HELP for shrubs that have budded early and freeze coming

nanaclaire(5b)March 25, 2012

We had a premature spring and really warm temps up to the 80s and all my flowers, plants, shrubs are budding, some with leaves ... now we are getting a freeze overnight... down to the low 30s possibly below freezing. Can I cover with plastic trash bags? Don't think I can cover my whole flower bed but at least the shrubs and rose bush. I have tulips coming up and starting to bud as well :(

Any advice is appreciated.

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Plastic is not the best material to use for plant protection...use a cloth type substance instead, such as old sheets. Using something that 'breathes' is important, when expecting freezing temperatures. Best, also, to use something that goes all of the way to the ground, so that some of the heat from the ground can be trapped in the little tent you make to protect your plants.

Good luck! You'll be in the same boat as a lot of people all over the country. It's just one of those things.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 10:53AM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

Go back inside, make yourself a nice cup of tea, start a fire in the fireplace if you have one, sit down and read a good book. Forget about the garden. Forget about the freeze. Whatever you do, don't run around trying to 'help'.

Our last frost date is May 30th. Even in a normal year, practically everything is leafed out before the last frost. Everything that people would usually call a spring flower is flowering before the last frost. They can handle it. If they couldn't they wouldn't be growing and blooming now.

If you want to worry, the temperatures you should be concerned about are if it gets into the low 20's. That is cold enough to cause damage, and it is early enough that those temperatures are not out of the question.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 12:04PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i am with MAD ...

go with zen .. ooohhhmmmmm ...

mother nature is a witch.. and really has no sense of propriety.. or humor ...

i mean really.. are you up for the challenge for the next 60 days..

or are you just going to sit back.. and let the witch hit you with her best shot???

do what you can.. and whatever on the rest ...


    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 4:17PM
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Thanks Mad...! Think I'll take your advice and not worry so much. :)

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 5:26PM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

Sorry, but I expect catastrophe. A freeze after a month of temps near 80 will not be pretty. The Magnolia 'Daybreak', normally a late April bloomer will open today. It will be slammed. A very small, newly planted tree that is just leafing out may very well die. And it goes on and on. Mine is a very large garden, and it thinks it's mid May.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 6:33AM
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So you expect a catastrophe?
What can you do about it?
I mean, it's not as if you can cover a magnolia tree.
And anyone who has anything "newly planted" this early dug their own grave.

I too have had spring fever and have been cleaning out beds and pulling the plethora of weeds that never even died out during our "winter." But I haven't planted anything or trimmed anything other than roses which I would be doing now anyway.

It's nature and we just have to roll with it.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 7:31AM
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