fastuosum survived just fine, so I can't complain too much. I just hope there are no more frosts this year. I went over two years without a frost in my garden and I was getting a bit cocky, so this will help keep me in bounds, LOL.
Take care all,
I'm buying lots of emu bushes to replace some stuff. Those babies are like a Timex.....nothing bothers them, neither heat nor cold. Also going to put in a couple little leaf cordia bushes. They also seem to do well no matter.
My Dutchman's Pipe vines are black blobs, firestick plants - ZAP, coral fountain bush, black. Waahhhh.
Sorry about the damage, Mary! Ugh. I'm surprised to hear about the coral fountain bush, but I'm not growing any and I haven't seen any post-frost to check for damage--I'll be looking though! My pencil "cactus" plants all look good, as do most in my neighborhood, so maybe we weren't hit as hard as some others--I still consider them a gamble even though mine look good so far.
Buuut, it sounds like you're making some good replacement choices. I LOVE emu bushes and you're right, they are very, very durable. Good ol 'Valentine' is especially nice due to the foliage, but I'm also very fond of goofy 'Easter Egg' with those multi colored blooms. Let us know which ones you get and how they work out.
I've almost given up hope on my popcorn cassias, LOL, but if nothing else, they'll make a nice trellis for some small annual vines this spring, LOL.
Good luck everyone and keep the updates (good or bad) coming.
Just an early warning, according to the NWS, there is forecast for 4 hours of freezing temperatures on 2/3 between 0400 and 0800 with 2 additional hours of 32 degree temps; and Friday, 2/4 from 0300 to 0800 with 2 additional hours of 32 degree temps.
This is for Tucson and your mileage might vary (and the NWS might change their forecast ).
Here is a link that might be useful: National Weather Service
GROSS. Thanks for the heads up. Looks like the Phoenix area may get zapped a couple of nights later this week too. Ugh.
"We often have one more freeze in early February, so you might be too eager." Dang it lazygardens, I'm listening to you from now on!
I planted snow peas last month, and they were doing great ... until last night when they turned into ice peas :(
It never got anywhere near the expected high today. I just read one report that said to expect low 20's in Mesa tonight. My back is totally out today too. As soon as my son gets home its his job to water all the fruit trees and take all the plants in the greenhouse into his sister room.
Good luck everyone.
I just heard today is the coldest Febuary day ever in Phoenix!
This AM about 10 am my weather for Mesa Falcon Field read 24 degrees with 15 degrees windchill. Supposed to be colder tonight!
I think there comes a time when everyone runs out of towels, sheets, Christmas lights, and frost cloth to cover all the plants, and then you just have to hope for the best. For me, that time is now! lol. Sure, I would've liked to have covered my ilex vomitoria and african boxwood shrubs, too, but I believe they'd survive an even deeper frost...at least I hope so, because those boxwoods are some of my faves and kind of expensive!
Anyhow, yes, lesson learned: No matter how ugly the Ugleanders look after the first earlier season frost damage, I must try to be patient next time, and not trim them! Poor things.
The thing I find most frustrating is that my tomato and pepper plants were just starting to flourish with lots of new buds...all that lovely warm weather we had. And now they'll probably get zapped, even though I did put Christmas lights around them and cover them. I just have a dreadful feeling this is THE BIG ONE. Here in CenPho it's already down to 35F in my hood...and it's only 9am! Help! SOS!
Well, I wish all of you the best. We'll have to see how it all turns out after Friday morning I suppose!
4 degrees up here in Chino Valley, Az. this morning!!
The below temperature map is certainly depressing. More of the same for tonight. Actual low temp here at my weather station is now 14.6, the low as 14.4 with winds 13 gusting 21. I guess I can plan on replacing my citrus.
Here is a link that might be useful:
Sorry, I forgot to include the fact that these temps represents an historic, all-time low. :(
YIKES... I sure hope I won't have to replace my trees. this is nuts. I'm particularly worried about my Sissoo tree.
What a horrible night .... between the howling wind and me worrying about my water pipes, I managed about 2 hours' sleep.
I believe every citrus tree in Tucson is either dying or already dead. Tonight's freeze (supposedly even colder) will take care of any stragglers.
