Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
PalmTreeDude

What Is Your Best Yard Microclimate?

Recommended Posts

PalmTreeDude

What is the best microclimate in your yard? Mine is a part of my back yard in a corner that faces south it has Leyland Cypress and other trees and bushes all aro around it to the north, which usually protects this area from the first few frosts. Don't mind my two raised beds, the winds from Michael messed them up. The Elephant Ears in the back never bor big like the ones in my front yard. 

 

1540068538378738.jpg

Edited by PalmTreeDude

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PalmatierMeg

My best microclimate is in my jungle overlooking my canal in my south-facing back yard. The dense canopy provides a 10-15 degree heat relief on a sweltering day and blocks the hot sun and wind. The canal offers a bit of cold moderation in winter while the house and side yards help block north winds. At least I like to think so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kinzyjr

Mine is also my back yard.  That part of the yard is shielded from the north by podocarpus hedges 12-15 feet high, has overhead canopy from a mature live oak tree, and the west wind is blocked by the house.  The front yard has seen frost numerous times since it is open, but I've not seen frost on the ground in 8 years back there.  The effect has been so pronounced that I bought a live oak tree to grow as canopy for the front.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moose

Front yard up against the house, southerly exposure. Next to the chimney is the warmest when I crank the fire place. Fire place not used in long, long time, overheats the house.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mdsonofthesouth

My eastern side of my house rarely if ever freezes the past 2 winters and is blocked by the worst of our winter winds which usually come from the west. It also gets most of the days sun which could explain why it rarely freezes. Also have a good spot on the south eastern corner that's blocked from western and northern winds and gets even more sun. Will be planting these areas in March of next year finally as the addition went on months past our quoted time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GottmitAlex
On 10/21/2018, 1:39:21, mdsonofthesouth said:

My eastern side of my house rarely if ever freezes the past 2 winters and is blocked by the worst of our winter winds which usually come from the west. It also gets most of the days sun which could explain why it rarely freezes. Also have a good spot on the south eastern corner that's blocked from western and northern winds and gets even more sun. Will be planting these areas in March of next year finally as the addition went on months past our quoted time.

I suggest placing a high/low thermometer in that particular spot. If it's in Maryland, I'm pretty sure it gets to below freezing...  I pray I'm wrong.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mdsonofthesouth
1 hour ago, GottmitAlex said:

I suggest placing a high/low thermometer in that particular spot. If it's in Maryland, I'm pretty sure it gets to below freezing...  I pray I'm wrong.

 

Oh it gets bellow freezing and it frosts over there most times, but the ground is soft 8/10 times the rest of the property freezes. It's only a small part and it certainly is an oddity. Last time I measured during a hard frost when the rest of the property was solid about 4 or 6in down the east southeast soil was soft and 34 to 36f. Most of our bad winter winds are western based and this area is blocked completely while still getting good sun. 

 

So an oddity for sure but not frost or freeze proof by any means.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Josue Diaz

There is a 4-foot strip of plantable space between my house and driveway that faces south and has full sun exposure. It is raised about a foot and drains really well. Our winters are prolonged, wet and cool (even during years when we don't get any frost). I've found that keeping tropicals dry in winter helps to keep them from developing rot. I can grow plumeria and pachypodium here, whereas in other areas of the yard they might develop rot and die. The overhanging eaves help protect from the occasional frost also. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jubaea

I would say the best micro climate is in in a raised bed area where an avocado tree provides overhead protection with western exposre.  In this spot I planted a mango seedling and a Pachypodim lameri expecting them to die during the first winter.  Three years later are both doing well and the Pachypodium has never gone complexly dormant meaning that it has always held green leaves even during the coldest months.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tropicbreeze

Depends a bit on what's being planted. Difficulty here is the sun is to the north for 8 months of the year and to the south for 4 months. Things that need shade have to be in from the edge of canopy otherwise they'll burn at some stage during the year. If they need sun they need to be away from canopy, or be a part of it. The other consideration is shelter from wind. South east winds are predominantly hot and dry during the dry season. The other winds tend to be more humid. Usually I try to research plant habitats to work out where it would be most suitable for them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GottmitAlex

West side of the yard is where the best microclimate can be found in my garden.

