Next week's late cold snap worries gardeners


South Bend, Ind. Mother's Day usually marks a good time of the year to begin planting certain spring flowers, but this year's late winter is causing headaches for planters across Michiana.

"It's been a very busy day, I haven't stopped moving in a while," said Nick Strafford of Roseland Garden Center Sunday. "Mother's Day is always one of the busiest weekends of the year -- you get a lot of people."

And Mother Nature lent a helping hand this year with temperatures in the eighties for most of the day.

However, next week could see temperatures that spiral down into the fifties by the end of the week, with lows in the upper thirties and forties.

Strafford said gardeners can go ahead and plant, but he offered some tips to battle the changing temperatures next week.

"Any time you have a frost danger you want to get the plants wet because it protects the roots from freezing," he said. "And if the roots freeze the plants will die."

The soil traps heat better when it's wet than when it's dry. It also evaporates slowly, warming the air around the plants.

He also suggested gently covering plants with a material if frost becomes an issue. Roseland Garden Center uses giant rolls of microfiber to protect their inventory.

"We'll just put this right on top of it and if the frost does come the frost won't sit on top of the flowers so the flowers won't die," he said.

Flower lovers might also want to consider bringing in their potted plants for a night or two.


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