Tuesday, January 12, 2010

In Your Backyard: Chilly Willy, It's Supposed To Be Florida!

Robert Carrion's reality photographs from Montverde, Florida. Temperatures definitely hit the 20's, with wind chills in the teens.

For homeowners, watering your yard two to three days BEFORE a freeze will help keep it warmer than watering it during the freeze. Wet soil will generate more heat than dry soil. It also helps hydrate plants.

Wrapping them with frost blankets and adding lights underneath the plants will also add more warmth.

But if your landscape received snow and sleet, then you're probably going to see more damage to your plants than in a normal Florida winter. Here's how to check if your plants survived:
  • Delay pruning for several weeks to see what has actually died.
  • You can pull off any damaged leaves.
  • Scrape bark for green growth underneath the damage. If it's black, then cut back till you find green cambium.
  • Mushy stems are an indication of frost-damage. Cut back to ground.
  • Don't fertilize or amend soil.
  • Allow for rainfall and/or if none, irrigate once every ten days. Do not overwater.
  • Frozen plants may take longer than usual (months) to recover so be patient with any plants that are favorites before digging up and throwing away.

More information on cold protection for your ornamental plants.

Why do citrus growers use micro-irrigation on their groves?

Spring blooming Trees for Florida:

Saucer Magnolia

Chickasaw Plum


Great Spring Catalogs:

Plant Delights Nursery

Tomato Growers Supply Company

White Flower Farm

K. Van Bourgondien & Sons

We will be talking about fruit trees for Florida with Chestnut Hill Tree Farms next week! You don't want to miss the next "In Your Backyard."

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