Monday, October 29, 2007

Freeze Warning

Just a few days ago I was literally walking around singing the Heat Miser song from The Year Without A Santa Claus. Hey, I got the hair color to pull it off :-) Then yesterday the rains ended and the chill moved in. I changed to flannel sheets and pulled all my sweaters out. It is about this time that we are do for a frost.

To my shock, the local weather alert system sent out a Freeze Warning email this afternoon. Not a frost, an actual freeze!!! After forwarding the alert to the Washington Gardener Yahoo discussion list, I ran outside and threw a bunch of tender things together in a protected corner and draped them in some clear sheeting. I also dug up some coleus and took cuttings to winter them over.

What can I say, I am late in my fall prep duties this year. After having balmy temps into January last year, I guess I got complacent and yes, lazy. But I'm also che... um, frugal, so I try to winter over as many "annuals" as I can. I'd rather spend my gardening budget on more exotic plants at garden centers than cheap filler plants at big box stores.

4 comments:

Brunch Bird said...

Is it too late for me to plant spring bulbs? I was going to put them in after work one night this week. Thanks

WashingtonGardener said...

Brunch Bird - No, it is not too late at all. This is prime time to start putting them in. A good guideline is once the average night-time temps have dropped below 50 (as they now have) start planting and try to get them in the ground by Thanksgiving. Even then you can still push it quite a bit - as long as the ground is not frozen solid and you can still dig in it, you can put them in. Last year I got some bulbs to trial that arrived by UPS in early January, I put them in immediately and they came up just fine in the spring.

BTW last night I did not even get so much as a minor frost burn on any of the annual Impatiens that are in my front border. I did not even bother to protect them since they are so scraggly and never amounted to much.
So I needn't have gone into over-protection mode with all the othertender things. Oh well, better safe than sorry.

Brunch Bird said...

Thanks!

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