MONFORT HEIGHTS - An unseasonably warm winter has confused some of springtime’s favorite buds and blooms. But those spring-like temperatures came to a halt this week when some snow and cold temperatures hit.
The impending threat of freezing temperatures set to hit the Tri-State Saturday night, had veteran gardener Wilbur Reis worried.
"I have lilac bushes already budding out and everything, now whether they're going to bloom this year or not with the freeze we've had now because a couple weeks ago they were budded out then already. So, yea, I'm concerned about those," said Reis of Monfort Heights.
One seasoned green thumb said not to fret during Saturday's overnight [into Sunday] expected freezing temps.
Fred Brown, who has been tending to plants at White Oak Garden Center as the nursery manager for 26 years, said don't worry as long as you only have tight bulbs showing.
"I think that your lilacs going to be pretty safe. My experiences, as long as that bud is dark purple and tight and looks like a little tiny cauliflower, that you're probably going to be OK," said Brown.
Bud, but no bloom, you're OK. But, if your plant has a bloom or leaves outside of the tightly bundled bulb, you might have a problem.
"Fleshy, green leaf parts won't live through tonight's temperature, but two inches below is a closed dormant bud that will make it through tonight's temperatures fine," he said.
If you're worried about your plants enduring the chance of snow flurries and the freezing 10 degrees, Brown said, better safe than sorry.
"Gather up some leaves, maybe some straw, maybe a light piece of fabric and drape it over them.”
He said you can cover them with a washcloth, a pillowcase or something as light as cheese cloth--but do not smother or smoosh your plant. He said, you can avoid mashing your plant by put sticks under the cloth to hold it up just covering the top of the plant.
Regardless of the overnight temps... for him, spring has sprung.
"To me, technically spring has started. As soon as I germinate my first seed and give my first pruning class, it's on."
Brown also pointed out that you should not fret about your spring-bound flowers, like lilies and daffodils. They might get a later start because of the cold, but they will survive. Plus, winter is a great time to start seeding your lawn, pruning plants and prepping gardens for the spring, he said.
Get more tips from Fred Brown at: WhiteOakGardenCenter.com or to attend one of his ‘Seminars in a Snap,’ visit: WhiteOakGardenCenter.com/about/seminars/ .
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