Freezing temps starting this weekend!

Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZJanuary 7, 2013

looking at the 10 day forecasts. It looks like we'll be getting below freezing temps starting this Saturday all the way to Wednesday. Hopefully this changes to at least above freezing. I don't want anymore damage on my Cannas :(

Be sure to put out your frost blankets and lights on your delicate plants!

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GeeS 9b

This is going to be bad. You folks in Tempe, downtown Phoenix and west Mesa should be fine. The rest us are getting swatted like bugs. Hard freeze five nights running predicted in Fountain Hills.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 9:47AM
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campv

Its going to be real cold here in Camp Verde. If everthing is just right we may even get snow. Iam already getting tired of wearing 3 shirts, 2 pairs of socks and gloves.
Its been very cold in the mornings, about 23-30. Been scraping frost of the car windows which is a real pain. We need a bigger garage and as I just discovered an electric blanket that works!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 1:05PM
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lazy_gardens

OMG!!! WE"RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!

I have the teensy Christmas lights and the frost cover. Enough to do the chiles, but the rest of the landscaping is going to get Darwined.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 8:33PM
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webuser_17497

You guys are killing me. lol:)

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 9:10PM
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toucan(9)

Yikes. 100 plus temps for 6 months plus and then freezing cold for most of the rest.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 11:24PM
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thisisme(az9b)

I'm in the same boat as lazygardens. I will be putting row cover over my citrus trees and pepper plants. They all have C9's (AKA the big bulbs) though strung all over and in them.

Water everything good the day before the freeze. By the day before I mean if it's supposed to freeze that night water well in the day time before it freezes at night. It will help a little. It's what all the farmers and orchard owners do. Only do it once though. Wouldn't want to drown them or encourage root rot.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 1:32AM
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lazy_gardens

And don't forget the PIPES!

I lost an expensive sprinkler system valve a couple of years ago - the water in it froze and ruptured the brass valve housing.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 7:22AM
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NAM66(9)

What do I cover my sensitive plants with. Cloth or plastic?

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 10:17AM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

NOT plastic.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 10:47AM
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fabaceae_native

When you lowlanders get these hard freezes at night, up here at 7,000 feet we're staying below freezing all day, for several days in a row! This next bout of cold should keep us below the 32 mark for a full week... Glad I don't have to worry about pipes though :)

This will ensure a colder-than-average January, after a near-average December for my area.

Hope the perspective cheers you all up!

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 11:24AM
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greendesert

are plastic tarps a bad idea to use for covering plants? What if they're lifted above? not touching? It can't be any worse than not using anything.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 4:47PM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

As long as the plastic does not touch the plants. Keep the wind factor in mind.

Good luck to all.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 5:02PM
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NAM66(9)

Should I cover my pigmy date palms, rose bushes,ficus trees?

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 5:49PM
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campv

Ficus trees will die if gets too cold- Rose bushes will make it down to 25 easy- I am not sure about the date plams but if you got enough old sheets and clothes pins I would use them all!

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 6:49PM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

how big or how old are your ficus trees? If they're old and big, then they'll do fine. They'll probably lose some foliage but will definitely return in the spring time.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 7:13PM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

plants are all pretty much covered. I wish I had more flood lights.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 8:07PM
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lazy_gardens

Use any non-LED light you have. You only have toi keep the temp inside the covers above freezing, not tyoasty warm.

I have strings of Christmas lights strung through the chili plants and will cover them tomorrow. (RED lights, of course)

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 9:38PM
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brugpuppy(9)

Do I need to protect my white sapote? So far it is doing well, even though it was planted 3 months ago.
Thanks

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 11:25AM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

I'm not protecting mine since it's planted close to the house.

