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Author Topic: Making changes after this freeze  (Read 4035 times)

C24mccain

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Making changes after this freeze
« on: January 04, 2018, 05:45:23 AM »
 I'm predicting some serious damage to our project here in Lakeland FL. All my trees that are wrapped with a heat lamp I'm sure will be fine but the trees I planned on protecting with burn barrels are in serious trouble I think. The problems began right away. We have a freeze warning for our area from 3am to 9am so I set my alarm at 1am thinking I would have a good jump start on the freeze. I was shocked to see my thermometer reader next to my bed saying 31 already. I assume we hit 32 around midnight. It's 5:30am as I write this. It took much longer to get the burn barrels going than I had anticipated. It took an hour and a half. So by 2:30 my temp gauges throughout my property were showing 28-29 degrees. It's been holding 28-29 degrees for three hours straight. Now when I went to bed at 10 pm we had a good gusty wind and the forcast was for a decent wind which I need to make good use out of my burn barrels. When I went outside at 1am it was dead still. I haven't felt a breeze all night. Temperature at my trees is only doing good near burn barrel. Opposite side is showing 28 degrees. My water hoses for saftey we're nearly froze at 3 am. Luckily I got them flowing. I think we have another 3 hours of serious freeze left tonight. I'm not expecting things to turn out well. This freeze was so much harder than any forcast model I follow. Usually the forcast are very close for my area. Tough night, I'll be ready for bed in a few hours and make a new plan as we still have two more nights of this. Going to make changes to my overall project as well. Good luck everyone in the path of this freeze.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 07:49:36 AM by C24mccain »

C24mccain

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Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2018, 06:28:15 AM »
It's now nearly 6:30 am and I'm seeing 27.3 degrees on my property. Four hours now at 29 or less... Things I didn't protect such as citrus and avocado, Bacon and Mexicola, will be tested for cold hardiness.  I didn't protect citrus because the forcast wasn't predicting this significant of a freeze. I'll continue to update this thread..

Frog Valley Farm

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Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2018, 06:46:01 AM »
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« Last Edit: March 19, 2018, 06:49:28 PM by Frog Valley Farm »

00christian00

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Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2018, 06:58:26 AM »
So do water helps against freezing? Won't it risk of freeze the water too and do even more damage? Or you are keeping them on until the temps rise?

KarenRei

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Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2018, 07:04:51 AM »
Wish we had buttons to express reaction to posts; you'd have my sympathy, C24mccain (I'm well used to freezes sneaking up on me here in Iceland for my outdoor plants  :(  )

00christian00: In addition to the water already having some warmth - the air has to take the heat out of the water first - it takes a lot of energy for water to freeze.  So first the water has to drop to the freezing point, then it has to freeze through, and only then does frost start progressing into your plants. As long as the surface isn't fully frozen, it can't cool below 0░C/32░F underneath it. So if you keep providing water (generally mist), you can limit damage.

Spraying water on orange groves is a common emergency frost protection tactic in Florida.  It only is effective against minor frosts, though, not hard freezes. In fact, if you do it wrong you can actually accelerate damage (evaporative cooling, excessive ice buildup, etc).
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 07:08:19 AM by KarenRei »
Jß, Úg er a­ rŠkta su­rŠnar pl÷ntur ß ═slandi. Nei, Úg er ekki klikku­. JŠja, kannski...

Frog Valley Farm

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Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2018, 07:06:34 AM »
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« Last Edit: March 19, 2018, 06:48:34 PM by Frog Valley Farm »

C24mccain

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Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2018, 07:59:07 AM »
It's almost 8am and the temps are already back to 32-33. I  have well water which I estimate is around 55 degrees (I'm assuming, it could be warmer, feels warm when it below 30 degrees lol). I have pondered using it but I have never setup a system for frost protection. I'm only a home owner with lots of variety I am growing. I'm video recording some of the events before during and after the freeze. In about a week I will post the video here showing how I saved some things, my battles last night, and what ends up dead. Time will tell. Still have two more freeze nights and I expect they will be as bad as last night. This time I will have burn barrels repositioned and running well ahead of time.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 08:00:50 AM by C24mccain »

C24mccain

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Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2018, 08:09:48 AM »
Yikes, sorry to hear this.  Do you have an artesian well, water is always 70-72f year round, no pump needed just turn it on and flood your grove.  I heard from PIN that someone in Winter Haven has planted over 3000 mangoes recently.  They are farther inland than you, I wonder what they are doing.  Hoping for the best for you.

