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Avoiding the frost

 
Posts: 178
Location: 9A Marion County Fl
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My wife is from the Philippines, Ive been married approx 15+ years give or take, there are alot of fruits things that Id like to grow in North Florida, some we grow at our home in Brandon FL such as bananas, jackfruit, mangos ect and I cannot give into the idea of not being able to grow these just a measely 2 hrs north of here.

There has to be a way ( and Im open to all suggestions ) to grow a fairly large Mango tree as an example and not have the fear of losing it every winter.

Crazy as it sounds Im considering havin a few of these trees on the property with the majority of their girth below ground level so that they are super easy to cover when it gets too cold.....I have nothing but sand so how hard ( or expensive ) would it be it get out the backhoe and dig a large hole, find some sort of very large cylindrical object to stand upright and then place the tree down in the hole. Its nothing but sand so any water drains away in a matter of minutes I would think.

Not sure that this would work, not sure what I would use to line the hole with, whatever it was it would have to be fairly cheap cause cheap ideas are the fun ideas.

Maybe some of you guys have experimented with something similar or something different, Id sure like to hear about it.

We have a mango tree here in our yard that gave us maybe 30-40 fruit this year, we have passion vine that has given us more than 100 fruit, we have bananas that just keep producing fig trees  and the list goes on. I cant give all this up.

Thanks
 
Jason Walter
Posts: 178
Location: 9A Marion County Fl
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https://www.ruralking.com/davis-wire-and-gate-3-piece-s-bar-galvanized-hay-feeder-f-3pcsbg19ga

I was thinking something like this. If its 4-5 feet tall. Have 6 inches above ground, wrap it in plastic and bury it.

If the trees grow 8 ft above ground and 4 ft bellow soil surface that is a pretty good sized tree with alot of fruit.

Alot easier to deal with covering up as well
 
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two hours north of bradenton is where things start to change in Florida, for example there are a lot of oak trees just north of Tampa , not so much south of Tampa, the ground gets a little bit of elevation north of I-4, south of I-4--flat as a pancake, just saying, you get a little bit north of there and you can actually start to notice 4 seasons in the year
 
bruce Fine
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want to see a fantastic place in Florida, go visit the Venus project if they still accept visitors
 
pollinator
Posts: 406
Location: Vermont, USA
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Hi Jason -

I just watched Paul's hugelculture microdocumentary (I "won" it on the kickstarter; not sure where you can find it) and they made a big, south-facing, horseshoe-shaped hugelculture raised (big) bed.  In the cradle of the horseshoe shape, it would stay much warmer through the winter.  They also used large rocks to absorb heat and give it back slowly overnight.

There are other techniques to creating microclimates.  Up against the southern wall of your home, for example.  The sun's heat will keep that wall warm, and the warmth of the home would lend some heat overnight, too.  There are also a lot of articles about protecting a tree over the winter.  I'm looking at fig trees with longing here in Zone 5!

 
pollinator
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I'm with Anne, I think that using suntraps and thermal mass has a better chance of being a long term solution than trying to maintain a large tree in a hole.

Do you know if you would be able to access large rocks? If you can make south facing, slightly elevated planting sites with large thermal mass on the north side you should.be able to increase your nighttime lows a fair degree.
 
Jason Walter
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Location: 9A Marion County Fl
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I appreciate the replies, Im gonna get this one figured out, maybe my idea was a little over the top initially, my eyes are always bigger than my wallet. I planted 2 more fruit trees this morning, both are good down to mid twenties but Im pretty sure there is a good chance that there could be nights cooler than that. There has to be a surefire fairly simple aesthetically appealing solution.

I was thinking on the way back from my property about heat lamps, Im sure that there isnt much that hasnt been tried so who am I to think that I can come up with a solution I suppose.

I dont know why I did not get notifications that there were replies to this topic.

Good luck with the fig trees, I love figs but I have not had much luck with my very limited attempts. Ive got 2 Turkey figs in large pots growing now, I plan to put them in the ground come next spring.
 
Jason Walter
Posts: 178
Location: 9A Marion County Fl
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Here in Plant City the strawberry farmers will spray water all over the plants before a freeze is expected. Ive never looked any further into this, has anyone here tried it. There are some you tube videos showing this as well but I cannot obviously converse with the creators of the vidoes.
 
Jason Walter
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I found this comment interesting from someone having experience: Understand what you are doing fully before you try this.  I had very bad results, not because the process isn't sound, but because I didn't fully understand what I was doing.  May 9th 2020 I tried this concept on some plum and pear trees that where about to bloom.  Best course of action would have been to do nothing.  The temps did get to 25-26 degrees, but the plants that had NOTHING done to them lived with little to no problem.  The trees I watered where about a 100% loss.  Where I went wrong was I used a hand sprayer and I went from tree to tree spraying each for maybe 2-3 minutes.  I did 6 trees in different areas so there was probably 15-20 minutes in-between my spray times by the time I got back to the tree.  When I went into this I figured the worst that could happen is they would suffer damage like the ones I didn't spray.  Just the opposite.  The ones I sprayed suffered FAR worse damage then the ones I didn't.  I started at 3:30am and went till the morning temps were 36 degrees.  I could tell before I finished that the buds under the ice were yellowing and the leaves appeared severely damaged.  If you do this you need to use a sprinkler and you need to leave it on in one area for the full time.  Do not do cycles.  The ice itself is not protecting the tree.  If that was the case my trees would be fine as they had a 1/8" - 1/4" layer of ice on them.  It's the constant formation of water to ice that warms the tree.  Starting and stopping causes some other reaction that is not good trust me.  I had to comment as I do not want someone else to experience this issue.  Once again the process is sound, but the devil is in the details!
 
gardener
Posts: 412
Location: Nara, Japan. Zone 8-ish
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Jason, I hadn't heard of the constant sprinkler method. That's interesting.

Farmers growing tea in areas with mild frosts in Japan often use "anti-frost fans" (防霜ファン)set high off the ground. The idea is that the air 6-8 meters up is a few degrees warmer. The fans turn on automatically and blow the warm air down onto the tea bushes preventing frost damage.

From a manufacturer's website (Japanese):



You need a lot of fans to cover a field.



Tea fields looked very bizarre to me when I first moved here.





 
Jason Walter
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Location: 9A Marion County Fl
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Thats REALLY neat Amy. I love learning new things and youve made my morning. You live in Japan? Thats cool  ( get it cool/fans/nudge nudge )

The biggest issue I have is that I do not live on the property yet and it wont be till a few years that I do. I am paying a guy to once a week water my trees and I may ask him when winter hits to cover my plants, Im not sure that he is doing what Im paying him to do now, not sure that I can trust him to cover my trees either, they are small so it would be easy but you know how that goes

Heck Im not even sure if I lived there myself that Id cover them, Im the farthest thing from lazy but I dont even cover my trees here in Brandon where I live now

 
pollinator
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https://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2020/04/fruit-trenches-cultivating-subtropical-plants-in-freezing-temperatures.html


This looks like what you are talking about, it was used to grow citrus in Russia.
 
Jason Walter
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Skandi Rogers wrote:https://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2020/04/fruit-trenches-cultivating-subtropical-plants-in-freezing-temperatures.html


This looks like what you are talking about, it was used to grow citrus in Russia.





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