Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cover the trees and company has started to arrive

I always wait until the last minute the last minute to cover my sensitive trees.  It is supposed to get in the high twenties tonight.  That's really the lowest temperature it gets all winter and for it to come in November is a bit unusual.  I got the trees covered this evening after dinner.  That's better than in the middle of the night when frost is already on the ground.  That's what I did last year.  We didn't lose any trees then and I don't expect to lose any this year either. 

The kumquat trees (would remind you of a small sour orange) can take weather into the mid twenties and they are about four or five feet tall now, so I'm not worried about them.  They will make it through the weather alright.  The fruit may not all make it, but that's ok too.  The trees are so loaded with kumquats that we won't be able to eat them all and there's only so much kumquat marmalade that we will eat each year. 

The two tangerine trees still need to be babied.  They are a couple of years old but around here it seems to take six or seven years for the citrus trees to come out of their shock and start producing.  At this time they are much more tolerant to the colder temperatures.  The outer branches may die back but the trees won't die.  I this the two new tangerines wouldn't make it if they weren't completely protected.  Right now they just have plastic covering them.  Last year I rigged up a different kind of cover.  I was able to secure old fire shelters (fire departments changed out from the old shelter to the new shelter).  These old shelters have a heavy duty shiny aluminum which I had facing toward the inside of the tree on the west side of the tree and I had the plastic on the east side of the tree.  That way, in the morning when the sun came up over the hill it would shine through the plastic to the aluminum and helped warm up the little tree shelter.  It worked well enough that I didn't lose any of the trees last year.  They came through winter really healthy.  I'm sure I'm going to do that again this year, but it won't be before the first frost tonight.  Each time I wait I ask myself why I didn't get the plastic on a week before the expected frost?  I always seem to have other things come up.

I do have my avocado tree which I am pampering.  This is the third one I've planted over the past 13 years.  This one has been in the ground for three years now and I expect it to take off next spring.  It came through this summer really healthy looking and put on quite a bit of growth (it's only 3 feet tall, but it's thick and lush).  It's extremely well covered in plastic and shouldn't have any damage. 

The Thanksgiving company started arriving yesterday.  As of today we have four extra kids, three extra adults, and two extra dogs.  It was very noisy having six kids under 10 running around.  Then the four year old wanted some entertainment.  Please get out your music box.  This meant the accordion.  Are you sure you don't want me to play the piano.  No, the one that I hold in my lap.  Why not?  The house is already chaotic, what's more noise going to hurt?  As I was playing Back in the Saddle Again, everyone was talking about how families used to keep themselves entertained by talking, playing games, and playing music.  While the house was loud, the tv and radio were never turned on.  I'm sure that will change because tomorrow there will be some die hard football fans here who wouldn't dream of missing a game to instead sit around and be entertained by an accordion.

One of the house guests is allergic to cats.  This isn't good considering we have four of them running in and out of the house.  That family asked if they could sleep in the trailer.  They have a motor home that they share with other family members and it wasn't their week for it so they didn't bring it here.  It's fine with me.  I just removed some of the personal items that I didn't want them coming across by accident. 

I'm trying to type this with a one year old grandson on my lap.  He couldn't sleep and before he woke up the rest of the house with his crying I picked him up and put him on my lap.  He's sleeping sitting up but at least he's quiet.  It's peaceful here as the rest of the house is asleep.  The chores are done and the bread dough is rising on the counter.  Nothing else is prepared for tomorrow.  We'll that's what the morning is for.

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