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Cold Weather Coming

Posted by DocHollywood 9b (Central Tucson) (My Page) on
Wed, Jan 9, 13 at 22:00

What's everyone doing about the predicted cold temps coming on Friday and persisting for 3-4 days? Recommended precautions? Central Tucson/U of A. Several citrus varieties planted 6 mos to 2 years. A few tender perennials. Hopefully some microclimate action going on here.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Cold Weather Coming

How cold is going to be. Right now at night my Garage meter reads 21. I had to get a ceramic heater and turned it on to prevent the trees from freezing.


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RE: Cold Weather Coming

I was going to ask just this question myself.

We have a few nights of cold coming up, one might be 30. I have a 3 mandarines that were planted last season. Should I worry about them?

Right now it is good and windy so not too worried for tonight, (wind machines used to hum on nights like this in our area)

The two smallest mandarines would be easy to cover (Kishu and Gold Nugget)

At 30 degrees should I cover those two?


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RE: Cold Weather Coming

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Thu, Jan 10, 13 at 13:51

Kippy:

You can't go wrong covering them with a blanket or floating row cover even though 30F probably won't cause any significant harm. Well I guess you could go wrong if the covering is so heavy as to crush the tree or if the wind blew really hard. Also covering with clear poly may not help if the leaves touch the poly. And clear poly left on during the day could cook your plants.

I cover with old blankets as a first choice and blue tarps where the blankets are too small. If it gets really cold I add lights or an electric heater under the tarp. This has saved nectarines from really hard freezes.


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RE: Cold Weather Coming

  • Posted by pgde Tucson Zone 9 (My Page) on
    Thu, Jan 10, 13 at 19:29

The forecast is dismal and cold in Tucson. Highs only in the mid 40s and lows down to 23. Snow levels down to 3,000 feet (we are at 2982 feet). To quote a local weather person "these will be the coldest temperatures since two years ago." And, we know what happened two years ago :-( This front, apparently, is the first of several arctic fronts that are being hurled down from the Gulf of Alaska. So much for the forecast of warmer than normal temps here.

So, I have reinstalled the frost cloth, c7 and my 250 watt halogen work lights on each of my 7 trees. Surprisingly, the 28 and 30 degree nights have not affected the trees. Perhaps they are now old enough and strong enough to withstand those temps. Will also be watering them well tonight. Also covered all my non-native (i.e. not Sonoran) cactus.

Good luck all of you in TUS. Pix tomorrow.

P.


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Hi All!
I'll add to the good luck wishes for the next few days! Cold, windy, and overcast tonight!
One tree is covered, and christmas lights have been draped over the Dragon fruit. My newest tree will come in the house, mint moved and covered and one other small dish of cactus moved.

In a few hours under the blankets I go to hibernate for the next few days! lol...

JoJo


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RE: Cold Weather Coming

Well, woke up this morning to see it got down to 28 degrees last night, and is still only 28 degrees at 7:00 am. I will not trust weather.com to predict my lows. Was only supposed to be 33 degrees here, but clearly, being in the hills and at almost 1,000 ft. above sea level, we get colder. Did not cover anything, concerned about my papaya, so I am going to have to cover it tonight, as we're predicted to have freezing temps through Monday night. Brrr! And, I'm only about 6-7 miles from the coast in San Diego county! Very unusual low temps for us.

Patty S.


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32-32-29-32 Guess I better plan on what gets covered tonight and what is on it's own. My Avo is getting a bit big to cover so it is probably on it's own. But my little mandarians are easy to cover.


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RE: Cold Weather Coming

BBBBRRRRRR!!!!
Could be a rough and tough few nights coming up. This will be a learning experience for me. We have only been in the area for 3 years and we had very little to worry about with the cold snap of 2011, but have planted alot more since. Coasted through last winter's moderate low temps with no problems. Will wait it out with some minor protection and see how things look the middle of next week. You long-timers of central Tucson able to verify that this is normal weather as far as cold temps in the winter? :>)


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Yup, my poor papaya looks like it took a hard hit last night, I am SO MAD. I have been nursing this papaya along for 2 years, had a whole bunch of flowers. Now, I think all is lost. I have frost cloth over it, but it's already 36 degrees, and it's only 7:30 pm. I expect another drop to the high 20's tonight. Some of my citrus look a little shocked, too. Mainly my St. Teresa lemon and my Moro orange. Satsumas look just fine.