They're hardy down to 22f. 28f foliage damage.

http://www.desert-tropicals.com/Plants/Rutaceae/Casimiroa_edulis.html

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 7:01PM
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V8Vega(9)

I have 6 Desert Museum Palo Verdes ( 6'-8' tall) on my property in Sunizona. They are forcasting lows around 16* down there. Will they survive?
I planted them about a year ago.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 9:54PM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

I was told the palo verde is hearty to 11 degrees. I received one as part of the SRP Shade Tree program last fall and asked the rep for the program and that's what she told me. Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 8:19AM
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V8Vega(9)

Now the forecast is down to 12*. I might need some luck.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 1:20PM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

UGHHH! Some of the Cannas that were left unprotected died back, so did one of my Hibiscus. The rest that were covered and lit are ok though. 3 more days of this :(

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 5:21PM
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azbolt

Sigh, it seems every few years we get a winter like this, where it *almost* kills all our favorite stuff, then it takes a couple of years for those plants to slowly get back to where they were before the frost, then it starts again! Chaps my hide, lol. My mom yesterday said (while I was helping her put frost cloth on her citrus trees), "We should move to sunny Arizona so we don't have to deal with this!". I got a chuckle out of that since she lives in Mesa and is an AZ native.

Kevin

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 3:56PM
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toucan(9)

Hope it kills my grass. Sadly I think it won't.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 5:00PM
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fabaceae_native

Now that the cold spell is almost over (warming trend supposedly starts tomorrow), I wonder how you've all fared with your tender plants?

Unfortunately the NWS is already talking about another arctic blast for some areas next week, and with the arctic oscillation in a negative phase for the foreseeable future, we could continue having these cold spells for a while. I'm sick of it, even though I don't have to cover any of my plants or anything... it just makes life more difficult.

It's -5 degrees right now, going all the way up to 20 today! The normal high for this time of the year is about 45.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 9:47AM
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sundrop07(9b)

In spite of covering my tomato plants with heavy duty frost cloth with sheets and blankets, and sleeping bags I still lost several fall planted tomato plants and jalapeno. I haven't looked at them today so don't know how the rest fared last night. My community garden plot looks okay except for the pole limas that had hung on til now, they're toast. The cabbages, collards and beets and turnips looked okay yesterday, the fennel tops were droopy but not black so I'm hoping they're okay. None of these were covered, I even say another plot with squash plants that looked good. Today may be another story though.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 1:01PM
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P.Hagen

I lost my tomato plant and beans also the sunflowers.Most of my Cosmos so are ok. The Portulcaria faired well.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 6:39PM
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webuser_17497

Even though your tomato plants may have gotten frostbite don't rip them out they almost always come back it may take a month or so but they will come back and will produce better than anything you plant now

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 7:16PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

This weather is DISGUSTING, lol. Seriously. Got down to 27 F at my little garden and the damage both permanent and temporary is significant. I have several opuntias in front and in back that have just fallen apart, leaning over and then letting the weight of the segments snap them apart. It's a big huge mess, plus things like citrus, sapote, plumeria, and other damage too. We'll see how things look in a few weeks. I'm just cranky anyway as my mom visited for 25 days (left day before yesterday) and honestly we didn't have ONE SINGLE DAY at average temperatures, let alone above--not one single day. Ack!

Anyway, here's some carnage for ya. The plumerias that went dormant like I asked them to (due to no water since October) look great, but those that decided to keep on growing look hideous now, as do a lot of plants in the garden.

Hope we can compare notes on what's recovering nicely too. One more night to go. Good luck all, and yes, happy gardening, even if a lot of that gardening is cleanup and thinking about replacement plants!

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 8:11PM
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phxlynne

Oh, poor plumeria. I'm in North Phoenix and lost three out of the four I planted in-ground this spring. They were all dormant rubra, but even covered the tips are now soft and discolored. I also planted two Shamel Ashes, lemon, grapefruit, and orange trees at the same time. I'm dreading unwrapping tomorrow to see how they fared. I covered our palms, hibiscus, lantana, bougainvillea, citrus, jasmine, vegetable garden, and herbs but everything looks bad except for: rosemary, bay leaf, oregano, chives, thyme, dill, lettuce, brussels sprouts, and pansies. I did add a brooder light to my largest in-ground plumeria (obtusa, which is evergreen) and that worked great.

This post was edited by PhxLynne on Wed, Jan 16, 13 at 14:29

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 2:03AM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Sorry about the damage to your garden plants too, PhxLynne, not good. I don't really think the plumeria in my pic will make it either, too bad too as it's been in the ground for several years.

I like your pic--very neat. Let us know how everything fares. I'm not big on covering things, so only a few plants of mine got any cover. The only one I'm really worried about is my 7 foot tall Aloe 'Hercules'. THAT one may take days or weeks to show the real damage. STill, it's been in the ground for 6 years and survived the record low single night temp two winters ago with only leaf damage. Time will tell.

