Gardeners warming up

The recent cold weather has plagued home gardens in the area.


Jennifer Arnold picks-up a few strawberry plants at Garden Gate Nursery Saturday morning after the recent cold temperatures of the last few weeks. Arnold is buying the stawberries because they were the only plants to live through the cold in her home garden.

Brad McClenny / Special to the Sun
Published: Sunday, January 17, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 16, 2010 at 10:42 p.m.

On Saturday, Dick Scheaffer went to Garden Gate Nursery to look for pansies and other plants to replace the ones that had died in the recent cold, harsh weather.

He had sheltered his plants that he expected would freeze, he said. But others succumbed to the temperatures that dipped into the 20s several nights in a row.

What can Scheaffer and you do to help revive your lawn and garden after such an unusual cold snap?

Carla Action, assistant manager of Garden Gate Nursery on Northwest 43rd Street, warns don't do too much. Pruning back plants and fertilizing should not be done until March, she warns.

It is also better to leave dead parts on the plants for now because they help insulate the root system for what will surely be more freezing weather between now and March. Also come March, plants generally leaf back out at the top or the base.

It is a good time to start preparing ground for a spring vegetable garden by mixing organic material, like compost, and readying the soil, Action said.

Also, if you want color in your yard, if you plant ryegrass seed now, it will be emerald green in two weeks, she said. The rye grass will die when the warm days return, and your yard's regular grass will begin germinating in April, she said.

At this time of year, cold-hardy shrubs and trees will thrive, she said. Cold-hardy winter annuals and winter vegetables can be fertilized with water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks.

There are also winter-hardy flowers that can be planted.

"The garden centers are still getting in new plants every week," Action said.

Shana Martin was at Garden Gate looking for a plant for her aunt's birthday.

Her yard hasn't suffered much damage, but some of her potted plants have, she said.

She's hoping the sun and rainy season will revive the yard.

Sean and Cassie Butler went to Lowe's on Saturday before noon. The two said they tried their best saving most of their plants.

"We brought a lot inside," Cassie Butler said. "We have too many outside to save."

Having two young children, they find it difficult to bring too many inside.

They have also followed what their neighbors did by covering plants. But with 20-degree weather, covering the plants wasn't enough to keep them from dying.

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