For some parts of the country winter is long gone and evidence of spring is everywhere you look. But for Northern states winter can drag and won’t halt its killing chill just because the calendar says so. This nifty guide will help take care of your garden in unpredictable weather and prevent a late winter storm from decimating your new growth.
What to save
By their very nature tropical and annual plants weren’t meant to survive a freeze, so the only way to protect them is to move them indoors until the risk of freezing has passed. If you’re pinched for time it’s best to focus your energies on the hardy perennials that you know you can protect. These plants include root-hardy and fully cold-hardy perennials which can bounce back from winter storms.
How does freeze hurt?
While light freezes don’t do too much harm, deep freezes cause the cells within your plants to burst, causing severe damage to your plants foliage and killings its blooms. Plants will also die from desiccation (drying out) which occurs when the plant can’t process enough water.
Be Proactive – Not Reactive
As the saying goes, a pinch of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and the same goes for your garden. You cannot undo the damage once it’s done, but you can prevent it or lessen its impact.
- water your plants thoroughly before a freeze (prevents drying out)
- Protect compact shrubs and plants by covering them with a blanket or other protective cover
- Add a layer of mulch or a place flowerpots or containers over sprouts
Relax and wait
After you’ve done everything you can to protect your garden the hardest part is just waiting for the freeze to pass. Even if you notice some foliage and bloom drop, don’t panic. If you’ve taken all precautions you’ll be rewarded with a revived garden once temperatures rise again.
Remember to always choose plants which suit your growing zone. These plants need a lot less tending when inclement weather occurs. With cold hardy plants you can worry less about sudden freezes and focus more of getting the most out of your spring garden.