Getting Gardens Ready For Freezing Temperatures

By: Stephanie Diffin Email
By: Stephanie Diffin Email

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

The hard freeze is a sign the colors of fall will soon be turning gray. But experts say protecting your plants now could help keep them alive longer.

"Every year I put out lots of annuals around my trees and around all the sides of the house," said Andover resident Karen Riley.

But for Riley, gardening is about more than just planting flowers.

"I like that feeling of just being out in nature and just looking at the beauty that God's created for us," said Riley.

So even after the first hard freeze, she makes sure she's still able to enjoy what she has planted.

"I usually just put some cloth around them, just to keep them from getting frozen, and so that they'll still stay pretty for while," said Riley.

And that's exactly what experts say people should do to keep the water inside a plant's leaves from freezing. Because that's what can ruin plants each year.

"It expands and it basically explodes the leaf, and some things just get mushy and deteriorate. Others will just dry up and fall off," said Johnson's Garden Center Manager Wesley Hostetler.

So covering plants will trap the warmth from the ground, which helps keep even annuals colorful longer. It's something those who have tended their gardens for months say, is important to them.

"It's very important to me because I think they continue to bring beauty, and it makes me feel good when I look at them," said Riley.

Johnson's Garden Center experts say it's also a good idea to use at least two sheets to cover plants. If plants are in small pots, the best option is to bring them inside.

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