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Frost Warning for Thursday Night/Friday Morn.

15 years ago

Almost 50 counties in Oklahoma have a chance of "patchy light frost" during the overnight hours from Thursday to Friday.

Remember that the odds of frost damage increase as the wind speed lessens. Temperatures also drop a couple more degrees if the sky is clear (clouds hold in heat). Finally, if you are in a low-lying area, you may have more frost and more damage than surrounding areas.

I guess I'll be carrying in the potted brugs tomorrow night unless they cancel the special weather statement.

The statement is linked below.

Hopefully the frost will miss most of us.

Dawn

Here is a link that might be useful: Special Weather Statement/Patchy Frost

Comments (12)

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Dawn,

    Got down to 42 here this morning at daylight. Don't plan on taking any big tropicals into the house yet. I'll just slide them up close to the brick and throw a sheet over them.

    Based on what I see in weather conditions, I'll get a freeze tonight. If there is no wind in the forecast like it shows now, it will hit 28-29 degrees around daylight in the morning here.

    randy

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Same here in Edmond, Randy. I've got one "box" bed made out of a wooden packing crate with legs. I'm gonna toss a blanket over it this evening to keep my pansies and newly planted black mondo grass from getting too frosty. And waiting a few days to plant some new bare root plants and iris rhizomes. Everything else should be fine. We're looking at a low tonight of 42 with 5-10 mph winds. So I'm not terribly worried about anything but that raised bed. All of my tropicals moved inside last week to make sure I had room and I've already done all my cuttings and they're rooting nicely inside with lights. (Yes, with the lights and enclosed in a plastic bag, ALL of my cuttings have already rooted!) Though I'm wondering if I should toss a blanket over my tomatoes. Would be a shame to lose them right now since they're producing so well. I do think I'm gonna go out this afternoon and pick the larger ones and go ahead and windowsill ripen them so I can blanch them for sauce.

    Kathy

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  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Randy and Kathy,

    We've already been down to 44 at least 3 nights here this fall and down to 42 once, and my plants (of course) had no damage even though the air felt pretty cold when I stepped outside on those mornings. Of course, our forecast was for the upper 40s to the lower 50s on those nights, but we always get colder at our house so I was expecting the low to mid-40s.

    I'm not too worried about our place, even though we are in a very low-lying elevation and our microclimate tends to give us frosts/freezes when nearby folks on higher land have none. Our local TV guy says 46, which means 42 to 44 for us, and the hourly forecast on Wunderground shows 47. Even with clear skies and low to no wind, I don't expect a frost. However, if they were saying 40 to 42, I'd be expecting patchy frost here.

    So, Randy, I will follow your lead and just drag my potted brugs, daturas, ornamental peppers and coleus up onto the concrete slab next to the south-facing garage wall. I'm glad we're staying slightly too warm for a frost....I'm not ready to bring the brugs in, and they are in glorius full bloom, happy and lovely.....hate to disturb them at all when they look this good.

    Kathy,

    It sounds like you're off to a great start with your lights. What kind of cuttings did you root?

    I sure would toss a blanket over the tomatoes. It'd be a terrible shame to lose the ones you have now to frost, when you know the season is ending, and it is a really, really long time until you'll have fresh homegrown tomatoes next spring. I have had tomato plants go down to 34 to 36 degrees and patchy frost and ONLY have foliar damage, and not damaged fruit, but it is better to cover them if you can. In fact, I've had the plants survive 30 to 32 degrees, and most of the fruit too, except for those on the uppermost or outermost exposed areas. Still, I cover them when I can.

    I'm going to pick any ripe tomatoes or peppers, and probably pick any tomatoes that are half-ripe and let them finish ripening on the counter. I'm leaving the greenies on the plants, though, and am hoping for another 4 to 6 frost-free weeks so I can harvest a nice, big crop of late fall tomatoes.

    I hope everyone in northern OK is ready for the patchy frost because I see a lot of low 40s in the forecast, and we know that frost can form at 38 or 39 if all conditions are right.

    It is gorgeous here today!

