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Thread: Frost Blankets

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
    Posts
    9,934

    Frost Blankets

    Hi, Everyone!

    I became interested in using using frost blankets like the nurseries use when Kathypat mentioned it on Mike's Message Board ( www.freeplants.com ) sometime last year. I purchased 50 feet of it late in the winter season and only used a small section on some gallon sized perennials that I started from seeds in Aug/Sep. I doubled it on some of the more fragile seedlings.

    It worked great with only one exception. Something kept biting the tops of prairie coneflowers off at soil level. Whatever it was, it didn't eat the leaves, just cut them off, so I have kept these uncovered except for nights when a frost is in the forecast.

    Today, I wish I had purchased a 300 ft. roll. The only reason I didn't is that I had no method of transporting a 12 foot size roll.

    Our temperatures have been in the upper 70's and low 80's and today the forecasts says 33 degrees for Saturday morning on both www.weather.com and www.accuweather.com , so I will be covering the trays of 4" pots with the fabric. I will be moving the larger plants back into the garage, patio and greenhouse.

    If you are interested in learning more about frost blankets, go to the first page of Landspro, http://www.landspro.com/page1.htm , click on Gardener's Supply and search for fabric. If you purchase using a link to any of the banners on Landspro, I receive commissions on the purchase. This is currently how Landspro is funded.

    For those of you that are in colder zones, you will be experiencing the late season frosts soon, so it is not to late to consider protection for those seedlings that you are trying to move outdoors to harden off.

    Good Luck, Everyone!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    598
    Well, good luck to you to Ann.

    I thought we had it made but the forecast is calling for the low 20's here tonight.

    I've already lost most of the pear crop to the last cold snap. The weather was so warm the pears started blooming and got zapped. Now the old hard pears are in full bloom and they will probably get zapped. I spent the afternoon covering blueberries, azaleas, hydrangea, and a few perennials that were starting to green up.

    This week I pruned some of my butterfly bushes and took a chance with about 100 new softwood cuttings that had grown during these warm days, so they and the seedlings are in the garage. I know it's probably a lost effort without a mist system, but I sure hate the just throw those things away when there is a posibility.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Posts
    39
    Hi Tom
    Don't throw those butterfly bush trimming away. Those trimming will rootwithout the mist system. I stuck some 2 weeks ago and they are already callousing up...I bet next week they will have roots. Mine are in just in the greenhouse in sand.
    Like you , last night after work I was scrambling around in the dark trying to get plants in and/or protected. News said 27 degree for me tonight. I am in zone 7 also

    steve

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
    Posts
    9,934

    Yep, Bummer....

    Tom,

    I lost most of my canning (hard) pears in the last set of freezes. My eating pear (huge, soft, very sweet) is in full bloom. Some of the garden Amaryllis are about to bloom, the cannas have made new leaves again, as well as the Agapanthus, and many other plants. Only a few of the younger pecan trees have started to sprout. The fig tree has new leaves that will be lost. The young saw tooth oak has leaves just starting to open. Many of the herbaceous subtropicals have emerged from the ground. The dwarf plum tree has leaves that just sprouted. The double flowered Rose of Sharon's have new leaves forming.

    We really didn't need this sudden freeze after temps going above 80 degrees, but I am doing the best I can to protect some.

    The local tv channel says we are under a freeze warning and is forecasting 29 degrees, which amounts to 27 here. Amazing what damage a few degrees can make.

    Also, I have had good luck with buddleia without mist. I do use the polymer crystals, so I do not have to water them daily. And I put the cuttings in shade. My light lavender buddleia on the south, very protected side of the house has never gone dormant and has gotten huge, too big for the space it is in. So, I will be making cuttings this spring. Then, I plan to try to dig it up and move it to another location. The rooted cuttings are for 'just in case' the bush does not like to be moved.

    At least, I know I did the best that I could.

    Good Luck, TOM!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
    Posts
    9,934

    Small World

    Tom,

    Remember our emails about this being a small world? Well, guess what? If my geography is correct, you and Steve live really close to one another.

    Both of you are near Tuscaloosa, right? Hope you guys get a chance to meet. Wow, wouldn't that be fun!

    Tom, I am not sure if I am going to make the Master Gardener State Conference this year. There is a conflict in my schedule, so I haven't registered yet. We will wait and see how it goes. Just know that I am working on it....

    Good Luck Steve! Tell your Mom, I will be taking those cuttings for her in the next couple of weeks. I have to get through some problems around here first, and I am way behind on Landspro and email.

    My cable modem service provider @home.com went belly up. Mediacom switched us to a new in house service, but I go days with very poor connections, sometimes none at all for hours at a time. I have even had reports of email being received days late, and some not at all.

    I sure hope they get the bugs out soon, because I do like cable speed and full time connections.

    Good luck, Everyone on this latest cold front....
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
    Posts
    9,934

    Wink Once Again...

    Well, my poor little plants made it through this one with flying colors. I only wish that I had tried the frost blanket before the first freeze. Then my passifloras and other semi-tropicals would have a head start for spring. Now, as usual, it is wait to see if and when they will pop up from the ground in the next month or two.

    So, now, what do you think? Can I count on no more frost? Doesn't matter, I will be taking some of the plants back outside today, and the rest tomorrow.

    Gonna do some propagating today, my friends, as I just can't stand it any longer...

    Having FUN, in Mobile, AL!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


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