Wow this reminds me of the 60s and 70s in Tampa, when colder damper winters were the norm. When I walked to the henhouse this morning to open it I noticed immediately that the soil was frozen! And even on 12 gallon buckets of rain water were sheets of ice as seen here. Guess who has his bedwarmer cranked up before he crashes?
While this amazing freeze WILL, sadly, negate the hard-earned incomes of strawberry and tomato and citrus farmers all over Florida, I am trying to focus on the few benefits:
1. Dead mosquitos and garden pest insects and red spider mites
2. We will all prune HARD this spring and thus have tons of raw material for our compost bins and sheet composting efforts.
3. My growing collection of Hybrid Perpetual and Bourbon roses, grown in 18 gallon Water Wise Container Gardens, plus my beloved "Fairmount Red", will LOVE all this winter dormancy and could well bless me with a wonderful bloom phase in March, April and May.
4. I am guessing that fleas and flea larvae in people's yards will get nuked by this intense cold.
5. U.S. Gulf coast residents, (including Floridians) growing stone fruits and grapes could well see much better fruit set this year.
6. This could kill vast numbers of invasive boas, pythons, and Cuban Brown Anoles here in Florida.
My house is packed with potted plants brought in the last few days as I imagine so many other Floridian homes are too. The whole southeast US is getting slammed by this cold El Nino winter...but I am inclined to see it as a corrective balance to years of obvious global warming changes.
Stay safe and snug and warm! John