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Preparing For the "Polar Plunge"

It's that time of year, and now we're having our first serious freeze warning. The weatherman is calling for freezing temperatures in North Florida on Thursday and Friday nights. The predicted temperatures keep fluctuating, but it seems
that there will definitely be freezing temperature on Friday night, so get prepared.

I'm not doing much for this freeze. I'll rake and dump some leaves over some tender things, but other than that, I'm not going to worry about it. In fact, I want things to die down so I can dig all the gardens up and redo them.

Last year, we had some cold snaps and all I got was a few burned banana leaves and dormancy in things that were supposed to go dormant anyway. This year, I have many fewer things that I care about getting killed. For example, if the pigeon pea dies, I don't really care because I was going to take it out anyway. Same for the papaya. I'll likely lose the bananas, but oh well. I plan on cutting back the tropical hibiscus drastically in the spring, so if they get frozen back, less work for me. The only thing I'll try to save are some cuttings from the brugs (angel trumpets), because I promised those to people. Otherwise, I would just let them freeze down to the ground.

In fact, I'm hoping for a harsh winter so I can just start over with the more cold-hardy plants. I love tropicals, but my place is too tiny to be dragging in tender plants several times a year, so I'm trying to plant what I can out in the garden and get rid of a lot of tender stuff.

In other words, I'm getting old and lazy. I'm tired of spending so much time and effort on gardening. When I lived in SC, annuals froze in the winter, perennials died back, and I didn't worry about it. Winter was a nice break from gardening. That's what I want to get back to. I'll still plant annuals for the bees and butterflies, and a few veggies in containers, but mostly, I want a garden that is not so labor-intensive.

So let the cold winds blow! I'm ready for them.