Heck, my Eldarica PINE TREES froze. They're all stiff and their needles have turned dark blue-green. Even my cholla looks damaged; its arms are all spread out, instead of upright.
This is starting to look like the Southern Arizona equivalent of the asteroid that killed all the dinosaurs.
Good luck to all, and I hope things look worse than they really are.
Believe it or not, this is from Tucson:
I guess there will be a run on replacement citrus in a month or so :-)
28 at my place in Lake Havasu early this morning. I was going to come on here and snivel, but after reading some of the other posts I guess I better not.
I think my citrus will all pull through. Some of my fig trees had just started to bud and leaf, so this will definately set them back a bit.
Here is an interesting statistic from today:
Tucson, AZ high--35 degrees, low--14.4 (currently 24)
Anchorage, AK high--31 degrees, low--20 (currently 27)
Tonight it is supposed to be even colder than last night by 3 degrees. A moment of silence for all the citrus in Tucson please ......
I used a frost cloth wrapped around the mid section of my citrus covering it from the ground up to that mid section.. almost like citrus skirt lol.. also had 75w flood clamp light from lowes pointed down toward the trunk.. so hopefully just the top half dies and the tree comes back
Two nights at 28 F and then 30 F last night. My little hummingbird feeder was frozen each night. Ugh. My big citrus trees look fine, one smaller one is a bit wilted but I'm hoping it will bounce back (it wilted during the Dec 31st frost for a week but looked good after 10 days).
I've let a lot of mother of thousands Kalanchoe pop up all over my garden and they look like black mush today after surviving the New Year frost okay. Sorry for everyone who lost or is losing plants.
On a brighter note, here's a pic of my little hummingbird feeder with six hummers having a drink (I've had to thaw it pre-dawn each morning the last three days).
Six hummingbirds at my little feeder. I usually see only one or two as they tend to be territorial and chase each other away, but I think the cooler weather is making them tolerate each other this week :
Here is a link that might be useful: 6 hummers at my little feeder
very cool Grant. My feeder is smaller...with only four little feeding stations on it. I had three of the little guys on it at one time this morning.
I've been taking mine inside these past three mornings and putting warm sugar water in it. The little guys seem to appreciate the warm food.
I don't think I lost any trees, but our temps didn't get as cold as yours.
It made it down to 19 here in Tempe last night. Ice Ice Baby. I hate the idea even more than the song. Evil.
I got cocky too after everything made it through the yuck at New Year's. Kept meaning to go over to the Goodwill and buy some sheets and blankets... never did. Sigh.
None of my trees look stone dead, but everything non-hardy was definitely singed. My huge sissoo had sent up a bunch of new growth in the warmth of the last couple weeks, so I'd say that's history. Looks like we'll be paying for a big tree-trimming this spring. My little orchid tree may end up looking fairly oddly shaped this year, depending on how much of the damage ends up being on the branches, not just the visible leaf damage. And the big hibiscus in my atrium is looking unhappy, but not blackened... hopefully it will snap back.
Grant, I wish my hummers were so cooperative! Or, at least, the one in charge out there would be. My yard is ruled by a male Anna's hummingbird, Captain Bonk. This morning he was still out there chasing away anyone else that tried to sneak in for a drink. There was at least one other male and one female locally, and I saw the female for sure yesterday. I was not able to ID the chase-ee this morning.
Here is my temp graph for the past few days (green is the sensor in the citrus area).
Had a couple of finches sipping my hummingbird food the last couple of mornings. Finally put up a feeder just for the finches. Certainly don't want them to scare aware the hummers!
Ugh, I lost my big 5 foot tall green pencil cactus (Euphorbia tirucalli) in my back yard that had survived the New Year's frost just fine. It's totally melted after last week's zap. So are most of the 'Firestick' plants in my neighborhood. Too bad too as they're really lovely. Or were! LOL.
Interestingly my two 3 and 4 foot tall green pencil cacti in the front yard look fine (microclimate etc). Too bad so many people are losing those plants as they're neat. Ugh. Believe it or not, now I'm actually *worried* about my lantanas, LOL.
Good luck and happy gardening!
the nurseries are gonna make a wheelbarrow load of cash this year ...
