Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Poor puppies...

It's COLD outside, especially if you're a little rat terrier/chihuahua (i.e. "rathuahua") with super short hair and you've already outgrown your adoption-day sweater. No problem staying warm inside the house, though!

I spoke too soon

After the freeze and frosts, my veggies all perked up and so did many other plants, but my 3 newly-planted princess flower shrubs (Tibouchina) and 3 Mexican bush sages (S. leucantha, pictured below) really suffered.

Compare backyard-planted ones with an unprotected southwestern exposure...
. the east-facing ones planted out front, right up against the house (reflected heat):

They were all planted from the same batch of plants at the same time. Just goes to show you... Microclimate really does matter!

I think all plants will survive, but it's a drag that some got nipped back.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Plants fared better than I thought...

After a week of frosts and a freeze, all plants are faring better than I thought. Well, my newly planted Mexican Bush Sage is looking a little limp. That's not surprising since it's a bit marginal for our area (hardy in Zone 14, but not 8 or 9). Its blooming tips wilted and leaves shriveled about a third of the way down. Several other plants looked dull, dark and limp during the frost, but all perked up considerably when the sun came out.

Looks like rain is returning in a few days, so that should give us a break from freezing temps. I don't dabble in tropicals much since Sacto's climate is subtropical (i.e. too hot and sunny in the summer and too cold in the winter for tropicals). Tropicals tend to have big, fleshy leaves that turn to mush after a freeze. Hmmm... what's the fleshiest plant in my yard? Bird-of-Paradise. Since it's next to the house (stucco) and under an overhang, I didn't bother covering it last week.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Row Covers from Peaceful Valley

I decided to order some inexpensive row covers for frost protection. One is for light frost; the other, heavy.

Here's a link to the one designed for heavy frost protection: Agribon

Could be a cold winter...

Frosty Freezy Carmichael

We've had several consecutive days of frosts or freezes (3? 4? 5?). I'm starting to see some casualties. Nothing's dead, but I think I'm going to end up with a fair bit of top-kill on the following: Mexican bush sage, echium, my veggies, some herbs (esp. sage) and a few others. I'm keeping a close eye on my 9 citrus trees. I've been covering them with plastic tarps or bubble wrap (whatever I have handy), but they're young and vulnerable. If this keeps up, I may go the extra step and wrap the trunks. It's not even winter yet!