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Texas Gardening: One good thing came from the freeze

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Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

January 16, 2005
2:48 PM

Post #1240997

The cold we had at Christmas made the leaves fall off of a bunch of my plants like the Aristolochia and Clitoria vines. Now I can trim them back where they were taking over. These vines were much hardier than I thought, they are putting out lots of new growth, so it didn't kill them.
The blue potato bushes, hibiscus and morning glory bushes got trimmed too and are all growing new leaves. Can you believe some of the coleus are putting out new growth at the base of the stem? These are the ones that I covered with piles of hay. I hope the freeze killed the pesky mealybugs that have been a thorn in my side for months!
Yuska
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

January 16, 2005
6:56 PM

Post #1241410

At the rate we're going, this area may get enough winter chill that my apple trees will have a chance at production. I knew rewards would be sporadic when I planted them, but they are so crisp and good when we do have that special year. Living in a crossover zone weatherwise can allow greater variety, but requires the gardener to be philosophical about success, or lack thereof.
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

January 17, 2005
12:23 PM

Post #1242496

Have you guys seen the forecast for February? Last week is supposed to be the coldest in years, 10 degrees below normal I think is what it said.
vossner
Richmond, TX
(Zone 9a)

January 17, 2005
1:47 PM

Post #1242610

yikes!

WillowWasp

WillowWasp
Jones Creek, TX
(Zone 9a)

January 18, 2005
1:16 AM

Post #1243673

If that is true than we will be in for a bad spell. I sure hope not because lots of nice tropicals that folks have had outside for years will be gone. So many big Satsuma and Grapefruits and all the huge Sheff's as well as Nanas and the likes not to mention the palm trees that will be killed. I sure hope they are wrong.
I know it has been many a year since we have had a bad winter most are mild so maybe it will happen.

8o(
dee
sugarweed
Jacksonville & Okeec, FL
(Zone 9a)

January 18, 2005
2:02 AM

Post #1243761

Can't yall prepare? get old sheets out and stitch them end to end to wrap big treasured plants many loose wraps, Wool blanket drapes. Take some pictures. I want to see those babies wraped-up and tucked in.
On the other hand...Lilies and Hostas will thrive. along with some other chill friendly seldom bloomers.
Sidney
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

January 18, 2005
4:50 AM

Post #1243968

I have hay to pile on them and blankets, but many of our plants are just too big to wrap plus there are too many of them.
We can't grow lilies or hosta here, usually not enough chilling, lol. This would have been a good year to plant some!
larrycook
Austin, TX
(Zone 8b)

January 18, 2005
1:32 PM

Post #1244210

I think Bananas are the worst looking at this time of year. All of the beautiful leafs so brown. I'm beginning to question if they provide enough(if any)protection to stalks to justify leaving on. Any ideas anyone. Stalks still have lot of green and I may try to wrap before next freeze.
Yuska
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

January 18, 2005
1:39 PM

Post #1244218

I cut away the leaves (just to the stalk without stripping down) and chop for compost. The stalks survive, except of course those that had blooms are finished and by spring I usually have them cut back to the ground.
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

January 18, 2005
3:45 PM

Post #1244548

I cut off the brown leaves too. If they say it's going to freeze(it's not supposed to freeze here but Mother Nature doesn't seem to understand that this year) I gather the green leaves up and wrap them with duct tape, then wrap the leaves and pseudostem in newspaper secured with duct tape. This worked for me when it was 26* Christmas, even the little banana plants I'd just planted two weeks earlier. Be sure to wrap from tip to ground. When the cold spell is over, this isn't hard to remove and the duct tape holds better than clear tape or clothes pins.
sugarweed
Jacksonville & Okeec, FL
(Zone 9a)

January 18, 2005
6:35 PM

Post #1244876

Well my "No freeze" thoughts are with yall.
Just look at the new planting opportunities this could open up.
Sidney

WillowWasp

WillowWasp
Jones Creek, TX
(Zone 9a)

January 20, 2005
2:48 AM

Post #1247449

Sugarweed, just so you know...this was a once in a hunderd year or so "Snow and Freeze" that we had. And it came with little to no warning, my weather man had predicted a lite dusting of snow that may or may not reach the ground "but don't be disappointed if we only see a flake or two" we ended up with 13 inches. The plants that were covered with blankets and sheets were so heavy with snow they were crushed . Where I am the weather channel perdicted no more that a mild freeze with lows of 33...boy was he off...

