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Appalachia Through My Eyes - Freeze Warning

My life in appalachia freeze warning

As I sit at my desk and type I can look out the window and see Old Man Winter has returned to Appalachia...at least for the next two days. The entire Appalachian Region is under a hard freeze warning for most of the weekend and the cold air is whipping its way in with the wind. 

Earlier this afternoon, The Deer Hunter and I walked around and looked at all of our fruit-bearing plants trying to decide if we were going to attempt to cover them. Since we live on the north side of the mountain our plants are generally at least 2 weeks behind ones just down the road that receive full sun. 

One apple tree is barely budded out and the other isn't; my plum tree is in full bloom, and my blueberries bushes are budded out but not in bloom nor in full leaf. The veggies we've planted aren't up yet and are cold hardy anyway so I'm not worried about them. 

Almost all of my hostas are peeking through the ground. I know they'll freeze into a slimy mush, but I also know they'll come back around once warm weather is here to stay. 

In the end, we decided to let mother nature take her course and aren't going to cover anything. 

I found this bit of folklore on The Old Farmer's Almanac website:

"Frost that occurs during the dark of the Moon (between full and new) kills fruit buds and blossoms, but frost in the light of the Moon (between new and full) will not."

I believe we are in the light of the moon...so I'm keeping my fingers crossed the folklore is right and Old Man Winter makes a speedy retreat. 

Tipper

Appalachia Through My Eyes - A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.

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Dan


Thank you for asking! Everything made it through the hard freeze-except the Plum tree which is probably still to young to have fruit anyway : )


Have a great evening!


Tipper

Blind Pig The Acorn
Celebrating and Preserving the
Culture of Appalachia
www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

so, how did the buds do?

Hi Tipper,
Friday night wasn't so bad. The cold only ruined the blossoms on my early Pink Manchurian Azalea. For over a week we had marveled at the 6 foot ball of baby pink flowers. Last night it got my Camellias - Twelve foot giants covered in beautiful red rose blooms. Thirty years ago I went on a campaign to plant the earliest blooming plants available. Wayside Gardens and White Flower Farm made a small fortune off of me. For decades I've been pushing the envelope - trying to expand beyond zone 7. I have over-wintered Gardenias and Rosemary in the ground for years at a time until extra harsh weather killed them back. I have other casualties but none so disappointing as the loss of those Camellia blossoms. The unopened buds will be OK but there won't have another full bloom for an entire year. Sometimes there is a price to be paid for the adventure of gardening. PS: The Forsythia looks better than ever. It doesn't seem to mind the freeze at all. Best wishes,

Same thing happening here. Sometimes Mother Nature is not kind to nature in NC. We cover and uncover things regularly each spring until sometimes giving up and letting Her have her own way with things.

Last year we lost about half a dozen 4-5 year old chrysanthemum plants that had already lasted several NC winters. Now we have none, and they're generally some of the hardiest in the garden, even up North where the winters are brutal.

God bless.

RB
<><

My husband and I uncovered our plum trees this morning and took the milk jug coverings off our tender plants. There was frost on the jugs so I was glad we did it. I hope this is the last of it. We are sure hungry for a lasting warm spring.


Sheryl-thank you for the comment! Yes I have heard theres a cold snap before Easter and it has sure seemed to be true in my life : )


Tipper

Blind Pig The Acorn
Celebrating and Preserving the
Culture of Appalachia
www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

It was 72 here today and the forecast for tonight is 44. (We're in New Mexico.) We're working our way home to NC and hope to get some gardening done. With several stops to visit friends on the way we expect to be home by mid week after Easter. Get the weather squared away in the next week or so. We need to produce food for next Winter.

3 inches of SNOW on White Oak when we woke up this morning, Tipper!

My blooming tree is a star magnolia. I googled fuzzy buds white blossoms and found it. If it gets down to 25° tonight those big white snowdabs will probably turn brown. That is the only blooming plant I have. My oak trees still have last year's leaves so spring ain't here here yet. I do have one poplar tree with leaves the size of kitten ears.

In far south Texas (we were far enough south that we thought folks who called San Antonio part of "south Texas" were balmy!) - any way - even in far south Texas my grandmother would never plant anything in her flower gardens until after Easter. Here in central Texas the south March winds are blustering up the creek. Usually once that's started we won't have more than a nip of a frost.