    Dawn

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Dawn, I rooted the main things I wanted to make sure I could do again next spring- a couple of vinca major that gave really gorgeous colors and blooms, hardy ice plants that I'm going to use in borders next spring, a couple of sedums that the boys really liked, stevia cuttings to gain more plants, my Dragon Black coleus that we all adored. There may be a few other things I did, but offhand can't name them :) Those were the ones that were really important to us. After these cuttings get to a good size, I'll do a second round of cuttings from them and so on. By spring we'll have several of each and won't need to buy *shudder* them. My boys have become very interested in propagating and getting "free" plants from those they particularly like :) They're thinking that perhaps if they can get a headstart on their gardens during the winter, perhaps they can do enough cuttings to sell at the Farmer's Market. This money, of course, will be for more types of plants in the spring as well as for trading for other things they want. We'll also probably do some hoya cuttings this winter and wandering jew. I've also got some Harvest Red mini snapdragons that I'm going to try to keep going in their pot inside this winter. They were a delight to all of us :)

    I'm thinking my black mondo grass will do fine outside this winter, but keep thinking of perhaps bringing a clump inside in a pot, just in case, since this is for our new gargoyle garden.

    Everything else that I'm going to be planting out in the next several weeks either goes in right now, or should have enough time to bond in and come back in spring. Things like some toad lilies I received in a trade. I have seed for just about every thing else that we want to plant again as far as annuals and we let most of those self seed, so we should have some volunteers.

    I'm doing the same as you did on the tomatoes, just picking ripe or almost ripe, leaving the still firm green and going to blanket them and hope I'll have a few more weeks of fresh toms. Going to bring in my potted Medusa ornamental peppers and my mum/pansy potted arrangement this evening, then put them back out before I leave for work tomorrow morning.

    Just about everything else should be fine, but if I lose some of the lingering annuals, that's fine too because we're doing everything as lasagna beds this fall and I have newspaper,coffee and tea grounds,straw, bags of manure and topsoil just waiting. Picking up a tarp tomorrow so we can rake off the mulch, layer the beds, then return the mulch so it can cook down. Since I can go ahead and plant in it, we're going to add the early bulbs into each one before we finish it. The other bulbs, like tulips and hyacinth will go in right about Thanksgiving and we'll have an easier time digging despite what the weather may do because the beds will be layered and still easily workable.

    Kathy

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Kathy,

    Your list of things you're doing and going to do just about wore me out. LOL

    I love Medusa, but the last couple of years I thought I'd try something new, so I grew a black one.....Black Pearl or something similar, and just love it. I always grow about a dozen different kinds of ornamental peppers, and have yet to meet one that I don't like.

    I wish I'd known about lasagna gardening 30 years ago! When I think of all the tools I've broken trying to dig into dense black clay (in Texas), and rocky caliche clay (in Texas) and dense red clay (in Oklahoma)......oh, what an improvement lasagna gardening is! I've been doing it pretty much since we moved here in 1999 and it is by far my favorite method.

    I'm hoping "they" are wrong and the patchy frost evaporates into thin air, but am realistic enough to believe some of us Okies will have frost tomorrow morning.

    And, if you aren't familar with the Weather Underground website (Wunderground.com), which I learned about from Randy, you can go to the website and put in your location (in the upper left corner under 'Recent Cities') and they'll give you a great forecast, including an hourly prediction feature that shows when your coolest temperatures will occur. I've been using it less than a year, I think, but it is pretty accurate for me when I take into account that I am at a low elevation and still will go a few degrees lower than they (and everyone else) say. And, just to make it clear, this is the WEATHER website, not a website for the domestic terrorist group of the same name. LOL

    Oh, and about your Black Mondo Grass. This year, Thompson and Morgan has SEED for it in their 2009 catalog, which hit my mailbox a couple of weeks ago. It was pricey...about $6 or $7 for 10 seeds, but I thought of you and your garden when I saw the seed there.

    Dawn

    Here is a link that might be useful: Wunderground

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Dawn,

    I know, I've seen the prices on it and my local TLC nursery had it for $8.99/6 in pot. I got 8 nice sized bundles in a trade for 15 Queen of Night tulip and 12 Eye of the Tiger iris bulbs. I really believe I got the better end of that deal, especially since I managed to get a really good price on the bulbs and had bought a LOT. I used some in my Round Robin swap for this month, then traded for the mondo, shared some with another friend who really, really wanted some and still have more than enough to plant for myself. I was really excited to get it too :) It's really the most gorgeous glossy black.

    I'll check out that website, but I've already got things blanketed and brought in my planters. I really enjoy the Medusa for it's fall colors, Black Pearl , which I have seed for, is another favorite. The fruits are such a glossy black :)

    Can you tell I really like unusual things? Especially since we're putting together this gargoyle garden. Now if I could just find some cuttings of mini or micro mini roses for my fairies and living stones for my gnome. I really have no idea what to put in a frog/turtle bed that will have a water feature next year....

    Suggestions?

