Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Does Anyone Else Still Have Their Christmas Lights Up?

Procrastination is often detrimental to the success of a garden.  Seeds aren't sown in time and aren't ready for the summer heat.  Weeds aren't pulled and quickly take over the garden.  Garden blogs don't get updated for months at a time . . .  But every gardener has experienced a little beneficial procrastination.  That beloved plant that up and dies out of the blue that you can't bear to throw out.  You stick it in the left-for-dead pile and suddenly next season it comes back to life - Wa-hoo!
This year, we've delayed getting on Christmas lights down.  Certainly mid-January is far from epic procrastination: A friend of mine's mother kept the Christmas decorations up in her house well into July, but that was generally interpreted to mean she wasn't taking her recent divorce too well.   Mid-January is late for us, though.  Here's where the beneficial part comes in.  This year the freezing temps came early in November and December.  Usually I cover as much as I can with sheets, fitting most plants only half way, and hope for the best.  I normally loose just about everything.  This year, I thought I'd focus all my efforts on to one plant, the philodendron in the front garden.  Every night before a frost I've covered it with two sheets, one of them flannel! I filled several gallon milk jugs with hot water and placed them near the plant in hopes the heat would radiate out and get trapped by the sheets.  Also, this plant was nicely wrapped up with Christmas lights.  I've kept them up, the theory being that the electricity in the wires is enough to keep the temperature up half a degree or two.  I'm sure there is a fire hazard here, but so far, so good, and the plant has had minimal damage.  This year, the Christmas lights will stay up a bit longer.  The giant inflatable Snoopy?  It is coming down.

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