A week and a half ago (Apr 13 and 14), we had two nights of hard freezing temperatures in much of the Pikes Peak area. Temperatures got down into the teens, and it seemed likely that many early blooming fruit trees might lose their almost-ready-to-open blooms. (We’ve written about fruit trees and freezing temps before here.) Amazingly, given what we know about fruit tree blossoms and killing temperatures, it seems that many of those trees escaped losing all of the blooms and may have only suffered some frost/freeze damage.

Here are some photos of a crabapple that is blooming in my yard this week (about a week later than “normal” – it was just about to open before it was set back by the freeze). (more…)

crabapple_frozen.jpgIt’s no secret the weather was incredibly warm (and dry!) in March in our area this year. People have been thrilled to see plants greening up and blooming earlier than usual. In fact, many of our flowering fruit trees, such as peaches and apples (including crabapples), are blooming well over two weeks early this year.

The problem is, the earlier these trees start blooming, the more vulnerable they are to spring frosts and freezes that often occur in early-to-mid April. And tonight, we are predicted to get down to 27 degrees (or lower!) in the Pikes Peak region. I used to think that as long as my tree had finished blooming before a major frost like this hit, it was okay and going to have fruit. Last year proved me wrong. And this year, my tree is just starting its bloom with this frost coming. (more…)

snow_october.jpg

Oct 17, 2006

Yes, you’re right. Our first fall frost does seem to be taking its time in the Pikes Peak foothills and plains region this year! Unlike more typical October weather (see photo at left), we’ve had very warm temperatures and super dry conditions. In fact, the previous record latest date for the first fall frost (official temperature reading taken at the Colorado Springs airport) was Oct 18 (this happened in 1972 and 1980).

Well, the suspense is over! It looks like the new record will be Oct 25 or 26, 2010. (Update: The first frost/freeze occurred Oct 27, 2010 and the temperature was 18 degrees!)

We have a definite freeze watch with a predicted low of 27 degrees F for tonight (Oct 25), which should be enough to defeat most frost protection measures (of course, I’m not talking about the really crazy gardeners who put Christmas lights under their plastic hoop houses to keep temps up). And if tonight doesn’t deliver the killing freeze, it looks like tomorrow night will (predicted low of 25 deg F). (more…)