Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dreaded freeze

We have been experiencing very strange weather this year. First we had a record-breaking cold winter last year, then a record-breaking warm spring and summer, then record-breaking warm fall, with record-breaking drought.

Now we are having record-breaking cold this early in December with overnight freezes ! We normally only experience occasional frost during mid January !

Last night the temperature must have dipped to well below freezing. This morning I took these pictures of icicles hanging from several plants.

Ice on the carissa (natal plum)

Ice on the sapodilla

We are expecting freezing temperatures again tonight. Only time will tell which plants will die as a result. So far, it looks like the bananas, sanchezias, some of the papayas .... Luckily I brought my little nursery inside the garage and will keep them there again tonight. I've been growing some of these plants for 3 or 4 years and can't risk loosing them. These include blue grape, dragon fruit, grumichama's, prickly pear, cycads, starfruit, various aloes...

My heart goes out to all the farmers all over Central and South Florida who will be devastated by this early frost. In St. Lucie county the damage to citrus crops alone could run in the 100's of millions of dollars.

This week I spoke with a tree farmer that is still recovering from last winter's freeze - he lost more than 2100 valuable palm trees worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

I hope and pray all is not lost.

1 comment:

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