Sunday, November 11, 2012

Preparations - BRRR!

Record lows are forecast for tomorrow morning; this time, it isn't if there will be a hard freeze. At my house, the forecast lows are 18F Monday AM and 26F Tues AM. It's also an unusual length and of depth of cold for here this early, but with low 40's and stiff winds mid-afternoon, it should really drop once the wind calms after dark.

All to keep my Salvia spp. blooming until their typical end date, late November.

Crazy, but at least it's not like taking in a load of one's plantings for the winter!
Looks like any nice day, but those are very cold clouds. And wind!

It snowed 1" at a friends house 15 miles E of me, 1500' higher over the mountain. Here, just a little rain and thunder yesterday.

Those bands of clouds are the wrap-around moisture driven by strong winds around a powerful upper low pressure area to our north; that's bringing us the cold. I took these images while getting in my hike, but I wasn't wearing shorts this time!

Looking forward to our 55-60F-ish averages returning this week.

Not sure I have enough blankets for the cobalt Mexican Blue Sage / S. chamaedryoides, but
they just might be worth it. I have some interspersed among the Deergrass at the fountain,
plus a mass along the dreaded purple / now-faded-to-lavender wall.

I almost have enough blankets for the Autumn Sage / S. greggii.

Even though S. greggii is overused, these plants greet me when I start my day, so they're
important. The sun coming up is not much more promising than seeing these blooms dance
in the oft-present morning breeze.

I can only recall 1 Thanksgiving in 13 at this house where they didn't have a few blooms.

I've hardly ever covered or babied anything outside - but it's just not their time, yet!




















20 comments:

  1. Oh no! This makes me all anxious - I am not ready for winter either. I wish all your plants luck - I hope that you don't lose any roots at least David. Keep us posted!!! On a positive note...sweater weather...fires...and hot chocolate! MMMMMmmmmmmm

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    1. At least you have another month or so before you have to think frost, let alone hard freeze. Everything here has been through -11F in 2/2011, and most was top-hardy, not to mention root...I should be OK.

      Yes - I did a roaring fire last night, and tonight I should add the hot chocolate, or at least hot sugar cookies and tea!!

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  2. We are expecting the upper teens to low 20's across southeastern New Mexico tonight David. I suspect that some of the higher sheltered mountain valleys in the Sac's may see some single digit readings. If tonight is going to get this cold then I just hope it finishes off the bugs, especially the flies and knats.

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    1. Yes, I'm tired of the front end of my car coated in them! Hopefully, it isn't any colder, and we resume a more steady chill-down, so plants are hardened off. As opposed to a 11/1976 event, I've heard of.

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  3. Good luck saving those Salvias! They threatened us with frost a few days ago...but so far, nothing (at least not in my part of town). I'm the same...I sort of figure if it can't make it through the mild Portland winter, it's just not meant to live in my garden ;-)

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    1. While I envy botanic gardens, or people with orangeries or greenhouses, it is just one more thing to deal with. May as well give out some tough love! (we'll see how my moment of babying pans out)

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  4. Burr that is cold! Like Scott says we were predicted to get our first frost these last few nights but the coldest it got was 37. Fine with me, although I am ready (yes quite a lots been hauled in and under shelter).

    Stay warm!

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    1. I'm glad you were spared, though if it's a slow transition from light frost to a harder freeze - > 1 month - it's usually fine. Just so I get some more mileage out of what I've tried to keep watered in!

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  5. I know that sight very well! I too protect plants with mexican blankets. I hope it doesn't get that cold for you. I bottomed out at 30F Saturday night into Sunday morning. I didn't protect anything yet, but the agave medio picta alba came inside to some new winter digs. Hopefully temps rebound quickly for you!!!! Best of luck!

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    1. I need more Mexican blankets...I was 46F Sat AM, 31F yesterday AM, and only 43F yesterday. I think it should rebound nicely tomorrow, but this was a big area of cold - more like mid-winter. Same to you!

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  6. It is strange to think that you get that cold. Does it warm up during the day, or stay cold?

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    1. Yes, even El Paso gets within 5-7F of us up here. In the day, it warms up unless it is windy and cloudy - it is rare to stay below 32F all day, though we have a couple days of that every winter. Most times after a 20F low, it is 45-50F in the afternoon, sometimes 60F, thanks to the sun and breezes.

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  7. I wasn't as nice as you. Any flowers that weren't already moved inside were left to their own devices. And they all bit it hard. I hope they didn't suffer too much.

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    1. Wow...me nicer than you with plants! The ones I protected are mostly OK, but the damianitas, penstemon and a couple others with flowers were 50% or more hit...

      Me too...hopefully they remembered your care before! (and that's what they do...they can take it)

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  8. Brrr...That forcast sounds likeit came from Idaho.

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    1. Ha ha! Lucky for us, it "only" got to 25F, but some damage on some blooms even covered.

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  9. Even in east central Texas there is a freeze warning this morning. I only see 34 so far, but the frosts are coming early this year and all the signs my grandfather taught me point to a harder winter this year. The wooly bear caterpillars are very black. The acorn crop is off the scale and we are just due !

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    1. It will be interesting to watch how this winter (and upcoming ones) trend out. Those signs your grandfather noted often tell more than long-range forecasts do! Here in the dry intermountain world, we've been on a cooler trend for years...and your warmth seems to be in response to the same overall, large scale pattern.

      Gardens will stay fun as things shift!

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  10. Parkinson covered his cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus)with blankets in the 17th century, so this is a time-honored practice among gardeners.
    I'm wrapping my new Californians (ceanothus etc.) for their first, and possibly last, winter, but I let everything else get their little hindquarters frozen off. Time for a break from all this gardening stuff.
    Got down to about 16 here in Denver.

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    1. I knew I was in good company...too bad 5 straight <32F nights, and this early for us, conspired against it all. I agree with plants needing to just take it, and nothing out here gets covered except blooms this time, probably since this was just too early, so I wanted a few more days of flowers. Thanks for visiting, and I'm thoroughly enjoying all your posts...great updates!

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