Winter Prep pics. Thoughts appreciated jimhardy and others.

bradleyo_gwNovember 22, 2011

The yard is all cleaned up and ready for winter. Very depressing time of year for my landscape.

First step was to wrap a string of mini lights loosely around the palm.

Next, I loosely wrapped the whole plant with a double layer of frost cloth. Inside the frost cloth is a 35/45 thermocube connected to the christmas lights. I then place my compost bin over the whole palm, with lid on top. I will keep it loosley wrapped with another blanket layer of frost cloth over the top and down the sides. I have some leaves inside the compost bin as well about halfway up the bin.

This is what it will look like all too soon.

Any suggestions? Think it will work? Last year I killed 2 trachies in frost cloth wrapped leaf cages, although even my minors and needle were heavily damaged. Im thinking that if I can keep those frozen leaves away from the trunk, keep moisture away from the plant and give it a little heat, it should be fine. I have c-9's that I can use too, but I'm afraid of it being too hot. I'm also debating putting a couple of gallons of water inside too, but I'm afraid they would freeze.

My Chicago Hardy fig about to undergo its first winter in a leaf cage with about 3' of leaves. I'll put another layer of frost cloth on when it gets much colder.

Minor getting ready for winter #3

McCurtain in the garbage can, didn't even push 1 whole spear this year. Got beat up last winter and then I moved it to make way for a veggie garden. Between the damage and the transplant shock, a split fan was just emerging last month. Underneath the pot is an Arkansas minor from Austin going into its second winter. Completely browned out and surprisingly pushed out 2 new strap leaves. I believe they are 2-3 years old.

Agave parryi gets an upside down pretzel tub with some hole in the top for...

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Looking good.......

be nice to have a remote sensor inside with the palm just to see whats up.

Click for weather forecast

    Bookmark   November 22, 2011 at 7:25PM
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Nice pics! They look winter ready! I agree, its sad to see things so brown this time of the year. The trees wont have any leaves on them in just another week or 2 and even though I still have some tender tropicals outside (suprisingly no frost was hard enough to take out any of the annuals or tropical "houseplants"), its still not the same as it is during the summer when everything is lush and the sun is brightly shining.
Thanks for sharing!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2011 at 1:11AM
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Do those little "fairy lights" in the first pic keep palms warm enough? I didn't think they gave off enough heat compared to the big, old fashioned screw in bulbs that get hot to the touch.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2011 at 1:29AM
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@ wetsuiter- Those lights do feel warm when you touch them. Once, I strung lights like those on a frost cloth. It saved my coconut palm down to 28f. I put a high and low recorder next to the base of the palm. If i remember right, it would have worked down to 23-24f or so.

Being out in the open I dont think would really do anything. It would need to have something to keep the heat in. Like the structure shown in the pic. But yeah those lights can put off enough heat to save your palm. Depending on how much insulation etc.

- US_Marine

    Bookmark   November 23, 2011 at 12:25PM
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My only question(besides mulch(-:),is will the lights provide enough heat.

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    Bookmark   November 23, 2011 at 8:52PM
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Never put anything around your palms (leaves, etc). They need open space to breathe. Also, they need light in the winter to photosynthesize. They are evergreen and don't go dormant. I've seen so many failures with people that wrap their palms up tight and put them in the dark only for them to die come spring.

I've had nothing but 100% success with my enclosures. Not even tip burn once on my trachys.

Heat them to 40F and don't look back. You will see the benefits next summer when they grow 15 fronds.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2011 at 9:05PM
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Jim - trying to find my weather station. Haven't used it in awhile. On the plus side, the house is getting a super fall cleaning while I tear it apart looking for my sensor.

Wet - I'm hoping they put off enough heat. With multiple layers of frost cloth, kept dry by the compost bin, which will be buried beneath snow all winter (that's a natural snow collecting area from shoveling), I'm hoping to keep it warm enough to get it through.

Wx - I've been using leaves for several years now with mixed succes. My experience is that as long as the leaves are kept dry, they work great. I've pretty much followed Francko's advice. I've always said that I won't heat, but since I've moved here, in many cases it's unavoidable. I lost my first 2 trachies last year using the same method I've used with minors and needles, but my protection failed allowing snow and ice to collect in the leaves around the base. I'm hoping that with significantly more moisture protection as well as the lights encased by multiple layers of frost cloth to envelop the heat, and then buried by snow, it will be enough. For my marriage's stake, I have to take baby steps. Right now my wife is totally content with how the protection looks. If I told her I was jumping into a framed structure with windows, heat, insulation, etc.. she might not take it as well. Plus I'm trying to do it as cheaply as possible with what I have.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2011 at 7:07AM
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