Had to leave town last Thursday, had everything covered. It all came through, but my dragon fruit was damaged by the person removing the sheets...grrrr
Oh well, hoping to put my mango in the ground in the next few weeks.
My new cherries and mulberry came through just fine. I covered them in that black foam pipe insulation. Before I covered them the cherries where starting to break bud and push leaves. Every leaf and bud looks as good as it did when I covered them. Some of my other trees were left uncovered and suffered some damage. None of my trees died but I will be surprised if the damaged limbs leaf out.
The citrus had Christmas lights all over them and they all look OK. Some leaf damage here and there but over all pretty good.
I'm a little worried about some young rooted fig cuttings that were left out. Some of them have that color change from frost damage that lets you know all is not well.
Over all still pretty good compared to some. I hope everyone did better than they think they did. Sometimes plants look dead and still comeback strong.
let's hope our orange tree survived ... the rest of the garden looks horrid
Not sure who is right on this as some sites say it will be warmer. Cox's site which I think is through The National Weather Service says we should expect a hard freeze in Mesa this Saturday and Sunday.
Here is a link that might be useful: This weeks Weather Forecast
Never mind. I just checked again and they changed the temps to a low of 38 on Saturday. Not cold enough to freeze anything. Just to cold to plant my tomatoes again till next week. As I write this my tomato plants are right around 36" tall in 4.5"X4.5"X5.5" pots. I keep thinking I should re-pot them. Then I think to myself. You are going to planting them so soon it does not make sense to re-pot them now. Then it gets to cold to plant them again and they keep growing bigger.
I'm in the same boat as you "thisisme", I keep on putting my transplanting off and my plants are getting way too big for their containers (not nearly as big as yours though). I've got about 50 of them so potting up is really unappealing!
Me too kingkongoes me too. I have melons and squashes and tomatoes and tomatillos and ground cherries in pots and flats. Some of the vines are longer than my arms and in flower. I wanted to get an early jump on things and I guess I'm not alone. Things look like they will be warming up come next Monday though so thats when I'm going to plant. Hope your new beds do well for you this year. It will be interesting to see how well they perform compared to your enclosed beds. Kind of a Ferrari verses the Volkswagen kinda thing as far as cost to build. Look forward to your garden pictures.
Well, here we go again with a hard freeze predicted for Sunday night/Monday morning. NWS forecasts indicate that for 2/27 through 2/28, temps will be below freezing (31 to 28) from 11pm Sunday night to 8 am Monday morning. Sunday will be a generally colder day with temps ranging between 33 and 50 as a high. Of course, this is for the east side of Tucson. So I guess it is time to get the citrus protection out (lights and cloth) especially now that all my previously frosted citrus is sending out new replacement growth. If you can wait to plant until Tuesday when temps are predicted to be in the low 70s, I would think that is a safe bet. Also, the link below an interesting interactive map (based on Google Earth) showing the average last frost dates in Arizona. You can zoom in to street level. Very useful.
Here is a link that might be useful: Interactive Last Frost Date Map
thanks for the link, it's AWESOME ... lots of useful data presented ...
Temps to 33 Sunday night in Mesa, snow down to 2,000 feet. Didnt we have snow in the valley and freezing temps with that late March storm back in 2006?
Thanks Mangledmind. Will keep posting interesting URLs as I come across them. Too bad there isn't a permanent place to post interesting sites for future reference.
Anyway, this sounds like an interesting weekend from the weather perspective here in Tucson. Tomorrow about 11am, winds are to pick up from calm (now) to a sustained speed of 25 with gusts to 50. Yes, 50 mph. There are all sorts of wind and blowing dust advisories out, especially for I-10 between Tucson and Phoenix, and I-8. Then, when that dies down about 11 pm, we will finally get some rain, possible thunderstorms. On Sunday, there is a significant chance of accumulating snow (less than an inch) and rapidly dropping temps. The NWS has revised their forecast here and will go below freezing here at 11pm Sunday night to a three hour low of 26 finally making it above freezing at 8am Monday morning. Have reinstalled all my citrus protection (lights, frost protection blankets). Hard to believe but we will be going from a high of 70 today to a high of 48 on Sunday. Let's all hope it will be the last of the season .