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Dead By Spring

Dead by Spring

Of some interest to you, , , the temperature in my yard dropped to 13 degrees in mid-November on more than one occasion. Although we in town were warned of freezing temperatures, the true low temperatures are not given to us via the media. In fact, , , the night-time temperature will vary more than what you see on the weather reports on TV and in the Review Journal by at least as much as 14 degrees.

When I spoke with Sherry Swensk, Ch. 8 weather gal, she mentioned to me that some of the weather recording devices are placed 5 or more feet on top of buildings. . Which buildings? How many stories tall? Perhaps this is to keep out the vandals? . Does anybody know for sure about this or why they are not placed closer to where the people are, , , and the plants grow?

I remember what I learned when I was a little girl, , , heat rises, that’s why my feet are cold.

I, and perhaps you also, don’t really need to know the winter night-time temperature on top of a building. I would much prefer to know how cold it is going to get where I walk around and where the plants grow. This difference in temperature is much more than a little micro climate in my garden. To me it’s a completely different growing zone.

For instance, this year I may get 500-600 hours of chill, (this is good), which is important to my fruit tree production. Perhaps I will also get 200-300 hours of temperatures below the mid 20’s or into the teens & below. Whoops ! ! Bougainvillea won’t survive this for long and the Barrel Cactus might turn into a big round ice cube. You, however, may barely get a freeze. But then, , , how will you know what’s going on in your yard for sure?

Besides over-watering during the winter dormant season causing the roots to rot, (similar to drowning a sleeping man), you can find out if many of your plants don’t survive the winter because of unexpected freezing temperatures. It would be very helpful (money-wise) to get a High / Low Thermometer to place in your yard. I have several that I purchased at a clearance sale at Radio Shack several years ago. What an awakening I received.

One balmy day when the weather report stated the low was expected to be in the low 40’s around town I woke up to ice on the ground and the thermometer low as actually 26 degrees.

Now, , , You can imagine I found this to be real good information when it came time to purchase plants. When you go to a nursery and ask what will grow here, keep in mind they have plants for a variety of temperatures. . . and you are expected to know a little bit about your yard. The soil can be improved, the temperature cannot. It’s better to arm yourself with some temperature knowledge so the nursery staff can help you.

Please keep in mind that some of the blooming plants you cannot resist may actually behave like an annual in your yard due to real cold nights. Buy them anyway and enjoy them for a season or two, they may be cheaper than a short lived flower arrangement from the florist.

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