I do have some nice surprises out there: my Aloe wickensii (A. cryptopoda) looks great and its blooms are totally unscathed. Aloe dorothea and A. vera, A. striata, A. parvibracteata and A. maculata all look good uncovered too, as does my self sown Echium candicans plants ("tower of jewels"). I'm worried about my smaller/younger citrus and my sapote, but at least I do see some plants unscathed.

I'm really going to try to take time to reflect on my mistakes and make my little garden even better and more stress free (due to cold, hot, and vacations/travel).

Happy gardening all,
Grant

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 3:11PM
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lazy_gardens

The major casualty ... a pipe blew on one of the sprinkler systems. I think the copper shrunk and cracked the PVC. It flooded the side yard before we noticed it.

My neighborhood looks like a Victorian slum, with laundry strewn all over the bushes.

I haven't looked under the frost covers yet.

We think the Jacaranda is a goner. It was sickly and will not be missed.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 5:34PM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

Ever so glad I gave up on ficus trees! They're like tombstones all over town. In my yard the Sweet Memory is toast and will look like h3[[ till March when I can safely cut it back. Chiles are goners as are the sunflowers, basil, some succulents, and - I fear - my Meyer lemon. I'm crossing my fingers on that one.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 7:12PM
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phxlynne

Citrus is looking pretty bad. I'll be back asking for advice on how to prune these in the spring.

Meyer lemon:

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 1:00AM
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phxlynne

Lisbon lemon.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 1:02AM
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phxlynne

Valencia orange.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 1:04AM
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phxlynne

Peppers.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 1:05AM
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phxlynne

Of course, tomatoes.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 1:06AM
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phxlynne

And my sad plumeria. I had planted two 1-tip and one 3-tip and they all look like this.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 1:13AM
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thisisme(az9b)

I guess it was just as bad for everyone else as it was in my yard. My peppers and tomatoes look like everyone else's. I sure hope the peppers come back. This was going to be their third season. They produce better and better every year. This last year I canned roughly thirty five quarts of peppers and fifty quarts of hot sauce. If they are dead I will be lucky to do a fourth that much this year. Being a real pepper head it would be a terrible loss. If the tomatoes don't come back it's no big loss. New plants will produce just as well.

I only covered the the peppers in the frost cloth and had Christmas lights under them. Out of all of my trees I only covered the citrus. I plan on uncovering the citrus tomorrow. I can't tell for sure but I think they are all OK.

I think the Star Jasmine I planted all made it with minimal damage. Some of the other flowering plants I planted Nov-Dec look dead.

Note to self for 2013;

Buy some old sheets and blankets from the Good Will when they are on sale. Watch the wife after each use to make sure she does not toss them in the garbage.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 2:03AM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

Here's some photos of my frontyard and backyard plants. Quite a lot of damage to all the tropicals, but all the one's that were covered and lit definitely survived.

Here's my big clump of Canna lillies, Hibiscus mutabilis, banana. These were covered with frost cloth and had 3 separate flood lights heating up the area.

No damage at all on this Hibiscus mutabilis. The taller one though didn't do so well.

These ones though were a big surprise to me on how well they did with all those freezing nights unprotected. Giant umbrella plant and split leaf philodendron.

Here's my poor Passion fruit vine. It did well the first two nights, but couldn't handle the third freezing night. This one was also left unprotected.

succulents all did well.

Here's some Cannas that were not protected. Most of them all died back along with my Alocasias. They did well the first night since they're next to the wall of the house.

Mango, Ice Cream Bean Tree, Longan, Yellow Guava, Brugmansia. I had to clump them all together and moved them closer to the house, covered them in frost cloth and placed a 100watt flood light underneath them. All did pretty well :)

This hibiscus was protected all 4 nights.

Alocasia, Cannas, Calla lillies. All left unprotected but were underneath a patio and close to the wall.

My Moreton Bay Fig seedlings did pretty well. I just covered them in frost cloth, no lights.

Pithecellobium dulce (guam�chil) tree, Left unprotected and it looks okay right now but I have a feeling that it'll drop leaves before spring.

