We got down to 35 last night here
I’m surprised you were so cold. What elevation are you at in KY (since I know your state has some hills/mountains)?
We had frost in my neighborhood Monday morning. Not much on the ground, but some on roofs. Air temp was 32 F.
All of my sensitive plants are done, and the apples are too big to strip leaves this year. So I’d welcome them going dormant before the first, heavy snow.
We’re on a east facing hillside in the NE part of the state. It’s where the Appalachians are just starting to get going. I think our elevation here is only 800ft or so. Being on the hill, we’re about 100ft above the valley floor, so it gets pretty cold down in the creek bottoms. Our in-laws live about half mile from us, down by the creek, and their temps can be about 3-5° lower than us.
Kentucky has many different terrains. Just west of here, maybe an hour or two, the countryside is gently rolling, around the Lexington area. Big mountains down the SE part of the state. And in the west, it’s a bit hilly, but flattens out towards the Miss River. The climatic changes are quite varied as well. We’re 6b, but it’s a cold z6, if that makes sense.
We don’t have any producing fruit trees yet, but I hope being on this hill will help in the future in preserving fragile fruit blooms. We have old apple trees on the farm, and they always seem to survive the late freezes and produce. I know apple blossoms are more hearty than say, peach, so I wonder how our new peach trees will do.
I checked the pepper plants today and they seem OK, but it only got to 38. There are still some peppers that need to ripen, so I hope we can delay any freezes here. Our average 50% freeze day was yesterday, so we are on borrowed time. But, the 10 day forecast is showing no freezes during that time.
Quite a few of my fruit trees and plants lost their leaves weeks ago, don’t know why, probably beetles, maybe drought? Deer have done some minor damage to the trees, but I have them all enclosed in a circular fence.
Should I worry about these fruit trees losing their leaves so early? I hope it doesn’t mean that they may not make it thru the winter, and/or struggle to grow next season.
Losing leaves early is usually a sign of stress, possibly from both the drought and beetles… Since you got some rain, you probably don’t need to worry about watering, but the usual suggestion is to water if the weather turns dry going into winter. Hopefully they all make it through the winter. Maybe it will be a mild but not too warm one?
Yeah, we got about 4in of rain about 10 days ago, so that helped them out, I’m sure. It even looks like some of the more ‘healthy’ ones are putting on some little sprigs. My Golden Russet and Winecrisp whips are leafless, tho, and I doubt they’ll sprout any new growth anytime soon. The GR is the tree on G222, btw.
I don’t know the long term outlooks are for this winter. Some folks around here, who are from here, seem to think it’ll be a colder than normal winter. But, I don’t know what they’re basing that on.
I’ve lived here for three full winters, and the 14-15 one was bad, we had lows below zero a few nights, and had two separate one foot snowfalls. The last two years, tho, it rarely got into the single digits, and the most snow we had was maybe about 6-7". My wife, who grew up on this farm, says that’s prob normal for here.
I hate cold weather, as we never turn the thermostat above 65, so I never seem to be able to get warm. But, I’d rather be chilly than pay a $300/mo electric bill. At least in the winter, I don’t have to do lawn work, or work on the garden or fruit plants!
I have a relative in Phoenix who pays $450/mo. air conditioning bills, Spring through Fall.
For my home here in Vista CA I’ve installed a thermostat that automatically switches between heating and cooling, keeping the household temperature between 68°F and 74°F. Although electricity can be a premium here, gas (for heating) is relatively inexpensive. At peak I might see summer air conditioning bills hit $250, but now with solar they’ve been reduced to $50.
We’ve had very little frost so far this season. It hasn’t got below 30 at night and stuff is still growing. Ash trees have lost their leaves, maples are turning but other vegetation is still bright green. 10 day forecast shows near 70 this weekend and cool down by Tuesday. I’ve never seen anything like this warm & dry stretch of weather that we’ve had.
Got to 37 this morn, a little bit cooler than yesterday morn. Since I’ve turned the thermostat off, it got down to 61 here in the house. No wonder I was cold in bed! Time to whip out the pajama bottoms…
This time of the year (and late spring), we just turn off the air/heat, even tho we do get some cold/hot spells in the house. But, our electric bill is really low those times, maybe $75/mo.
We have a good electric cooperative, the normal flat rate runs about 8¢ per kWh. You can also change the type of rates. We do the flat rate in this house, but in the old house, where we don’t live but have power for it, we do a block rate. That means if you can keep your usage below 700kWh/mo, the rate is about 6¢/kWh. Above that, it goes to 11¢, I think. There is also a peak/off peak hour rate, which means higher costs during 10am-3pm, and then 5pm-10pm.
@Richard, did you get a tax credit or anything similar for solar panels?
Yes, we received a one time credit. Any power we don’t use is bought by the utility company at wholesale rate.
Ash trees? All the ones around here are dead. I saw tree removal guys out all over all summer cutting them down. I know the city here had to cut down 1000’s of them. The ones still standing look horrible. Green ash wood is going to become rare. The good thing is the city looks to be planting a wide variety of species to replace them all.
My Gardenia continues to open new blooms. Probably next week will be the first time i’ll have to move some stuff in.
Very windy here today as a cold front moves through. Another run at 80F on Friday. Almost an inch of rain on the gfs for Sat…cool and maybe some snow flakes Tues nite and then the whole extended looks very mild. Averages now are around 60F… its 76F right now!
I have 3 ash trees, at the cost of $$$ every year
The one we didn’t have treated died 3 years ago
Down here, people sometimes plant White Ash for a fast growing landscape tree. Disease is not a problem here. In 20 years they’re typically 80 feet high with a 5 foot diameter base. They eat sidewalks, patios, and foundations for lunch.
Have you thought of treating yourself with an imidacloprid drench and then an insecticide sprayed on the foliage?
Disease isn’t the major problem here with our white and green ash. They are being killed by Emerald Ash Borer, a non-native introduction from Asia. In my area the insects are just getting established, and I have seen only a few trees showing signs of infestation this year (crown die-back and the production of epicormic shoots). I suspect there will be quite a bit more damage that shows up next year.
They’ve been here over a decade
At first, the arborist said it’d just be a few years before the infestation died out, but instead it seems that the prevalence of treated trees is prolonging it, giving the beetles a constant source of victims as they keep moving into the area
The longer this goes on, the more I think of it
Has a predator for the beetles been introduced?
It is horrible here. I was at a park over the summer just outside town and every ash tree in that park had no leaves and just green shoots coming up from the base of the tree. Probably well over a 100 of them throughout the park. My neighbor just had a guy over a week or so ago dropping a big one in his front yard. Very good lumber (think it was/is used for baseball bats). I think some type of Chinese ash or hybrid can handle the borer?
What is interesting is back when we moved here…late 2005 ish i had about a 15 to 20 foot green ash in the back yard. I cut it down ('07?) because i didn’t like where it was planted…the wood had tunnels under the bark which i found odd at the time, but just used it as firewood. I just looked up and EAB was first found in WI in 2008…got to wonder if it wasn’t here years earlier.
even up here we’ve had 3 hard frosts but the temps bounce right back to the upper 60’s my evie strawberries are still ripening and bugs are still hitting the windshield! some plants have started to bud again!
Not so you’d notice
My fear is that the beetles, running out of ash trees, will turn to some other species