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Freeze! Oh, whoa is me

Posted by skjones07 AL (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 5, 07 at 10:12

I have 30 wave petunias plants that I (apparently like a fool)planted in my flower beds two weeks ago when it was 80 degrees here. My plants are looking so beautiful and healthy and already spreading left and right. Now we are forecast to have at least 3 nights of freezing weather. It might even get to the 20's. Wow, didn't see that coming! You might expect an occasional 38-40 degree temp in early April here, but not 26! So, last night I covered them all preparing for temps in the 30's. I am thinking we might have to build some little tents and put some light bulbs out there to have a chance at saving them with temps in 20's this weekend. I don't know...


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Freeze! Oh, whoa is me

Petunias are actually quite cold hardy. When I lived in coastal zone 8b (SC), we planted them as fall/winter annuals!

Make sure your plants are watered thoroughly, and then cover them with something 'organic', not plastic. I'm thinking that a heat source is over kill.

By the way, find out when the average last frost date in your area is (call the extension office) and consider that your safest planting date is BEYOND that. Many people fall prey to exisiting conditions rather than annual averages, and it's the latter that are more reliable.

I'm pretty sure that in the Huntsville area (where I am), the average last freeze date has been cited as April 15. Does anyone know about that for certain?

BTW, back there in SC our 'safe' date was March 15, but in all but ONE of the 22 years I lived in that area, we had a killing frost towards the end of March. I always advised people to TRY to stave off their case of spring fever, lol!


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RE: Freeze! Oh, whoa is me

You're absolutely right. I knew the last av frost date was early to mid April around here, but I took a gamble anyway. We had such an unusually warm (some might even say HOT!) March, it was hard to believe we were going back to winter. Thought maybe I could get an early start and have pretty blooming petunias in May. I covered them with drop cloths and blankets and will keep fingers crossed. This is my first time planting the wave variety and I have been told they like it hot... not cold.


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RE: Freeze! Oh, whoa is me

How low did your temps go? Here in zone 8 we only got down to 50 and this was to be the coldest night of this cold snap. Hopefully you dodged the bullet this time. I know that our frost date is March 31 but often the peach tree insist upon blooming when it has been very warm and it will get bitten bad when a late frost comes.


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RE: Freeze! Oh, whoa is me

some maps for our state showing weather data linked below

Here is a link that might be useful: alabama climate data


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RE: Freeze! Oh, whoa is me

We are looking at 27 Fiday night 26 Saturday night and 28 on Sunday night, all my Fruit trees are loaded so going to get a bunch of Mini Sprayers and PVC pipe and give it a shot with overhead irrigation. Would hate to lose all the peaches, nectarines, plums, figs and Kiwi like we did last year. Hard to believe 2 record highs last week and looking at 2 record lows this weekend.

Bob in Morgan County.


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RE: Freeze! Oh, whoa is me

My gut told me we were past the last frost, too, Bob. My gut was wrong.

I have el cheapo weed cloth going over the veggies at night this week (plus flower pots for the bigger ones) and the new fig tree is getting wrapped up, too. Everything else is on it's own; most of it just went in the ground in the past month, isn't blooming much or not at all yet, so it isn't much to lose anyway. I may lose the veggies to cold, but I have more seeds anyway, I just hate to do all that work again.

At least I already have fruit set on the peaches and blueberries, so they will probably be okay. And the muscadines are obviously smarter than everything else -- they haven't woken up yet.

Nicole, also in Morgan County. Brrrr.


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RE: Freeze! Oh, whoa is me

25 degrees is gonna get everything. 90% kill is 26 degrees accordeing to the Extension! My Blueberries are loaded in all forms from pre to post bloom. I haven't put anything in the garden and everything else is back in the greenhouse. We sure got spoiled this year the kids have already been in the pool swimming the water was 76 degrees.


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RE: Freeze! Oh, whoa is me

Funny, it was awfully cold last night here, but I think the wind would have been the real killer. It wasn't the gentle breeze NOAA was talking about, it was loud enough to wake me up. I had all the young sprouts covered and the covering managed to stay on. Mostly, I planted drought and heat hardy heirlooms this year. Those are all perky. The other ones are the ones that are droopy and unhappy.

Hmmmm... I guess the purple tomatillos and mitla black beans will win this year.


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RE: Freeze! Oh, whoa is me

I am fixing to go close GH windows now - thank goodness i didn't get anything out of it this weekend. I do have a few things outside to bring back in....this SUMMERlike weather has been killing me - I guess i should be grateful have been so busy huh?


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RE: Freeze! Oh, whoa is me

Well, it was April 6, 1985 when Birmingham woke up to a light snow. The peach tree next to the deck was in full bloom and it had snow in the blooms. The next night it was cold and all of the peach blossoms froze.

I put almost everything back into the greenhouse. I'll cover some Friday night. At least the wisteria, azaleas, etc. have bloomed and past their prime. It has been a breathtakingly beautiful springtime.


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RE: Freeze! Oh, whoa is me

the ONLY thing good about this is that there's bound to be bargains at the big box nurseries this w/e & early next week. My local H.D. never protects anything from cold temps, but they never discount anyway....they'd rather just trash it & charge it back to the grower. The Trussville Lowes takes excellent care of their nursery stock, but nevertheless some always manages to get nipped a little anyway. Their nursery is already overflowing and I certainly don't envy them trying to protect it all. Last year I loaded up on 50 cent Lantana that just had a little leaf burn on top. Will I get any deals this year?


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RE: Freeze! Oh, whoa is me

Estimates just got revised downward again. At a hard freeze of 22F tonight, do I even bother trying to put sheets over the peach trees?