Patty S.


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RE: Cold Weather Coming

  • Posted by pgde Tucson Zone 9 (My Page) on
    Fri, Jan 11, 13 at 23:48

As promised in my above posting, here are pictures of what I have done here. Note the snow in one of the pictures! Most had already melted (that was in the sun) by the time I took them. The outside temp was 36 degrees. When the front came through last night we had sustained winds of 28 mph for about an hour with a temp drop of at least 19 degrees after the winds subsided.

***Update*** -- New nighttime pictures are now uploaded to the album below.

This graph is as of 11:27pm (Arizona time) pm tonight (updated from earlier). Note current OAT is 30 degrees at the citrus sensor. Will post the overnight one tomorrow.

Hopefully my halogens will provide enough heat to foil Mother Nature. Should this not work, I may consider giving up on Citrus here. This is the third winter in a row with temperatures significantly below average (and freezing).

Good luck all!

P.

Here is a link that might be useful: Frost Protection At Desert Oasis Ranch, January, 2013

This post was edited by pgde on Sat, Jan 12, 13 at 1:29


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RE: Cold Weather Coming

pgde...
What part of Tucson are you in? You look a little colder than the the U of A area. Like your home architectural style. Good Luck.


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RE: Cold Weather Coming

  • Posted by pgde Tucson Zone 9 (My Page) on
    Sat, Jan 12, 13 at 1:38

We are out east near to Saguaro NP East. Our elevation is 2982 feet. I have updated my album with nighttime pix.... I have to look at some weather data to see who is colder. Cold air is more dense and sinks, so we can give you our colder air...lol... Also, a lot may depend on how "heat soaked" you are. If you have a lot of concrete, asphalt,etc, you will have absorbed more heat. Out here we are surrounded by typical Sonoran vegetation and have gravel roads, so there isn't anything to soak up the heat. So, you might have a temporary advantage. This weather is completely inconsistent with the NWS forecasts for this winter which I have posted earlier. It will be interesting to see how the NWS views this event and if there is a new variable to include in their 3 month forecasts.

Best of luck.

BTW, as of 1137pm it is 30 degrees out here.

P.


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THis all worries me. I don't think I have ever seen the cold do what it's doing this year while at the same time the warmth over here. It's suppose to be 60 by Sunday!

I am so sorry everyone. I hope you and your plants pull through. It can be quite frustrating, especially when it's not suppose to happen this way.
Very strange!
How will you all keep warm? How will you keep your trees warm. Man.

If frost get as far down south as Guatamala, then I know the end is near!

MIke


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Morning all!
We dropped to 40 around 8 pm last night and were at 27* at 8:30 this morning.

I havent uncovered my little tree to see how it is.

Peter! Snow! BRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!! lol... I used to live at the base of the Catalina mountains and would get snow once in a while, now over by A mountain. Yes, this did go off track from the previous forecast. I got bare root strawberries last week and am glad I didnt plant them yet.

Doc,Welcome to Arizona! I've been in Az. all my life and Tucson for 41 yrs. Does that make me an 'Old Timer' ? ? ;-) These cold snaps do happen every few years.

Patty~ Sorry to hear about your papaya. :-( I hope it recovers fast! My native and large cactus seem O.K but I think my dragon fruit looks like there may be some damage.

Hi Mike~ It has been an unusual winter! And yes, frustrating for those of us who arent used to it.

Oh... My Mike called you a not very nice name because you will be in 60's! sunday. lol..Dont worry, I still luv ya! ;-) Mom too!!

Not doing much outside this weekend that's for sure!! working on my craft room.

Stay warm everyone!!

JoJo


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RE: Cold Weather Coming

  • Posted by pgde Tucson Zone 9 (My Page) on
    Sat, Jan 12, 13 at 12:01

Hi Jojo:

Here is last night's temp graph. As you can see the low was 22 degrees. I think we must be in a cold cycle here in Tucson for the past several years since this is not the first snow we have seen here and the temps have been significantly below "normal" averages. I don't want to unwrap the trees until the cold has passed. I am also leaving the lights on during the day to build up some heat since the highs are only supposed to be about 45 here.

