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Garden journal entry


Lifeless key lime tree
January 22, 2018. After a freeze in January 2017 killed our newly planted lemon tree, we were told that this was a freak freeze – most years it doesn't get nearly as cold, or for as long. I think it got down to 24 degrees Fahrenheit that time, for about 8 hours. Well – continuing along the trajectory of freak weather that's come our way since I moved to the Lone Star state (also including three major floods, two in 2016 and Hurricane Harvey in 2017), we had another whopper of a freeze in mid-January. Temperatures stayed at or below freezing for two full days and nights (they closed schools and businesses those days), and remained in the teens for hours overnight. So all those zone-9 plants I had optimistically purchased at local nurseries, expecting a few mild winters to make up for last one: they're dead. The lemon tree we got as a replacement for last year's deceased one is OK: it stayed in a pot, and was brought indoors. The mango also came indoors, but it was already too late: it looks decidedly lifeless. And the key lime tree that was too big to stay in a pot is a goner. For many other plantings, I'll have to wait till mid-spring to see if they show any signs of returning from the roots. But I think my colleague had it right when he said the nurseries would have yet another banner year in 2018. And no doubt, they'll keep on selling the same plants that are just a little too tender to survive these arctic incursions. Me? I'll probably try some of those again – but I'll be on the lookout for more examples of that rare breed of plant that can deal both with the steamy summers and the occasionally severe winter nights. The borderline ones that survived will earn a badge of honor – I think I'll mark their portrait pages here with a T-shirt saying "I survived the freeze of 2018". Still learning the ropes in this crazy state...

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Last modified: September 09, 2009
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