Every fall, a small city in Northern Ohio hosts a woolly bear competition to honor these rust and black coloured caterpillars of the Isabella Tiger moth. Legend says the quantity of black discovered on every finish of the caterpillar is an indicator of the severity of the upcoming winter.
Woolly Bear Caterpillar Winter Prediction
Though science has de-mythed the folklore, it appears to me that these simple bugs can predict long run winter climate patterns in addition to any college-educated meteorologist. In spite of everything, if people might predict the longer term, life can be a lot easier.
Living proof, if I knew the precise date of the final spring frost, I’d by no means must rush exterior at nightfall to throw protective coverings over newly transplanted seedlings. I’d merely look ahead to frost-free climate to plant my frost-tender veggie crops.
Nonetheless, I all the time take discover of woolly bear caterpillars within the fall. If their prediction matches that of climate forecasters, I do know to be cautious. Winters in Ohio can generally carry a whole lot of snow and subzero temperatures.
How to Protect Container Plants in Winter
The overwhelming majority of perennials I plant within the yard are winter hardy in my rising zone. Thus, the crops which obtain probably the most injury from a severely chilly winter are my container fig trees. Their dimension precludes me from bringing them inside the home for the winter. Moreover, these deciduous fruit-bearers require 100 chill hours with the intention to correctly break dormancy and produce figs.
For me, this implies storing my container figs in my enclosed, however unheated entrance porch. Many gardeners discover an connected storage additionally works properly for winter storage of non-hardy species of container crops.
Chilly Tolerance of Brown Turkey Fig Tree
In the event you’re questioning about fig tree cold-tolerance minimal temperatures, it’s round 15 levels F. (- 9.4 C.). Most winters, the temperature inside my entrance porch stays a toasty 35 to 40 levels F. (1.7-4.4 C.).
I do know this as a result of I now use a wi-fi indoor/outside thermometer. These cheap devices encompass a distant sensor which I place within the entrance porch. The bottom station sits properly inside my view on the hearth mantle.
The learn out is massive sufficient that I don’t want my glasses to see it. (A plus for us older gardeners.) Irrespective of if I’m watching the forecast on the nightly information or simply occur to be strolling previous the hearth, a fast look is all that’s wanted for me to know my container figs are secure from chilly injury.
Stopping Chilly Injury in Fig Timber
Prior to buying any such thermometer, my container figs would sometimes endure bud or twig dieback when the skin ambient temperature dropped into the one digits. This might put the temperature within the entrance porch into the sub-freezing zone.
The quantity of injury depended upon how chilly the entrance porch bought and the way lengthy the chilly lasted. Now, each time the thermometer readout signifies the temperature contained in the entrance porch is dropping towards the freezing level, I do know to crack open the entrance porch door which leads into the home.
This lets sufficient heat air trickle into the enclosed porch to take care of the temperature above the freezing level. Fortunately, most winters we solely obtain an evening or two of severely chilly climate and the hit on my heating invoice may be very minimal.
But, I can keep in mind one winter which was completely brutal. This was earlier than I used the indoor/outside thermometer to warn me. Subsequently, my container figs took successful. And considering again to the earlier fall, neither people nor woolly bears had seen that chilly snap coming.
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