Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Advisory Capacity.

I'm not sure I believe it any longer: last night the clouds held on just long enough and it was still 43 on the WeatherDeck when I went to bed and so I took my chances and left the azaleas to fend for themselves. They did fine— our Frost Advisory got canceled sometime overnight, and the temps held on, and even though we've still got a Freeze Watch up for tonight, I'm not sure I believe it. It's 60 degrees. Feels like it might even yet warm up a little past that. Still: There's not a great deal of heat to the air, and you can tell it'll fall off good and hard once the sun goes down. Somebody's going to get a freeze out of this. Perhaps a frost. I'm just not quite entirely fully sure it's going to be us.

Nonetheless, ANYLF is happy to provide the following diagram so that you can figure out where you might live on the map, or if you live on the map, and then you may feel free to work a little bit on dialing your own level of horticultural panic up to just the right spot:

Pink is frost. Dark pink is freeze. Here's the official ANYLF recommendation: Check the weather one or thirty more times between now and, oh, nine or ten o'clock. Then go ahead with your small, persistent panic, and cover over your delicates with bedsheets no matter what. It's just the one night. Even if you don't believe it, do it anyway.

I'm just doing the big azaleas and the two hydrangeas out front. Leaving the roses alone. Pulling some basil I've got in a pot in for the evening. Not covering the hostas. Not covering the daylilies. Last year during our April freeze I went a little crazy, covered most of the yard with sheets and towels and various shielding contraptionary deviceage. This year: Simple and low-key. Save what needs saving. Let those that do fine on their own do fine on their own.

And probably even those few measures will turn out to be overkill. Probably all will come through just fine. Probably we won't even hit 32 degrees. Probably. But my azaleas are the pink and dark pink, actually, of the frost and freeze advisories, and I don't much want to lose those two years in a row. I missed them last year when they got all crushed and frozen. So. Better safe than. And, anyway, all this may be the good kind of panic, because this — this wee chance of wee freeze — is the kind you feel like you just might be able to take care of. Couple of bedsheets. Any time you've got a problem, and the best good answer is Throw a bedsheet over that, I feel like probably you're in fairly fine shape.

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