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#1
I need some advice real badly and real fast!!!

I have Rose of Sharon bushes that are all leafed out and that have buds on them, a bunch of small seedlings for assorted things, including cosmos and salvia, some Russian Red cannas that have emerged from the ground, and the worst of all, some climbing lilies that just started to come up, and we are under a freeze warning for tonight. Obviously, covering the stuff would be wise, but we have 30-40 mph sustained winds, and the gusts are much higher.

What can I do to keep from losing all of this? It's going to get down to 32 degrees tonight. It's not ideal right now since it's only 43. This isn't supposed to be the norm for the heart of Texas in April..........but the winds sure are!

I'd be grateful for any advice or suggestions!
 
#2
What I do if it's windy and cold is go to the Dollar Store and get some cheap plastic drop clothes. Put them under any old sheets or blankets that I use to cover the plants, then put something heavy along the edges of the plastic and sheet, like a cinder block. Sometimes I even bury the edges with compost. The plastic will block the wind, and the cloth will hold some heat and insulate against frost. The ground is warm enough now to release some heat back during the night if the wind can be blocked so it doesn't whip it away. Heavy plastic will work better, but that gets expensive. For small in ground plants I turn a bucket up over them and put a rock on the bucket.

You can also run something heavy like a fence post along the edges of the sheet/plastic, and use spring clips to hold the sheet/plastic to the post. You can get bags of cheap ones at the dollar store, too.
 
#3
Oh yeah, you can also pull the plants up close to the side of the house in the lee of the wind. It is usually a bit warmer there.
 
#4
The cannas are pretty small still, but there are a bunch of them, so I don't know whether the buckets will work. The Rose of Sharon are 5 or 6 feet tall. One of them is in a fairly exposed area where it will be hard to cover them without blocking the nearby sidewalk. The other pots can probably be moved closer to the building, although some of them already are. I am worried that the wind is so strong that I won't be able to keep any type of covering on them.

I wonder whether garbage bags would work to cover things.
 

RonsGarden

Super Moderator
Staff member
#7
Use water!
Here's a few points to ponder:
Spray the plants with water using the mist setting, if your garden hose nozzle has one!
That is what farmers use if they are expecting a freeze with no wind.
Frost will develop if there is no wind/breeze!
If the temp goes down to 32F there may, or may not be any frost damage, especially if there is a wind.
So, before going to bed, and to easy your panic, wet everything down!
 
#8
Use water!
Here's a few points to ponder:
Spray the plants with water using the mist setting, if your garden hose nozzle has one!
That is what farmers use if they are expecting a freeze with no wind.
Frost will develop if there is no wind/breeze!
If the temp goes down to 32F there may, or may not be any frost damage, especially if there is a wind.
So, before going to bed, and to easy your panic, wet everything down!

I can't hose things down because we aren't allowed to use hoses, and the water spigots are locked. I can however, carry buckets out to water everything.

I just went to the grocery store, and while I was there, I found clear plastic 30 gallon garbage bags, so I bought them. I was thinking that if I watered things and covered them before it got dark, that maybe the bags would retain enough heat from the sun and the water to keep anything from happening.

The winds here are ferocious...sustained at about 30 mph. This is typical for Texas, and I doubt it will change significantly over night. On the other hand, though, it's very clear out, and won't clearer conditions make it colder?

The ROS are very large and about to bloom. They are easily 5 or 6 feet tall, so I am not sure how I will manage to cover them. I also have galliarda blooming, but strangely, that bloomed all winter, even when we had freezing temperatures. The things I am most worried about are the climbing lilies that are just starting to come up again, and the cannas, because they just shot out of the ground a couple of days ago.

I screamed for help when I realized that the National Weather Service had issued a FREEZE WARNING, not a watch or an advisory.

I know a lot of people who already have vegetables, including tomatoes and other things in the ground. This isn't good for anyone around here.
 

Gloria

Super Moderator
Staff member
#9
That freeze is heading my way for tomarrow night. I'm covering all I can with pine straw, buckets, cans, bags..what ever. It's all we can do. I'm so glad I waited to plant some things. I planted 40 tomato plants and about that many peppers. All have to be covered. BUT....I waited to finish with the tomatoes. I lost a bunch last year by planting too early. I think I have it under control this season. Will transplant more tomatoes later this month. I need to have at least 250 plants. LOL
 

Dale

Super Moderator
Staff member
#10
Susan I would not water my plants if I it's suppose to frost tonight. That will be to much moisture. I agree with Ron about the water. But what we do is get up early on mornings there is a frost and you could take a watering can and wash the frost of the plants before the sun comes up. If the sun gets to the plants with the frost on them that is when they will be burnt back.
 
#11
Susan I would not water my plants if I it's suppose to frost tonight. That will be to much moisture. I agree with Ron about the water. But what we do is get up early on mornings there is a frost and you could take a watering can and wash the frost of the plants before the sun comes up. If the sun gets to the plants with the frost on them that is when they will be burnt back.
I watered some of the pots because they were bone dry, but I didn't the other stuff. The winds were wicked as I was covering stuff. I hope I got the cannas fully covered. Some of the little tips were just starting to come out of the ground, and there is still a heavy layer of mulch around them. Everything could cover is covered with clear plastic bags. I am most worried about the Rose of Sharon that are far too big to cover with plastic or anything else, because the cover wouldn't stay. The lavender one is already loaded with buds. :eek:

Where is it warm all the time -- with no frost EVER? That's where I want to move!
 

