Tropical Fruit Forum - International Tropical Fruit Growers



Author Topic: Making changes after this freeze  (Read 2489 times)

pineislander

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 596
    • Bokeelia, FL
    • View Profile
Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2018, 07:25:07 AM »
I cannot emphasize how important an artesian well is for my tropical plants, probably couldnít seriously grow them without it and not good if you have a city lot.   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.

What is the flow rate and salinity of the water coming out of your well?

Frog Valley Farm

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 211
    • View Profile
Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #26 on: January 08, 2018, 11:52:13 AM »
🗯
« Last Edit: March 19, 2018, 06:44:09 PM by Frog Valley Farm »

C24mccain

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 88
    • Lakeland Florida zone 9b
    • View Profile
Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #27 on: January 08, 2018, 12:45:13 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

So far I have decided not to build a greenhouse. We will see what happens in the future.

C24mccain

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 88
    • Lakeland Florida zone 9b
    • View Profile
Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #28 on: January 16, 2018, 09:34:40 PM »
Ok, things two weeks after the freeze are not nearly as bad as I thought. Even though I didn't use any heat the second night of the freeze nothing under cover was harmed. I was about to do a video update but we have another serious freeze coming Wednesday night so I'll wait. I wasn't going to protect anything but things changed since most of my main trees are still doing pretty good. I have some seedling mangos that are toast, and the Indian jujube looks toast, the guava took a big hit but will probably make it. Starfruit trees must be tough as I'm surprised to see little wrong with them. I wasn't going to protect anything anymore but some things have changed so I am protecting some things for tomorrow night. Basically we may be selling our property so I want to keep as much alive for property value as possible. Nothing is for sure right now but it won't hurt to save these trees. I have much better plan of defense put in place for tomorrow night so I won't get caught unprepared again. Expecting lows of 27-28 degrees tomorrow night with freezing temps 6-8 hours which is similar to the freeze two Wednesday's ago. Hope everyone fairs well the next few days.

achetadomestica

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 509
    • FLORIDA 9b
    • View Profile
Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #29 on: January 16, 2018, 10:27:44 PM »
I bet you a nickel your indian jujube comes back hopefully above the graft if it is grafted.
Both my trees really got slammed by Irma and I cut them back to a stub and both are already
over 6'. They even flowered this winter but no fruit this year.

C24mccain

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 88
    • Lakeland Florida zone 9b
    • View Profile
Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #30 on: January 17, 2018, 06:04:13 AM »
I had thought the Indian jujube was a very cold Hardy tree, perhaps not, however this is it first year. Time will tell.

C24mccain

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 88
    • Lakeland Florida zone 9b
    • View Profile
Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #31 on: January 18, 2018, 06:43:08 PM »
Things went really well tonight although it got super cold. We hit 32* at 3am and had a low of 25.3 and we were under 27* for at least 2 hours. I had a good breeze that really helped my burn barrel setup and I got the barrels lit instantly this time and about 45 minutes early. Unfortunately the low temps really hammered my unprotected starfruit. They look very sad. They had taken the last freeze very well but temps of 25 were unexpected so I did not protect them. We will see if there is any life in either of them. The rest of the leaves on the guava are fried as I didn't protect it. Everything under cover with a heat lamp did fine. We will see in a week or so how the unprotected avocado trees took the cold. They look fine today minus the damage from the last freeze. I did do a video while running the burn barrels. I'll get it loaded and posted asap. Hopefully things turn out warmer tonight than expected.

C24mccain

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 88
    • Lakeland Florida zone 9b
    • View Profile
Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #32 on: January 19, 2018, 06:31:25 AM »
We were under a freeze warning last night that never happened. Our low was 34 and currently 38 at 6:30. I hope this is our last serious round of freezes this year. It's been 8 years since this area has had freezes like the two we had this year. Should have plenty of chill hours for my non Tropicals. Enjoy the warm up next couple weeks.

