Preparing plants for spring freeze - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Preparing plants for spring freeze

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TYLER (KYTX) -

East Texans have already spent a lot of money on their gardens and plants this spring, but the temps are beginning to drop. That could put plants in jeopardy. CBS 19's Amanda Roberson has more on how this freeze may affect plants.

Landscape stores have already been cashing in on people ready to spruce up their lawn, and this hard freeze is causing concern. But some flowers and plants are more cold-hearty or cold-tender. Experts said even a covering plants with a sheet or moving potted plants to certain parts of your yard can make a difference.

"Things like vinca or zinnias, those will be dead if people don't protect them tonight if they didn't already die last night," explained Petty's Landscape and Irrigation Operations Manager, Mark Bickerstaff.

He said the spring freeze will affect different plants different ways. "Pansies are completely cold-hearty, dianthis is another very cold-hearty flowering annual, snap dragons are plenty cold-hearty to withstand 29 or 30 degrees tonight." 

But other plants like vegetables, citrus plants, tropical plants, and some spring blooms need a little extra care with either a covering or getting creative. "They could put those like in an alcove or under the eaves on the south side of their house where it'll be several degrees warmer or they could bring them in the garage of course or bring them inside.

But Bickerstaff pointed out this freeze isn't uncommon. "It can freeze as late as mid-April here."      
And that's why people may want to keep those plants covered more than just Monday night. He said they should use a sheet or some kind of cloth, never plastic. "They should keep an eye of course on the low projected-temperatures for Wednesday morning also. I think it may be above the frost line but if it's going to be close to a frost or freeze again they may not want to bring their plants out again until Wednesday afternoon." 

There are some ways to get creative and make greenhouses for smaller plants like vegetables or special flowers. Cut the top off an empty milk jug and turn it upside down. It creates a greenhouse and traps in some warmth.

Citrus growers in Florida are known for watering plants through a freeze to lock in some warmer temps in the water like an igloos, but Bickerstaff said that's not necessary for this freeze. 

 

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