Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Freeze the night I planted the Bare Roots

Posted one day in arrears

WHERE IS THAT GROUNDHOG?   Actually, he didn't see his shadow but this freeze came out of no where.  I knew that it would be in the mid-70's this week.  So after I had planted 19 of the 22, I lied down on the couch to read other people's blog (who actually know what they are doing...when I read this from Secrets of a Seed Scatterer's blog     When It Freezes in the Deep South.

I rushed to check the weather report, and sure enough, it was gonna be 28 degrees tonight.  I , quickly jumped up (cursing so much I would make Terret's look good) and covered the Mexican Heather I so impatiently put in the ground.  What was going to happen to the new roses I put in the ground!

7:37 am....Needless to say I was not going to put the three climbers I had soaking in the ground this morning.

This is what it looked like this morning.  The thermostat read 32 degrees.

All of the roses' leaves were droppy but I had a feeling that it was from the weight of the ice.  The new roses I planted were heavily watered and it's my understanding that , that insulates plants...why?  Couldn't tell you.

This morning in the greenhouse the temperature showed 34 degrees.  Last night I left the heat lamps on all night.  I have a space heater but it's unpredictable.  This is after about 10 mins of it running.   

I had plants outside last night which I , quickly rushed into the greenhouse.  I, also, made sure there were no gaps in the coldframe.

You see the space heater in the bottom left.  You don't see in this picture a dark rain barrel in the on the right corner of the greenhouse.  Yesterday, my greenhouse hit 100 degrees.  I put this rain barrel in the greenhouse for convenience   What I read is that when you put barrels of water (they have to be dark) they warm up during the day and radiate heat at night.  It is my understanding it won't warm the greenhouse, but it will prevent it from freezing.  Given it was 34 degrees there....what a difference a degree makes is all I have to say.

Leaves of the bare roots just planted.

This what they looked like a few hours later....They are okay....whew.

Now, my ADHD is taking control

Mental note, don't forget the dahlia tubers in the garage.

I learned something about bare root roses.  Evidently, bare roots are graft onto rootstock, grown for about two years, and then harvested...and that is we see in the package...which begs the question?  When we need to transplant a rose, why don't we just lop it off, dig it up, and move it????

There are many advantages and consideration I want to mention about the backyard rose bed.

  • I have 15 acres and I like to see flowers at every turn and corner.  So last year I plant them everywhere.  The problem with this is that they were all new and it tooks hours to take care of newly planted plants.  I have no idea how many plants I have put in backyard garden project but I suspect about 90 including the ornamentals.  There were a few things (4) that I planted elsewhere but when you are rushing to respond to things like freezes I was VERY grateful that I planted all these plants in the same spot.  It took me an 30 mins to water them vs two hours, had they been scattered.   I watered them after the frost melted.
  • I can already tell my experience is growing.  Last year, I planted flowers everywhere, but it lacked....experience?  Meaning it was a haphazard concept.  I do not like overly manicured gardens but they have their place.  I do like an err of "natural".  However, most of the property affords an informal look, however, the backyard required formality because a.) it is part of the interior of the house..most of the back of the house has windows...the gardens essentially become paintings. b.)when walking on the back porch you see "lines"   meaning everything has 90 degree angles so formality would be more harmonious.
  • The front of property (approx 6 acres) is what visitors and guests see.  I can tell you that my concepts rapidly improving, so I would rather wait when I have an even more experience, to design it so the back yard is a stepping stone.
  • The backyard is my "personal garden"  This is what I look at the most.  
  • It is also my testing garden...poor plants.  I have planted many, many varieties.  This will give me some experience as to how roses (and different roses) respond to certain elements.  For instance, I know climbing golden showers grow faster then my other climbing roses but they don't like the heat as much.
  • It will serve as my cutting garden, but from last year..I wanted my cake and eat it too.  I wanted to be able to stare at them and cut them at the same time.  Well with over 60 in the ground, I suspect there will be roses that won't be noticed if I cut them.
PS  2/3/12...the mexican heather did get hurt, but I don't think they are dead.  The ones under the fountain and around the house are protected so they fared very well.   

All roses and even a bottlebrush got planted.  Front porch bed got mulched with tons of Mexican Heather babies.  The 300 plus bulbs of tulips, daffodils, crocus, hyacinth, lillies, iris and I am sure I am forget one is starting to sprout.  The azaleas, camellias, dogwoods, tulip trees, bradford pears are starting to bud...we are about to have a performance.

