Frost Ruins Plants

This last burst of winter air is bad for spring buds. Popular plants like Hostas look wilted and have many of you worried about your gardens.
According to horticulture experts, right now it's critical to do nothing.

UK Cooperative Extension Service Horticulture Agent, Carol LaFaver, showed WBKO some of the damaged crop.

"This is typical freeze damage," LaFaver said showing a wilted Hostas.

With the recent warm weather, plants like Hostas thought it was to time bloom. The problem being that the recent warm weather was followed by freezing weather.

"We had a nice February. We had warm weather in March and had three weeks of early blooms coming out," LaFaver explained.

Now those blooms are probably wilted or even brown from enduring several freezing nights in a row. LaFaver said the normal gardener's reaction is to try and save your ailing plants.

"Fertilizing won't help and watering won't help. Really we have to wait and see. Most trees and shrubs will come right out of it. Perennials will look bad this year, but be fine next year," LaFaver said.

LaFaver also said to wait at least five days to give your plants time to do what LaFaver calls "suckering out."

"Many plants that have already broken bloom, but there are other buds that have never activated," LaFaver said. "They will leaf out again. It'll take just a little while."

Even though your Hostas will be able to tough it out, LaFaver said after five days it may be time to give up on your other spring plants. To save your own gardens and crops horticulture experts say to uncover your plants during the day even if you don't think it's warm outside. Letting them sit under the sun, covered, is like giving them a steam bath and can further reverse the growing process.

The damage has been great to gardens and flower beds, but what's been even more devastating is the affect the cold weather has had on wheat crops.

We'll have more on the financial impact to area farmers tomorrow, Wednesday, April 11, 2007, on WBKO at six.

For more information on the recent cold snap and what you can do to help preserve your plants and crops, click here.

And for even more information, join a horticulture meeting on April 19, 2007, at the UK Cooperative Extension Service, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on “Dealing with the Cold Snap - What Can I do Now.” RSVP to 270-842-1681.


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