Saturday, January 12, 2013

Beware the Frost

We are having ourselves a real winter here, with night time temperatures dipping into the 30's. Unusual for our climate. We were over in Phoenix for a few days this week and they too are getting a cold streak and there were lots of houses with sheets spread out over their shrubs, to protect them from the frost. Because we don't deal with frost too often, I am not even sure of what I should try to protect. I know the bananas are tropical and will not look good after the cold winter does a number on those large leaves, but they will bounce back quickly. I am not so sure about some of the succulents, but I guess we will find out because I have no intentions of cover the entire garden with sheets!  I do know one thing about frost damage from writing a monthly column for the UCCE OC Master Gardeners. That is to wait until all chance of frost is past to trim off the damaged foliage. It will be black and shriveled, but it will protect the plant from future damage if you leave it on until the warmer weather prevails. Let's just hope it doesn't snow!

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