Final note, I have dinnerplate dahlias tubers that I bought that were in a bag.  I didn't know what to them but they were starting to root. I put them in a shallow pail and lightly covered them lightly with soil and sprayed them.  They are on covered porch.  I am sure this wasn't what I was supposed to do but I had to do something.  Will take care of them tomorrow, as soon as I find out how.


Jean Campbell said...

According to the formulas I read on Garden Web, it would take 12 to 16 fifty-gallon barrels full of water to keep my 10x12' greenhouse from freezing -- I have 4 -- and that would be after a really sunny day. There wouldn't be much room left for plants, except atop the barrels.

As water releases heat it retained from the sun, by early morning hours supplemental heat is still needed. I use 2 space heaters set on low (He-who-mows explained the rationale of running 2 heaters on low rather than one on high but it escaped me), thermostats set by trial and error to come on when the temperature inside the greenhouse drops to 37 degrees.

I am actually more concerned about cooking my plants on a hot day than their freezing because I don't have a bunch of things that can't take a bit of cold. Few can stand 100+ degrees in small containers where the roots dry out quickly.

The freeze Friday morning only lasted a couple of hours below freezing, which is less detrimental than below-freezing temperatures from dark until morning.

I think your plants will be fine.

Cerberus German shepherds said...

I know what you mean, the tropicals love it in there, I don't think my bougainvilleas ever want to leave. But it does hit 100 plus...when last day of frost hits thing will have to be moved.

I did a post script,...know anything about dahlias?

Jean Campbell said...

Dahlias, like Caladiums, like warm weather but can be left in the ground over the winter in our climate.

I would put those you've alread moistened into pots and just leave them in the greenhouse until frost is over. They will probably develop strong roots, top growth might not be much until the season comes with warm soil.

There are a number of things, Dahlias being one, that I no longer try to grow because of root knot nematodes in our soil. Rather than try to solarize the soil or use some chemicals that the dog and cat might get into, I just leave off certain plants and plant more of nematode resistant things.

HolleyGarden said...

So glad the freeze didn't damage your roses. They're pretty tough plants. You are spot on about the outside part of the garden having to coordinate with the interior of your home. A lot of gardens have more formal areas near the house, moving to informal the farther away you go. You are jumping in with both feet - and I think you're doing great!

Cerberus German shepherds said...

@Nell Jean. On the greenhouse comment, I don't think the rain barrel does much either. There is full spectrum lighting in the greenhouse, that I have on a timer. When I know it is going to be cold I leave them on at night. I run the space heater a while before I go to bed but it's a bit unpredictable but leaves residual heat. During the day it gets very hot. My thermometer only goes to 120 degrees. Soon, I will need to start vacating the plants.

In respect to the Dahlias, I had smaller ones that MIL loved that were white. I grew them in pots. I sought to find her more and only found the dinnerplates. I just got back from the co-op to bother Ms. Dina. I brought the huge tubers with me. She looked at them (they were in a pail of dirt) swept up the pail and went over to a work bench. She grabbed four one gallon pots and placed them in there with a dirt mix on the table and handed them to me. She said give them deep water. I asked, when do I put them in the ground? She said, they will let you know. She is the Sherlock Holmes of a certain level, I just trust her.

Cerberus German shepherds said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cerberus German shepherds said...

@HolleyGarden...there are two opportunities now that I won't have later. The closing nursery and the bare roots. I got burnt out by late fall and became very lazy to gardening, but I was well aware I would get spring fever. Committed to learning from last year, I opted to be more "concerted" this time. The one thing I am very, very, VERY glad I did was concentrate on one area. Yes, all these would have been awesome all over the property but the driveway a quarter mile long it would have increased my maintenance time exponentially. I won't be planting like this all year (of course, I said that last year) but not to this extent. I find that I buy the most in spring and the fall when prices are more favorable. Of course, I have only been gardening for one year so that isn't saying anything. I suspect I will continue doing spring/fall buying in the future. Out of all the gardening experiences, I think I enjoy this part as much as I enjoy looking at the roses.

Jean Campbell said...

I'm glad Dina concurred with what I said about potting up the dahlias until they send up foliage.

Cerberus German shepherds said...

I went there to do as you advised. I needed to get dirt. When she looked at them she thought about putting them in the ground and then she said no....put them in a pot....I lean to her because she is one mile away and used to the area conditions....but I was going there to take what you advised.