I am preparing for the freeze that is expected to hit tonight. I've put the thick, fluffy comforter on my bed. I have extra blankets just in case. My wardrobe has changed. Instead of short sleeved t-shirts, the turtlenecks have made an appearance, along with scarves, gloves, and winter jackets.
Even if cold is common in winter, can you tell I don't like it?
I'd much rather stay warm by a cozy fire, drinking hot cocoa instead of being outside, with a red nose and numb toes. Thankfully, in my garden, there is not too much preparation to be done.
Some gardeners dig up their tender bulbs and tropical plants, storing them for winter. Their gardens look amazing, but that is just not something I want to do.
A couple of years ago we had a very hard winter. So many gardeners in this area lost a number of plants. Even I lost a few. Lesson learned - if you want tropical plants in your garden, and you are not in a tropical area, you will have to do a lot more preparation for winter. Being the lazy me that I am, I opted out of growing tropicals that won't live through our winters.
There are some tender plants, however, I have not planted out in the garden, but potted as annuals. These will die in a freeze. But that's o.k. They were purchased with the expectation that they would only last through the summer. I didn't spend much money and them, and I understood that this was money that was being spent for a short-lived decoration. They were the equivalent of a pumpkin pie - sweet, but seasonal and temporary.
I do have an orange tree that was a gift, and I plan to bring it inside on freezing nights. Since it was a gift, and since I think growing oranges would be fun, I give it special treatment. Right now, it's small, so it's in a small pot, and no trouble to carry in and out of the house.
The only other plants I plan to baby in winter are the ones I have planted in the vegetable garden. I have a long, heavy cloth that I use to cover the raised vegetable beds on the nights that call for it. I hate the cold (have I told you that?), and but fresh food is worth it. On those nights, I put on my coat, winter boots, heavy socks, warm gloves, and wool hat over my regular clothes in order to trudge outside and cover the vegetable bed.
You're right - I don't really need all those layers. But, did I mention how much I hate the cold?
How you prepare for a freeze may be completely different than how I prepare for one. And even if you live in Texas, you may be thinking that all this talk about winter preparation and turtlenecks is a little overkill. You'd be right. The freeze will probably only last a few minutes. In fact, it may not even actually freeze!
I just love Texas winters!
I hate the cold also but it's part of being in Ohio. Could be worse even further North. I have enough to do and like you do not want to have to bring things in or dig them up every year so it has to be hardy here.ReplyDelete
I try very hard not to plant anything that's not hardy here. You would think that would be easy, given my mild climate, but the garden centers like to offer plants that are only hardy to zone 9, which makes it an annual here. I haven't figured out if they realize they're annuals, or if they really believe these will make it through our winters.Delete
I live west of you, near Dallas. I have several plants in pots that are for a new flower bed. The bed is not ready for them yet! So I will move them to the south side of the yard and water them well.ReplyDelete
I don't anticipate a hard freeze, but it is earlier this year, isn't it?
You are right - I do believe our first frost was a couple of weeks earlier than the average. I'm hoping we won't get a hard winter this year, but, of course, I wish that every year! :) Good luck on your new flower bed!Delete
I love Texas winters! Because we are a bit warmer than you I do collect a few tropicals and protect my annuals.ReplyDelete
We are expecting a "freeze" tonight in San Antonio. That means below 40F. I have moved my tender plants to a screen porch where they will spend the winter. When it gets cold I cover them and put a light under there to help keep them from freezing. Meanwhile I can enjoy them on the porch when the days are nice and warm and look forward to putting them back in place as early as March.
I love your definition of a freeze! :) I admire you for having a place just for your plants for the winter. It sounds like you have a wonderful system. Maybe I just need a better system!Delete
Different strokes for different folks indeed :) it all depends on your location and what plants you decide to grow. Even if you grow tropicals as long as the hardy backbone planting is there the garden is a lovely place to see even in the depths of winter (just wrap up warm!).ReplyDelete
As years pass by we tend to favour hardy exotics that will be fine left outside all year round, supplemented by exotic annuals or plants that get shifted under cover for winter. The thing that I've learned to accept too is that when it gets really cold, I don't want to be outside running around with a frost fleece. I prefer to be indoors having hot cocoa :)
I admire people that grow tropicals in a non-tropical area, and all they do to make them safe for the winter. It takes a lot of dedication. I suppose if I loved tropicals as much as I love roses, I would be just as dedicated. Thankfully, roses don't need winter protection here!Delete
Hi Holley, I am with you I really dislike the cold, too. Despite the fact that I am living in San Diego where it hardly ever freezes I find reasons to complain about it. At the latest from November on I obsess about woolen sweaters and socks, shawls, warm underwear and the like to keep me warm and that is fine with me ;-)! Garden-wise I am lucky, since we rarely get frost I don't have to do anything special for my plants except the orchids. The few nights when it freezes I cover them with a blanket and that all I need to do.ReplyDelete
Oh, to be able to have orchids in the garden! Now, that would be heavenly! I have often wondered if people in cold areas just get used to it - like I have gotten used to our hot summers - or if they truly like the cold. I can't say I truly like our hot summers, but I like them better than freezing weather!Delete
You're prepping for winter and I'm mulching so my plants don't die in summer! Like you, I only grow a few really tender plants as annuals, replacing them each spring. Our relatively mild winters means I can keep plants such as Cannas in the ground and they re-shoot once the weather warms up. I would rather grow things that like my climate than struggle with ones that don't, but I might feel differently if I was in a very cold region. Rug up and enjoy that cocoa!ReplyDelete
Like you, my cannas stay in the ground all winter. I don't think I'd have them otherwise. You make me wonder, though, what I would do in a very cold region. I think my garden would consist of all evergreen conifers! I still don't think I'd want to do a lot of winter preparation!Delete
If you're getting a freeze warning then we will probably have that weather in a few days. Today got to a balmy 70º! I had the doors open to let in the fresh air. Rain and cold on the way now though.ReplyDelete
I think you're right - this will be on its way to you in a day or two. I can hardly believe you had 70 degree weather there today! How unusual - but how wonderful!Delete
We worked today for our freeze tonight.. We have had several threats --but we actually haven't had a freeze yet. Tonight 'may' be the night... SO--today we trimmed back all of the container roses and they are in the garage ready to go dormant for the winter....ReplyDelete
Who knows about the crazy weather??? We still have roses blooming in the yard --and George brought some blooms inside.