Stay warm!

Peter


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Wow, peter, that's significantly colder than central. We only got down to 29 according to my weather station!


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Morning!
Hi Peter! Thanks for sharing the graph It really is interesting to be able to see the patterns. I need to get me a weather station! ;-)

you are a lot colder than I am. But I do have some "city" and paved streets. I can see the Santa cruiz river from my living room window. So we have a fair share of desert around too.

Our lights are on a timer, but they are only on my Dragon fruit so I wasn't too worried about it. Good idea to leave yours on all day! Next year I will have more to worry about, but this year just one tree.

It was a long hard year here and I lost many plants, but am starting over. Slow but sure!! ;-)

29 here this morning at 8:30. But the sun feels good. I go out with my coffee and sit each morning for a few minutes and look the yard over to make mental notes of where to plant the veggies. Can you tell i'm anxious for spring! lol...

Keeping warm and hope everyone else is too! Hope plants fared well last night too!

Hi Cayden~
What area are you in?
Were probably a little warmer than mine is reading, it's in the shade. ;-)

Stay warm! And think spring! ;-)

JoJo


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RE: Cold Weather Coming

Hi JoJo,

I'm in the Central area ... Swan and Grantish. If you are interested I post my weather station readings on Wunderground: http://www.wunderground.com/weatherstation/WXDailyHistory.asp?ID=KAZTUCSO195

It got down to 26 last night. Haven't checked the trees yet!


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  • Posted by pgde Tucson Zone 9 (My Page) on
    Sun, Jan 13, 13 at 11:43

Hi all:

Low temp this morning was again 22. See graph below. I also upload my weather data to Weather Underground. The only difference is that the temperature that is uploaded is from my main temperature sensor which is on my weather station on the roof. As you can see from several pictures, I have a separate sensor installed in the middle of my mini-orchard, which is what the graph is generated from. I am working on doing a website which will show both temps. The URL for my data is http://www.wunderground.com/weatherstation/WXDailyHistory.asp?ID=KAZTUCSO136

Stay warm!

Peter

Here is a link that might be useful: Desert Oasis Ranch Weather Readings

This post was edited by pgde on Sun, Jan 13, 13 at 11:44


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RE: Cold Weather Coming

Well shoot!

The weather forecast had warmed up a bit, I was out of town til late...and only stopped to cover a couple of the least protected mandarines. The wind blew off a couple of the sheets placed earlier in the evening.

The low in a "warm" spot by my avocado said 26. The sheets were frozen solid, the chickens water was ice...and mom says the leaves are hanging. Guess I will have some damages to deal with today. Ugh.


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  • Posted by pgde Tucson Zone 9 (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 14, 13 at 1:00

I was listening to NPR on the way home tonight and they had a short (very short) piece on the impacts of this cold on the San Joaquin Valley citrus crop. It is worth an estimated $1.2 billion. They said farmers have spent $12 million to counter the freezing effects of this weather. Of course, they didn't explain exactly what the farmers are doing. Anybody have any ideas of what the "professionals" are doing (other than wind machines and water).

Here is a depressing graphic (X-axis is dates, i.e. Jan 11, etc). It was last updated at 10:59 pm Arizona time with the current citrus temp of 28 degrees.

Stay warm all!

Peter


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Is there any GOOD that be derived from youir cold snap at all?

Are there any positive sides, such as bug or disease kill off? More fruiting and flowering?

I'm curious.

Mike:-)


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Not much, Mike. Maybe less snails/slugs (they just hide out, though, they don't get killed, damned things.) And our biggest disease issues here in my area which are fungus and molds also aren't really killed off. The spores are nearly impossible to kill, they just lie dormant, waiting for ideal temps and rains to bloom. No up side with citrus that I'm aware of, since they are evergreens, and used to being able to stay green and alive all year 'round.

Patty S.


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RE: Cold Weather Coming

Hey Patty..How have you been? How are your trees faring in your unusual cold weather?
What's teh coldest you have seen thus far and what have you done to protect your babies?
Thank God you put some into containers, right?
I'll bet you brought all them in, icluding the jades!