    Kathy

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Kathy,

    The frog and turtle bed should be easy. Ours is a lily pond in the ground, NOT surrounded by stone. (To me, a whole lot of stonework popping up in the middle of the grassy prairie where we have NO native stone visible just seemed too fake, and I am into having a landscape that fits in with our native prairie....up to a point.) Maybe someday I'll get tired of weedeating back the bermuda to keep it out of the sedges at the water's edge, and maybe then I'll replace it with stonework.

    Our pond is earth-bottomed so the frogs can dig into the mud to hibernate. It has water lilies, which gives them pads to sit on....and they DO sit on them! (I can divide the water lilies in the spring and bring some to the plant swap in April if your water feature will have room for lilies.) It has tall spiky plants (pickerel rush, horsetail reed, cattails (have them and wish we didn't) for the dragon flies to perch upon.

    The pond has a log in it for the turtles to climb on for sunning purposes. One end of the log rests on the foot of the 2' deep pond and the other end rests on the pond bank. Several turtles can sun on it at one time.

    Native prairie sedges planted themselves in the soil at the edge of the pond and the bermuda grass runs right up to the sedges. The sedges give frogs and turtles on land some taller vegetation for protection, because the chickens eat frogs (oh, yes they do!) and so do a couple of the cats (or, at least, they try to).

    In a bed several feet away from the pond, I have lots of plants to give the frogs and turtles a safe place to hang out on land when they wish to--away from the pesky cats and chickens. This bed has fairly low-growing junipers (a couple of feet tall, but with room underneath for both turtles and frogs), a chaste tree (vitex agnus-castus), a chinaberry tree (we had one when I was a kid and I love it even though it is not the highest quality tree), roses, swamp mallows, and various annual and perennial flowers. I let the growth here stay pretty thick to give the little critters protective cover.

    I also have cannas and the giant green elephant ears nearby to give the pond area a sort-of tropical look, and to give the frogs something to sit on. They like to sit on the big broad leaves.

    The turtles like to dig into sandy soil to lay their eggs, so a patch of sandy soil that can be dug up is handy, but they will lay their eggs wherever they choose.

    We have all kinds of frogs and turtles and, needless to say, all we had to do was dig a hole in the ground (Elvis, the guy who put in our tornado shelter dug the hole with his backhoe the same day he put in the tornado shelter) and the frogs and toads and turtles magically appeared.

    Our 'water feature' is more or less round--I didn't want it to look too perfectly round--and about 15' across. It is two feet deep, more or less, and has sloped sides so any small animal or child that falls in can crawl out. There is not a filter or pump, just Mother Nature, and the water is clear most of the time although we get an occasional algae bloom after a big rainfall in hot weather. We have a few mosquito fish and goldfish in the pond to keep mosquito larvae under control.

    A frog or turtle bed sounds like fun. I bet you could find stepping stones in a turtle shape if you like that short of ornamental thing in the garden.

    Of all the various landscape features we have, it is always the lily pond with its frogs and turtles and dragon flies and toads and fish that gets EVERYONE'S attention. People just want to sit and stare at it. I guess there's a little kid inside of each of us, and that kid loves the fogs, turtles and other creatures.

    The only wild things not welcome in our pond are the great blue herons who swoop in to stand in the pond and eat every now and then. The guineas always tell us when the herons have invaded the pond by gathering nearby and squawking their heads off. Then, the dogs and I walk out the door about 15' from the pond, and the heron flies away. Then, Honey, our little blonde terrier mix, chases the heron for as long as she can--usually until it's flown several hundred feet away, and then she returns to us, all proud and excited that she has protected us from the dreaded Great Blue Heron. (Yes, it is ALWAYS a zoo here no matter what.)

    I also like to have a lot of night-blooming flowers (daturas, brugmansias, four o'clocks, moonflower vine, etc.) nearby so we can enjoy looking at them and also enjoy their lovely nighttime fragrance while sitting out by the pond in the evenings.

    And, too, I keep several tropical plants in large pots near the pond because the smaller tree frogs love to hide in their foliage. (Not all frogs, after all, are water lovers! The tree frogs are one of my favorite local creatures.)

    Dawn

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Dawn,

    Well, it looks like all we got here was some heavy dew. Didn't see any frost when I took the dogs out, but it feels chilly enough to have! We're still under the warning for another couple hours, but the sun is coming up now, so I don't think I need to worry. I'm gonna leave the blankets on for another hour or so, let the sun get up, then go out and take them off.