The next two nights were the real killers so to speak of the very tended stuff, it was in the 20 and low 30's witch we rarely see. So with over a hundered plants to cover or put in the house there just was no more room and or course I as well as all the others ran out of time to get it done. Buy the time I got home it was beginging to sleet and buy the time I had most covered it was dark and I was out and trying to get the rest moved or covered using a flashlight, needless to say there were a couple I forgot about and they were burned to the ground and so far don't show any sign of recovery. One is my Tricificate Passifloria, one of my favorites, and it was in plane sight...how I over looked it I will never know...

My main concern was the seedlings I am growing out for others and I wanted all those in the house and I was able to get that done. So that much at least was saved

This was just so unexpected and hopefully we won't have another like this for another hundred years and there fore won't have to worry about it...
LOL...
So far I must say from what I can see most of the plants are coming back I am seeing new growth on almost all the brugs and I am sure the other stuff will follow. Even the EE's are unfurrling some new leaves this morning so I don't think I was hit as hard as first thought.

Dee
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

January 20, 2005
12:20 PM

Post #1247784

Dee, that's what they were saying here. One could look at 15 different weather reports and they all said different things. Like your area, it was the next night that got the plants, when it dipped into the upper 20's.
I was trying to wrap or move everything and it was sleeting and freezing rain. DH went and got me 10 bales of hay which I just started spreading over the tops of the things I couldn't cover. It helped some. I forgot a few things in plain sight too! Left a hoya that Mel gave me hanging right there by the patio, didn't even see it. I could have kicked myself.

WillowWasp

WillowWasp
Jones Creek, TX
(Zone 9a)

January 21, 2005
12:23 AM

Post #1248987

Well Calla, I just hope the hundred year rule holds true and we don't have to go throught this again. I don't think our weather people got any smarter from this last spell and I hope I don't have to rely on them for the next.

I was really disappointed in the forcasting and true as you said it was so vague you didn't know what to belive so I guess I will just be prepaired from now on. My hubby is building me a for "real" greenhouse and I hope I will have at least enough room to save the bulk for my plants.

I have my Dutchmans pipe and Thumbergia cover with hay and I haven't uncovered them yet, I will do that tomorrow and see what I have left of them. Maybe I will have to replant them to I sure hope not I hope they were protected enough because they were just to big to move. I had to lay them over on their side and cover them with a sheet and then the hay. I did that with my False Aralia and it did fine so I hope these did to.

I am seeing lots of green starting to show up so I am going to go buy more hay and mulch because I know we will have another cold or two before this winter is done...

8o)
Dee
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

January 21, 2005
12:15 PM

Post #1249648

Dee, both of my Aristolichias(elegans and gigantea) that were in the ground are putting out new growth. The A. clematisis and one other one(can't think of it's name right now) were small so I brought them into the garage. The plumerias that I didn't get wrapped with newspaper have some mushy spots. Most of the jasmines are going to be okay except the Rex jasmine, it looks bad. I covered a stephanotis with hay, lots of hay, and it is greening back up. The clitoria vines are putting out new green growth and most of the passifloras except P. x decasneana and Jeanette.
I was noticing yesterday that the things I put the Christmas lights around had a lot less damage than the same kind of plants that I just wrapped. I think next year I'll string a lot more lights thru the plants before it gets cold, then all I have to do is turn them on.
I did buy some daylilies yesterday, I don't have to worry about them freezing!
htop
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)


January 21, 2005
2:57 PM

Post #1249856

Yup, the Almanac says that February is gonna be a very cold one. I hope the cold doesn't make it back to your area so that most of your plants are able to recover without another shock.
sugarweed
Jacksonville & Okeec, FL
(Zone 9a)

January 21, 2005
3:21 PM

Post #1249900

Oh dear friends, I just stopped by and am glad to hear yall are recovering so well.
Growing-up in Amarillo, I remember how upset the Ranchers were when the weatherman failed to predict a blizzard that killed hundreds of cattle in the panhandle.
100 years would be a good thing to hope for, but think the lights thru the bushes is a good idea.
You will lose some, but many will come back. I put alot of mulch around my annuals/tender perenials like coleus. MG at HD said most would come back from roots.
Loosing things is sad, but frees-up space to try new things. I can always find more to grow than I have room for.
Stay ready, weather is not very predictable.
Sidney
SudieGoodman
Broaddus, TX
(Zone 8b)

January 23, 2005
12:56 AM

Post #1252655

Greetings from Broaddus TX Zone 8b

I am pleased to see survivors in my garden.
These will surely be "keepers":
Purple Lantana, still blooming; Jan. 22-05
TX Purple Violet
Pink Oxlas
Signs of Spring everywhere.