I am sorry to hear of this and I have been meaning to send you mail because I have been thinking of you. It's been cazy around my parts.
Would you believe it's 63 today and feels like summer?
back to 30's tomorrow. Crazy weather!

Mike


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I've been good! Freezing my patooty off, lol, as we're just not used to this prolonged cold temps. Never above 55 during the day, and down to the 30's by sunset, and in the high 20's at night for the last 4 nights. That's awfully, awfully hard on all my succulents and sub-tropicals. And my poor, poor papaya is toast, sadly. I know! You all are WAY warmer those us in "Sunny Southern California", it's so crazy. Citrus as all doing fine. My satsumas don't look any different at all. A few avocados look like they've sustained some cold damage but will recover just fine.

Patty S.


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One more night/morning of this crap then we start to warm up!! Ugh!!!! It's been a long few days!

Patty,I'm freezing my patooty off too! lol.. and my feet are cold! :-( I was telling hubby this morning, about the same as you are saying. We just aren't used to several days in a row of this cold!!! Our temps have been about the same as you.
Sorry to hear about your papaya. :-(

Mike~
The bugs here are too mean to die, and probably the diseases too! lol.. I guess the only good from this is the dust is froze down ! LOL!!!

Tomorrow is the last hopefully! Then your warm weather is headed our way Mike! We will be back up to 70's in a few days. :-) I posted a link showing the next 10 days here.

Hang in there everyone and stay warm!!!

JoJo

Here is a link that might be useful: 10 day forecast


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RE: Cold Weather Coming

Jojo

Sheesh, you have some pretty mean bugs!!!
They must where winter coats and a set of walking boots to get by! Then all the dust frozen solid. I guess that is the only good thing!

Patty! Wow. I just hope then that every thing gets back to normal soon and that you don't loose anymore special plants:-(

Well girls, at least you are not looking my ten forcast!lol

Here is a link that might be useful: My Ten day forcast ! Much better than yours!


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Me, too, Mike. Boo. My bougainvilleas are going to suffer, so will my Lantana and some of my succulents. Citrus are okay, thanfully. And, sorry about YOUR 10 day forcast. Looks like we're swapping weather, lol! One more sub-freezing night (this must be a record here), then one more coldish day, then back to normal temps for us.

Patty S.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Ten Day Forecast! Yea!!


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So far just looks like Tango got some frosty tips and the banana trees are looking sorry! Our green beans got it the first round of cold weather, but fresh garden green beans in January was a stretch to start with. A couple of the green peppers look pretty sad too, but I was going to pull them up for an artichoke or two anyways so no loss there.

I hear we have been lucky and the coldest part of the night has been just before sunrise and not long enough for hard damage (this from an avo grower friend)


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  • Posted by pgde Tucson Zone 9 (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 14, 13 at 23:00

Speaking of insects, I think this weather will definitely kill the ant (red, black and carpenter) populations. We had a record setting summer last year for ants and vegetation-eating bugs due to the lack of freezing temps last winter. That is one (if not the only) of the good things that may come out of this. And, my stone fruits will like the chilling hours. Okay, that is two things :-)

Tonight's prediction is the worst of all. It is supposed to be 17 degrees here. Am turning on the irrigation to help.

The graph below is data through 8:45 tonight. It is now 25 degrees in the orchard. You can see we are rapidly approaching the 22 degree temps of the previous nights.

And, speaking of strange temperatures, the dew point right now is -0.57 degrees (yes, that is below freezing and less than a degree). This means it is exceptionally dry and one can really feel it on your lips!

Finally, another outcome of this weather is that if we really reach the projected temps (over in far SE Arizona it is projected to be 8 degrees), it will kill *native* vegetation and significantly increase the fire danger in May and June.

Will update tomorrow. Good luck all!

Peter


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I think it is Over!!!!

  • Posted by pgde Tucson Zone 9 (My Page) on
    Wed, Jan 16, 13 at 14:28

Well, I think the cold air mass has finally moved east. Time for some "Chamber of Commerce" weather!!!! Hurray!!!!! This is the final graph I will post (for now) showing the history and low temps. The 17 degrees two nights ago set a record for low temps (the last was in 1971).

Time to go and unwrap the trees!!!!!!!

Good luck to those east of us :-)

Peter


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RE: Cold Weather Coming

I think my trees survived this one; but they definitely look worse for the wear! Looking forward to spring when they fill in again and their leaves stop looking so sickly


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Holly cow.