Except for my geraniums, anything that can't make it through the winter on it's own doesn't belong in my permanent gardens. The geraniums winter over in the house - not very practical, but they are my Granny's flower and get special treatment. Lucky for me the rest of my "family flowers" know how to make it through the winter.

I certainly hope that all your early spring posies and fruit blossoms will make it through the chill.

Tipper,
I wish you, Paul and Pap well at
the Martins Creek thing this evening. I live close enough and
planned to come but something has
come up. Guess what? I went home
early, before dark, so I could see the NCAA stuff and around 7 it started snowing to beat the band. I had a little over an inch this morning. If the ground had been frozen, I would have had many inches cause it snowed for several hours. This is the
Cold Spell just before Easter.
We still got Blackberry and Dogwood Winter yet...Ken

Here in eastern nc. At 10:00am march 28 we have snow flurries @42 degs
Paul

Ah! This has really been a weird winter. It seems like winter wants to stay and tease us just a little longer. I have heard that some bulbs have started blooming. Since I am still in FL where it was a chilly 48 early this morning, I will probably miss the bulbs I have in NC. I hope the Farmer's Almanac is correct.

There is not enough budding or blooming going on around here to worry about. I used to climb in the back of my truck and spread a bed sheet over my early blooming plum tree. It had fruit one year. It's not safe to have anything that blooms before the first of May in KY.

This is ridiculous. It's 9:00 am on Saturday, 18 March, here in Connecticut, and we have 32-degrees with snow falling. Can't somebody do something?

Winter's Springtime Capers

Old Man Winter whom we'd bade farewell,
Reluctant so soon to leave
Came sweeping back over hill and dale,
To prance, to dance, to tease.
Heat turned off was turned back on;
Fires stoked and logs ignited;
Warm wraps and winter garb donned
And plants covered and coddled.
"Weather's like this," we say making the best
Of winter blast amidst springtime's beauty;
Try not to freeze, "This, too won't last,"
We go on to our living and duty.

Tipper: If ever a naturalist is in tune with nature, you are surely one in tune. But that is good - especially during the 'in between' seasons. My mother was so in tunes with nature and knew when to plant and when to gather. She learned from her tiny mother who cared for her large family with the greatest devotion!

I hope Spring arrives soon. I just got another 'store bought' rose "OVER THE MOON" which I must plant today - in these LOW temps! Don't know why I don't just give up on this endeavor. I have lost THREE "Just Joey" roses in the past few years - so the WEEKS ROSES lady suggested I try "Over the Moon" which I will do!

Eva Nell

I'm hoping the folklore is correct, the other moon lore is correct. That's why we plant and can by it.
It always seems so rude when it turns cold like this after taste of warm spring and sunshine!

My mother always said there is always a cold snap just before Easter. I have always found it to be true. Anyone else hear this?

Pretty much everything here is in full bloom I rode by a peach orchard yesterday it looked like a canvas dotted with color,, beautiful. I know they are about sick,, but maybe just maybe your right and the Almanac will get it right...

Tipper,
It is cold here this morning, too. All our flowering trees are in bloom except the Quanzan Cherry tree. it is usually in full bloom by April 15th, but I think it will be a bit early. Everything has just popped out at once. We can't cover our peaches or apple trees so they are on their own. Smudge pots are not practical for us on this windy hill...Here's hoping a slight breeze keeps the frost moving along.

I'm also up early this morning checking on the Cornell Lab Ornithology "live bird camera" website... checking out the owlets, which are branching and starting to fledge.
It is 47 degrees in Savannah GA where the nest cam is located. The Great Horned Owl owlets are fluffed out trying to keep warm in this late chill.
They now have a live camera for the Barred Owl pair. Red Tailed Hawks are building nest and cupping the nest...
Can you tell I love to be a 'peeping (bird) tom"...LOL
One can learn a lot watching these nature cams...
Stay warm...I think they have changed the temps somewhat a bit warmer than expected at first. Next week is supposed to be warmer and beautiful for Easter.
So we're trying to hang in there!
I hated to turn the heat up...

Thanks Tipper,



Good luck, little buds!
We've also been having the up-and-down temps here for a couple of weeks. High twenties and sunshine, then single digits for several days. Snowed yesterday. But I can see parts of some of the stone walls now, so a lot of the winter's snow has melted at last. Whew.

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