C24mccain

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 88
    • Lakeland Florida zone 9b
    • View Profile
Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #33 on: January 19, 2018, 06:59:30 AM »
Here is the video update from the other night when we got down to 25. It basically shows some of the frost protection I was doing. Sorry about the poor quality at times in this video. I'm a bad camera man, my wife does much better but she was sleeping in the warm house.

https://youtu.be/EJ6-mF9z73Y
« Last Edit: January 19, 2018, 07:08:32 AM by C24mccain »

shot

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 240
    • usa fl bokeelia 10
    • View Profile
Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #34 on: January 19, 2018, 09:41:29 AM »
I watched video ,you might not have been as cold as you think.You need a radiation shield for thermometer it can give inaccurate readings especially in radiation freeze.Maybe you can find some old oil pot burners up their,they used them in citrus groves. you can burn old cooking oil in them like from restaurants they also diffuse heat more efficient than barrels.Don't use so much wood at one time,it going mostly straight up.

Good tough avocados like you have,I bet they do well

WGphil

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 367
    • Winter Garden Florida 9B
    • View Profile
Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #35 on: January 19, 2018, 11:28:22 AM »
Return stack heaters are the way to go

The radiant heat is greater with less fuel.  Use fuel oil in them 

With all the citrus gone should be able to pick a few up cheap and they may be some abandoned you can clean up

Our school gave an excused absence to kids that fired groves the night before. Acres lit up at once was a sight.  Getting paid to skip school was great also.

Set up in a pattern they do well in lower wind conditions. They radiate heat well for moderate winds.

 
« Last Edit: January 19, 2018, 11:45:07 AM by WGphil »

pineislander

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 596
    • Bokeelia, FL
    • View Profile
Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #36 on: January 19, 2018, 08:31:21 PM »
I know of some used smudge pot/orchard heaters available in SW Florida if anyone is interested in making an offer PM me.
This is exactly what they look like.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zbZoZu9r1c

C24mccain

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 88
    • Lakeland Florida zone 9b
    • View Profile
Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #37 on: January 20, 2018, 08:14:43 AM »
Hey thanks guys for the information on those heaters. I will look into them. I used burn barrels because I have a ton of wood but used oil will be easy to come by as well. Many in my area were reporting these low temps but I was unaware that radiant cold can give a false reading. Thanks for the information all.

TnTrobbie

  • runs with pruners
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 774
  • I have a spot for that.
    • 10b + 9b FL
    • View Profile
Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #38 on: February 06, 2018, 08:21:29 PM »
Anyone else getting antsy :) ? I just wanna cut the dead, dried wood off my mangoes and see if sprouts above the root stock emerge. But that can open a window for disease on an already stressed plant. Waiting sucks. My Cotton Candy is already pushing growth above the graft union.
The Earth laughs in flowers. And bear gifts through fruits.
No where to plant it...but atleast I got it. ;)

WGphil

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 367
    • Winter Garden Florida 9B
    • View Profile
Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #39 on: February 07, 2018, 12:43:34 PM »
The video is a return stack. Where they are lighting it the lid has a series of vent holes.  We always set to two holes as that gave the most heat for the least fuel

When the stack turns red you have more heat sent sideways than other choices.

Try to get the stack caps as well to keep rain out. Some come attached.



« Last Edit: February 07, 2018, 01:34:53 PM by WGphil »

OCchris1

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 356
    • Old Towne Orange, CA 10B
    • View Profile
Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #40 on: February 08, 2018, 02:16:48 AM »
Orchard heater or smudge pots are great- especially with the "cap". I have a few of these but have never needed them...I'm paranoid that my "grove" will get smoked on some freak cold snap. Chris


C24mccain

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 88
    • Lakeland Florida zone 9b
    • View Profile
Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #41 on: February 08, 2018, 07:21:56 AM »
I looked these return air smudge pots up and the cost is pretty expensive ($200) compared to a $15 burn barrel. If I ever find them much cheaper I may get a few. They certainly better than burn barrels but the cost is simply to much. Also I don't want to have upset neighbors cause of the smell.

WGphil

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 367
    • Winter Garden Florida 9B
    • View Profile
Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #42 on: February 08, 2018, 09:24:39 AM »
Return stacks should be plentiful around abandoned groves

The extra pipe makes it a return stack and burns cleaner and longer.

