You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

April snows bring heartache


I think that this is the worst time of the year for gardeners because of the weather. Yes, we worry about winter’s cold temperatures and summer’s droughts, but these weather changes that damage our beautiful spring flowers really make it frustrating.

All of my beautiful beds of daffodils and hyacinths were cooked with this past week’s temperature drop. My star magnolias were toast as well.

I did have a chance to go out on Monday night and pick a bunch of them for a large bouquet to enjoy indoors.

All I could think of was that if April showers bring May flowers, what does April snow bring for a gardener? Heartache and headaches.

This is the time of year that I get a lot of questions from both the media as well as gardeners, wondering what people should do with their plants when temperatures drop below freezing.

The biggest factor that determines the extent of cold damage to plants has to do with the weather right before the temperatures drop.

If we have really nice, warm temperatures (like we did this past weekend) right before a cold snap, damage tends to be greater.

Warm temperatures encourage plant growth and development. These growing plants are “soft” and won’t tolerate sudden temperature changes. Blooms are especially susceptible to cold temperatures and are usually killed.

I have only seen a few times when the foliage is severely damaged. This occurred several years ago when we had a week of really warm temperatures around this time of April and then the bottom dropped out.

We had extensive foliage damage to perennials, trees, and shrubs. However, we cut the perennials back and left the trees and shrubs alone. They were fine for the rest of the season.

Most of our perennials, trees and shrubs that are leafing out tolerate frost and cold temperatures. However, they don’t do too well with freezing temperatures (below 32 F). And again, if the temperatures prior to the freeze were warm enough to cause a flush of growth, damage increases.

So, when someone asks about what to do to protect plants from cold, it really all depends on the situation.

I don’t normally cover flowering plants such as the trees, shrubs and spring-blooming bulbs for two reasons. I have too many to worry about (and it would take a lot of effort) and they are really spread out so far that it’s tough to cover them.

In addition, if freezing temperatures are predicted, I’ll cut any flowers that I still want to enjoy the night before and put them in a container in the house.

I will cover any vegetable plants that might be at risk. Keep in mind however, that many of the cool crops that are planted in March and April tolerate light frosts and a light freeze.

On the other hand, a warm spell followed by a freeze will cause damage so you might want to protect these types of plants.

The bottom line is that if you are in doubt, cover and protect to be on the safe side.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in

Nearly 50 dachshunds rescued, looking for forever homes
Nearly 50 dachshunds rescued, looking for forever homes

Two Florida animal rescue facilities have taken in 47 dachshunds and are looking for a forever home for each of them. WJHG reported that the Alaqua Animal Refuge in Freeport, Florida, and the Save Underdogs Rescue in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, took in the dogs. “They were going to be taken to a local shelter that wasn't a no-kill shelter so...
Your cat really does like you, in fact more than food, study says
Your cat really does like you, in fact more than food, study says

Cats have gotten a bad rap, at least according to a new study that found your feline really does like you, even if it doesn’t always know how to show you, and it actually likes interacting with you more than it prefers food. The study from Oregon State University researchers in the journal “Behavioral Processes” also determined that...
Greene County flu cases increased in 2017, officials say
Greene County flu cases increased in 2017, officials say

Employees at the Greene County Combined Health District say the normal flu season usually starts in October, and is over by March. But not this year. “I have four babies, all under 6 (years old), and they’re all sick,” Xenia resident Victoia McDaniel said Tuesday. About 130 Greene County residents have been hospitalized for the flu...
Increase in rattlesnake attack on dogs, Texas vets report
Increase in rattlesnake attack on dogs, Texas vets report

Veterinarians in some parts of Texas have reported an increase in the number of dogs bitten by rattlesnakes this year, according to media reports.  “The snakes are coming out of hibernation, they’re cranky and are more likely to strike when other times they might try to avoid that,” Jim Holcomb of Hill Country Animal Hospital...
7 tips for poison prevention
7 tips for poison prevention

Whether you have a baby, toddler or school-age child, your home should be a haven where your little one can explore safely. After all, touching, holding, climbing, and exploring are the activities that develop your child’s body and mind. However, according to a Safe Kids Worldwide, every minute of every day, a poison control center answers a...
More Stories