The preparations are pretty simple. With most of the container plants already stored in the garage we pull out old sheets purchased super cheap at the end of an estate sale. You can see why they didn't sell early on. The winds that blew in ahead of the cold front have died down so the sheets stay put. When the wind is blowing we have plenty of rocks available. Sheets bring up the temperature just a few degrees but it's enough for most of our usually light freezes.
The Bismarck Palms lost all their fronds in last winter's exceptional cold and the much smaller plants are easier to cover this year. We fold the fronds up, wrap a sheet around and then slip a coffee sack over to secure. With all this early cold the palms might wish to be transported to the tropics instead.
The Agave ovatifolia is quite hardy so it doesn't get covered unless much colder weather is predicted.
While I was outside in the cold with the camera, I turned around and noticed the Gulf Muhly backlit at sunset.
For the hardy artichoke I just put an empty pot over top. Did it freeze? No, it didn't actually freeze last night with the low only 32.5 at 7 am. The record for this date is 22F so it's early but not unheard of to get this cold.
The lemon yellow sheet goes over the Meyer Lemon. The Dyckia on the right didn't need covering but a tarp was handy.
It's important in our climate to remove the covers early so the plants don't get too hot. This morning the sunshine is warming things up quickly. No frozen lemon concentrate on the menu.
These lemons should be happy to stay outside and continue turning over the next few weeks.
It's not pretty but it works and a drive through the neighborhood on a freezing day you will see more scenes just like this. It's supposed to be near 80F later in the week so covering the plants can mean extending the season another 10 days or maybe even longer.