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April Freeze

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April Freeze

Don’t be fooled, freeze on April 1 is no joke; weather warms starting Saturday!

 

I possess no Nostradamus abilities.  Besides, mysterious quatrains aren’t my writing style.  Well, maybe I should give it a shot:

 

Covering assets you did plant
Might reveal unwise actions
Tangled order of your choices, premature
Penalty paid on April’s day of fools

 

My dubious imitation of Nostradamus is a day or two off, and I’m only looking from a day in the future.  While we had a bit of frost this morning, the mornings of April 2nd and 3rd, look to be the real threat. In most areas, the concern is not simply frost, but freeze.  Low temperatures are forecast to be 27 degrees.

 

As a regular reader, you're aware that I've been extoling the facts regarding the early calendar date, and the full arrival of spring being...still ahead.  It is easy to allow the euphoria of spring’s first emergence, to cloud gardening judgment.  Even though I seemingly correctly called the likelihood of this cold spell, I have no real powers of prognostication.  If I did, I would have bought Tesla stock a while back.

 

While I cannot predict the future, I was able to see this coming.  In fact, it happens pretty much every spring.  So, you should be able to anticipate this occurrence also.  If you have planted warm season vegetables plants or annual flowers, you must protect them or they will die.  Our average last frost date is still April 15.  A chilling event could easily occur again within the next couple of weeks. 

 

We have been busily making preparations.  We’re not concerned about shrubbery dying, what concerns us is the burning of new growth.  It doesn’t kill the plant, but they look bad for a bit.  So, what should you do? 

 

Cover tender growth and/or open blooms with sheets.  If you are trying to protect tender garden plants, you need a support structure to create a bit of insulating air space. Using old nursery pots inverted over plants, with a sheet over that will help. Need a little more guidance? Watch our timely Botanical Boot Camp webinar, Mitigating Spring Frosts with Ben Trest.

 

Nostradamus out. 

 

David Bates

Comments

  1. Tyler Blankenship Tyler Blankenship

    Sarah, if left uncovered, you might see any frosty tender new growth turn brown and drop off. It should push out newer growth as we warm up.

    Last year my Japanese maple was mostly leafed out when the late freeze hit. It definitely had patched of stunted growth but the tree slowly recovered. This tree is over five years old, younger trees might struggle more.

  2. Sarah Drenthe Sarah Drenthe

    I would need a dome to cover all of the tender things that have sprung up in my yard. Not having a dome, I did cover a few things; however I'm most concerned about the foliage on my Japanese maples. I would welcome any comments that might prepare me for what's ahead for these plants.

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