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Cold Weather Plant Protection

Updated: Thursday, March 21 2013, 10:05 PM EDT

Spring was less than a day old when winter came roaring back. Temperatures fell into the upper teens in some parts of the mountains and put a couple of inches of snow on the ground.

But at Reems Creek Nursery, it looks like true spring in the greenhouses. Pansies were picture perfect after a cold night thanks to heaters nearby. Without some kind of protection, plants that were set out last Sunday when the temperature reached into the sixties are likely frozen stiff. That’s the penalty for planting early or choosing the wrong time to plant tender flowers and vegetables.

Plastic can conduct the cold directly to leaves, and offers little protection. The pros use a thick material similar to felt. Gardeners can buy the material in rolls and use it year after year. Sheets and quilts can also be used to get plants through the night. Landscaping experts say the best way to start early is to choose plants that can take the big chill.  Usually, gardeners who plant after Mother's Day, don’t have to worry about these cold snaps.

By Sherrill Barber
Follow Sherrill on Twitter @SherrillBarber

Cold Weather Plant Protection

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