Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Desert Gardens for Small Spaces - Frost Protection

Posted By on Wed, Dec 19, 2012 at 9:37 AM

With so many new homes in Tucson and similar desert cities creating small loft apartments, patio homes and remodeled barrio homes, I thought it time to concentrate on how potted gardens fill the desire to have a garden - regardless of limited small outside spaces.

We are experiencing our cold December and therefore it is important to be mindful of the micro-climate of our home. Elevations, nearby washes, hardscape, and orientation of your home all contribute to this phenomenon. An inner city balcony might be warmer than the sidewalk entrance, depending on which side of the building it is on. Paying close attention to the differences around your home and in your neighborhood will help you develop a sense of what plants do well for you and what you need to protect in the event of a freeze or frost alert. You might want to pick up an outdoor thermometer that has one or two extra sensors where you can record daily high and low temperatures to see what the different temperatures are.

Tips for preventing frost damage:

* Water the plants well the morning before possible frost/freeze.
* Cover with frost cloth. Do not use plastic covers.
* Tie or fasten the bottom so that the air does not get under it. Use clothespins!
* Bring potted plants that are very tender close to protected walls, under balcony rooves,
in garages or inside if possible.
* Use Styrofoam cups on columnar cactus tips.

Have a question? Email Marylee

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