Prepping Citrus Trees For the Deep Freeze

Introduction

I’m sure you are well aware by now, but the country is going through some QUITE cold weather. Here in Southern Louisiana its no different. Yesterday it was 70 degrees until about 5 oclock when this North Pole front came through, dropping temperatures into the mid to low 20s. Followed by a sunny day never really getting above 35. Tonight is supposed to be the bad one with temperatures falling into the mid to LOW teens.

Temperatures like that are hell on tender plants, of which, I have too many of. We also wanted to take some extra special precautions to make sure that some of our plants definitely make it through this upcoming intense long freeze (its going to be below 32, for over 12 hours).

Here are some of the things we have done for our citrus trees.

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Its hard to tell in this picture but there are wires going out all over the yard. Each and every tree has its own 75 watt halogen light bulb and, most have ~65 watt christmas lights.

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We bought a few of these guys which will come handy I’m sure at later dates.

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We bought 4 of these hanging lights, and put in flood lights in them. These have so many extra usages like providing extra warmth in kidding booths!

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This is my wife’s idea. That is a fig under there. Yeah I think she went overboard, I was just thinking about putting foam around the bottom trunk… not going all the way up.

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The wife just threw a whole bunch of christmas lights on the lemon tree.

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Everything all covered up with their lights going. We doubled up the sheets and bought thicker ones. I actually think these plants will do just fine now.

 

I realize now I probably should have thrown at least a sheet or two over some things in the garden. Oh well I guess. I can certainly say these recent frosts have done HELL to the daikon radish and even the broccoli I have been growing. Some that were doing ok, are definitely now dead. Most of the daikon have just had enough freeze thawing, and even the larger mustards are starting to throw in the towel. I can assure you this is the winter from last year… Here is a reminder of last year at this EXACT same time. (Looked at the time stamp, says Jan, 16, 2013. Go figure)

SFG Planting

8 thoughts on “Prepping Citrus Trees For the Deep Freeze

  1. Chad

    Mike,

    I have a bunch of black locust seeds and I’m wondering if you have any thoughts regarding how close to plant them to the house. Aren’t they considered a little invasive? I just don’t want to have to fight them off years down the road.

    Chad

    1. Mike

      I guess my question is what do you mean by invasive? Black locust (as Geoff Lawton says) is the hard working immigrant which germinates and grows where other plants have a difficult time, therefore carving a pathway for future generations. Its a native tree and does the same stuff as much as sumacs or mimosa trees. Is it going to spread? Yeah probably. Should it be allowed to? (Where I live, yeah definitely). It also is like a god send for pollinators and even birds.

      How close to your house do you want them? What do you want them for? Unless you were planting it as a support species for another tree, for which you’ll be “chopping and dropping”, I wouldn’t plant one anywhere near my house. (Unless you want added shade). Its a tree that requires zero maintenance and doesn’t provide any products except wood, which can be used for coppiced sticks each year if you like (in that case you wouldn’t be letting it get to flower).

  2. Chad

    I would like to use the wood (big and small) for various things around the house eve and I suppose I wouldn’t mind letting some go to flower since I might have bees in the future. I just didn’t know how fast it spread and or if it pushed out other trees. Think it would grow in low spots that hold water occasionally?

    1. Mike

      This has some good info. Says Black Locust can stand some wet soils, just not permanently flooded. It also mentions that service berries can be grown in wet soils.
      http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/Portals/0/Gardening/Gardening%20Help/Factsheets/Clay%20Soils%20-%20Trees8.pdf

      This doesn’t list Black Locust at all. It does list Red Maples though. Also some other things like Shagbark hickories.
      http://www.backyardgardener.com/tree/indexlist6.html

      Another thing you could do in some of the more wet areas is actually grow things like reeds or sugar cane and what not. If you grew reeds you could always grow them, cut them and then use them as a free fast growing mulch.

  3. Chad

    Guess what came in the mail today? Go ahead, guess. Oh hell, I’ll just tell you. Sugar cane!

    We’ll see how this goes.

  4. Chad

    At Amazon from a place called Tropical Importers. I have no idea what kind it is but LSU has an identification guide that I might use at some point to figure out what it is. It’s just six cuttings but some can be divided further, I think. I’ll just give it a shot and see what happens.

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