Good Luck tonight... Hope you don't get a frost/freeze.
I wonder if it will stay cold enough to put my roses into dormancy. It's always sad to me to see them end their fall blooming, as the fall blooms are usually so spectacular here. If it's going to get cold, I hope it gets cold enough to ward off any chili thrips in this area!Delete
Jealous! We've had several freezes here in Wisconsin already. I can't believe I still have things blooming in my garden! But they might be totally dead after today's high of 32! Good thing you don't live in the Midwest anymore (you grew up in Michigan, right?)! Enjoy your "winter" weather. ;-)ReplyDelete
A high of 32? Brrrrr! No, I didn't grow up in Michigan - in fact, I've never even been to Michigan. Just a Texas gal. :)Delete
Well, as you say, it was supposed to freeze, but as of 5:30 this morning it is still only 35 in Freestone County, so all is well. I`m sure there is a good frost , which will make three so far, but will probably be ok. You may yet be back in your tee shirt. :)ReplyDelete
I checked our home weather station - it got down to 28 for a while. I don't think it did much damage, though, so it may have only been that cold for a few minutes. What's funny is when it gets cold, I always think "I should have been working when the weather was warm", and when it's hot, I always think "I should have been working when the weather was cool"! ha! Maybe one day I'll realize - I just need to get out there and work, not matter the weather! :)Delete
Except when you live 90 miles north of Amarillo you can have some brutal weather...however..it's been quite mild and glorious. Love those rose hips!ReplyDelete
It's really hard to make blanket statements about Texas, since there are so many different areas with such varied weather. I'm glad to hear it's been mild - and glorious - there. One part of the state can get extreme weather, while the other parts can not be affected at all!Delete
It will definitely freeze here. I tried for the first time to overwinter some calladiums inside, but I only ended up with bulb mush.ReplyDelete
Bulb mush - doesn't sound good! At least you tried! I think I just don't want another chore to do!Delete
Sounds like you got a good plan. Texas winters sound splendid when the rest of us are freezing cold.ReplyDelete
Every summer it seems impossible to live here with our heat, but every winter I am so thankful for the mild winters we have. I guess half the year is going to be miserable almost any place one lives!Delete
I hate the cold too but being outside with enough clothing to keep me toasty is not so bad. I actually thought my gardening for this year was over, but on Sunday the sun came out and it was almost warm. I had an unexpected day of bulb shopping and planting - couldn't ask for more.ReplyDelete
It really makes a difference if the sun is shining. Then I can go out and work, and be comfortable. It's those grey, overcast days that are so hard to deal with. Bulb shopping and planting while the sun is out sounds like a wonderful autumn activity.Delete
I'm not a big fan of the cold either. Since I have horses I have to go out in all weather, although sometimes I'd rather stay on the warm couch. lolReplyDelete
That's the problem with things that eat. They have to be fed, no matter the weather! ;)Delete
We moved to a really cold climate 3 years ago and I'm amazed at how much work I have to do to prepare my garden for the winter. I keep thinking I need to make it easier but I'm one of those who can't resist those tender bulbs and flowers. Just finished digging up dahlias and gladiolas this past weekend and wondering why the heck I do this. I sure wouldn't mind a taste of your Texas winter.ReplyDelete
I wouldn't even know where to start if I moved to a cold climate. I'm afraid I would be lost as far as gardening goes, with a short summer and long winter.Delete
Did you mentioned you hate cold?? I wasn't sure.ReplyDelete
I totally agree with you about garden plants, I just avoid the tender ones so there won't be any disappointment in spring!
The thing I didn't get is why you cover your veggies... Do you grow particular stuff or do you just think they hate cold too? Because things like brassicas aren't afraid of cold and all the chicories and winter salads become softer and sweeter after a frost...
Yes, I hate cold! ;) As for the veggies - well, it's total ignorance. I know very few gardeners around here, and when I ask them about covering the veggies, they say it depends upon the lettuce type, or that they have never planted some of the things in my garden. So, I just decided I would play it safe. I really think the things I have planted would make it with light freezes, but I don't want to take any chances!Delete
I don't like cold either. I do have to go out to check the fall veggies, and I cover them in the cold. That way we get to enjoy them. I am glad I don't have to dig up the glads. Stay warm.ReplyDelete
I hate to go out and cover the veggies, but I want them enough to sacrifice a little bit of being cold. But I'm already looking forward to warm weather!Delete
It is a common occurrence here and I have not even been wearing a coat just a sweater in the 20s, 30s and 40s...but soon it will be coat and boots weather...even the heat wasn't put on until a week ago...Love the cool and even cold weather and love to garden in itReplyDelete
Oh, Donna! I shiver if it gets below 70! In the 20's I feel like Frosty the Snowman! :) I think, though, that it depends on what you get used to. If I lived in a cold climate for several years, I might feel just the same as you.Delete