    As far as the water feature, we're still not completely decided on what we wanna do. I'm thinking we'll get a drop in liner, but then again, we've discussed just digging and leaving it mud bottomed for the frogs, turtles and fish to be able to dig down in to. I know there's going to be some sand, either way, for the turtles to lay eggs in. This will probably have a pump because we want to create moving water to run through the fairy bed and gnome home. The fairies will have a small pool along with their stream and the gnome will be able to pan for gold :)Then the large pool will be for the frogs and turtles. We've got some small statues of each that will help decorate.

    Water lilies will be great, that way they will have something to sit on as well as get away from the Oklahoma sun in the summer. I'm going to do mini cattails... but I'm thinking that I may just do bunny tail grass instead. It's going to be in the front yard and there are trees at the fence line a few feet away as well as my morning glories, four o'clocks and sweet peas. I'm thinking of adding some cannas and cordyline in that area as well for the contrasts, so it's nice to know that the various frogs like to sit in the leaves.

    I want a chaste tree sooo badly! I want it for my backyard, though, where my butterfly and hummingbird beds are. I saw one at Lisa's when we met and there were several monarchs in it!

    We normally have lots of frogs here. My Boston Terrier seems to think they're toys just for him, so the frog/turtle bog are going into the front yard so they can at least have some peace from him thinking they're popup toys for his amusement. Cause if they're in the backyard, he finds them and they're not very amused when he starts batting at them to make them jump :)

    I've seen a few turtles around too, but not as many as I use to see in Texas, or even Chickasha for that matter. I'm gonna do plants on three sides and leave the front open for viewing. There will be hostas, for sure, since it's a partial shade area, getting mostly just dappled afternoon sun and some evening sun. Trying to decide what else to put around it. I have some trout lilies that I think would go well there, and those bleeding hearts, a couple will be going in this area as well. There will also be some toad lilies and dwarf frittilaria in that area as well.

    The set up for these beds is along the west fence in my front yard. From the street coming back towards the house the length is about 25- 30 feet. From the street coming back towards the house is the fairy bed, then will be the gnome bed, then the gothic/gargoyle bed then the turtle/frog bog. The turtles and frogs will be closest to the house because it offers more protection for them as well as a more shaded, damper area and they already seem to like the spot. There's also a privacy fence there that keeps the AC unit from view, but there's room for them to escape any predators there.

    None of these beds are going to be really lengthy, but I have ample room to scallop them and make them wider. To make the stream that will run from one to the next, we're going to make a hypertufa or pain old cement run and create little pools by using an old plastic bowl sprayed with oil and settle the cement in sand around it. Then we can just remove the bowl once it's hardened.

    Any other suggestions for plants?

    Kathy

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Bottomed out at 34. I didn't take into consideration soil temps. Probably what kept us above freezing here. I'm glad it didn't freeze. We did have a hard frost though. Doubt it did much if any damage to native plants.

    The bees will be working the aster and sunflower a little longer now. All 8 hives are full of honey, so they should do just fine over the winter.

    randy

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Randy,

    Well, 34 was cold enough for mid-October! I'm glad you missed having a hard freeze, and the bees sound all set for the coming cold months.

    In what I'd term a 'surprise' we have frost on everything here. I wouldn't call it a hard frost, but at least a medium one. I don't expect plant damage since the frost COULD NOT have set on the plants all that long.

    I was up and outside at 3 a.m. and it was 48 degrees, so I really didn't expect the temperatures to make it below 40 by 7 a.m. I walked outside at 8 a.m. and it was 38 degrees and very frosty, and that's what surprised me.....that it dropped so much after 3 a. m. However, I will say that the dew was so heavy at 3 a.m. that I thought it WAS a frost, and even bent down and touched the dew on the grass to make sure it wasn't frost. I went back to sleep thinking the frost was going to miss us after all, and I was obviously wrong.

    Kathy,

    Let me think about plants and get back to you later today. I just popped in to check on 'frost results' before going out to walk the dogs.

    Dawn

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Dawn,

    I went out out 3:40 and it was 36 with no frost on the grass then, just a very heavy dew. I was pretty sure then we would freeze, but it didn't happen.

    Nothing in the 10 day forecast near as cool as last night, so my big tropicals on the back porch are going to stay there for a while.

    randy

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Randy,

    I'm glad the 10-day forecast looks good. Most of the producing vegetables in the garden are done, except for a few tomatoes and peppers but......all the companion-planted herbs and flowers are full, lush, blooming (if they are flowering plants) and gorgeous, and it is nice to see we'll get to enjoy them a bit longer.

    I pulled the potted brugs back out into full sun away from the building/patio cover and they are as happy as they can be.....cool nights, warm days!

    I hope our next reallly cold night doesn't happen until at least November.

    Dawn