|Sunny / Wind||53°/30°||0 %|
|Mostly Sunny||64°/44°||10 %|
|Mostly Sunny||73°/51°||0 %|
As many of you maybe aware (and some of you not...) we are heading to another potential frost this Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
I fall somewhere between a pragmatist and "survival of the fittest" when it comes to preparing the garden for this type of weather events. However the forecast is calling for sub-30s temperatures and little to no wind which leads to frost. The wind actually helps sometimes by stirring the warm air with the cold....but we won't have much of that help this time around.
For those of us who have just got things back in shape after the last frost this seems like yet another fire drill...but as much as I hate to move the entire nursery inside again...I think that it is wise to do so..
Looking around College Park and my neighbors I observed a few things from the last time and here is what I would advise....
1) Cover the following types of plants:
- Any tropicals like Xanadu, Ti Plants, TrioStar, Snow Bush and Hibiscus
- Any tender or non-woody perennial like Pentas, Blue Daze, and Salvias
- Many cactus and succulents
- Any vegetables or herbs...best if you have them in pots and can move them inside
- Any woody ornamental plant that damages easily...the one I noticed the most damage on after the last frost was the Gold Mound Duranta, but may also include Jatropha and some Bamboos.
A lot of our plants will only show damage on the tips of the leaves and new growth at these temperatures. Things like Palms, Bougainvillea, Citrus Trees should only show surface damage.....that is leaf burn and some leaf drop. The plant itself should not be permanently damaged.
2) Make sure to turn off your sprinklers. Many people forget this and you can make a somewhat bad situation a lot of worse if your irrigation comes on at 4:00 am. The professional growers they always show on the news do use irrigation to "freeze" their plants but this is a technique best reserved for the professional and only then if you are willing to keep them on all night...not very wise.
3) Always use a blanket or sheet....better yet frost blanket. NEVER use plastic unless you can ensure it doesn't touch the plant itself.
4) Make sure to secure your blankets and sheets....the last thing you want is the wind to blow them off in the middle of the night.
Call or email us if you have questions....while we are always busy preparing the nursery ourselves we are always here to help.
Good luck and if you wake up Saturday to find damage check out my earlier post on what to do.