Snow - Are you protecting your plants?

m_taggart(7b)March 1, 2009

I'm in the Raleigh area and it looks like we're getting some snow here today and tomorrow. I got brussel sprouts, kohlrabi, snap peas, and kale in the ground a week ago. Is anyone else worried about their cole crops getting frost bit?

I'm thinking of at least putting some cloches around them as I don't have remay or hoops. What does everyone use other than juice and milk jugs?

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jqpublic(7b/8a Wake County NC)

I don't think it'll be the snow that does them in. WRAL has us getting to 17 degrees on Monday and Tuesday night. OUCH!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 1:59PM
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Yikes, you're right. WRAL shows Raleigh could be down to 14 degrees Monday night. I may have to go dumpster diving for some milk jugs. I do have some 5 gal buckets I could cover them with as well as an Omaha steaks styrofoam cooler. How long does anyone reckon I could cover my plants with an opaque cloche? Would a day or two of total darkness mess them up too much?

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 3:28PM
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Frances Coffill(7b)

I have not tried covering food crops, but I do cover my tender ornamentals with whatever is available (juice bottles, oversized plastic and clay pots), anything big enough to cover the whole plant without touching the leaf and buds. I have left these covers on undisturbed for 2 or 3 days without obvious harm. I would not recommend using any cover that did not have some air holes for ventilation. Completely closed spaces seem to invite slugs (not to mention fungus/mold)

Good luck

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 5:48PM
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I really didn't think it would snow. It seems like it always snows everywhere but here, which having trees here that were never pruned properly, 125 feet of arborvitae and other small trees and shrubs that don't like snow very much, I am generally grateful. We sure did get a lot of it though. Since no precautions were taken, we were out at midnight shaking down small trees and shrubs hoping it would stop snowing soon. That quickly degraded into a violent snowball fight from which I have just thawed. I am just grateful that we managed to prune back a lot of potentially dangerous limbs before it snowed. With what we watched break and fall, I can imagine the damage would have been worse.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 2:30AM
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I didn't do anything special for this one. I had already put out extra mulch around the roots of my more tender plants, and all my starts for this year are warm and cozy in the greenhouse. I only got a inch or so of snow, the wind was horrible though. I did worry for a while I was going to have to chase part of my greenhouse thru the field!! But we made it fine, now what has me concerned is the brutal cold for the next 2 days. Hope everyone "weathered the storm" OK and hasn't got much or any damage.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 8:25AM
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Everything potted and cold hardy got massed into a large pile (tall plants laid over flat) and draped with a large plastic tarp. I drape the tarp out twice as wide as the pile. It seems to collect the heat emanating up from the ground and concentrate it around whatever is tallest under the plastic.

Everything delicate is in the hoophouse which takes two kerosene heaters, a fan and a small electric heater to stay above freezing when the temps get that cold.

Everything in the ground is left alone except to pile up the snow around and on top of. Snow makes a great insulator.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 9:56AM
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Wish I would've done what you did, little teddy bear magnolia was bent to the ground, as was a new illicium in the woods. I hope they'll bounce back...literally. Plenty of tree branches broken off in the woods, too--luckily they didn't seem to land on anything.

The garden looks so different in the snow...beautiful in a unique perspective. Despite the potential damage, very much worth it!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 10:03AM
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jqpublic(7b/8a Wake County NC)

The only thing in the yard that would have been damaged is our big southern magnolia. Luckily, it is just bent a little, but that's nothing it hasn't seen before. Should make the branches should smthg come next time. This tree already lost its top once before!

Got the hyacinths and daffodils blooming, but they are currently covered in snow so that should provide natural insulation tonight. Who knows about tomorrow night.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 7:30PM
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It's still a little hard to assess the damage we are looking at so far. We have been working hard to remove a bunch of unhealthy Siberian Elms across the back part of the property most of the winter and ended up with three down on top of the neighbor's garage. It appears as if they slowly uprooted and just laid on top of it though so I don't think there is any damage to the garage...thank goodness. They were planted six feet apart all along that 125 foot strip of property and we managed to thin them out to only a handful. Lots of large limbs fell and put a nice dent in the fence and even though we shook and shook, those arborvitae took a beating as did some of the other shrubs. They are all slumped over and some of them are pointing at all points on the compass. I am so glad we shook down the dogwood when we did though. Our neighbors' is cracked down one side and they are going to lose a big chunk of it. I don't know how in the world we are going to get those trees off that garage lol.

All in all, It doesn't look like it is going to be as bad as I originally thought. I am so thankful that I pushed to have those trees in the back removed because there was a lot more overhanging that fence and that garage and it could have been a lot worse. And everything we did manage to get shook off is in a lot better shape than what we didn't.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 4:39AM
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