freezes along California coast

Mon, 14 Jan 2013 09:56:57 PST
Hi PBS members along the California coast,
(Those of you in colder climes can just have a good chuckle.)

Record lows were set in LA in the early hours this morning (Jan 14) and tonight (early Tues AM) is expected to freeze again. 
Here in Santa Barbara it was not a record low, but certainly the coldest night so far this winter. 

Right now we are all too busy shuttling our precious pots of bulbs back outdoors from their overnight stay and removing frost blankets from beds but when the extra work subsides, lets compare notes about what species froze. 

I lost the tops at least of the unidentified Amaryllid Ive been waiting for years to see what it is, melted to mush even though covered. My Nerines do not look happy but might survive. The Ipheion do not seem to mind a thick coat of ice crystals. The tall Scilla make dark streaks when frozen (even under a cover) but seem ok. The Narcissus tazetta blooms that laid flat against the grass got frozen with brittle petals but then as they thawed yesterday they showed no sign of damage.  How can they freeze and still be ok? The Amaryllis belladonna leaves got dark green and frozen-looking, though still pliable, likewise the Agapanthus. 

Here it was 30 F on the porch, 32 F under the fleece blankets, and 24 F in the coldest spot of the unprotected bulb boxes. Under one plastic row cover it was 30 F.  The poly fleece, sold as quilt batting, insulates better than the 1 mil clear plastic, sold as drop cloth.

How did others' bulbs fare in the freeze?

- Gastil
Santa Barbara, California

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