In case you are studying this now, it’s seemingly {that a} “freak” winter occasion is on its approach. Central Texas is understood for its variable climate patterns and broad swings in temperature aren’t exceptional. Climate prediction in Central Texas is troublesome, so I might counsel that we put together for the worst and hope for one of the best in any predicted excessive occasion. We’re seeing forecast lows of anyplace from 10°F to fifteen°F  for a lot of our space, with beneath freezing temperatures lasting as much as 60 hours or extra in some areas. Valleys will sometimes drop decrease than greater areas. 

We should do our greatest to guard vegetation throughout this occasion. Listed here are some tips to assist with winter safety.

Vegetable Gardens: 

Harvest every little thing that you should utilize earlier than the freeze.

Water the soil at the very least a day earlier than the freeze is anticipated. 

Mulch the remaining with compost, straw, leaves, hardwood mulch, newspaper or cardboard coated with mulch or no matter insulative materials that’s out there to a depth of two″-3″. Material, comparable to frost cloth, blankets, comforters, sheets, and so forth. could also be used however could must have body constructed over the extra delicate vegetation so they don’t seem to be crushed. Plastic could also be used ONLY if ON TOP of the material or mulch, and may by no means contact the vegetation. Plastic MUST be eliminated when temperatures attain 30°F or warmth buildup could harm the vegetation. NEVER PLACE PLASTIC DIRECTLY ON PLANTS AND DO NOT LEAVE ON WHEN TEMPERATURES ARE ABOVE 30°F. 

Keep in mind, the bottom holds warmth that can should be captured, so anchor the material to the bottom with bricks or different heavy objects.

Ornamentals:

Lots of the ornamentals that usually survive a winter in our space might be broken or killed by the sustained low temperatures that we predict. Plan to cowl these vegetation with layers of frost fabric in addition to attainable, anchoring it to the bottom to seize floor warmth. Apply 2″-3″ of mulch to the soil across the vegetation to insulate the foundation system. In the event that they do die again to the bottom you’ll have an opportunity that they’ll come again from the roots. As at all times, water the soil BEFORE the freeze. Listed here are a number of the vegetation that can want safety: 

Indian Hawthorne                         Sago Palm                            Agave

Accomplice Jasmine                   Butterfly Vine                    Bottlebrush

Loquat                                               Camellia                               Texas Sage

Desert Museum                             Fig Timber                               Jap. Yew

Loropetalum                                   Oleander                              Olive bushes

Pineapple Guava                           Viburnum                             Thryallis

Satisfaction of Barbados                         Esperanza                            Mex. Firebush

Palms

Even established, winter-hardy palms could also be broken by sustained low temperatures. Sadly, it’s troublesome to guard the rising level of the taller palms from freezing. If this space that’s on the base of the “spear leaf” freezes and dies, your palm is not going to come again. In case you can attain the highest fronds and bundle them collectively across the “spear leaf”, you possibly can then wrap the world with the rising tip (apical meristem) with frost cloth. burlap, or different cloth materials to assist insulate the world. Christmas tree lights (ones that generate warmth) have been used to supply added warmth to the world. DO NOT LEAVE THE WRAP OR LIGHTS ON ANY LONGER THAN NECESSARY. Take away the safety when the freeze is previous to keep away from rotting the rising tip or trunk. 

With the acute lows anticipated in a few of our space it will even be clever to wrap the trunks with layers of frost cloth, burlap or different cloth materials. DO NOT LEAVE THIS ON LONGER THAN NECESSARY FOR THE FREEZING TEMPERATURES.

Apply 2″-3″ of mulch across the palm to insulate the roots. Water the roots at the very least a day earlier than the freeze.

Tropicals, Citrus and All Crops in Pots

Crops in pots, no matter winter hardiness, will should be shielded from this winter occasion. Transfer all potted vegetation inside if attainable. In case your storage is prone to freeze, transfer the vegetation inside your home. Click on HERE for some extra strategies for shielding Tropical Crops within the winter.

In case you have completely nowhere to convey potted vegetation inside, right here is a technique that I’ve been in a position to avoid wasting of mine prior to now. Transfer the pots to the Southeast or Southwest nook of the home, as it’s the most shielded from the Northwest winter winds. Water the soil nicely. Lay the potted vegetation down on their sides, overlapping them and putting them shut collectively to benefit from capturing the bottom warmth earlier than you cowl them. Use a number of layers of frost fabric, burlap, sheets, comforters or something however plastic. Anchor the protecting to the bottom. No less than now your vegetation have an opportunity. Take away the protecting when hazard of freeze is previous and examine for harm. You might have to chop the vegetation again, however hopefully the roots could have been saved.

Herbaceous and Evergreen Perennials

Herbaceous perennials are those who naturally die again to the bottom when it freezes. Some are extra root-hardy than others, so be sure you mulch and water them earlier than any freeze. This may give them one of the best likelihood attainable. Tender perennials comparable to Satisfaction of Barbados or Esperanza could have a greater likelihood of coming again if they’re well-established going into the freeze. We attempt to not plant these within the late summer time or fall because of this. Mulch these vegetation VERY nicely.

Evergreen perennials comparable to Salvia greggii and Jerusalem Sage could have various levels of chilly hardiness. Water the soil round them and ensure they’re mulched. If they don’t seem to be well-established, a pair layers of frost cloth could assist. We’ll wait till spring to judge any harm.

NOTE: We don’t suggest reducing again woody perennials comparable to Lantana which have gone dormant till late February. The expansion left on prime will insulate the crown of the vegetation and the roots from arduous freezes. Decorative grasses must also be left because of this. Resist the urge to chop again vegetation too early within the fall or winter. They may have a greater likelihood of survival.