Rocky Mountain Springtime

Another typical springtime along the front range of the Colorado Rockies.  Cold, wind and snow just about the time we would like to see some nice weather.  It is certainly not unusual, or totally unexpected.  But since Mother Nature has been teasing us since February with 70 degree temperatures, it does get a little dis-heartening for us anxious gardeners.

The fact of the matter is that most of our landscape plants, trees, shrubs and perennials are fairly used to this type of weather.  There may be some freezer burn to flowers or fresh new shoots.  There may be some broken branches, depending upon how much snow we get.  But for the most part these established plants will survive to grow and bloom another day.

However, this storm is a little unusual in that the predicted lows for Friday and Saturday night will be hovering in the low 20’s, which is pretty close to record low temperatures recorded for this time of year.  Coupled with the fact that the season got off to such an early start with the very warm temperatures in February and March, resulting in early development of our landscape plants.  There could be a little more injury to the soft and tender new plant growth.  We’ll find out.

Consider covering plants that are most important to you.  Use upside-down trash cans placed over larger plants like roses.  Creek Side has 10’ x 12’ frost protection blankets available to lay over smaller plants.  The idea for any covering is to try and capture the warmth of the soil under the cover to keep the freezing air temperatures away from the plants.  Snowfall acts as a good insulator as well keeping the temperature of the plants right around 32 degrees.

Newly planted perennials and cool season annual and vegetable plants will mostly be alright.  More info about cool season plants here.  Newly planted warm season plants in hanging baskets or patio containers should be moved into the garage for the weekend.  Bring them in if you can.  Covering warm season plants outside to protect them against this low of temperature, may not be successful.  Cover ground beds with frost blankets and hope for snow.

After the snow melts and temperatures warm up, access plants for damage.  Trim off any blighted flowers, leaves or stem tips.  New growth will re-generate.  If after a period of days, no signs of life are apparent, remove dead plant and re-plant with fresh new plants from Creek Side Gardens.