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Archive date:  February 8, 2012

This is winter...

Should worry, panic and hysteria be a part of protecting your plants?

We have had more than a week of wonderful unseasonably warm weather; spring-like. A quick check of the calendar, and the outdoors, reminds us: This is winter. Oh crap! What to do about all the stuff in bloom? Enjoy for the next 24 hours, take pictures, cover? With expected low temperatures forecast in the upper teens for Saturday and Sunday night, things that have bloomed prematurely are in floriferous freak-out mode…and there’s a good chance the flowers will get nipped.

If you’re worried, that’s fine. You might as well double-up on the worry while you’re at it, for all the good it will do. Worry, I have found, is what I do when I know what the answer is, and I don’t want to do it. Let me be clear: We have not had enough of a warm spell to likely do damage to the plants; we’re talking flower damage here. Even losing flowers is not a foregone conclusion, if you are willing to make a break from worrying and take some action.

As an avid gardener, you should already have in your arsenal, plenty of old sheets. The plants don’t care if the sheets are old or not. I do have a sneaking suspicion however, that tears from resentment (or remorse) will be worse if you mess up the 1200 thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets, than if the flowers are burned on the forsythia.

By the way, it is okay to put plastic over a sheet to add insulation; never put plastic directly over a plant. Where the flowers touch the plastic, they will freeze. Remember, I’m not saying you need to do any covering. I have a few camellias at home in flower; I do think it’s worth the time.

In the event you are conscious on Saturday mornings, I would like to invite you to give a listen to “The At Home Show with Josh Cary and David Bates” on SuperTalk 99.7FM WTN from 7-9am. Josh and I have just celebrated our 14th anniversary of doing the program we bill as: Heavy Metal Home Improvement. We’d also love to have you Like us on Facebook. It’s a call-in show; and the truth be known, the callers are the show!

Hope you will tune-in,

David Bates