Author Topic: Disaster looming?  (Read 4901 times)

Garden Manager

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Disaster looming?
« on: January 23, 2004, 13:56:30 »
Just when you started tho think winter was giving it a miss this year, then it arrives with a vengeance - or so the weathermen are saying.

With all the mild weather we have BEEN  having the garden has started to wake up early this year.  Here we are end of January and it feels like spring is almost here.  Buds breaking on shrubs and climbers, perennials starting into growth, early spring flowers earlier than ever it seems.
It just seems sooo unfair then that it could be all wiped out in the next week or so :(. OK it wont be as cold down here in Dorset as many parts of the country, but it will be bad enough, and will hit those plants what think it is spring, hard.  I can see that as a presult of this short sharp winter, spring will be late not early as proviously indicated. ::)

Oh well i suppose it will kill a few pests, so perhps it is not all bad news. :-/
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 by 1077926400 »

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Disaster looming?
« on: January 23, 2004, 13:56:30 »

Piglet

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Re: Disaster looming?
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2004, 19:59:55 »
I know what you mean, my spring bulbs are coming through too:-

Last Autumn I had another go at Tulips (tried once before but didnt do any good bulbs must have rotted off).  This year they are coming through already (in pots) - if the snow appears is this going to harm them ?

Piglet  ???
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 by 1077926400 »

gavin

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Re: Disaster looming?
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2004, 23:36:25 »
Hi there - my birthday's on the 2nd Feb, and it's ALWAYS been a cold, wintry, bitter week - in my memory!  Much more reliable than wintry weather in the first week of January, and it doesn't matter how mild the previous weeks have been.

All best - and shivering! - Gavin

« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 by 1077926400 »

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Re: Disaster looming?
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2004, 01:19:56 »
With such weather i try to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.  I spent this morning busy preparing the garden for the worst, while hoping all the time it wont be as basa s they are forecasting.

Personaly i dont think it will be as bad as they are predicting, at least not in the south.  I suspect that yet again the met people are sensationalising, playing the doomsayers by making things sound worse than they really will be.  I could be totaly wrong, very easily of course, but I'll like to bet i am right.

As far as protecting the garden for such weather is concerned i only worry about the most vunerable plants.  Small plants, those growing in pots and those of borderline hardiness get the attention, while others are left to tough it out, which 99% do.

I tend to grow plants 'hard' ie not overfed or watered, I find they stand up to the rigours of british climate better this way if they have to largely look after themselves.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 by 1077926400 »

Doris_Pinks

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Re: Disaster looming?
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2004, 12:09:37 »
Piglet, the snow shouldn't harm your bulbs, they usually just have a check in their growth, stop growing, and wait for the warmer weather to come back, when they start up again. If you are really worried about them a layer of fleece on the top would help. I am afraid I let all my plants fend for themselves, (except my banana plant which has been wrapped up in straw for months!) If I loose them, then I don't want em, I like to keep my garden as hassel free as poss!! DP
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 by 1077926400 »
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Ceri

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Re: Disaster looming?
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2004, 12:30:50 »
I've covered up some of the new shoots of chives I've got coming, and a load of parsley that's come through the winter so far beautifully with pop bottles - I've got loads of autumn sown garlic cloves in, and I'm sure I heard that a hard cold spell does them loads of good.  

Because of the mild weather, loads of my bushes in the garden have started sprouting fresh new growth which will probably blacken off, this year I didn't cut back the perennials after flowering, but left them until early spring as this seems to be the new advise to lessen frost danage - we'll soon find out!
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 by 1077926400 »

legless

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Re: Disaster looming?
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2004, 12:33:53 »
bulbs are normally alright if they get snowed on in my (limited) experience. everything tends to fend for itself in my garden except my tree fern, which has its trunk and pot wrapped in fleece - fronds haven't died back at all this year yet which is weird.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 by 1077926400 »
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The gardener

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Re: Disaster looming?
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2004, 13:54:56 »
Plants buried under snow are generally OK in fact they are quite sheltered under it.

It is cold/wet conditions that tends to do more damage.

Like Richard I grow my stuff quite hard and dry.

Just a point on temperatures, If the pot is saturated with water the plants will suffer more as the water cools to the surrounding conditions.

Plants grown on the dry side are better insulated, I have proved both these situations with a soil thermometer.

I find the difference can be as much as 2-3°C (5-6°F) meaning if the surrounding area is hovering on freezing (32°F) the soil can be as high as 4°C (40°F) therefore keeping your root systems frost free.

