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General Sylvester D. Palm

Possible microclimate in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina?

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General Sylvester D. Palm

To the left of my house there is a relatively small area (around 15 feet) in between my house and my neighbors house. It is a SUPER wet and muddy and my air condition units are back there. It gets very little sun light as my 2 story house is covering it. It is a north facing wall. It seems like it can be a bit cooler back there but then the air condition units pump out a little warm air. Does anyone think this could be some sort of microclimate? I was thinking of maybe putting some sort of fern there or maybe even shade loving palm. Any ideas of it being a micro-climate?

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RJ
43 minutes ago, General Sylvester D. Palm said:

To the left of my house there is a relatively small area (around 15 feet) in between my house and my neighbors house. It is a SUPER wet and muddy and my air condition units are back there. It gets very little sun light as my 2 story house is covering it. It is a north facing wall. It seems like it can be a bit cooler back there but then the air condition units pump out a little warm air. Does anyone think this could be some sort of microclimate? I was thinking of maybe putting some sort of fern there or maybe even shade loving palm. Any ideas of it being a micro-climate?

Of course it’s a micro climate… also ask yourself what those AC units pump out during the winter unless you have a furnace of some sorts. All a AC compressor is, is , a pump to move hear from one spot to another. :interesting:

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General Sylvester D. Palm
1 hour ago, RJ said:

Of course it’s a micro climate… also ask yourself what those AC units pump out during the winter unless you have a furnace of some sorts. All a AC compressor is, is , a pump to move hear from one spot to another. :interesting:

Any ideas of what USDA hardiness zone it would be? 

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Jeff zone 8 N.C.

RJ got it right. It is a micro climate but probably not for palm trees unless you have one that enjoys wet feet. On the other hand many ferns would like that.  Just be sure the vegetation does not hinder air flow around the A/C unit.  Being in S.C. you probably have a heat pump A/C  system. This type system blows out warmer than ambient air outside in the summer but colder than ambient air in winter.  In other words it will be colder in winter than other areas around your home. What concerns me is "why is it wet"? You should not have wetness next to your home or A/C.  That will promote mold, rust and rot.  Probably your A/C condensation drain drains out right beside your outside unit and on top of the ground. That is a typical installation type for the south. I would certainly find out if that is the case and see if you can extend that drain to a dry area or a drain field or street drain.  Too much moisture is almost always bad.  Keep in mind though that there will not be water coming from your A/C drain when the system is in heat mode.  Again this all assumes you have a Heat Pump system. I'm a licensed A/C installer in N.C. so if you have questions I will try to help with answers. While I was writing this answer you asked about what zone this is. No way to tell that. It depends on how much the unit runs, the size of the unit, your thermostat settings, etc. etc., etc.

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General Sylvester D. Palm
24 minutes ago, Jeff zone 8 N.C. said:

RJ got it right. It is a micro climate but probably not for palm trees unless you have one that enjoys wet feet. On the other hand many ferns would like that.  Just be sure the vegetation does not hinder air flow around the A/C unit.  Being in S.C. you probably have a heat pump A/C  system. This type system blows out warmer than ambient air outside in the summer but colder than ambient air in winter.  In other words it will be colder in winter than other areas around your home. What concerns me is "why is it wet"? You should not have wetness next to your home or A/C.  That will promote mold, rust and rot.  Probably your A/C condensation drain drains out right beside your outside unit and on top of the ground. That is a typical installation type for the south. I would certainly find out if that is the case and see if you can extend that drain to a dry area or a drain field or street drain.  Too much moisture is almost always bad.  Keep in mind though that there will not be water coming from your A/C drain when the system is in heat mode.  Again this all assumes you have a Heat Pump system. I'm a licensed A/C installer in N.C. so if you have questions I will try to help with answers. While I was writing this answer you asked about what zone this is. No way to tell that. It depends on how much the unit runs, the size of the unit, your thermostat settings, etc. etc., etc.