Winter Haven was under a freeze warning as well last night. Being east of me they have a better microclimate by a couple degrees however I'm sure they saw temps under 32 and probably for a long duration.

Frog Valley Farm

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Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2018, 09:36:59 AM »
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« Last Edit: March 19, 2018, 06:47:31 PM by Frog Valley Farm »

C24mccain

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Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2018, 10:55:50 AM »
I too am just a homeowner.  I do this by myself, no help, no employees.  I cannot emphasize how important an artesian well is for my tropical plants, probably couldnĺt seriously grow them without it and not good if you have a city lot.  This is what my heliconias looked like this morning with the help of the Artesian well.  They do not like temps below 50 degrees and they look perfectly fine.  You could probably raise the temperature of your property if you left it running into your pond.  My artesian well is quite deep at 375ft., cost me 5,000 last year but I can sleep without worrying about my cold sensitive tropical plants.

.

I'll have to do some research on this as I know nothing about this kind of well. Things are really getting ugly outside now. Signs of damage showing up on many things. Citrus leaves look bad already. I've heard mango leaf damage is slow to show so I'll be waiting on that. Avocado leaves look fine so far.. new growth on lychee looks bad but old looks good so far, same with longan. Starfruit trees don't look very happy. Everything that was covered and had a heat lamp did well as expected. Time for bed finally... See what tonight brings in round 2.

chrobrego

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Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2018, 03:07:24 PM »
Yeah, it really sucks to work so hard and have your precious trees gutted by the cold; just part of zone pushing I guess. I took a different route and decided not to stress it these two nights -- what survives will survive. I posted the results of the first night and will have a better idea after a couple of days. I love growing tropicals, but I'm not willing to have a freakout anymore whenever the temp drops to 30F --- below 30 and yes, freak out time. I'm going to make a couple of changes too once I find out what will survive these hits.

C24mccain

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Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2018, 04:35:51 PM »
4pm walk around looked bad. Things really took a beating last night. The trees I have protected under cover and heat lamp are fine but i will either protect them next two nights and give them away or pull the plug, literally and leave them to nature's wrath. Going to have a complete change in direction after this. Not sure what that is yet but I have a lot of fertile ground to work with from all the work I put in here.

ericalynne

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Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2018, 07:43:57 PM »
C24, I feel for your losses. I undoubtedly will have some too. I lost my greenhouse in Irma, so had no place to protect many plants. I've been working to have fewer trees and not so many who need major frost protection. I sold a lot of my really tender tropicals last year. It is too exhausting to try to cover or heat everything when you're also working a full time job.
Erica
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dwfl

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Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2018, 09:00:12 PM »
4pm walk around looked bad. Things really took a beating last night. The trees I have protected under cover and heat lamp are fine but i will either protect them next two nights and give them away or pull the plug, literally and leave them to nature's wrath. Going to have a complete change in direction after this. Not sure what that is yet but I have a lot of fertile ground to work with from all the work I put in here.


http://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php?topic=22838.msg274879#msg274879

^ For those interested to see what c24mccain is talking about!

C24, I know it's early but what direction do you think you'll go? Maybe more of the tropic snow/FL Prince peaches? Lakeland can get whacked pretty hard with these fronts.

C24mccain

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Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2018, 06:28:13 AM »
4pm walk around looked bad. Things really took a beating last night. The trees I have protected under cover and heat lamp are fine but i will either protect them next two nights and give them away or pull the plug, literally and leave them to nature's wrath. Going to have a complete change in direction after this. Not sure what that is yet but I have a lot of fertile ground to work with from all the work I put in here.


http://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php?topic=22838.msg274879#msg274879

^ For those interested to see what c24mccain is talking about!

C24, I know it's early but what direction do you think you'll go? Maybe more of the tropic snow/FL Prince peaches? Lakeland can get whacked pretty hard with these fronts.


Whatever lives we will let live. I did no protection here on the second night other than leaving things covered, I did not add heat. We have other things going on and protecting everything just takes to much time. Interesting that this nights forcast for us was 27* for the low but here at almost 6:30 we are only at 31. So the first night was way worse than forcast while this second night was way better than forcast. We have a lot of very fertile area to grown in because of the massive amount of wood chips everywhere. We are talking about moving a few things, and growing most garden type stuff, perhaps some market gardening. A lot of what I'm doing is based on my religious beliefs so I have decided I can wait until the new earth to have tropical trees with no worries. Until then I'll stick to things that survive or grow fast enough to be used as an annual like papaya and some bananas. Our plans are really unsure until we see what survives in a few weeks to a month.

