Saturday, November 7, 2009

Six Months on, Six Months off

I always miss golfers over winter, but it's time for Time Off. The golf course closed for the winter on September 30th. October was a great month to rekindle my plant passion in earnest.

This zone-pushing devotee finally planted the 33+ year old Trachycarpus fortunei in the ground.

And there in the enclosure is the palm, finally planted where adventitious roots can develop in rich soil.

In the Okanagan? Yup, but winter protection was needed, especially if we have another winter like the last, where temperatures plummeted to -24C (-11F).

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That's Hugh doing a fine job of building the winter protection. One-inch friction-fitted styrofoam lines the prefab panels. Each vertical panel is connected to the adjacent panel with three screws. A clear plastic roof allows light in (but not direct sunshine, which could overheat the enclosure). A 1500 watt utility heater, on a 14 gauge extension cord plugged into a GFI plug, will protect the palm on the coldest nights.

Holy crow, I thought he was building a dog house," admits Kia, relieved.

Sadly, this little palm on Vernon's East Hill--photographed two weeks ago--will succumb before true winter even arrives unless serious effort is made to protect it for winter.

"I'm good at digging," offers Kia, ready for the rescue. I suggest we return next week to see how the palm is faring.