If you haven’t already noticed, we’re having an unusually warm winter this year. While it’s great for the ol’ heating bill, it has the potential to ruin your plants. But have no fear, we have some simple suggestions to help you though the rest of the winter and early spring, should we have more frosty weather in our near future.
For MOST plants in your landscape and garden, early budding and blooming won’t harm anything, like your hardy trees and perennials. However, for fruit trees and roses, an early warming period followed with frost or a severe freeze can actually kill plants.
Perennials & Bulbs
Perennials and bulbs that are blooming early, you really don’t have to worry about freezing temps, but if you want to give them a little protection in order to keep the flowers longer, try adding a little more mulch around the bottom to give the bulb and roots more protection from the freezing temps. Of course, covering them is best if you want to keep the flowers.
Fruit Trees & Roses
While the fruit tree itself can withstand freezing temps or frost, the blooming of the tree can be stunted or halted, which will cause you to loose the fruit for the year. Roses on the other hand need extra care to ensure they are protected. There are a couple of things you can do to protect these plants from cold temp damage:
Coverings – You can use old sheets, blankets, cardboard boxes, or even an old trashcan to cover your plant, depending of course on the size. Just covering your plant with a sheet or blanket can give a 10 degree difference in temperature, which up here in the Pacific Northwest is pretty good protection since we rarely see temps dip below 25 degrees. Johnsons has in stock frost covers in two sizes, which gives you a generous amount of material to cover your plants.
Move the Plant – This is a bit extreme, but moving the plant closer to a building or in a building alcove, where it is a bit more protected from the open air can make a difference in the temperature. However, you need to take care, because if you move the plant too close or in an area that radiates to much heat during the summer, it can be bad for the plant too.
As usual, the weather around here in the Pacific Northwest is like a box of chocolates…you never know what you’re gonna get. We hope that the good weather continues, but it’s better to be ready with a plan and be safe if you want to enjoy all “the fruits” of your garden labor. If you have any questions or concerns about your garden, please call us and ask for Doug (Johnsons Garden Dept Manager).