I will have to get back to you about a lot of this stuff tomorrow, I will also send pictures of the whole place and the A/C Unit. I probably accidentally exaggerate the wetness. It seems to be a little more moist in the soil than average. My regular water drainage pipe is probably about 10 feet away and that is a little muddy right there. I'd be interested to see if it had a different USDA hardiness zone. Could be just a different type of 8B.

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RJ
8 hours ago, General Sylvester D. Palm said:

I will have to get back to you about a lot of this stuff tomorrow, I will also send pictures of the whole place and the A/C Unit. I probably accidentally exaggerate the wetness. It seems to be a little more moist in the soil than average. My regular water drainage pipe is probably about 10 feet away and that is a little muddy right there. I'd be interested to see if it had a different USDA hardiness zone. Could be just a different type of 8B.

Remember your fridge is a zone 10a ;)

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General Sylvester D. Palm
3 hours ago, RJ said:

Remember your fridge is a zone 10a ;)

Technically it is true! Lol!

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General Sylvester D. Palm
13 hours ago, Jeff zone 8 N.C. said:

RJ got it right. It is a micro climate but probably not for palm trees unless you have one that enjoys wet feet. On the other hand many ferns would like that.  Just be sure the vegetation does not hinder air flow around the A/C unit.  Being in S.C. you probably have a heat pump A/C  system. This type system blows out warmer than ambient air outside in the summer but colder than ambient air in winter.  In other words it will be colder in winter than other areas around your home. What concerns me is "why is it wet"? You should not have wetness next to your home or A/C.  That will promote mold, rust and rot.  Probably your A/C condensation drain drains out right beside your outside unit and on top of the ground. That is a typical installation type for the south. I would certainly find out if that is the case and see if you can extend that drain to a dry area or a drain field or street drain.  Too much moisture is almost always bad.  Keep in mind though that there will not be water coming from your A/C drain when the system is in heat mode.  Again this all assumes you have a Heat Pump system. I'm a licensed A/C installer in N.C. so if you have questions I will try to help with answers. While I was writing this answer you asked about what zone this is. No way to tell that. It depends on how much the unit runs, the size of the unit, your thermostat settings, etc. etc., etc.

I added a pic of my Sylvester and my neighbors palm.

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20210921_121452.jpg

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Jeff zone 8 N.C.

Well your ground must not be saturated because the palms look really healthy.  There is a lot of water under the fence. If it is there all the time I would find out where it is coming from. Butia and Sabal palms like to get their roots down into deeper ground water but want to be drained around the trunk.  Near that lake is definitely a good microclimate, warmth wise.

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General Sylvester D. Palm
14 minutes ago, Jeff zone 8 N.C. said:

Well your ground must not be saturated because the palms look really healthy.  There is a lot of water under the fence. If it is there all the time I would find out where it is coming from. Butia and Sabal palms like to get their roots down into deeper ground water but want to be drained around the trunk.  Near that lake is definitely a good microclimate, warmth wise.

Yeah, that much water is definitely not there all the time. This was taken after a relatively large rain storm came over. It tends to be a little more moist than, for example, near the water or in my yard. It always seems a tad bit cooler there especially in the winter. It also seems more humid there in the summer. Maybe some type of 8A climate or cooler 8B? Also, my Sylvester is doing really well so I wonder if by the water it could be 9A micro-climate. And, as you can see in the picture, two Sabal palmettoes are right by my Sylvester which could be holding some heat and releasing it in the night. I remember on frosty winter mornings when I look out, I see near the Sylvester and the 2 palmettoes, the frost isn't near there. The frost is always on the main area of the yard but never near the palms. I wonder if they all hold heat together and release it, plus all the heat the water is holding. Now thinking about it, that area where my Sylvester is could be the true micro-climate.