We haven't seen temps that low way up north here in cincinnati zone '6'


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It feels sooooooooooooooooo good to be thawing out! LOL! I went to the store tonight with windows down in truck! :-) Couldn't go out to trash with out bundling up past few days. lol..

I've enjoyed all the weather charts and seeing how it has been in different areas. I'm sorry under such extreme conditions though.

Patty, your weather has been neck in neck with ours!

How's everyone's plants.? I think my little tree in ground is toast. :-( time will tell. It was only covered with sheet. the leaves are crunchy, stems look ok though.

My other tree I brought in... is O.K. but my chicken found it and has been eating the mix.. so I may need to make more 5-1-1 to top it off. lol..

A few of my succulents didn't make it either. They were in a small greenhouse covered with plastic and sheet, but I think my mistake was I never took sheet off to let sun warm them in the day. Live and learn.

I hope you all are thawing out!!!

Mike, how are you!!!?? Talk about a flip in weather. As patty said, a total reverse!! Hope your staying warm!! Your ten day forecast is yucky! lol..

It's funny how we can go up in temps 30* in one day!

JoJo


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Well, I was sort of feeling bad about what I hope is the last hurrah for frosty temps here in North Florida (Tallahassee) when I came across this post as anew member of GW and it sure did make me thankful that our temps haven't been nearly so low as what you all have endured!
We're experiencing an early spring here and now have frost on the way again, so even though I've packed up all of my frost protection covers, I'll obviously be digging them out again!
Since we always have to deal with frost a number of times throughout each season and I now have 19 citrus trees in the ground, being well prepared for frost is vitally important. So I thought I'd share what I do based on the recommendations from the great people at Just Fruits and Exotics in Crawfordville, Fl, where I buy almost all of my citrus and fruit trees (as well as many other flowers, plants, herbs, veggies and garden supplies...check them out online...they provide a wealth of very helpful information).
Even though they recommend wooden frames, for the sake of simplicity and easy DIY, I've made my own out of 1/2" PVC pipes (4 driven into ground at equal distance around the drip line, 4-6" taller than the tree and topped with 4 cross pieces connected with a cross connector in center and placed on the upright pipes with elbow connectors--larger ones also have cross bars inserted between upright pipes). Then based on the height and diameter measurements, I've made covers out of both frost cloth and clear plastic for each tree that resemble very large pillow cases with draw strings, which I've either sown or stapled together (leaving room for the trees to grow a bit as needed). They're easy to put on and take off and when there's a chance of frost or low temps that could do damage, I cover the trees with the frost cloth covers and then the plastic covers. But they have to come off or be vented during the day or after temps are above freezing.
Everything I've read says that trees will come back after frost damage as long as the bud union is protected, so if it's going to be exceptionally cold, I also wrap frost cloth around the lower trunk of newly planted trees. And even though we've got frost on the way again, if not for all the new growth on many of my trees now, I wouldn't have to cover them. Most of the varieties I have withstand down to 28 degrees and some down to 25 or lower, but as you all have recently experienced, we never know when the predictions will be way off!
Also, when I had a nearly frozen fountain this year, I put hot water in a gallon water jug and poured it into the fountain and was really surprised how long it stayed pretty warm. So I now have a number of jugs saved up for when the temps go REAL low, which I'll fill with hot water and put around the base of my trees under the frost covers.
I learned the hard way that just using cloth fabric covers for frost protection doesn't work, which I thought would with one of our most recent freezes. In addition to being colder than predicted (down to 27-28), it was considerably below freezing for quite a few more hours than predicted (at least 8), and the tips of the new growth on almost all of my trees were "fried." Yet my dual layer covers have previously protected my citrus trees even when temps were down in the upper teens. Last year, the forecast was off by 10 degrees one night and instead of 28, it was 18, which did a LOT of damage to the foliage on almost all of my citrus trees because I didn't cover them at all and the only tree that fruited last year was a Nova Tangelo. So I've definitely learned the hard way that it's just worth the effort and precaution to cover rather than risk the potential damage of forecasts being wrong. Additionally, because of the expectation of frost every year and the need to cover, I also keep my trees pruned to a manageable size.
Hopefully, sharing what I do will help some of you, especially if you don't have that many trees and they're small enough to utilize the same kind of frost protection methods.
I also have a peach tree that blossomed in mid January, so I put PVC pipes around the drip line and used them as a frame to cover it with a frost cloth tent that I just clamped together the last frost we had. And since that worked, it looks like I'll have to do that again this weekend as well. :)
So may we all be blessed by a fruitful reward for all of our labor in the coming harvest season!
BB in FL

