Saturday, December 10, 2011

Clear means cold

All week we have woken to 28 degrees.  We get that cold when it is clear in the valley.  So with the cold comes gorgeous views of the Sierra Nevada.  Also with the cold comes much work for citrus farmers who must be up all night running their smokers and wind machines trying to keep their trees warm.  Here at home Jerry hangs a work light in the middle of the orange tree and turns on a dribble of water underneath.  The moving water makes the air just a tad warmer. 
The benefit of the cold is that many other plants, especially the stone fruit and nuts, along with the garden plants peony and lilac, just to name a few, need cold hours in order to bloom and fruit the following season.  It is interesting to follow the cold at the Pomology Weather Service  .  There is information on various plants saying how many cold hours under a certain temperature each needs for optimal performance.  800 is sort of a minimal general number. 
I love living where so many different things grow, with such varying needs, yet all succeed. 

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