In fact 6:30pm pst, the TJ airport is reporting 14C.  Here, it's 18C.

 

 

20181029_182823.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palm crazy

 

For me, the Best spot is in between the two houses on the east side of the house. I have several Butia's planted there. And, the south facing front porch is very protected that's where I grow my potted Agaves. I also have a few small spots here and there tucked underneath some taller palms on the west side of the house. Those areas I grow one cycad and semi-tender palms on a downward slope. 

 

DSC_0056 copy 2.jpg

Edited by Palm crazy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chester B

Small garden facing SW right by my front door and protected by the garage from the east winds.  In summer it can be 20F+ warmer than ambient temps elsewhere in the yard.  Today its 6F warmer but will heat up as the sun moves west in the afternoon.

Butia 2.jpg

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RJ
39 minutes ago, Chester B said:

Small garden facing SW right by my front door and protected by the garage from the east winds.  In summer it can be 20F+ warmer than ambient temps elsewhere in the yard.  Today its 6F warmer but will heat up as the sun moves west in the afternoon.

Butia 2.jpg

Beautiful butia! Wait till it gets some trunk to it. It's going to really look nice there. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chester B

Thanks!  It's actually bigger than it looks, its a good 2' or 3' taller than me.  I have some small mule palms in pots that are tempting me to put them on the other side of the path where I have some cactus growing.

Front 1.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mdsonofthesouth

Here is a prime example of my best microclimate.

 

This one was taken several hours later and still had snow. The above melted well before the video and what you saw was shovel/plowed extra snow that was added by me. We got around 3in of heavy wet snow 1+ months before our typical window. But at least it showcases the difference well.

 

 

 

 

Edited by mdsonofthesouth
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RJ

Is that AC unit a heat pump as well? 

 

The snow is also melted more quickly there because of the lack of grass, Your ground is still warm, and the direct contact the snow has on the warm dirt as opposed to on the grass causes it to melt quickly. That's why you often see snow accumulate first on grass surfaces. Also notice you still have snow on your bark mulch. 

 

 

Edited by RJ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mdsonofthesouth
3 hours ago, RJ said:

Is that AC unit a heat pump as well? 

 

The snow is also melted more quickly there because of the lack of grass, Your ground is still warm, and the direct contact the snow has on the warm dirt as opposed to on the grass causes it to melt quickly. That's why you often see snow accumulate first on grass surfaces. Also notice you still have snow on your bark mulch. 

 

 

 

Thats a window unit for the shop and a mini split for the addition. This is exactly what happened even when there was grass in that spot and when the ground would freeze here and there this spot almost always would stay soft and unfrozen. It gets the first sun of the day and pretty much full sun all day...well for the most part. Also sloped pretty well for drainage I guess and between warm asphalt and a warm concrete/house. I need to till in some sand and put mulch down soon as the funds for that job come through, but for now thats how itll be. Cant wait to plant there in the spring and see the differences to my northwest corner!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RJ

Is the mini split also a heating unit? Many are, but not all. You're pretty far north so perhaps have NG/LP for heat or even oil. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mdsonofthesouth
41 minutes ago, RJ said:

Is the mini split also a heating unit? Many are, but not all. You're pretty far north so perhaps have NG/LP for heat or even oil. 

 lol not as far north as you think Maybe 7.5 give or take hours from you and the most common type of heat here is by far heat pump. Yes both the "window" and split unit do both heat and ac. There are older houses with oil heat but they are mostly to the west and when you get to the really cold areas up by West Virginia you might even find really old homes with coal lol. 

 

We went for a split unit to save lots of $$$ with our addition and the window unit is for the shop and easily keeps the area at 68 even on the coldest nights and the door cracked. 

Edited by mdsonofthesouth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RJ
21 minutes ago, mdsonofthesouth said:

 lol not as far north as you think Maybe 7.5 give or take hours from you and the most common type of heat here is by far heat pump. Yes both the "window" and split unit do both heat and ac. There are older houses with oil heat but they are mostly to the west and when you get to the really cold areas up by West Virginia you might even find really old homes with coal lol. 

