Well, Mother Nature heard us complaining about how hot it’s been, so she decided to send us cold weather. Notice I said “cold” not “cool.” Tuesday and Wednesday’s lows will be 30 and 33, respectively. Yep. cold. The problem with that is it’s a big drop in temps from what it’s been, so our plants haven’t been able to harden off enough for that degree of cold. If you still have houseplants outside, bring them in. If you have tender perennials, go ahead and cover them Tuesday afternoon with frost cloth, blankets, sheets, etc., so they don’t get too shocked by the cold. If you have anything that’s blooming and you want to save the blooms, cover those too. A lot of our plants do fine with the cold: fruit trees and shrubs, cool season annuals, etc, so no need to worry about those. Mother Nature is nice enough to also send us some rain today and tomorrow, so we thank her for that. However, if you don’t get rain, be sure to water your plants well before the cold comes in because well-hydrated plants can survive cold better than plants that are dry.
If you use plastic to cover your plants, be sure to not let the plastic touch the plants and be sure to take the plastic off asap the next morning. Here are the reasons for what I said: 1. If plastic is touching the leaves it will conduct the cold to the plants. Use stakes to hold the plastic above the plants. 2. The area under the plastic heats up very quickly once the sun rises and the temps get higher. If left on, your plants could die from getting too hot. Trust me, I have learned from experience on both of those issues.
Let me know if you have questions about what plants in your garden need to be covered.
Ok, Ziva and I are picking up more plants from our amazing native supplier dude on Monday. Here’s what we’re getting:
- Pawpaw Trees!!! I’m getting them in 1-gallon and 3-gallon sizes.
- Dogwood trees, 1-gallon size but they’re 2-3′ tall. These are the Cornus florida, white dogwoods.
- Passiflora incarnata, the native Maypop passion vine. I’m very excited about this one cause it’s hard to find. This is a host plant for the Gulf Fritillary caterpillars. My supplier said that the caterpillars have been happily munching on the vines, so they’re kinda ragged. I’ll post pics of them so you can see what they look like. The pic at the top of this post shows a Maypop passion vine flower.
- Echinacea purpurea, Eastern Purple Coneflower
Both the Pawpaw and Maypop have edible fruit. The Purple Coneflower is the species Echinacea that has wonderful healing and medicinal properties. The Dogwood is simply glorious in the spring. All of these plants are native to Texas and Louisiana.
Keep in mind that regardless of the upcoming couple of cold temp nights, this time of the year is perfect for planting trees, shrubs, and perennials.
Happy diggin’ in the dirt!
Jeanni and Ziva
Bella Jardins Boutique
Beautiful Gardens Begin Here