[This post is really for those of you RYG friends who live in the Southeast. Who…like me, are probably scramblin’ to to figure out how to protect their plants from freeze damage.]
Well it won’t officially be spring for a week or so…but with the warm weather we’ve had this year, it’s as if we’ve never really had a winter. And just when I was starting to let myself enjoy the warm weather…thinking we may be in the clear temps-wise… I looked at the forecast, only to see that it’s going to get into the mid-20’s by mid week! DOH!
I know. Many of you in other areas of the country going…Whaaaaa-whaaaa, that ain’t nothing! [Well, you might not be saying “ain’t” since you’re from other areas of the country…I digress.] But here in the South, a cold snap like this could really screw things up for us. Especially aftersuch warm weather…prompting our perennials to get their spring mojo on a bit earlier than usual…such quintessential southern flowers, like the Nikko Blue Hydrangea, could be frozen out of a spring showing this year. And that just ain’t right!
So I’m going to share a few links that I found that I thought you’d appreciate. They are all about: How to protect your plants from freeze damage.
Here are my quick take-aways…and it’s really quite simple:
- Cover your plants. You could use fabric, plastic, or even cardboard. Anything that will trap the radiant heat coming up from the ground.
- I’m using fabric (e.g., sheets and drop-cloths) because that’s what I have, and if fabric touches the plants it actually warms the plant vs. freeze it, like it does with plastic.
- If you do use plastic…2 things: 1. use a stick or something to prop up the plastic to minimize where it touches the plant (see above bullet point as to why); and 2. make sure to remove the plastic in the morning before the sun bakes your plants. That would stink.
- If you use fabric and rain is in the forecast, you will also want to use a stick or something to prop it up…because the weight of the water-soaked fabric could crush your plant. [I’m in luck…the rain should be gone before it dips below freezing here in not-so-not-lanta.]
- Also, if you use fabric, make sure to remove it as soon as the temps get above freezing…so your plants can get the sun that they need.
- Regardless of if you use fabric or plastic, make sure to bring it all the way to the ground to seal in all the heat that you can…keeping it in place with a brick or dirt or rocks…or mulch.
- Make sure you cover your plants before it gets below freezing – you want the air that you trap to be as warm as possible.
- Feel free to double or triple-up on your layers of cover…the more layers, the warmer your plants will be. Just make sure not to crush them under the added weight!
- Cardboard boxes are also good for those smaller plants that can be contained under one.
- If your mulch is looking a bit wimpy, go ahead and beef it up before the temps start dipping below freezing.
So that’s what I gleaned from my reading…but here are the links if you want to read more:
- WalterReeves.com: Protecting Plants from a Spring Cold Snap
- Nola.com: How to protect plants from freeze damage: Dan Gill’s mailbag
- GardeningKnowHow.com: Protect Your Plants In A Freeze – How To Protect Plants From Freezing
I hope this helps you keep your plant babies warm this week…so that your spring will be as joyful as it can be.
Take care all,