C24mccain

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Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2018, 07:22:59 AM »
It's just after 7am and we are hitting a low of 30 for the night. Not sure what time we hit 32 but I know it was 32 at 4am when I woke up briefly, and it was 37 when I went to bed at 9pm. Still a lot of freezing hours.

Tropheus76

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Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2018, 09:42:57 AM »
I am with you on change. Since I am going away for awhile soon, my wife has forbade me to replace anything that dies from the cold between now and then. Having enough other hobbies, I am ok with this...for now. When I get back though I will be replacing anything that dies with cooler weather trees since from what I have been reading, this is not a freak cold winter but the start of a cooling trend for the next 20 or so years because of sun activity similar to the last mini-ice age back in the 17-1800s. What I will be doing is adding trees that don't care.

Think of building up a collection of exotic loquats, maybe a new persimmon and apple varieties or two(already been adding crab apples who probably love this weather). For several years now I have been removing citrus as it dies so no big loss there. I might look into some of the berries that they have a zone or two north of us too. I have a year to research it all and wont be in a rush even then since I wouldn't be able to get cool stuff until spring anyway. Note I am not pulling up my trees, just replacing the ones that don't make it due to cold or whatever.

greenman62

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Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2018, 01:30:23 PM »
I am with you on change. Since I am going away for awhile soon, my wife has forbade me to replace anything that dies from the cold between now and then. Having enough other hobbies, I am ok with this...for now. When I get back though I will be replacing anything that dies with cooler weather trees since from what I have been reading, this is not a freak cold winter but the start of a cooling trend for the next 20 or so years because of sun activity similar to the last mini-ice age back in the 17-1800s. What I will be doing is adding trees that don't care.

Think of building up a collection of exotic loquats, maybe a new persimmon and apple varieties or two(already been adding crab apples who probably love this weather). For several years now I have been removing citrus as it dies so no big loss there. I might look into some of the berries that they have a zone or two north of us too. I have a year to research it all and wont be in a rush even then since I wouldn't be able to get cool stuff until spring anyway. Note I am not pulling up my trees, just replacing the ones that don't make it due to cold or whatever.

the climate looks to be changing radically.
summers here have been hotter (i data graphed 50 years)
,but the couple of cold frost a year we get seem to be colder.  some parts of the country are drier etc...

the first 3 years i started growing fruit trees we didnt have a freeze, or , maybe 1 that just hit 32F.
i had 3yr papaya 20ft tall.
now, every year they freeze almost to the ground.
i have several Jujube, and even an Indian juju seedling about 3ft that didnt seem too bothered by the 28F last week.
i have several mulberry, pomegranate, fig, feijoa, longan
acerola usually dies to the trunk, but comes back to fruit every  year.
i may get some cold-hardy Kiwi next

achetadomestica

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Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2018, 08:32:39 PM »
I am scared enough that I even looked at greenhouses. There are so many factors with the winters down here. And
even though there are countless studies which contradict each other I wish someone would admit I don't know how cold it will be
or I don't know how many hurricanes will hit next year. I like to read the daily record for my area every day. Today's record low was 25F
After we had 4 hurricanes the so called Experts said we were in a trend and to expect increased hurricane activity for the next 20 years.
This was followed by the longest stretch on record of no Florida landfall hurricanes???
Luckily I planted a bunch of trees 3 years ago and we didn't have a frost until this year. The more sensitive trees I try to grow in a pot until
they reach a 15 gallon and then I try to plant in the spring so the trees can get established. Another thing I try to do is I water 3x a week in
October 2x a week in November and 1x a week in December. My thought is the trees need a dormant period. If a tree gets hit with frost when it is dormant it will cope better then a tree that is flushing and growing? I planned to water 2x a week in January and 3x a week in February. I also plan to resume fertilizing in mid January to beginning of February. This plan didn't work 3 years ago when we had a 30F for 3 hour night in the end of February. I lost a lychee that year that was flushing and was already out of dormancy. I also lost a fig that was flushing, both of those trees were colder the previous year but were dormant. I water heavy the night before the cold and plan on the temps being 2-5 less then the forecast. Plan for the worse. I also have tortoises and I have to deal with them. Hopefully this is the last night below 40F, but the
last few years the coldest nights have been mid January to mid February? The Earth is 4.54 billion years old, after 3 years of data I can't
predict crap

Frog Valley Farm

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Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2018, 06:46:50 AM »
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« Last Edit: March 19, 2018, 06:45:56 PM by Frog Valley Farm »

C24mccain

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Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2018, 08:28:16 AM »
Never made it to freezing on the third night as the low was 34. Now we will wait and see what the real damage is.

zands

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Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2018, 09:27:23 AM »
I also have tortoises and I have to deal with them. Hopefully this is the last night below 40F, but the
last few years the coldest nights have been mid January to mid February? The Earth is 4.54 billion years old, after 3 years of data I can't
predict crap

Peak winter is January 20th or so. One month after the winter solstice which is the darkest day with the least daylight hours. This is similar to the hottest time of day not being when the sun is highest in the sky (~noon) but one hour afterwards and in the hours after that.

