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Cold moon brings out the haints

March 5, 2012

Our frost/freeze “safe” day here in N GA typically has been after Easter or The Masters golf tournament, usually sometime around the 2nd week of April.

In 2011 it was March 12.

In 2010 it was March 8.

We have a hard freeze in the forecast tonight (March 5) with a lows predicted between 27 and 29 depending on who you listen to…

Normally this wouldn’t be an issue as I have learned not to push things by putting out transplants out too early. However, I have no control over the interaction between my blueberry plants and the mild winter thus far and that is the subject of this post.

Rabbiteye blueberries are fairly hardy, although a long “indian summer” aka mild winter can induce early blooming. Early blooming raises the risk of damage since the blossoms aren’t as hardy the rest of the plant as they are opening.
Problem 1: Temperature. 27-29 can be enough to damage under certain conditions. See problems 2 & 3.
Problem 2: Wind. Modest wind is good, negligible or the absence of any wind is bad. Although it seems backwards still air can create a situation where the cooler air pools around the plants and small cold “micro climates” are created. Note: If overhead irrigation is used the opposite is true- wind means evaporation, sprinkler moisture evaporates rapidly and lowers the temperatures.
Problem 3: Dewpoint. Low dewpoint = worse than high dewpoint, since drier air means more evaporation which means exaggerated effect of low temps. What is a low dewpoint in this application? lower than the temperature by a few degrees.

So-
Problem 1: Borderline temps +
Problem 2 – Virtually no wind tonight +
Problem 3- a dewpoint under 20 tonight =
any early blueberry flowers on my bushes are likely screwed without some action.

Do I have flowers? Yes, 4 of the 6 bushes have enough flowers to worry me:

Enter plan B: Agribon row cover

(I’m glad I bought the big roll now instead of the 50′ section)

I cut 4 sections out and covered the 4 at risk bushes, which leads me to the “haints” referenced in the post title.

What is a haint? The urban dictionary offers a pretty good explanation here. (note: I’m not the entries referring to scary women this time.)

For those of you who didn’t follow the link and aren’t sure, a “haint” is southern version of “haunt” which is also used to describer a “ghost”. Yes, redneck and rural african american ghosts, that’s what haints are.

So, are you ready to see the haints?

First, some proper ambiance courtesy of this evening’s moon:

(Drumroll…….)

Haints:

Our OCD toy poodle wasn’t really keen on the haints appearing out of nowhere this evening; he kept a wary eye on them and maintained a low growl just now as he went out for his evening relief. Why not, he obviously knows what haints are.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 6, 2012 5:06 am

    Boo!!

  2. March 6, 2012 11:12 am

    excellent… I hope you have a veritable blueberry bounty this year.

  3. Go Vandy permalink
    March 11, 2012 6:04 pm

    Dude……….you’re outta control!

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