Here is a link that might be useful: Just Fruits and Exotics


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Well, the long term NWS forecast was wrong here in Tucson. It was cold yet again here. Below is a brief (10 second) video of some snow (second time this year) here. It actually was snowing harder earlier but I didn't think to record it until it was almost over. For those in the snow belt, don't laugh too hard. Don't forget this is the warm desert :-)

Yet another senior moment....

Peter

Here is a link that might be useful: Second Snow In Tucson


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Excellent information, BB. We'd love to see photos of your progressive set up (the frame, then the covers, etc.) A string of Christmas tree lights (non-LED) is also helpful in keeping the temps up under your frost covers. Some folks will wrap bubble wrap around the graft union and up to the lower branches, too. We have had a very chilly week this week out here in S. California, N. San Diego county as well. My lows from my Davis Weather Station in my yard have been between 34 and 38 degrees every night this week. Thankfully nothing below 32 this week. We are starting to warm back up, though, so I'm hopeful this will be the end of the frosty temps. We had one week with temps between 26 and 28 degrees for a low for 5 nights in a row. I believe this was a record out here for sustained low temps. No snow, since we had no precipitation during that week, but we surely could have (and that would have been much, much better in the long run). Lost a few things, damaged a lot of other things, all citrus will survive, but did get some branch die back on a few things. My poor Nimlioh avocado may be toast. The Solo papaya is pushing out new growth, so crossing my fingers it comes back, and maybe, maybe a fruit or two have survived.

Patty S.


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Hi Patty S.! The weather is indeed strange all over the place! It seems to me that the seasons have been moving forward by several weeks for the past two years in general; with the occasional exception, of course! It's definitely better to know in advance that frosty temps are coming each year so we can be adequately prepared rather than be caught off guard by them. So I hope everything comes back for you--it's amazing just how resilient many plants are!
I'd love to share some photos and will perhaps see if that's doable, but since I'm blind, I'll have to get some sighted help to do that...both in taking and posting pictures. All of my frost frames are still up and I haven't decided if I'm even going to take them down between seasons since most were made allowing for room to grow and some trees are already just about as big as I'll let them get. So getting pictures of the frames shouldn't be difficult, but unless I have someone here when I'm putting the covers on (or removing them), that part won't be so doable. So we'll see...:)
I'm surprised to hear that it's okay to use bubble wrap around tree trunks because I've always heard that plastic against the trees (at least, their foliage) when it's freezing does damage. Yet, I know of people putting straw, dirt or some type of organic matter around the trunks of their trees all the way up to the lower branches for frost protection. I haven't ever tried stringing Christmas lights due to having to string power cords all over the place. And all of the battery operated ones I've found are LED, which I figured wouldn't do the job. I actually have power in all areas where my citrus trees are planted, but since I have so many, I don't know how that would work. I sort of went overboard with the citrus trees...LOL! It really was a LOT easier when I had over half as many as I do now!
Hopefully, once we get past this patch of cold weather, we can look forward as spring approaches and we can get back to work in our gardens again!
BB in FL


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I only have 3 months & one day till our official USDA designated "safe to put our POTTED citrus outside for the summer" day. Meanwhile I continue working on my green house.


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Wow, BB, I bow to your abilities. My goodness. Now, as to plastic against the leaves - yes, plastic, cloth, anything up against the leaves will transmit the cold. Your idea of using a frame is to prevent that frost cloth or plastic from touching the leaves will keep that from happening. So, bubble wrap around the trunk, under your protective cover is fine. Out in the open, not so much! But, under a tent that has warmer air circulating, it's okay.

And Poncirus guy, where are you? You must be zone 5?? That's a long time off, May. I'm trying to remember when we had our last frost date in Indiana. Seem to think it was at the end of May, too. Being a California girl, and having to move to Indiana and live there for 10 years was quite the experience. Glad to be back in S. California, now!

