Gard Club president offers tips for protecting plants from coldFlowers like tulips or peonies will have trouble with cold temperatures, along with flowering trees that produce fruit. Those are the types of plants that should be covered or brought inside.
By: Chris Huber, The Daily Republic
The current cold snap may be leaving some green thumbs with red faces. The temperature dipped to 22 degrees in Mitchell just before 5 a.m. Wednesday, causing some gardeners to worry about their flowers, trees and vegetables. But according to South Dakota Garden Club President Darlene Hicks-Pearson, gardeners can follow a few simple steps to help save plants from the cold weather.
Hicks-Pearson, who lives in Mitchell, suggested when temperatures are expected to be near freezing, bring any plants inside that are planted in pots or cover others with blankets to try and trap heat inside.
“I know I covered some of my flowers, and that really helps keep the heat in. We will see in a couple days if they made it,” she said.
Hicks-Pearson said perennial plants can take large amounts of cold weather, but annuals that have already sprouted may not be as lucky.
Flowers like tulips or peonies will have trouble with cold temperatures, along with flowering trees that produce fruit. Those are the types of plants that should be covered or brought inside.
“If those flowers get too cold, they can stunt the growth of the fruit or die altogether,” Hicks-Pearson said. The good news is most vegetable gardens should not be affected by the recent string of cold weather. “Most of what is in the ground right now is lettuce or radishes,” she said. “Those can really stand a lot of cold.”
According to Hicks-Pearson, the ground also traps heat, so anything that is still below ground will more than likely not be affected by the cold temperatures. Most vegetables won’t be planted until the end of April or the start of May, she said. “Some people might like to rush their planting a little bit with the warm weather we had, but for most of the vegetables it’s too early to even be in the ground,” she added.
Luckily, temperatures are forecast to stay above freezing in the immediate future for Mitchell, and the chance of rain starting today and going through the weekend may actually help those plants grow.
The high temperature today is expected to reach 57, with a low of 47. An 80 percent chance of precipitation is forecast with new rainfall amounts between a quarter and half an inch possible.