RonsGarden

Super Moderator
Staff member
#12
I can't hose things down because we aren't allowed to use hoses, and the water spigots are locked. I can however, carry buckets out to water everything.

I just went to the grocery store, and while I was there, I found clear plastic 30 gallon garbage bags, so I bought them. I was thinking that if I watered things and covered them before it got dark, that maybe the bags would retain enough heat from the sun and the water to keep anything from happening.

The winds here are ferocious...sustained at about 30 mph. This is typical for Texas, and I doubt it will change significantly over night. On the other hand, though, it's very clear out, and won't clearer conditions make it colder?

The ROS are very large and about to bloom. They are easily 5 or 6 feet tall, so I am not sure how I will manage to cover them. I also have galliarda blooming, but strangely, that bloomed all winter, even when we had freezing temperatures. The things I am most worried about are the climbing lilies that are just starting to come up again, and the cannas, because they just shot out of the ground a couple of days ago.

I screamed for help when I realized that the National Weather Service had issued a FREEZE WARNING, not a watch or an advisory.

I know a lot of people who already have vegetables, including tomatoes and other things in the ground. This isn't good for anyone around here.
It's SNOWING here with a 28F!
Everything is covered in white!
We're not expecting any amount of snow, but SNOW in April is hard to take!
It is rare, but not all that unusual to have snow in April. I've seen 14"s fall in early May a few decades ago!
I notice my Foxtail Lily has popped up, and there is now two of them instead of the one I usually expect to see each spring!
The snow will finish off the crocuses but everything else is pretty much unfreezeable such as the tulips, daffs!

You really shouldn't panic, since there is nothing you can do and besides, perennials are pretty resilent, but too bad for annuals!
We can thank all this wacky weather to this last year and this year's La Nina!
According to the forcasters, La Nina is starting to weaken and should be gone by late May!
 

Kya D

Active Member
#13
Good luck Ms. Susan.
I hope everything goes OK. The problem we get here is keeping the buckets, cans, etc on the plant when the wind is blowing like crazy
 
#14
Good luck Ms. Susan.
I hope everything goes OK. The problem we get here is keeping the buckets, cans, etc on the plant when the wind is blowing like crazy
You're in the mountains, aren't you? We aren't that high up, I don't think, but with 40 mph sustained winds, it's hard.

The winds have died down, which is good and bad. The humidity is less than 20% and the dew point is all of 14 degrees. I have things pretty well covered, but those Rose of Sharon are worrisome -- especially since they are about to bloom. I've got other stuff coming up, too, but I still don't know what will happen.....

La Nina can take a hike......and El Nino can stay away, too!!!!!!!!!!

I so wish I lived in the tropics!
 
#15
It's SNOWING here with a 28F!
Everything is covered in white!
We're not expecting any amount of snow, but SNOW in April is hard to take!
It is rare, but not all that unusual to have snow in April. I've seen 14"s fall in early May a few decades ago!
I notice my Foxtail Lily has popped up, and there is now two of them instead of the one I usually expect to see each spring!
The snow will finish off the crocuses but everything else is pretty much unfreezeable such as the tulips, daffs!

You really shouldn't panic, since there is nothing you can do and besides, perennials are pretty resilent, but too bad for annuals!
We can thank all this wacky weather to this last year and this year's La Nina!
According to the forcasters, La Nina is starting to weaken and should be gone by late May!
Believe it or not, Easter of 2006, there were 5 inches of snow on the ground here. I had to cover things then, too, but I didn't have anywhere near as much as I have now............Weather....you have to love it or hate it. And we can't live without it!!!!!!!! I shudder to think what's going to happen to all of the farm crops that are already growing.
 
#16
Good advice here... especially Dale's and Ron's. Relax its not the end of the world. Most established plants will bounce back if frosted..... I would try to protect the seedlings though.
 

Dale

Super Moderator
Staff member
#17
Wes glad you concurred. It's 38.5 right now here on my back deck. Suppose to get to 32 tonight. That is cold for us here in SC this time of year. Still very windy and to continue being windy. I hope the wind does continue and we won't have a problem here tonight. We have small figs on our fig trees we have a chance of loosing.
 
#18
I got home yesterday to find my cold frame had taken flight! The metal frame was turned upside down a couple of yards from where I left it, and the cover was draped across the fence a few yards beyond that. The neighbor child came over and helped me stake it down really well, then we piled 40 lb bags of manure on the stakes!

Only the large tomatoes and the petunias are in the cold frame. I brought all the peppers,annual herbs and small tomatoes back inside, along with the lantana and Japanese maple I bought at the festival this weekend. We tried to cover anything with tender growth, but there's just so much! The weigela and spireas are just starting to bloom, too! Tonight will be the coldest night, and, oh, please let this be winter's last gasp!
 

lynpenny

Super Moderator
Staff member
#19
Susan did it freeze where you are? It only got down to 37 here. I brought the small things in and hope nothing to big to bring in or in the ground froze. I will check later. It is warming up fairly good here now. up to 47 now. I wouldn't worry about the rose of sharon. I've never had a problem with mine and I don't cover them. It was my blooming tomatoes I was worried about
 


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