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RE: Freeze! Oh, whoa is me

I'd sure as heck cover them. What if the weather predictions are off by several degrees? Not like THAT'S ever happened or anything. :-O


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RE: Freeze! Oh, whoa is me

Fri=30*, Sat = 27* Sun = 31* are my weather.com forecasts. I may squeak through this by covering some plants. If I get a frost, I believe it will be above the ground level. The ground is warm and will protect stuff near it unless it gets really cold, like below 27*. I put everything I could back into the greenhouse last night.


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RE: Freeze! Oh, whoa is me

True, Rhizo. Want to come over and help me cover 10' trees? It's a bit of a job by itself!


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RE: Freeze! Oh, whoa is me

Oops! I thought you were asking if you ought to take the time to cover them or not. Sounds like you already know the answer to that question, lol.

Mother Nature....so fickle! The 'good' thing is that most of us have (finally) had a good soaking rainfall in recent days, and that is extremely important in helping plants fend of the damaging effects of freezing temperatures.

Good luck, everybody! I hadn't put anything out yet, but I expect that my bursting perennials will get zapped. My bonsai (which are in full bud, or have leafed out) have been put in the garage, but I may even have to evaluate that!


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RE: Freeze! Oh, whoa is me

Oh dear. I just checked the weather for my zip which is 20 miles East of Anniston and they're saying 7 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday) morning actual temp low of 25. And Sun morning 6 a.m. actual temp low of 16 degrees which will feel like 11 with wind chill!!! I don't think it's gotten that low all winter.

Squirrellypete


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RE: Freeze! Oh, whoa is me

Sigh, I thought I was going to skate through this with only 32deg Sat night but everytime I look the numbers are dropping. Now it's 29, and if this wind keeps up who really knows what it will be. Presently the fruit tree I have flowering is a Red Delicious, the plum tree has set fruit, I don't know what the peach and pear are doing. Only thing I'm really worried about is my newly unfurling banana leaves. Those will get covered.
Don't have plants that I have to bring in and out of the house, stopped that yrs ago when I finally let my plumeria succumb to the elements.
I have to dig some gingers before the freeze tomorrow, I don't want them frost burned(or mushed) for their new owners.


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RE: Freeze! Oh, whoa is me

"Oops! I thought you were asking if you ought to take the time to cover them or not. Sounds like you already know the answer to that question, lol."

Rhetorical question, I guess. The smaller tree is only 9'-ish and I got that covered. The larger tree... taller than I thought. Maybe 13'. I covered the bottom half. Both were about an hour and a half of frustration in a windstorm.

Probably not enough. But I had to TRY to save my little 1/2" peaches. It'll be interesting to see if it stays on, or I have to fight the barbed wire and slog through the cow pasture tomorrow to go fetch it all!

My local forecast got revised upwards to 27. Who knows, maybe tomorrow, too, won't be so cold... one can hope!


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RE: Freeze! Oh, whoa is me

No frost in Hueytown because of the wind but I had some freeze damage last night on uncovered items. The Confederate rose shows signs of being weepy and the "new" fig tree, supposed to be a black fig, has weepy leaves as well. Now we all know how the folks in California felt a few weeks ago when they got the hard freeze and lost the tropical fruit crops. Let's see what happens on Saturday night.


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RE: Freeze! Oh, whoa is me

More weepy leaves on the fig tree. Some more damage on the Confederate rose. What is strange is the Confederate rose on the north and west side of the house (front yard) shows no signs of damage. It is the one on the SE corner which shows damage. I guess the wind protection kept the warmer air near the ground from stirring and protecting the leaves. Oh yeah, one of the clumps of bananas show some damage.


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RE: Freeze! Oh, whoa is me

I wish my fig only had weepy leaves. :( I wish it still HAD leaves.

Astonishingly, the peaches look fine so far. Not even a spot of brown. I have no idea what variety it is, but I guess it's darn cold hardy. The lack of frost helps, I'm sure. One more night of this... hold on little guys! After tonight I'll unwrap the trees and get some to dissect.

Farmers around here are getting killed by this. Groceries are going to be expensive this year, that's for sure.


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RE: Freeze! Oh, whoa is me

Are the droopy ones gonna survive? My banana,hibiscas, and even my hostas were frozen, they all were beautiful as if it was the middle of summer. They are wilted like plants do when it frosts, are they gonna live, what can I do? I even had the bananas covered (just the leaves not the trunks) and they are brown and look like they are dead.


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RE: Freeze! Oh, whoa is me

We just planted 3 crepe myrtles last year, they were leafing out when the frosts hit. The leaves are history obviously, but the stems are all split. Don't know much about crepe myrtles, but that seems very bad. They are a multi-stem variety (Pink velvet) from the Cat Bird Seat in Madison. We really don't know what to do. Any suggestions?


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RE: Freeze! Oh, whoa is me

Freeze damaged Crape myrtles will need to be cut back to healthy wood, hopefully to another outward growing branch rather than topped. I have one that I've been growing in a container for a couple of years that was hit pretty hard. I've decided to wait for a couple of weeks so that I can truly ascertain how far down the stems the damage goes.


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RE: Freeze! Oh, whoa is me

My Plants have survived, I cut the brown off the Hostas & Banana, after the weather started warming again (and a little rain) The Hostas are beautiful, and the Banana Trees are staring to Leaf again. Haven't done anything but strip leaves off Crepe, I honesty don't think there is any hope, it looks dead, but time will tell. I sure would hate to cut it back to 3 or 4 inches. I don't see any split stems.


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