ESMcLane
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Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:28 am
Location: Western Massachusetts

frost warnings

Hi!

Believe it or not, but we have a potential frost warning this evening (they're saying 29 degrees!).

Is it imperative that I cover my perennials? I covered them last night due to a frost warning & the sheet that i used bent the stem of one of my lilies. I don't have like cheese cloth or anything and I don't want to ruin the stems of these flowers.

What should I do?

thanks :)

Dillbert
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Location: Central PA

>>what should I do?

what's the question? if you are unpossible happy with a couple bent stems, leave them uncovered, the (potential) frost will kill them.

on the bright side, you've got no bent stems.
dead stems, yes - bent stems, no.

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Kisal
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Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

ESMcLane, cover them. Would it be possible to drop yard bags over them upside down? That's what I do with my tomatoes for late frosts. The plastic is lightweight enough not to damage the stems, if you're careful. :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

ESMcLane
Cool Member
Posts: 70
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:28 am
Location: Western Massachusetts

kismal- thanks for the input. I forgot i had these garden stakes that i just used which took the weight of the sheet off of the plants.

I'm somewhat new to the whole gardening thing so I'm trying to learn...thats what i thought this forum was for...

cynthia_h
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Location: El Cerrito, CA

We had one of those absolute record-breaking freezes in December 1990 and another one a couple years ago. I had orchids outside both times.

In 1990 I had nowhere to shelter them except under an avocado tree on a concrete patio, so I

1) gathered the orchid pots together so they were touching
2) watered them at bedtime with warm water
3) draped a sheet over them and held it up with sticks placed into the orchid bark
4) ran a long, heavy-duty extension cord (well, 20 feet) and powered a small heater to them.

They all lived.

Now, I don't expect that you can run the extension cord out to the lilies, but maybe you can water them with warm water after dark? And lift up the protective sheets with sticks stuck firmly into the ground?

In December 2008 I was much luckier. We now have a carport where we live. I evicted my car from the carport and moved the orchids underneath. I had to remember to water them, though: even though we were struggling with a freezing rain, the orchids would have been bone-dry without my watering! :roll: Weird, but true with carports (and garages, but never in my adult life have I had a garage).

Maybe the warm water will help.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

Greenhorn
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

The freeze warning is over in this area but for future use, I thought I would share a trick that I use. When it's dry and not very windy and there is a threat of a freeze warning; I only have a small garden so I set up a couple of heat lamps several feet away from my plants and shining them on the plants that I want to protect.

The heat lamp method is liable not to be very effective when it's windy or wet. If water gets on the lightbulbs the lightbulbs can bust.

ESMcLane
Cool Member
Posts: 70
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:28 am
Location: Western Massachusetts

thank you all for your advice- it was quite helpful.

cynthia_h
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Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

Happy to help! Thanks for the feedback. :)

Cynthia

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