Patty S.


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Hi Patty
I am in Cincinnati, Ohio close to down town. our zone is a strong 6a (6.3) but being in the center of Cincinnati I am a hi zone 6b (6.9). The picture in my last entry is of the south side of my house. 35 feet of it is greenhouse-able. the trees against the house in 55 gallon drums are figs, brown turkey and hardy Chicago. the kumquat tree will grow in front. meanwhile my kumquat tree gets 18 hours of 90 degree temperature and light. See pictures.
Each picture has a description at the bottom.

1:   4 X 4 X 2 FT HOT-BOX WITH PEPPERS UNDER COMP. FLOUR. LIGHTS---ABOVE THIS;  PLANTS NEEDING ROOT HEAT ARE GROWN--TEMPS HERE RUN ABOUT 90 DEG AND SEEDS GERMINATE FAST-- CITRUS ROOTS GROW WELL photo IMG_3597_1_zps2877c51c.jpg


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Since I have sighted help now, we took pictures of my backyard citrus trees, which show my PVC frost cover frames... (Perhaps more coming later...)


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RE: Cold Weather Coming

Since I have sighted help now, we took pictures of my backyard citrus trees, which show my PVC frost cover frames... (Perhaps more coming later...)


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Great photos, BB. Very smart frames. They can be easily broken down and stored. Well done.

Patty S.


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Nice idea BB> no one has ever thought of that for our apricots and cherry trees which loose there blossoms 1/3 to 3/4 of the time to late hard freezes as these trees flower about 2 months before our last USDA frost date.

Steve


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RE: Cold Weather Coming

Since the weather guys got it wrong again and were off by nine degrees Thursday night, I'm hoping they'll be wrong again tonight and tomorrow night and that it won't really get nearly as cold as predicted! Needless to say, I'll be dragging out all of my frost covers today and covering everything for the next two nights.
poncirusguy, that's what happened to most of our pears around here last year and this time, it's a peach tree I hope to protect. But trying to cover it with plastic isn't practical since I don't have covers made for anything but my citrus trees, so I'm hoping the frost cloth will help. So depending on how big your cherry and apricot trees are, I'm sure you'd benefit by trying something like what I do for my citrus trees; especially since you know it's going to happen so often. But if you get snow, as I think you might, you'd probably have to do something more for support across the top, so I'd have to think about that a bit before seriously recommending it. Okay, I came back with a thought about that--you could make a four sided frame using elbows as connectors and sized to coincide with the outer dimensions of the frame (probably a couple of inches less all the way around to allow snow to slide off around the edges) and lay it on top of the frame, securing it to the top by some means--perhaps those plastic pull tie things. Hopefully, that would provide extra support so the snow won't pull everything down or rip the covers. Again, realizing all other gardeners have to deal with in such colder climates just makes me more thankful that our issues aren't nearly so challenging. So I really admire how much you all have to do to enjoy our hobby in your frigid climates!
Patty S., I want to add dwarf banana trees to the mix this year, but know they aren't going to fruit very often if I can't keep them warm through frosty weather. So IF I could figure out how to use Christmas lights under frost covers, how much of a temperature difference does that make--of course, I know that will also depend on how cold it gets. Or does anyone else have any ideas about that? Since I'm thinking about getting just two of them and getting power to them for heat won't be all that challenging, I have more options than with my citrus trees.
Also, as you noted, storing the frames when not in use was a definite consideration when I designed them, as well as how easy they are to expand as the trees grow. But I might leave them up around the bigger trees, even though I know they'll be ruined by the sun over time; yet I'm sure I'll still get several years of use out of them and they'll be easy to repair/replace as needed.
I hope all of you and your treasures stay warm through this next cold spell and have a great weekend!
BB in FL


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RE: Cold Weather Coming

  • Posted by pgde Tucson Zone 9 (My Page) on
    Sat, Feb 16, 13 at 12:51

Hey BB:

Welcome to the forum!

You might want to consider going over to a Home Depot and getting their 250 watt Halogen Work Lights for $7.95 each. They put out a lot of heat when placed at the base of the tree and have saved my citrus from 19 degree temps (along with frost cloth). I have done much the same as you in frost protection. Just do a search on my user name and you will find a number of posts about cold weather protection (even though we live in the warm desert of Tucson).

