Frost tonight!

franknjimApril 5, 2012

I have about 200 varieties in the ground and almost all of them are up. Tonights low is predicted to be 33. My Empress Wu and Samual Blue are too big for even a 65 gallon garbage can so they both gets sheets on supports.

80 pots of hosta, a dozen pots of perennials, a dozen flats of annuals, 24 hanging baskets of annuals, a dozen pots of annuals all got moved into the garage.

Mother Nature is playing games.

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I just checked Accuweather and their calling for a low of 42 but tomorrow night is a different story. Our local news channel last night said the upper level low over eastern Canada will stay in place for the entire month giving easterners colder than normal temps. So I decided whatever happens happens. Most are still dormant of the 140 or so hostas I have about 30 have come up with a little bit of damage to some and then of those maybe half are just poking through the fresh mulch. Just to much work to deal with uncovering in the morning and then recovering in the evening. Since the mulch is dark and helps heat the ground then releases heat during the night I feel I've got a good chance to get through this. I don't ever recall dealing with temperature abnormalities such as this.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 7:37PM
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tepelus z6a SW MI

Calling for a low of 33 for tonight here, and possibly 28 for tomorrow night. About half of mine are still in the emerging eyes stage, but the others are mostly unfurled, so I have tarps and pots covering them. I foresee doing this for much of this month, dang it. Stupid early warm weather.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 9:17PM
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At what temp should hostas be covered?

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 10:25PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

You guys need big fans like the wineries up in Napa have to ward off the frost crystals. I'm only getting down to 38 tonight.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 11:06PM
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33F to 36F is frost
32F and below is freeze

I cover if it goes below 36.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 11:39PM
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leafwatcher(zone 5)

All covered up here, although we were SUPPOSEDLY safe in the DesMoines area.. time will tell.

The flowering trees here have been unreal this year, so thick you can't even see thru them...

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 11:44PM
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Leaping lizards, franknjim, how do you keep all those plants alive? You really got it bad. Good job on the frost protection! I'd like to see your garage.

PS - I only protected a few selected plants, but hostas in pots are safe... The only way I've been able to grow a "great expectation" (larger than 1 eye) is in a pot. And she's a beauty this year. I wish I could get it in the ground and have it grow successfully.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 7:23AM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

Frank has HHD. Hosta Hyperactivity Disorder. I need some of whatever it is you are drinking, Frank.


    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 8:13AM
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I drink triple strength coffee. Last summer was rough keeping things from getting burned up during the heatwave. I watered everyday. One day would be hosta and the next was annuals. I didn't have a single crispy hosta. I have spent too much money and way too much time on my manic gardening to let Mother Nature mess them up. It would devastate me to see my hosta messed up for the year by just a few degrees too cold.

My temp went down to 35F last night. I use a dual zone digital thermometer that records the highs and lows. I also watch the temps and forecasts in four different places online since they are always usually different.

I have to get out there in about 20 minutes to uncover everything. I'll leave all the pots next to the hosta since tonights temp might also drop low. Then two more cold nights next week.

Must drink more coffee!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 8:45AM
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bernd ny zone5(5)

Wow! Frank, you must have plastic pot towers in your garage when they are not used, have so many! Good going!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 9:53AM
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I don't throw any pot away until it falls apart. When I give away plants locally I make the people save my pots for me. I sometimes go dumpster diving at Lowes outside of the garden department in the summer to get all of the pots they throw away when they let the plants get too bad to sell. I have every size from tiny 1" up to 30 gallon that trees I bought came in. One corner in the garage is all stacks of pots. You should see my sisters garage. Huge shelves of nothing but every size of terracotta and ceramic pots of every kind.

I also save the carriers for every size of pot. They come in handy since I always have at least 100 pots of things growing on the drive. I do the same thing with saving flats and cell packs. I need to start buying 4" pots by the case since I always run out of that size.

If I ever move, I am ready to take every plant with me. Eleven hundred was the most I have moved before.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 11:52AM
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I seemed to be ok except for the few which were frozen last week from the return of the cold. I'm amazed that more haven't been damaged though. You can tell as the foliage takes on a shiny translucient look to it. The worst so far is Ringtail and Diana Remembered. Even Sagae looks ok so far and it is about 4 inches high so far.


    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 3:58PM
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Our temps went down to 33 and we had light frost on lawn and top of cars. Tues and /wed is to be our worst nites

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 4:59PM
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cyn427(z7aN. VA)

Low of 38 expected here in the DC area tonight. Keeping my fingers crossed and blowing hot air (my own, that is :)) to all of you further north.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 5:50PM
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tepelus z6a SW MI

Everything is covered again for tonight and then some, I even covered eyes that are emerging with pots or mulch for those beds that have mulch. Supposed to get colder tonight than last night. Only frost on rooftops in my neighborhood this morning and in more open areas on cars. Then a couple of nights of no worry then another few more nights next week. I'm just keeping the pots nearby the hostas I cover to make covering up quicker, like Frank. Plus I've started sneezing like crazy. Not a good sign.


    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 8:31PM
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