Happy, successful gardening to ALL

WillowWasp

WillowWasp
Jones Creek, TX
(Zone 9a)

January 23, 2005
4:22 AM

Post #1253003

Well here we go again, we have predictions of 33 tonight and a 35 prediction for tomorrow. I am taking no chances and I am bring most of my stuff back in the house...
Hope it isn't to bad and will actually only get into the 40's..

Dee 8o)
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

January 23, 2005
4:43 AM

Post #1253041

That's us too Dee. It was 80 today, so beautiful. Now the wind has started and the temps are dropping. It's supposed to be mid 40's tonight and upper 30's tomorrow night. I guess I'm just gonna leave the stuff, if it survives that's okay and if it dies, that's too bad. I will bring my elephant ears inside.

WillowWasp

WillowWasp
Jones Creek, TX
(Zone 9a)

January 24, 2005
3:51 AM

Post #1254724

Yes Cala I would leave my stuff where it is. I think this is going to be the way of the weather this winter and we will wear our pots out dragging them in and out of the house and where ever else we have room to store them. I know I will have to take some stuff in and out just to keep it from dropping all its leaves and fruit. My meyer lemon is loaded with fruit and blooms so it will go in and out but it is only about 3 and a half foot tall to.
Hubby is working on a greenhouse for me but it will be up later and I don't know if it will be of any benifit this year but next year I won't have to do this again.
We were down to 34 last night and we are predicted to be around 29 tonight so all you deep southers button up again and keep warm. Jack frost is visiting us again...LOL...wish he would go back home. He could write or call just not visit...LOL

Dee
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

January 24, 2005
1:58 PM

Post #1255033

Dee, your Meyer will be okay down to 30 and shouldn't damage the fruit, but if it goes lower it will make the fruit less juicy. Limes can take the least amount of cold, they don't have much sugar(the more sugar content, the more cold they can take).
We clouded over and only dropped to 46*, but my elephant ears are still in the garage along with the coleus. The wind was terrible and was beating their leaves up.
Pennzer
Midland, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 24, 2005
3:49 PM

Post #1255239

Y'all probably know this, but in case you don't: Be sure to water all your plants thoroughly before a cold snap. As I understand, it is the thaw and the resultant dehydration that does most of the freeze damage, and a well hydrated plant will have some protection.

Pen
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

January 24, 2005
6:41 PM

Post #1255606

Pen, it also works because wet soil is warmer than dry soil. The citrus growers here flooded their groves before the Christmas freeze, they didn't loose much of their crop at all.
Pennzer
Midland, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 24, 2005
6:45 PM

Post #1255616

Calalily, I didn't know that. Always good to know the reason behind the action.

WillowWasp

WillowWasp
Jones Creek, TX
(Zone 9a)

January 25, 2005
1:27 AM

Post #1256282

Cala I didn't take a chance with the lemon it is in the house...LOL...as well as some of my fancier Hibiscus...I have to much to clean up as it is. I really don't think I have "Lost" that much stuff just so much has been set back. And now that I have a couple of days off I will get some of it cleaned up again. I have the start of a green house that will protect things in the future as well as a place to grow and keep the MG's from crossing so openely.
I think I have figured that out and will try and do some experiments with growing Mg's in the greenhouse covered with a fine netting so the seed will come true.

Anyway tonight it is in the 30's and as folks say this is the most cold weather they have seen in 20 years, well we ain't throught yet. Feb is just about to start...

Best to you all
Dee
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

January 25, 2005
12:06 PM

Post #1256721

Yep and Feb is usually our coldest month. I hate to think what's coming next.
The MG's are coming up under where they were growing and I cleaned up the vines. The I. obscura didn't die from the cold(not sure if that's good or not, lol). They don't seem invasive, I haven't seen runners or anything.
jester
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

January 28, 2005
6:45 AM

Post #1261672

I lost a Majesty palm for sure, just too burnt. I lost a nice Zamia (Cardboard palm). I too believe there is still a few more below 32 degrees days left before this strong winter gives way to our favorite season; Spring!
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

January 28, 2005
11:50 AM

Post #1261779

Jester, my zamias look pretty bad, too early to tell if they are completely gone.

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