Fresh young growth growth can be protected with fleece, cloches, upturned pot bottles etc.

« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 by 1077926400 »


The Gardener

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Re: Disaster looming?
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2004, 17:39:39 »
Thanks guys, hopefully will have some nice tulips to look forward to this spring !  :D

Piglet.


« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 by 1077926400 »

campanula

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Re: Disaster looming?
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2004, 23:25:21 »
yep, everything in my garden is gonna have to fend for itself but I am sort of responsible for a whopping great palm (Phoenix Canariensis) I was nagged into planting so have been insulating like mad. It is already fleeced and wrapped and stands in a timber frame which I am now covering with polythene (to keep rain from soaking the soil despite loads of drainage) and stuffing with straw. If it fails, then I can claim that I have done my utmost. It would be so sad though as the palm is at least 3.5m tall and has thrived all summer (despite much head shaking from me).
So, heads down and time to hibernate - glad I am working inside this month, doing a loft.
cheers. suzy
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 by 1077926400 »

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Re: Disaster looming?
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2004, 02:09:02 »
Trouble is 'Gardener' it is hard to keep plants on the dry side inpreparation for hard frosts if ther has been heavy rain only a few hours before.  It has been chucking it down most of the evening here (Dorset), so everything is going to be still wet by the time it starts freezing. This i think will be more harmfull going by what you just said.

On the other hand i have been told that commercial fruit growers spray their trees with water when a frost is forecast. Theybeleive the frozen layer of water surrounding the tree actualy protects the tree from more severe frost damage, particularly at flowering time?  How could this relate to plants in a garden?

Ah well you can only do so much in the time you have. I did all my preparation work yesterday morning expecting today to be the start of the cold. It has not been, then as i say rain tonight, making all the fleece i have carefully covered plants with, soaking wet. Cant be good can it?

Ok I'll stop waffling, its late.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 by 1077926400 »

aquilegia

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Re: Disaster looming?
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2004, 11:13:26 »
I'm worried about mine too. Yesterday's walk round my patch revealed a fuchsia and my acer in bud, bluebells popping up, honeysuckle well into new shoots, I hope it all survives!
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 by 1077926400 »
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The gardener

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Re: Disaster looming?
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2004, 16:00:24 »
Point taken Richard,  however,if you look again at my article I was referring to 'potted' plants.

Normally most soils are relatively free draining so the roots are rarely affected, plus the fact the roots are often fairly well down.

Different story if we get weeks of frost and we get a perma frost situation, i.e.  where the soil is frozen a few inches down this may kill off some of the shallow rooted plants.

With potted plants the whole root system is effectively above ground level.

This is why I plunge some of my container for the winter months. This exercise offers a bit of frost protection and my pots are less likely to be blown over.

I hope this clarifies what I meant a bit better.

You say>>On the other hand i have been told that commercial fruit growers spray their trees with water when a frost is forecast.

I think you may have slightly the wrong idea on this.

This is a process used if and when the plants DO get frosted, I have done it a few times.

Yes I have been seen running around the garden in my Jim Jams & Dressing gown at the crack of dawn spraying water............who said that?.............yes I agree........mad b*****!

What I am doing is; washing the frost...OFF! if you dont, the plant structure can be ruptured if a  fast thaw takes place.

This is one reason why you are sometimes advised not to plant out certain plants in an area that is subjected to the early morning sun.

When the sun shines on a frosted flower bud it can cause a fast thaw,which in turn may cause damage, causing the bud to 'abort' and an aborted bud is no flower, and no flower is no fruit.

I hope that has clarfied the point.........A
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 by 1077926400 »


The Gardener

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Re: Disaster looming?
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2004, 00:53:57 »
To 'The gardener'

Thanks for clarifying those points for me. I was getting a bit confused there wasnt i? :-/

A counterpoint though.  I was refering to pot grown plants not soil grown ones in refernece to the dry/wet frost thing you were teliing us about. I am aware that plants in pots are more vunerable to frost than those in the ground, unfortunately it is not always possible to plunge pots due to size or lack of space.

No criticism intended, just a clarification on what i originaly said.

Thanks again for your information.  As always usefull and informative
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:01 by -1 »

Mrs Ava

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Re: Disaster looming?
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2004, 01:23:00 »
Just wanted to say that my gramps has joined you Gardener on that madcap lurching around the garden on a frosty morn in his dressing gown spraying his camellias with water to save the bursting flower buds.  He has never yet had a flowerless year due to weather, but the men in white coats do lurk around the corner!  ::)
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 by 1077926400 »

 

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