Advice To Grow By
ACP (Asian citrus psyllid) found in San Joaquin county
Winter Frost Protection Tips
- Water the soil thoroughly (except around succulents). Wet soil holds heat better than dry soil, protecting roots and warming air near the soil.
- Bed sheets, drop cloths, blankets and plastic sheets make suitable covers for vulnerable plants. Use stakes to keep material, especially plastic, from touching foliage.
- Remove the coverings when temperatures rise the next day.
- For a short cold period, low plantings can be covered with mulch, such as straw or leaf mold. Remove once the danger of frost has passed.
- Place a 100-watt lamp designed for outdoor use in the interior of a small tree. It can emit enough warmth to reduce frost damage. Holiday lights (not the LED type) serve a similar function, but be sure they don’t touch any covering materials.
- Spray an anti-transpirant, available at your local nursery, on the foliage of cold-sensitive plants to seal in moisture. One application can protect up to three months by coating the leaves with an invisible polymer film.
- Cluster container plants close together and, if possible, in a sheltered spot close to the house.
Don’t overreact to plant damage
Plants can be remarkably resilient. If you see signs of frost damage, do not prune off the affected parts or dig up the plant immediately. This is especially true for palms. Wait until the weather warms up in March to see whether new leaves sprout. You may see healthy new growth at the base of the plant, at which point you can prune out the damaged parts. If no regrowth is noted, remove the dead specimen and replace it with a more cold-tolerant species.
For more information, the University of California has a downloadable publication titled Frost Protection for Citrus and Other Subtropicals. To read this full article, click here.
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Valley Gardener's Journal For Year-Round Blooms
The San Joaquin Master Gardeners are excited about the Valley Gardener's Journal For Year-Round Blooms. This garden journal is now available for purchase and is great for any gardener. For more info click here!
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