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.


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...


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