Frost Patrol: Winners and losers

Our most frigid weather in 34 years is apparently behind us.  It is all blue skies today with temps stretching for 70 F.   But while our Frost Patrol duties are behind for the coming week or so, our plants suffered much damage in the yard and driveway here in central Phoenix.

The Patrol, which consists of Nebra and me, covered for the first time this winter many of our plants with sheets and gunny sacks during the unprecedented wave of Arctic cold.  The blast struck on four successive sub-freezing nights, Jan. 12-15, hitting  31, 30, 30 and 29 degrees.  Very cold indeed for the Sonoran Desert, the first time since 1978 that sub-freezing temps were recorded on this many nights in a row.   In addition, we watered all of them before the storm.

The biggest losers were the Bougainvillea, Wedelia, sweet potato and Lantana.  Almost all were destroyed or drastically hurt.

Survivors of note:  Vinca,  roses (uncovered), geraniums, petunias, Dianthus, ice plant, ferns, Gazania, marigolds, English ivy,  red and purple Salvia, Golden Fleece and a few others.  Plus of course all desert plants.

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