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Reminders of last Feb anyone? It's COLD!

Posted by fabaceae_native z6 NM (My Page) on
Mon, Dec 5, 11 at 13:01

OK, it's not nearly as bad as last Feb, so far. But a HIGH of 17 today with -4 predicted tonight where I live is pretty awful this early in the season. To make matters worse, the snow amounts the forecasters have been promising since Friday have not materialized outside of a few places.

I guess we should get used to all this though, as for the next 20 or 30 years the Pacific Ocean is expected to remain in a cool phase, with La Nina winters more the norm. Even though overall these winters are mild for us in the Southwest, they bring bouts of record cold as well. And of course the drier conditions are not exactly welcome right about now.

Anyone out there re-thinking their zone designation? I'm definitely more conservative since last winter, and probably won't gamble with borderline species, unless I can provide an ideal microclimate or some winter protection. I'm thinking about a greenhouse or some high tunnels in order to grow some borderline fruits.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Reminders of last Feb anyone? It's COLD!

We got down to 5 last night. Yeeeoow, for here it's cold! Supposed to be windy tomorrow so we'll have some major windchill.
I always plant stuff that can survive one zone colder than where I am. So now I go for z.7 plants and haven't lost anything that I've put in. I don't zone push, it'll eventually catch up with you.
I am worried about my 3 agaves that survived the Big Freeze of '11. We had some good rains several days ago and everything had a good drink. We really needed the water but now with this cold I'm hoping the agaves will be OK.

RE: Reminders of last Feb anyone? It's COLD!

Yeah, I hear you about being cautious in terms of zone designations. We had -7 Monday night where I live... I'm still a zone pusher, and I've got plenty of things in the ground that are rated to zone 8 and 7 that made it through our -23 low last February, however, I'm much less willing to take a gamble now.

I wish I could say that February's record lows won't happen again, but with this early December cold snap, I'm starting to believe forecasters who expect some extreme bouts of cold continuing over the next couple winters.

Good luck with your agaves!

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