Happy New Year to all!
Here in Phoenix we didn't expect a white Christmas, but I certainly experienced a 'white' New Year's eve.
The garden beds here at Xericopia were blanketed with...well, blankets. It got cold here! I know, it sounds wussy just being a mere low of 33* degrees. But for our heat loving gardens, that can really ruin the festive spirit. Especially the edibles!
I covered a few garden beds but some areas I left open. Partly, because I know certain plants can withstand major cold (and some things I just wanted to test). I also had a lot of plants I just had to move onto the patio or indoors for assured safety.
|(cucumber seedlings and hibiscus hiding from the cold!)|
I'm aware of which areas of the garden trap cold air, and which areas prevent the frost from settling in. How do I know this?
|(thermometer on ground next to garden bed)|
Every year I place a few thermometers in spots to check just how cold it gets. I set them on the ground too, that way I know what the plants are experiencing (ground level and eye level can vary 3-5* degrees). My garden - ground level - got down to 28* degrees (five straight days below 30*) and all of the birdbaths and rain buckets froze over solid.
The frost covers trap in soil warmth from the day, which slowly releases through the night. It also prevents tiny frost particles from collecting on top of plants. You can even leave the frost covers on through the day creating a greenhouse effect for plants. Some plants may still experience minor leaf damage but the plant won't die.
|(twinkle twinkle happy plants!)|
Some plants may still experience minor leaf damage but the plant won't die. For super protection, I some of my extra christmas lights and dress them around my specialty plants, then cover them up. It also makes for a charming garden display at night.