So I agree with your mid-January to mid-February being the coldest days and nights or at least having the most potential to be the coldest.

Orkine

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Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2018, 11:35:08 AM »
Never made it to freezing on the third night as the low was 34. Now we will wait and see what the real damage is.

Keep us posted.
Saw the videos.
Hope you are pleasantly surprised with more plants making it through.

Do look into the artresian well idea.  If you have an aquifer under pressure with fresh water at your location, it may be a source of water at a fairly constant temperatures that will be warmer than temperatures in a cold spell.

I only have a few trees, not enough to make the investment in a deep well.

C24mccain

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Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2018, 08:04:56 AM »
The artesian well is a bit to costly for me. Here is a list of mistakes I have made in my project. This is for those interested in zone pushing. Obviously not planting sensitive Tropicals is out of the question for many who just love them to much.

1. Should have kept sensitive Tropicals in the same area.
2. Fewer Tropicals, tell self no.
3. Do not put to much faith in forcast timing, duration, and minimum temp.
4. If using burn barrels realize that its only going to be good for one tree per barrel.
5. Place barrel north or northwest of tree.
6. Place close enough to get maximum effect without burning tree. (Vary by wind)
7. Start small fires in barrels before the freeze hits so your not scrambling to get fires going during freezing temps.

Things I'd did right:
1. Wrapped trees and put 250 watt heat lamp in. Worked very well but could probably get away with 125watt.
2. Have plenty of wood at burn barrel so your not scrambling to wheelbarrow more in the dark.
3. Split wood burns best.
4. Have water hose nearby keeping wood chips wet for safety. We had no issues of fire but because we were behind we almost had the lines totally freeze. So use the hose frequently.
5. My Glenn mango is doing the best so far cause I positioned the barrel northwest of tree even though I could have been a little closer.

I know burn barrels will work if done properly. We still however have many factors in our lives and are choosing to make new plans without so much stress and work for cold protection. We will wait to see how things turn out before finalizing our plans. Oh I have a few mango grown from seed that were exposed 100% to the cold and they look much worse than those I protected on the first night. I'm thinking some of these trees are going to survive. We will see.

achetadomestica

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Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2018, 01:52:06 PM »
The artesian well is a bit to costly for me. Here is a list of mistakes I have made in my project. This is for those interested in zone pushing. Obviously not planting sensitive Tropicals is out of the question for many who just love them to much.

1. Should have kept sensitive Tropicals in the same area.
2. Fewer Tropicals, tell self no.
3. Do not put to much faith in forcast timing, duration, and minimum temp.
4. If using burn barrels realize that its only going to be good for one tree per barrel.
5. Place barrel north or northwest of tree.
6. Place close enough to get maximum effect without burning tree. (Vary by wind)
7. Start small fires in barrels before the freeze hits so your not scrambling to get fires going during freezing temps.

Things I'd did right:
1. Wrapped trees and put 250 watt heat lamp in. Worked very well but could probably get away with 125watt.
2. Have plenty of wood at burn barrel so your not scrambling to wheelbarrow more in the dark.
3. Split wood burns best.
4. Have water hose nearby keeping wood chips wet for safety. We had no issues of fire but because we were behind we almost had the lines totally freeze. So use the hose frequently.
5. My Glenn mango is doing the best so far cause I positioned the barrel northwest of tree even though I could have been a little closer.

I know burn barrels will work if done properly. We still however have many factors in our lives and are choosing to make new plans without so much stress and work for cold protection. We will wait to see how things turn out before finalizing our plans. Oh I have a few mango grown from seed that were exposed 100% to the cold and they look much worse than those I protected on the first night. I'm thinking some of these trees are going to survive. We will see.

Would you consider a greenhouse? It seems like it could make life easier?  You would have to pick smaller trees to grow
but there are plenty of tropical trees to choose from? Also it seems like there are plenty of trees that would thrive more with
less direct sunlight in our summers

 

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