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Mindful of Mother Nature

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Mindful of Mother Nature

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Weather aware: preparedness prior to severe temperature changes late next week!


...Bitterly cold weather to arrive in the mid-state on Thursday of next week...


It appears an Arctic cold front will move through the mid-state late Wednesday night into Thursday of next week...bringing an extended period of subfreezing temperatures and the coldest weather, as winter arrives, just in time for Christmas.


Temperatures will continue to fall as we head into the afternoon hours on Thursday December 22, while winds look to be brisk. This will allow for wind chills, possibly below zero during the afternoon and evening hours on Thursday of next week. Stay tuned to updated forecasts as expected temperatures could fall and prompt the issuance of a Wind Chill Advisory.  


Temperatures are not expected to rise above freezing until Christmas afternoon. Preparations should be considered for this upcoming long-duration of subfreezing temperatures arriving on Christmas Weekend. Ensure your water pipes are properly protected from the cold...and outdoor animals have adequate shelter. Make sure heat sources are working properly. Check that motor vehicles have proper levels of antifreeze and air pressure in tires. It is much easier to perform these tasks before the cold arrives. It is time to consider protection for some of your plants…


Containerized plants are used widely and quite successfully.  Problems exist due to the fact that the soil is entirely above ground, therefore it will freeze much more quickly and at lower temperatures than plants growing in the ground.  It is imperative to make sure plants in containers are thoroughly watered just prior to and immediately following severe freezing conditions.  Wet soil insulates better than dry soil.  Many plants will suffer some damage when the SOIL temperature (not air temperature) goes below 17 degrees.  It is possible to insulate your containers by wrapping with blankets; it’s better to pull them into the garage or basement, where the temperatures are milder.


Got questions?


David Bates


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  1. Tyler Blankenship Tyler Blankenship

    Hi Dana, we understand your concerns, but rest assured your native plants will be fine. That's why they're so great! They are plenty hardy even for extreme temps such as these. Especially if they've already gone dormant. If they have been recently planted, it wouldn't hurt to water the root zone and add a layer of mulch, not touching the stem. Otherwise, let them ride it out.

  2. Dana Dana

    Should I be trying to protect my native perennials like spice bush, winterberry, swamp dogwood from these bitter temps?

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