Pink guava left unprotected as well :( I'm pretty sure this guy will shoot back out though by spring.

Hong Kong Orchid tree, left unprotected. Minimal damage on the top canopy, and all the blooms got fried :(

Hibiscus left unprotected :(

3 year old Castor bean tree left unprotected as well. The last two freezing nights melted all its leaves.

Red Ixoras left unprotected. Did pretty well since they're planted underneath the Castor bean tree, but the last freezing night got to them since the Castor bean's leaves all melted by that time.

Plumeria was protected under frost cloth and close to a floodlight and still got damaged. All its leaves fell off and the tips are dark. Hopefully it'll pull through.

Chinese Yellow Banana did alright. Its pups that are sprouting on its side did better.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 9:45PM
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Centurion_(Verde Valley AZ Z8)

For those of you who experienced damage to freezing irrigation systems, here's a tip. When we lived in Eastern Washington, we drained our lines every Fall and left them empty till spring.

If you install a couple of valves at stratigic locations in you lines, and your lot slopes, you can shut the system off from the main line and drain it.

If your lot is flat, you can use an air compressor to blow out your lines before a hard freeze.

Temps routinely dropped below 20 degrees and remained below freezing for extended periods, but we never had damage to pipes, valves, or timers.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 9:53PM
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lazy_gardens

Centurion - We use our watering system all year.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 6:07AM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Really neat, and informative updates and pics raimeiken, thanks for posting them so we can all see and learn. Many of the pics are a great lesson in microclimates, plus the value of protection for some of our plants. Definitely keep us posted.

PhxLynne, have your citrus perked up at all? Several of mine were curled and angry for the first week, but then relaxed and look good again. Note, I said "some", LOL, as a couple are still annoyed and shedding leaves, but several look like nothing has happened to them.

I'm really fatigued from this weather, and the freeze damage. I'm going to make some changes in what and how I grow things so I don't have to be as stressed, and sad, when there is damage from cold or from issues when I'm away for work/vacation. I've vowed not to replace the things that croaked with similar plants. I'm going to worship and propagate those that did, hah!

Great updates though, keep them coming. Now, enough with this RAIN, lol.

Happy gardening,
Grant

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 6:41PM
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haname(z9 AZ NE Phoenix)

I had some frost this morning, and wasn't expecting that, didn't get any warnings. Did the rain make it colder somehow? Anyone else get frost? But it has been a beautiful day. I'm so used to the warm weather here and have a lot less tolerance for the cold.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 7:01PM
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plstqd(9)

I lost most of my vegetable garden, and had major damage to my ficus in the front yard (no surprise there...the ficus were already here when we bought the house, or I wouldn't have put them in myself, knowing now how frost sensitive they are). Fortunately, they're large, so they'll likely recover, although right now, our driveway looks like this:

On the other hand, one of the plants that didn't even blink at the frost was a tomato plant bought from MaryMcP. Sophie's Choice (got it right this time, Mary!) is a tomato developed for northern climates, and with some Christmas lights, and a towel draped over it, it's looking perky as can be. Nice to have at least one thing green and alive in my garden!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 12:24AM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

I see it as getting quite a lot of good mulching :)

I did get frost this morning as well. I wasn't expecting it.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 1:15AM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

Glad the Sophie's Choice made it plstqd, I have a nice big one in a large container that I babied through the coldest nights by bringing it inside. One more night of low temps (tonight) then we may be past the cold snaps. But watch out for hail in late Feb/early March!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 6:28AM
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azcopperpenny(Az zone 9)

I have started several vegetables indoors for transplanting outside. When would be the best time to do that? I am in Peoria

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 2:54PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

GROSS, lol. No frost by me, but I'm surprised as it sure felt like there would be some when I went outside early. I'm just getting so grouchy about this winter's weather.

plstqd, that's quite a mess you have there. I'm seeing similar, though not as large scale!, issues in other gardens too. Like you mentioned, your trees are large and should be fine. How did they do during the single night of record breaking cold in late winter 2011? Thanks for airing your dirty laundry, LOL, it's fun to see what looks good and not so good, in our gardens.

Take care and happy gardening all,
Grant very, VERY tired of wearing sweaters!!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 6:26PM
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