Is the April weather a joke?

Well it's April Fools Day and Mother Nature is having a good laugh at gardeners.

The weather forecast is for roller coaster-like temperature dipping into the twenties throughout the month. Like many of us, the warm weather has inspired us to plant a little ahead of schedule. Please don't worry, we have the preventative techniques to help your plants survive the next cold snap coming next week.

Annuals, vegetables, herbs, perennials, shrubs, and trees can all be susceptible to frost damage depending on how tender the new growth is and how and where the plant is grown. Many of the plants you see this early in the season are grown in heated green houses are not hardened off to handle the cold. Some of the trees and shrubs come from farms in warmer climates and are more advanced in thereĀ  flowering and growth and need to be protected from the cold.
Smaller planters can be brought into the house or garage. Planters that are not movable can have bamboo stakes inserted into the planter, providing support for the material that you will drape over the planters. Burlap works well, but plastic garbage bags or old bed sheets can work also. Larger planted beds can be covered with tarps or rolled plastic from the hardware store.
These materials can be secured with sod staples stuck into the ground. Trees and shrubs that are tender can be covered the same way, burlap being ideal. Secure covering with zip ties or twine tied to the branches. All coverings should be removed when temperatures get above freezing. By taking these extra precautions we will help keep these early planters and plantings looking good till the frost threat is over in the middle of May.

I wish everyone great success in the garden this year. Please come visit us soon and all the new plants and let us help you with all your gardening needs. See you soon.

Chris Hart, Outdoor Sales Associate and Garden Expert at McArdle's Florist and Garden Center.

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