Anyway, welcome aboard!

Peter


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RE: Cold Weather Coming

Patty S, As per your request, here is a picture of my frost covers. As you can see, getting ready for a deep freeze. :) -BB in FL


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RE:: Cold Weather Coming

Patty S, As per your request, here is a picture of my frost covers. As you can see, getting ready for a deep freeze. :) -BB in FL


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RE: Cold Weather Coming

I would imagine those covers make a big difference. I live in 9b and a year or two ago we had a hard freeze with ice. We ended up with a half inch of ice on everything but the stuff I had covered with blankets basically got a sheet of ice over them which acted like an igloo lol and everything was just fine.

If you are still worried about the temps though I say go for a ceramic heater. I have been using a $50 ceramic heater shaped like a tower fan I found at target for my amazon parrot and love bird, both of which stay outside. Even when it was 40 degrees outside the temperature under the blanket around their cages was 80 degrees.

I realize that may be impractical for all of your trees but it could help one that is more sensitive than the others. Of course you could always go with the lightbulb suggestion I saw several posts back. One of our neighbors did that for their mango trees. Built a tipi out of three 2x4's, put a sheet over it, and placed a hot light bulb inside at the base.


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RE: Cold Weather Coming

Wow, BB. Those almost look like they're sewn together they are so well proportioned. I feel like I need to get mine up to snuff! Very well done. I am very impressed! Let us know how you do during this next cold spell. Our temps are dropping next week, and we're expecting two days of rain. Not to shrug the rain - we can always take more rain - just not thrilled with the dip in temps again, sigh.

Patty S.


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RE: Cold Weather Coming

our high was 30 degrees today and droping to 14 tonight with single digits in outlaying areas, My fig tree is on the line. so far it has survived 2 nine degree lows. As for my one year old Meiwa kumquat and several other seedlings started January 2013 They are safe and sound inside under grow lamps.

Left 2 right Poncirus trifoliata left 2 buckets,  hardy chicago fig with nagami& sweet lee seedlings,  Black bucket has Meiwa kumquat under bucket lignt photo IMG_3607_zpsbaa3260b.jpg

this show the tree covered and uncover by light bucket


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RE: Cold Weather Coming

No matter how much I'd rather not be dealing with this cold spell, it isn't nearly as bad as what some of you guys have to contend with, so I'm just going to count my blessings!
Steve, you're obviosly a very dedicated and determined ardener! I know I'd love to see your pictures--maybe I'll get my sighted helper to describe them to me. I just added a M, Kumquat last year as well and just love the fruit! I'm amazed that figs can endure such low temps, but that's obviously only because of your work to make it happen!
Since the temps went so low Thursday night, I won't be getting fruit on my peach tree that was loaded with blossoms--they all got fried, so I didn't bother covering it tonight. That's the good thing about having so many different trees; when something happens to one, there's usually still something left to bear fruit!
aslan89, I do use those heaters and love them! But as you said, it's not practicl to try to use anything like that when I have so many trees. But that might be the perfect solution for the bananas I want to add this season, so thanks for that idea!
Patty S., most of the frost cloth covers are sewed and all of the plastic ones are stapled with the top and side seams folded to help prevent air getting in through the seams. I actually do measure them and most of them are designed to accomodate considerable growth of the tree so they'll last at least a few seasons. Hopefully, I won't live to regret not making plastic covers for some of the oldest and more cold hardy ones this season because two of them have lots of new growth on them and that might not fair well without the plastic layer. But as always, all any of us can do is our best...:)
Thanks, Peter, and I will do a search to see what you've been doing for cold weather protection. Yeah, those of us in the warmer climates are blessed; yet we still get those frosty nights ever once in awhile!
Finally, I'm sorry there ends up being two posts whenever my sighted helper uploads the photos for me--any idea why that's happening?
If this isn't our last freeze, it's not likely to be a very good season when harvest comes since we've had such an early spring, so I hope and pray this is it and that all of you will be able to protect and save all of your treasures as well!
BB in FL

This post was edited by BlinkBlogger on Fri, Feb 22, 13 at 15:30


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