Monday, November 18, 2019


So we went to the farm Saturday.  It was cool but beautiful.  Clear skies.  The ground was wet, we had about an inch of rain on Thursday.

The coldest we could tell that it got out there was 28.  The pipes were fine, thankfully.

The grass is now officially dormant with that cold blast so this last gasp of green will soon become only shades of beige and brown.

This is the vital "Texas Lilac".  It's done for the year but thankfully even though it looks like this it comes back just fine next year.  I'll prune this back in February or so.

Here are the two banana plants.  The cardboard box we put around them worked great, they are fine.  We folded up the box and left it behind there for easy access next time we need it.

Now the citrus trees were a different story.  When I went behind the house to look at them, two were still covered just fine but one (the lime) was uncovered.  In fact the cover was just gone.  Had no idea where it was.  We were sitting on the porch taking a break when we noticed this...

I said "is that the cover?"  Sure enough, it had blown off in the wind and was about 2 acres away from where it started.  Oh well, at least we didn't lose it forever.

This is the lime tree...the leaves were a bit brown.  This is the one that lost the cover so it must have come off after the freeze (there were storms later in the week).  If it had been uncovered at 28 degrees I think it would have been frozen. All was OK.

This is the orange had a few more frostbitten leaves but still overall it was OK as well. It remained completely covered the entire time.

This is the lemon was also completely covered and the base was wrapped nicely but I think the covering touched the leaves and many of them were damaged.  We hope it comes back.  I shook the tree and most of those "burned" leaves fell off.  I checked the branches and they were all still green and looked OK.  So we're hoping it's just cosmetic damage and nothing that will keep it from coming back in the Spring.  

I spent Sunday doing some research on protecting citrus trees and placed a few orders for some stuff.  New covers (that will actually cover the entire bed), one strand of old school style C9 outdoor Christmas lights for each tree, extension cords, a timer, some bamboo poles, and some tennis balls (what? more on all this when I get it all set up).

There are no freezes in the next 10 days so we're good for now.  This weekend I'll work on getting the rest of the things we need (some pipe covers, etc).  

The next time we are expecting a hard freeze, I'll make sure everything is ready to go.

Hope you all had a great weekend!


  1. I also had a few things that got a little frost bit and like mine, I'm sure your frost bit items will come back as well.
    Tennis Balls! :} Oh, I know how they will be used, as I have done that same idea before. :} Your lights should really help as well.

    1. Hope we won't need them often but after all the work babying these along, we want to make sure we keep them protected.

  2. My lemon trees faired the cold pretty well since I didn't cover anything at all. Not much damage and the pineapples did well also. This will be their second year outside. I have a friend in Mississippi who has a lemon tree in her yard and it's about 6 years old and 10 feet high. She says she doesn't do anything to protect it from the harsh winter cold that they get and it comes back every year just fine.

    1. I forgot to mention our pineapple, we had them behind some cardboard boxes and they are fine too. Glad to hear about the lemon. I hope once it gets established it's more hardy. But until then we have a plan, ha.

  3. I’m glad that all of your fruit trees survived the freeze, if a bit damaged. I have found that I need at least 2 layers to protect mine. The leaves that touch the single covering get frostbit. The second layer protects them. I put a rebar pole beside each tree that holds up the covering.
    I have concrete scalloped edgings for some of my flower beds and over the years, some have gotten broken; also collected some from family and neighbors. I use these pieces of concrete to secure the bottom of my covers, about 4-5 for each tree, leaving some dead air space around the tree to add some extra protection. Even in wild winds, the concrete keeps the covers in place. For my key limes, which are very susceptible to freezes, I use 3 layers of covering – 1 of the AgFabric and then 2 layers of old blankets. After losing a beautiful key lime and losing 95% of my huge Meyer lemon tree in the 17 degree freeze several years ago, I learned the hard way.

    1. 17 is almost impossible to keep a citrus. I think short of standing beside it with a heater, not much else you could do. I will keep in mind your ideas of the multi layers. Thanks for the tips. We're going to try Christmas lights (outdoor, old school ceramic bulbs) and see how that works. Assuming we have another freeze or two this year.

  4. I was going to suggest more than one layer, but someone else did. Keeping the cover from touching the leaves is key. Here is Alabama, I had a friend whose lemon tree was grown from a seed from a lemon bought at the grocery. She never covered it and it was huge. She may have covered it the first years or more likely kept it in the house. She is dead now, or I would ask her. Good luck.


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