Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Baby, Is It Cold Outside?

Orange, ripe for the picking in early December.
This time of year I obsess about the weather. It’s not so much that I want it to snow, which I do because, as a Texan, we long for those white holidays, where the entire state practically shuts down at the hint of snow, which inevitably turns into an ice mess. It’s for a wholly different reason: should I turn on the heater in the greenhouse? Four years ago, according to various Facebook friends sharing their memories for December 6, 2013, we had snow.

This year it’s been abnormally warm. I’m not gonna say “climate change,” but I’m seriously thinking climate change. We’ve hit record highs for November and December. Due to this odd weather, I’ve put off hauling my citrus trees, avocado tree, and other delicate plants I usually overwinter into the greenhouse. It’s not like we haven’t had chilly morning temperatures, but our mid-day to afternoon temps have been so high, having plants in the greenhouse would cook them. On a nice, balmy 57 degree day, the greenhouse temperature, even with a window cracked, can get up to 100 degrees if I don’t prop open the door and fully open the top and side windows.

So, due to our little late fall heatwaves, I have kept all those beautiful plants right out on the patio. I keep stalking the Weather Channel, though, just to see if I might possibly have to do an emergency clearing. So far, the scariest day coming up is this Thursday night/Friday morning, where for 14 hours straight the temperatures (at the airport, I’m sure) will be below 40. The high on Friday? 57 degrees.

I see this as a challenge- how long can I go before the plants need permanent winter shelter? Will it happen Thursday…I’m still debating that- if it happens, it’s going to happen tonight. The extended forecast has highs in the 60s and 70s through December 20th so far. I’m predicting we won't see a White Christmas in 2017.

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