Edited by General Sylvester D. Palm

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General Sylvester D. Palm

UPDATE: So I just took the temperatures near the north facing wall (area where I took the picture) and I also took the temperatures by my Sylvester and my south facing wall. So according to my weather app it says that it is currently 80 degrees outside. The north facing wall was 76-77. My backyard (where my Sylvester is) was 84-85. And finally, the south facing wall was 88-89. Also, my house is bright yellow, so I am thinking that if I plant maybe a 9a palm by my south facing wall, it might reflect the heat back on the plant. So does anyone know if these could be different USDA hardiness zones?

Edited by General Sylvester D. Palm

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Keys6505
3 hours ago, General Sylvester D. Palm said:

So does anyone know if these could be different USDA hardiness zones?

I don't know if I'd go so far as to look at it as a warmer zone.  I'd just look at it as your best chance of success if you are going to zone push something.  

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General Sylvester D. Palm
15 hours ago, Keys6505 said:

I don't know if I'd go so far as to look at it as a warmer zone.  I'd just look at it as your best chance of success if you are going to zone push something.  

Sure seems like a different zone. I mean, almost 10 degrees warmer that what it was saying is quite something. I'm thinking a low 9a. You could be right though. I am planning to plant a Silver Queen right there which can handle 8b temperatures anyway. I was just thinking of a palm that might be good for a cold 9a.

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DAVEinMB
10 minutes ago, General Sylvester D. Palm said:

Sure seems like a different zone. I mean, almost 10 degrees warmer that what it was saying is quite something. I'm think a low 9a. You could be right though. I am planning to plant a Silver Queen right there which can handle 8b temperatures anyway. I was just thinking of a palm that might be good for a cold 9a.

Get yourself a multi zone weather station from Lowe's or someplace similar, that way you can track real time temperatures in different spots around your yard simultaneously. Then if you want to take it a step further you could enter each zone's data into a spreadsheet and create overlaying graphs of the temps. That'll give you a solid idea of what you're seeing and you can use that to determine where you plant what moving forward. 

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General Sylvester D. Palm
1 minute ago, DAVEinMB said:

Get yourself a multi zone weather station from Lowe's or someplace similar, that way you can track real time temperatures in different spots around your yard simultaneously. Then if you want to take it a step further you could enter each zone's data into a spreadsheet and create overlaying graphs of the temps. That'll give you a solid idea of what you're seeing and you can use that to determine where you plant what moving forward. 

Yeah, that is a good idea. I might have to do that. All I am saying is I think there is a slight chance of it being a cold 9a.

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DAVEinMB
5 minutes ago, General Sylvester D. Palm said:

Yeah, that is a good idea. I might have to do that. All I am saying is I think there is a slight chance of it being a cold 9a.

Absolutely, I'm sure there are isolated pockets around town that probably stay closer to a cold 9a and i really hope that I have one of them as well. But just remember, the sun is no joke here so you can easily see a 10 degree swing from a sunny to a shaded area at any given time. What is going to be important for planting something tender is what happens overnight and right before day break. 

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General Sylvester D. Palm
Just now, DAVEinMB said:

Absolutely, I'm sure there are isolated pockets around town that probably stay closer to a cold 9a and i really hope that I have one of them as well. But just remember, the sun is no joke here so you can easily see a 10 degree swing from a sunny to a shaded area at any given time. What is going to be important for planting something tender is what happens overnight and right before day break. 

Oh yeah, you have a good point, the sun is brutal here in Myrtle. I will need to record it more in the night. My guess is that if I plant a few 8b plants there, they might be able to hold some heat and release it, possibly helping a 9a plant. Plus my house is bright yellow which reflects like. I think it is possible if I plant the right things that hold heat.

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DAVEinMB
5 minutes ago, General Sylvester D. Palm said:

Oh yeah, you have a good point, the sun is brutal here in Myrtle. I will need to record it more in the night. My guess is that if I plant a few 8b plants there, they might be able to hold some heat and release it, possibly helping a 9a plant. Plus my house is bright yellow which reflects like. I think it is possible if I plant the right things that hold heat.

