I guess I shouldn’t complain so much about the cold considering what’s happening in the northeast and most of the country. What makes it so frustrating here is that it isn’t supposed to get this way so you don’t prepare for it or have the coping materials. Our blood never thickens so we’re in constant summer mode internally. My biggest problems are not temperature but wind. Half of my frost blankets had blown off the garden and/or endured more rips and tears. Some of my pvc support structures were laying over so that wasn’t a total success either but I’m for sure on the right track. There was no frost Sunday night because of the wind but there was plenty Monday night and Tuesday morning when the winds calmed. It didn’t get any colder this time than last week and I survived that ok so I’m hopeful now. Rather than having Nancy sew up the frost cloth, going to try my old favorite, duct tape. And I’m going to make a trip to Harbor Freight to get some welding clips to use instead of clothes pins. A welding clip has a much stronger spring and wider lips so it should be more effective at clipping the cloth together. I also need to get more concrete weights on standby down at the garden to secure the edges and keep the wind from getting up under the cover. I ran out of concrete blocks and used garden tools – shovels, hoes, rakes, etc but the wind was strong enough to just lift those up and off. I have plenty of time to get all that together since it looks like we’re in for a 4 day stretch of uber cold. That makes the second 4 day stretch this month and probably the 10th day to hit the freezing point – but who’s counting. I just need to buy a book entitled Gardening in Alaska or something along those lines.
Did get some citrus tree damage this time around. Not sure how significant but got the curly leaves which means at least dead foliage. Won’t know for a while whether or not that has any implications for next season. Certainly it’s early enough in the season that there were no blossoms or new leaves yet to be damaged but not sure how deep into the wood this goes.
There could be one silver lining to this cold, particularly in the southern part of the state. It should kill off some of the non-native predators that have been introduced by dumb asses. That would include the Burmese pythons and iguanas that are now living in the everglades and any place they can crawl or slither from there. This year should set them back quite a bit. Unfortunately the snook which have migrated this far north will probably also be hammered.
And of course the lake continues to drop as the fern growers pump to protect the crops. This is the lowest I’ve ever seen the lake in December. I have seen it this low before but this is March low not December low. We have two more months of potential freezing weather and three more months of dry weather. The drier than normal summer and fall with not even a close call on hurricanes left us starting the dry season with a deficit. If it really gets as low as I anticipate, I’m going to take a shovel and dig out some deep holes to attract fish when the water returns to normal levels. Wonder if the lake bottom muck would be good for the garden?