Cleansing up some frosted bean and marigold plants the other day, I assumed of a weather report I listened to a short while ago on the radio. The announcer mentioned: “Freezing temperatures are predicted for tonight, as a result ending the gardening year.”
His deadpan shipping of this remarkable — for gardeners — assertion, as effectively as what he stated, tells me that he was no gardener. Freezing temperatures do not finish the gardening season.
Inspite of that frost, are not there even now leaves on trees, some of them nonetheless to flip stunning, fiery colours? If I just can’t think about trees section of my “garden,” how about some shrubs in the flower beds? Butterfly bush is continue to coughing out a several aromatic blossoms. Rhododendrons and heaths search as spry the early morning soon after the freeze as they did in the course of the heat working day ahead of it.
HARDIER Greens AND Flowers
All right, so perhaps the man on the radio intended veggies and herbaceous flowers when he was speaking about gardening. Indeed, bean and marigold crops undoubtedly froze to demise as the latest night time temperatures plummeted to 29 levels Fahrenheit at my upstate New York house, as did zinnias, corn, peppers, cosmos and bachelor’s buttons.
But even weekend gardeners increase more than just these tender greens and annuals. Black-eyed Susans are nevertheless dressed up like it’s summer time, and ’mums — doesn’t just about everybody plant mums? — are unfolding new blossoms. Perennial flowers normally are unfazed by temperatures down into the 20s.
Among the once-a-year flowers, there are lots that also are unfazed by freezing temperatures. Strawflowers, for example, as nicely as snapdragons and pansies are even now perky. These latter two are in fact perennials that are developed as annuals this much north, and they survive our winters if temperatures really don’t dip as well small.
Look all over and you may well even discover some tender once-a-year flowers continue to treading drinking water via the frosty spell. A wall, paving or tree cover each and every avert temperatures close by from dropping as very low as in more uncovered areas. In a flower bed butted up towards the west wall of my household, zinnias and marigolds nevertheless search spry.
Let’s go again to the greens now. Whilst freezing temperatures snuffed the daily life from tender veggies, there are a good deal of chilly-hardy kinds in the back garden. Kale, spinach, broccoli, lettuce and radishes glimpse wonderful after a evening or a few nights of beneath-freezing temperatures. In point, these vegetables search and style greater during this sort of climate than they do in summertime heat.
With a little bit of preparing, a tumble freeze does not have to have to depart the vegetable or flower back garden wanting forlorn. If you have planted a lot of hardy vegetables and bouquets, the freeze acts on the garden the way a producing remedy functions on a photograph: As tender vegetation wilt and are cleared absent, hardy crops appear into prominence.
Effecting this transformation usually means picking hardy plants and giving them sufficient time to expand. With daylight at a top quality this time of calendar year, all plants, no matter if hardy or tender, make little development. That temperature reporter may well much more accurately have mentioned that the expanding period, not the gardening year, was drawing slowly but surely to a near. Not because of one particular frosty night time though.
Lee Reich writes regularly about gardening for The Associated Push. He has authored a variety of publications, including “Weedless Gardening” and “The Ever Curious Gardener.” He weblogs at http://www.leereich.com/blog. He can be reached at [email protected]