That's the right idea, creating a canopy will really help retain heat and also protect from frost. Palmetto are cheap and you can get them pretty tall (16' or so), 2 or 3 of those planted somewhat close together may be a good starting point. Maybe look into using bamboo as a wind break as well..

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General Sylvester D. Palm
50 minutes ago, DAVEinMB said:

That's the right idea, creating a canopy will really help retain heat and also protect from frost. Palmetto are cheap and you can get them pretty tall (16' or so), 2 or 3 of those planted somewhat close together may be a good starting point. Maybe look into using bamboo as a wind break as well..

Ahh yes, bamboo is a good idea as well! I really want to create a tropical garden so I might have to look into that.  I was thinking of some Washies because of how flippen' fast they grow! I bought a seedling off of eBay last year and it just took off. I might have to plant it in the ground near where my Queen is going to be. Palmettoes are a good idea as well, but they are just slow growers. But you are right, they are pretty cheap.

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Keys6505

Acoelorrhaphe wrightii might be a good push to try for your spot.  It'll likely die to the ground most winters but mine came back pretty well after 15 degrees.  They can deal with a little bit more water in the soil as well from what I've read because they are from the Everglades.  

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General Sylvester D. Palm
18 hours ago, Keys6505 said:

Acoelorrhaphe wrightii might be a good push to try for your spot.  It'll likely die to the ground most winters but mine came back pretty well after 15 degrees.  They can deal with a little bit more water in the soil as well from what I've read because they are from the Everglades.  

Thanks, I'll have to check it out!

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General Sylvester D. Palm

Alright, so this noon I took the temperatures once again of my North facing wall, South facing wall, and near the lake where my Sylvester is at. I checked the temp on my phone and it said it was 67 degrees. The North facing wall was 63-64, the lake was 73-74, and the South facing wall was 90-91. I don't know if I am doing something wrong when taking the temps but that South facing wall is insane. I really want to take the temps at night but it is hard for me to do so since, well, I am sleeping lol. I took the temps a while ago in the morning and all I remember is the South facing wall was warmer. I can't remember the temps though. I am really wondering if I should plant a Queen near the South facing wall. Or if I should plant a Queen near the lake as water holds heat. If anyone would like to guess as which one is warmer at night (the South facing wall or near the lake) please do so. Also feel free to suggest if I should plant a Queen near the lake or the South facing wall.

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DAVEinMB
25 minutes ago, General Sylvester D. Palm said:

Alright, so this noon I took the temperatures once again of my North facing wall, South facing wall, and near the lake where my Sylvester is at. I checked the temp on my phone and it said it was 67 degrees. The North facing wall was 63-64, the lake was 73-74, and the South facing wall was 90-91. I don't know if I am doing something wrong when taking the temps but that South facing wall is insane. I really want to take the temps at night but it is hard for me to do so since, well, I am sleeping lol. I took the temps a while ago in the morning and all I remember is the South facing wall was warmer. I can't remember the temps though. I am really wondering if I should plant a Queen near the South facing wall. Or if I should plant a Queen near the lake as water holds heat. If anyone would like to guess as which one is warmer at night (the South facing wall or near the lake) please do so. Also feel free to suggest if I should plant a Queen near the lake or the South facing wall.

They're fairly inexpensive so you could always get a couple and plant in both locations; that's been my plan of attack with them

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D Palm

Better than what I use…which is a dollar store mercury thermometer.

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General Sylvester D. Palm
13 hours ago, D Palm said:

Better than what I use…which is a dollar store mercury thermometer.

:floor:

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General Sylvester D. Palm

So as some of you know Myrtle Beach got into the upper 20s last night and when I woke up this morning I saw a very interesting thing. Since it frosted last night I could obviously see the frost from my window and I see this. Now I can't tell if the fronds covered the ground and that is why there is no frost there. Or if this palm held heat and released it. Or a combo of both. Can everyone give an opinion?

