Vegetables and Fruit forum: Easter cold snap in Dixie...

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Name: Ed
Crenshaw County, South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Vegetable Grower Zinnias
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Intheswamp
Mar 7, 2018 7:23 AM CST
Around here there's an understood notion of an "Easter Snap" where there is always a chance of freezing and/or frost before Easter and that people planting outside prior to Easter are risking having their seedlings/plants frost-bitten or frozen. It has been really warm so far. In January we had 18 nights below 32F but in February only one night dipped below the freezing point. Well, it looks like tonight and tomorrow night we'll be having a bit of cold for south Alabama (and probably adjoining states). Predictions are for 34F with some inland areas getting down to 32F/freezing. I haven't planted anything out in the garden yet but there are lots of bushes and trees that are/have/will be blooming. We have a fairly young pear tree that simply loaded up with blooms. A fig tree and a couple of blueberry bushes are doing fantastic after being included inside the electric fence that we put up to keep deer from the garden. The fig tree is growing larger and has a LOT of new growth and leaves coming out (it was kept pruned down by the deer). The blueberries received the same pruning as the deer but have put on a lot of growth and are covered in blooms.

So, should I figure some way to cover these plants? A sheet of plastic draped over them during the night. The small fig tree and the blueberries wouldn't be that big of an issue but the pear tree is 10-12 feet tall now and might be a bit more of a chore. In the past I've seen that the fig tree usually takes the hardest hit from frost/freezing. With the prediction being for 34F but "some inland areas" possibly getting down to 32F what would you do? I almost feel that the weather service is covering its behind with the "some inland areas" comment.

Old sheets? Plastic sheets? Let nature take its course??? Or, will a 32F temperature even damage these plants? I know with tender seedlings it could knock them down but with these woody plants is this marginal freeze even a danger?

Confused
Ed
South Alabama - 8a/8b
The Enchanted Land of Humidity
www.beeweather.com
2017 Garden Photo Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm1zSVfK
“It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.”
― Rod Serling
Name: Dillard Haley
Augusta Georgia (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Master Level Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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farmerdill
Mar 7, 2018 11:32 AM CST
Need 4 hours at 28 degrees or lower to hurt most of these crops. They are not overly tender. Peaches, pears, plums, rabbit eyes are in full bloom. Last year we had a freeze in late March that killed a lot of the fruit for the first time in 24 years that I have been here. Of course garden vegetables like peas, beets, radishes, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, pak choi etc are unfazed by frost. last year tho it got down to 20 and did kill the half grown peas. did not hurt the plants so they rebloomed and gave me about half a crop later. I am too old and lazy to cover anything.
Name: Deborah
Southern California (Zone 10a)
Rabbit Keeper
Saltflower
Mar 7, 2018 12:20 PM CST
What are rabbit eyes?
Name: Ed
Crenshaw County, South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Vegetable Grower Zinnias
Image
Intheswamp
Mar 7, 2018 12:24 PM CST
Saltflower said:What are rabbit eyes?

Blueberries. Smiling

Dillard, I'll just let'em deal with it. It wouldn't take too much to cover everything but the pear tree but I don't think it'll get too far below freezing if it indeed makes down that low.

South Alabama - 8a/8b
The Enchanted Land of Humidity
www.beeweather.com
2017 Garden Photo Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm1zSVfK
“It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.”
― Rod Serling
Name: Dillard Haley
Augusta Georgia (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Master Level Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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farmerdill
Mar 7, 2018 1:56 PM CST
Rabbiteyes (Vaccinium ashei) are a low chill blueberry grown the south. High bush (Vaccinium corymbosum) require more chill hours to fruit and are grown mostly in the northern states.
Thumb of 2018-03-07/farmerdill/458b91

Name: Deborah
Southern California (Zone 10a)
Rabbit Keeper
Saltflower
Mar 7, 2018 2:36 PM CST
Thanks.
Name: Ed
Crenshaw County, South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Vegetable Grower Zinnias
Image
Intheswamp
Mar 11, 2018 9:46 PM CST
Oh well, it looks like the pear tree and blueberries did pretty good with the cold but the fig tree got burned pretty bad. It'll come back but it would've been nice for it not to have had this setback. We've got another freeze Wednesday night so it's not over yet. I don't know if this is a weird fig tree or maybe the constant deer-pruning that it sustained for several years has something to do with it, but once it starts making figs it makes them all summer long and into the fall. Never (so far) a big crop at once...just a handful of eatin' for fresh eating every few days. I was hoping this year, after being protected from the deer for a year that it would do better...and it probably will. :)
South Alabama - 8a/8b
The Enchanted Land of Humidity
www.beeweather.com
2017 Garden Photo Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm1zSVfK
“It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.”
― Rod Serling
Name: Ed
Crenshaw County, South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Vegetable Grower Zinnias
Image
Intheswamp
Mar 11, 2018 9:49 PM CST
I forgot the picture....

Thumb of 2018-03-12/Intheswamp/f25749

South Alabama - 8a/8b
The Enchanted Land of Humidity
www.beeweather.com
2017 Garden Photo Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm1zSVfK
“It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.”
― Rod Serling
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Winter Sowing Cat Lover Dog Lover Vermiculture Birds Bulbs
Canning and food preservation Butterflies Composter Bromeliad Bookworm Greenhouse
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pod
Mar 12, 2018 7:02 AM CST
Ouch! It looks rather sad but will bounce back.

