Cold night means plants need protection

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Cold and snowy isn’t what most people want to hear, especially if they spent this past weekend buying flowers and plants.

If those plants aren’t in the ground yet experts say to get them inside, specifically a garage or a spot that’s not too warm.

But if people did take advantage of the beautiful weather this weekend, there are a few things they can pick up before those cold temperatures make their unwanted return.

Rainy days might put a damper on outdoor plans, but it’s everything these little guys could ask for.

But with a frigid night in the forecast, these droplets could turn to ice leaving these blooming beauties literally out in the cold.

Chuck Bagley, General Manager at Menards, knows a thing or two about protecting plants, which is pretty important when you manage a garden this size.

He knows his perennials can weather the storm, but the vegetables and other annuals might not survive.

“We’ll have to bring all those in tonight, keep them out of the frost ,” he said.

Getting those precious plants out the elements is one tactic. But what if some have already set their roots?

“What some gardeners swear by are these ‘Aqua shields.’ It allows the plant to stay away from the frost. Doesn’t help so much against snowfall as it does against actual frost itself.”

Bagley also suggested a “Fleece Grow Tunnel” for keeping frost off of plants. “They can still be left on during the day and still allow enough light in for the product to grow,” he said.

Frost blankets are another option. “It’s just a fabric that you can drape over already established vegetables or any other type of flowering plants.”

All the products are around $10, which to Bagley is an easier price to pay than having to start fresh with new plants.

“Originally being from Minnesota this is really not that bad of a stretch of weather for me but I can certainly see the frustration growing on fellow Hoosiers, that’s for sure,” he joked.

If covering certain plants tonight, it is advisable to still keep the snow in mind.

Bagley said to try and knock some of the snow off the covers if possible. It will keep the plants from being crushed.

If they do get damaged by frost or snow, Bagley said pruning them and giving them the proper fertilizer can nurse them back to health.

And lastly, if possible, wait to plant until May, Bagley suggests doing that in order to avoid the April weather.

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