20211124_064958.jpg

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DAVEinMB
6 hours ago, General Sylvester D. Palm said:

So as some of you know Myrtle Beach got into the upper 20s last night and when I woke up this morning I saw a very interesting thing. Since it frosted last night I could obviously see the frost from my window and I see this. Now I can't tell if the fronds covered the ground and that is why there is no frost there. Or if this palm held heat and released it. Or a combo of both. Can everyone give an opinion?

20211124_064958.jpg

I'd say the small canopy the fronds created is what is keeping frost off the ground at its base

Also... did not want to deal with temps like this and frost this early :rant:

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General Sylvester D. Palm
1 hour ago, DAVEinMB said:

I'd say the small canopy the fronds created is what is keeping frost off the ground at its base

Also... did not want to deal with temps like this and frost this early :rant:

I know!!! It's crazy! I hope this isn't an indication of a bad winter... I want to keep the zone 9a streak going!!!

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D Palm

Snapped a pic this morning in N. Florida…also a heavy frost with mid 30’s…hope this isn’t a sign of an unusually cold winter. 

08BCDF16-92F3-4AD1-B8F6-A4A2791D134B.jpeg

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Collectorpalms
12 hours ago, General Sylvester D. Palm said:

So as some of you know Myrtle Beach got into the upper 20s last night and when I woke up this morning I saw a very interesting thing. Since it frosted last night I could obviously see the frost from my window and I see this. Now I can't tell if the fronds covered the ground and that is why there is no frost there. Or if this palm held heat and released it. Or a combo of both. Can everyone give an opinion?

20211124_064958.jpg

That looks its from the fronds. Otherwise, I would think right on the water edge you would see no frost. 

 

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General Sylvester D. Palm
8 hours ago, Collectorpalms said:

That looks its from the fronds. Otherwise, I would think right on the water edge you would see no frost. 

 

I think my lake acts a little opposite for some reason. It tends to blow more cool air and just makes it worse. But I would think it would too.

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Jesse PNW

Tree branches seem to act as a thermal break, trapping warm air to the ground and preventing frost from settling.  My yard is protected by a canopy of mature evergreens and often it will be 36 or 38f in my yard, no trace of frost, while my neighbors yards and roofs are all coated in frosty white.  

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DAVEinMB
1 hour ago, Jesse PNW said:

Tree branches seem to act as a thermal break, trapping warm air to the ground and preventing frost from settling.  My yard is protected by a canopy of mature evergreens and often it will be 36 or 38f in my yard, no trace of frost, while my neighbors yards and roofs are all coated in frosty white.  

This frost took out pretty much all the perennials in my yard except the area in between my house and my neighbors which has pine tree canopy. 

A banana plant up against my house looks like nothing happened while an elephant ear about 10' away is fried

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Jesse PNW

I mean that sucks to lose the unprotected ones, but it's also cool to see your microclimate in action.  It seems like there's a lot we could get away with if we understood how to maximize our microclimates to their potentials.  That and maybe a little bit of luck. 

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Will Simpson
On 9/20/2021 at 8:45 PM, General Sylvester D. Palm said:

To the left of my house there is a relatively small area (around 15 feet) in between my house and my neighbors house. It is a SUPER wet and muddy and my air condition units are back there. It gets very little sun light as my 2 story house is covering it. It is a north facing wall. It seems like it can be a bit cooler back there but then the air condition units pump out a little warm air. Does anyone think this could be some sort of microclimate? I was thinking of maybe putting some sort of fern there or maybe even shade loving palm. Any ideas of it being a micro-climate?

Any place near a house like that will moderate cold air , but I typically think of a microclimate as on the sunny south side of a house or building  . 

Here's my best microclimate which is  in a sunny  southern exposure  near the house . That Butia is draping way over the walkway ; I guess that's just part of living in the tropics :D .

51703916162_d71ea214e2_b.jpg

 

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Jesse PNW

Great looking Butia. Large and sprawling. 

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Will Simpson

Thanks Jesse .

Will

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