 

We went for a split unit to save lots of $$$ with our addition and the window unit is for the shop and easily keeps the area at 68 even on the coldest nights and the door cracked. 

Okay, the reason I was wondering is be careful as to your palm placement.  As you may or may not know all a heat pump/ AC unit does is move "heat" from one place to the other. In the winter it extracts heat from the outside air and moves it inside. So it will do the exact opposite as the AC unit in the summer, the air coming off that unit will be colder then the ambient air temperature. 

 

Heat pumps are certainly a good way to save money, even when I lived up by Canada folks are installing them as they now have air source heat pumps that are efficient down to -14f,  I lived in a cold 5a. Outside palms where a non starter. :unsure:

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mdsonofthesouth
9 minutes ago, RJ said:

Okay, the reason I was wondering is be careful as to your palm placement.  As you may or may not know all a heat pump/ AC unit does is move "heat" from one place to the other. In the winter it extracts heat from the outside air and moves it inside. So it will do the exact opposite as the AC unit in the summer, the air coming off that unit will be colder then the ambient air temperature. 

 

Heat pumps are certainly a good way to save money, even when I lived up by Canada folks are installing them as they now have air source heat pumps that are efficient down to -14f,  I lived in a cold 5a. Outside palms where a non starter. :unsure:

 

Good to know thanks! Maybe Ill do smaller palms in those nooks surrounded by bullet proof palms like needles. The space is pretty large and will take a whole lot of plants to fill it up lol so no need to plant near the units. Was more or less looking at that nook by the chimney as the most shielded area of my garden that would be best for the butia I plan on trying and have that shield the chamarodea radicalis I plan on trying as well. Come Februrary/March Ill be busy in the garden for sure! Still haven't prepped the palms for winter...

Edited by mdsonofthesouth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mdsonofthesouth

Recorded this just now to show the difference at night. Will do a mid day tomorrow comparison hopefully.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • Yunder Wækraus
      By Yunder Wækraus
      Even if Florida avoids the freeze, this cold event should cast light on FL microclimates, including eastern vs. western barrier islands, urban heat islands, and the lake effect, especially for South Bay to Pahokee.
      https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2019/01/28/us/winter-weather-monday-wxc/index.html
    • Xerarch
      By Xerarch
      It was 57 degrees here in Northern Ohio today, January 8th. In fact we’ve only really had one cold streak so far this winter, it got down to about 18 degrees in December for the lowest so far. That means if I had planted a bunch of Sabal Palmetto in the summer they would still be doing great. I’ve been reading since mid December numerous articles and here on PT about a supposed polar vortex coming this year but it keeps getting pushed off and pushed off. I don’t even see anything that critical as far out as the forecast goes. I don’t believe for a second that we’ve already seen the worst of winter this year, but it’s got to come sometime. 
    • PalmTreeDude
      By PalmTreeDude
      So I found this pretty neat website where you can click on an exact point on the map and it draws a line in the Northern and Southern hemispheres of where that latitude is. This is pretty crazy because a lot of the places that share my latitude (and many others here) are capable of growing palms that can't grow here (and that are many zones less cold hardy than here) due to those few cold snaps we can get. Here is the site, what areas around the world share your latitude?
       http://mapfrappe.com/appisoll.html





    • Hillizard
      By Hillizard
      It's back: El Niño expected later this year, forecasters say: https://www.msn.com/en-us/weather/topstories/its-back-el-ni%C3%B1o-expected-later-this-year-forecasters-say/ar-AAyFm39
      ".... In the U.S., a strong El Niño can result in a stormy winter along the West Coast, a wet winter across the South and a warmer-than-average winter in the Pacific Northwest and northern Rocky Mountains... El Niño is a periodic natural warming of ocean water in the tropical Pacific that impacts weather in the U.S. and around the world. Globally, the climate pattern can bring dry conditions to Indonesia, the Philippines and Australia...In South America, Brazil can get drought, while Argentina may get more rain...."
    • PalmTreeDude
      By PalmTreeDude
      I looked on Weather Underground on my computer and looked at the current temperatures map, and where it is warmer right now along the coast basically shows where the climate changes from "Mid Atlantic" to truly Southern. 

×