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Old 04-02-2007, 12:25 PM   #1
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Exclamation Ruh Roh! Gardening Help Please!

It seems I've jumped the gun!!

I was busily working in my garden on Saturday. I put out Snowfix, Violas, Pansies, Daisies, Dyanthus, Hens & Chicks... plus the we've moved the palms out side.

Well... it seems that our temps are preparing to plunge!! Wednesday night will drop to the 20s... and the following days will have highs in the 30s and lows in the mid to low 20s.

Now what??

The snowfix are in a half-barrel, that is half filled with with rocks.
3 big planters full of Violas (totally moveable, but big)
Violas, daisies, pansies, dyanthus all small pots.
Hens & Chicks small terra cotta bowl
Palms - BIG pots.

Is moving everything together and covering with a sheet sufficient?
Should I pull everything into the house that's moveable?

Oh yeah... did I mention there's a chance of snow on most of those days??

I would really appreciate any help you can offer.

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Old 04-02-2007, 12:51 PM   #2
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Cover everything you can, and move to a sheltered place what you can move. A sheet may not be enough protection. I use lotsa heavy flannel sheets, sleeping bags, synthetic quilts.
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Old 04-02-2007, 12:57 PM   #3
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The palms should DEFINITELY come back inside. The rest should be fine - with or without light cover.

It's way too early to move tropicals outdoors. Covered or not - you run a serious risk of losing your palms by putting them outside this early.
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Old 04-02-2007, 01:00 PM   #4
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if you are expecting lows in the mid to low 20's, you will need to protect those plants.
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Old 04-02-2007, 01:54 PM   #5
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It is a shame that you put your plants out so early expecially when the cold weather. The Palms should come inside and try and cover everything else and if you have any shelter put them there.

I hope they all survive.
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Old 04-02-2007, 01:57 PM   #6
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Around here, we put up a tepee over the plant and put a light in through the top to help keep the temp wamer for the plants during this time. Just try not to let the tepee material touch the plant.

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Old 04-02-2007, 04:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyCooking
The palms should DEFINITELY come back inside. The rest should be fine - with or without light cover.

It's way too early to move tropicals outdoors. Covered or not - you run a serious risk of losing your palms by putting them outside this early.
Breezy is right. Get your palms in. The other things will be fine...in fact, snow will be helpful, because under it's blanket, the plants won't get below 32 degrees.
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Old 04-02-2007, 06:10 PM   #8
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hey, spryte, the National Weather Service just changed my forecast for this weekend. They are now predicting a low of 18 degrees F , and I believe you are a bit north of me
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Old 04-02-2007, 06:31 PM   #9
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You might consider buy some straw and using that as insulation. The straw will not only insulate your pots (and protect any exposed spots) but will also generate its own heat (no joke!). Not only that, but you can then use it for compost or your flower beds once the warm weather returns. I've been doing this for years in a region that gets below 0 and so far so good.
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Old 04-02-2007, 06:40 PM   #10
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I was wondering about my plants too - my hostas shot up and are about 6" out of the ground right now. We've had a warm and sunny week and tomorrow will be 80 but the next day will be a high of 40. Will the hostas be OK? I also have purple sage coming up and other perrenials are about an inch or two out of the ground.
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Old 04-02-2007, 06:47 PM   #11
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Ok.... So my plan is to pull everything except the snowfix & chives in tomorrow night. It's supposed to be in the 70s again and the palms really need the sunlight. They get very little in the house. I might also leave the big planters of violas outside too.

Thanks so much for all of the advice... next year I just need to wait a while longer!! It's just so hard when it's warm and sunny... and the neighborhood is gray... and it just takes a few flowers to brighten it up!
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Old 04-03-2007, 06:41 AM   #12
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Here the tradition is that you do NOT plant before Mothers' Day! And Woe Be It On Your Head if you do and jinx the rest of us! I did buy one of those mini-greenhouses so I can start some of my own plants. And spinach can go in early. Chives are up.
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Old 04-03-2007, 06:53 AM   #13
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All good information.
Protect what you can and bring the rest inside.
The temps shouldn't stay down too long. You should be okay.
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Old 04-03-2007, 07:02 AM   #14
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My general rule of thumb is find out what the Average Date of Last Frost is for your zone and add exactly 1 week.

In my zone, that date of last frost + 1 week = average date when night-time temperatures remain above 55ºf which is the reccomended minimum for Tomatoes and Peppers. :)

Once I can put my tomatoes out, it's safe to put everything else out (and I've had to drag 12 seven gallon pots full of tomatoes into the house for a week to watch TV due to a cold snap :D)


Tomatoes watching TV during a cold-snap (Spring 2005)

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Old 04-03-2007, 08:57 AM   #15
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Whatever you do, don't use plastic to cover any of your plants. That's a disaster. (I know from experience)
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Old 04-03-2007, 09:16 AM   #16
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Why is that Lyndalou?

Our forecast says that Saturday night, it will be in the 20s. We had planned on putting some old shower curtains over the garden.

Should we just use sheets?
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Old 04-03-2007, 10:06 AM   #17
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It is our experience that whatever the NWS forecasts, that we receive from 3 to 5 degrees lower than their prediction. ANd today, they have revised their forecast to a low of 23 degrees F. I still have painful memories of May 20 and 21 2006 when we experienced much lower than predicted temperatures. Don't remember what we got, but it was a hard freeze and I lost most of my tomato plants. I covered most of the potato plants and they survived. Right now I have one apple and plum tree in full bloom. The apple tree is too big to cover and the plum tree has a brand new birds nest in it, so I will not bother the plum tree. I plan to cover my newly germinated spinach plants and the overwintered spinach, celery and parsley plants. And I haven't even started my tomato, pepper and annual flowers yet!!

Established perennials will be okay with this upcoming cold weather. What this thread is concerned with is the killing of plants. Perennials will not be killed, just maybe set back a bit.
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Old 04-04-2007, 04:32 AM   #18
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I'm not exactly sure why it doesn't work to cover plants with plastic, but I do know that we lost some when we used old shower curtains once.
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Old 04-04-2007, 06:48 AM   #19
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The WIND !

Anyone else getting the winds with this new front moving in?? We have predicted gusts up to 35 MPH for the next 4 days. Right now the temp is 45*F with the wind chill factor 37*F (7*C/3*C). This will really complicate keeping bed clothes on the plants! And again, the NWS has dropped the predicted low on Friday, to 20*F.
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Old 04-04-2007, 08:17 AM   #20
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When I went outside this morning, there were branches all over the yard and many things were knocked over on the deck.

In fact, I woke up in the middle of the night when the blinds were blowing so badly that I had to close the windows. It was then that I realized it was pouring rain.
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