Not much smoke when they are lit due to design

What we called a smudge pot had no stacks and smoke more

You got some time to hunt and people in citrus prolly know where some are for the taking

C24mccain

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 88
    • Lakeland Florida zone 9b
    • View Profile
Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #43 on: February 08, 2018, 12:47:34 PM »
Return stacks should be plentiful around abandoned groves

The extra pipe makes it a return stack and burns cleaner and longer.

Not much smoke when they are lit due to design

What we called a smudge pot had no stacks and smoke more

You got some time to hunt and people in citrus prolly know where some are for the taking

I'll keep my eye open for any. Thanks

j-grow

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 86
  • Merritt Island
    • View Profile
Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #44 on: February 08, 2018, 06:41:10 PM »
What brand is that shiny one in the picture?  How much are those?  ........ and lastly does anyone know proper spacing from heater to heater to protect a grove?

Thanks

WGphil

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 367
    • Winter Garden Florida 9B
    • View Profile
Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #45 on: February 09, 2018, 08:23:37 AM »
In a grove where everything matches the heaters were set every second tree every other row.
 
I have seen them set with more in the northwest corner and thinned out through the rest of the grove.  On a windy night the thinking was it would protect the trees first hit and carry the heat through the grove
Windy is much different than dead calm and frost conditions so you can set up wrong with bad info

In table oranges the set was s but different but every row had heaters and spacing was offset so one row was staggered with next row so all trees were covered.  These were much smaller groves with a higher value.


Look at your property and set the pattern with the Nw always going to get the worst and understand if the glow is on the foliage on one side it may not be on the other   



« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 08:40:52 AM by WGphil »

j-grow

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 86
  • Merritt Island
    • View Profile
Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #46 on: February 09, 2018, 03:12:20 PM »
Thanks very much

AlwaysHotinFL

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 68
    • Lakeland, FL Zone 9b
    • View Profile
Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #47 on: February 10, 2018, 09:33:46 PM »
Iím in same area as Corey, wasnít able to protect any of my stuff as I was out of country.

Hereís the rundown:

Crispy, AKA Probably dead:
Venus mango
Pickering
Seed grown avocado
Jakaranda
Garden stuff: tomatoes, squash, watermelon etc, etc, etc

Damaged, but with pruning probably ok:
6/7 of my different dragon fruit cuttings
Jaboticaba
Everbearing Mulberry x 2
Pineapples
Garden: Carrots

Alive, and mostly thriving!:
Peach
Hood pear
Tangelo
LSU Purple Fig
Brogdan Avocado
Garden: Kale, Bok Choy, Kohlrabi, Strawberries

For me: Life is too short to get caught up too much in a hobby. Like Corey, and probably more intensively, Iím focusing on other things that matter way more.

Blessings!
-Casey

C24mccain

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 88
    • Lakeland Florida zone 9b
    • View Profile
Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #48 on: February 10, 2018, 10:29:54 PM »
Hey Casey, how are the mango and lychee trees looking in your area? I haven't seen a green mango tree in Lakeland other than my own. Most things turned out far better than I originally thought. I'll make a trip to Ft Myers area in early March to get 4 or 5 trees but no mangos as I'm finding them to be more sensitive than other things. Right now I'm planning on getting a second atemoya, a second White sapote, a third avocado (late season variety),  and I'm unsure about one or two other trees. I'm not sure on varities yet. Things are waking up here a few weeks to a month earlier than last year. Having a super warm February. Just plants garden a week ago and will be planting various garden things throughout the property over the next month. Make sure you stop by for some peaches in April.

AlwaysHotinFL

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 68
    • Lakeland, FL Zone 9b
    • View Profile
Re: Making changes after this freeze
« Reply #49 on: February 17, 2018, 02:37:33 PM »
Thanks Corey, Iíll have to do that

Most of the mangos are toast, even large well established trees. There are 2 that Iíve seen still alive, 1 is right next to a house. Of course all the papayas went down too. I thought everybodyís bananas were gone but Iím glad to see them all pushing out new green leaves. The lychees are doing amazing pushing tons of blooms, guess they loved the cold weather. I seem to remember reading that they need cold anyway to fruit well.

Godspeed on the new refocused project, hopefully less work and still great fruit!
-Casey

 

Copyright © Tropical Fruit Forum - International Tropical Fruit Growers