Do you know what type it is? I have a Brown Turkey that is ever bearing. Love, love, love fresh figs. Lovey dubby

I can't see how they ever make it to the house to make preserves. Whistling
Be content moving inch by inch because, by days end, the inches, will add up to feet and yards.

Fulfilling ambitious objectives is usually done one step at a time.
Name: Ed
Crenshaw County, South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Vegetable Grower Zinnias
Image
Intheswamp
Mar 12, 2018 7:27 AM CST
I'm thinking it's a Brown Turkey, the name rings a bell. But, I've slept since I bought it so.... Big Grin

But, the everbearing part might explain it constantly producing figs during the season. Thanks for the info!!!
South Alabama - 8a/8b
The Enchanted Land of Humidity
www.beeweather.com
2017 Garden Photo Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm1zSVfK
“It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.”
― Rod Serling
Name: Ed
Crenshaw County, South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Vegetable Grower Zinnias
Image
Intheswamp
Aug 21, 2018 10:34 AM CST
Remember the Easter cold-snap that burned my fig tree really bad?
Thumb of 2018-08-21/Intheswamp/35ba06
Thumb of 2018-08-21/Intheswamp/24d7a1

This is how the fig tree looked this morning... Thumbs up
Thumb of 2018-08-21/Intheswamp/ca259e

Thumb of 2018-08-21/Intheswamp/65a11e

Something has changed about the tree, though. In past years the tree produced ripe figs basically all spring, summer, and into the fall....a few at a time. And before I started the garden and put up the electric fence the fig tree was pruned heavily by deer...in case someone was wondering why I used the phrase "In past years..." for a tree of that size. This year after the Easter freeze it hasn't produced a ripe fig yet, though it has many of them growing. This is a definite departure from the production that I'm accustomed to from this tree.

Now, when they start ripening if I can just beat the birds to them!!!!!!! Thumbs up
South Alabama - 8a/8b
The Enchanted Land of Humidity
www.beeweather.com
2017 Garden Photo Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm1zSVfK
“It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.”
― Rod Serling
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Winter Sowing Cat Lover Dog Lover Vermiculture Birds Bulbs
Canning and food preservation Butterflies Composter Bromeliad Bookworm Greenhouse
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pod
Aug 21, 2018 10:56 AM CST
Well your tree must have needed a pruning. It looks excellent.

Do you know what type it is? I have a Brown Turkey Fig and it has not delivered a ripe fig this year either.

Do you suppose maybe the weather or just not a good year for figs in general? Confused
Be content moving inch by inch because, by days end, the inches, will add up to feet and yards.

Fulfilling ambitious objectives is usually done one step at a time.
Name: Ed
Crenshaw County, South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Vegetable Grower Zinnias
Image
Intheswamp
Aug 21, 2018 1:20 PM CST
Kristi, my friend that lives 3-4 miles to the east of me has a large fig tree that is probably 50+ years old. It has already made (and fed the starlings Grumbling ). It also got burned by the frost/freeze this spring. By large, I'm talking maybe 16' tall and at least that wide.

I don't know what either his or mine are, though I'm thinking of Brown Turkeys. Seems like a common one in this area.

As for a good year... I think mine, for its size, will produce a good crop if nothing happens to it, just not a gradual production over a longer period of time. Are you saying that yours hasn't got green fruit on it? My buddy's tree also made a good crop, but the birds ate most of it. Angry
South Alabama - 8a/8b
The Enchanted Land of Humidity
www.beeweather.com
2017 Garden Photo Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm1zSVfK
“It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.”
― Rod Serling
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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Newyorkrita
Aug 21, 2018 2:46 PM CST
Ants just love, love, love ripe figs. Hope yours are okay.
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Winter Sowing Cat Lover Dog Lover Vermiculture Birds Bulbs
Canning and food preservation Butterflies Composter Bromeliad Bookworm Greenhouse
Image
pod
Aug 21, 2018 4:05 PM CST
Mine put on very few figs only twice this summer. It normally delivers a few flushes of figs throughout the summer. Nothing appears to be beating me to the fruit either. Shrug!
Be content moving inch by inch because, by days end, the inches, will add up to feet and yards.

Fulfilling ambitious objectives is usually done one step at a time.
Name: Ed
Crenshaw County, South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Vegetable Grower Zinnias
Image
Intheswamp
Aug 21, 2018 4:34 PM CST
Hmm... So far I haven't seen any that look like they've even thought about getting ripe. They are increasing in size, but no coloration yet.

I'll definitely be trying to beat the ants, birds, stinkbugs(?), and whatever other critter wants to steal my figs!!!

A side note... A lot of people think that honey bees eat into figs, not so. They *are* opportunists and if they find one torn open they'll go for the syrup. But, they don't have the ability to tear through the skin themselves. They have to have yellow jackets or birds or some other pest to open the fig up for them. FWIW. Smiling
South Alabama - 8a/8b
The Enchanted Land of Humidity
www.beeweather.com
2017 Garden Photo Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm1zSVfK
“It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.”
― Rod Serling

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