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Gardening tips for the overnight chill

9:19 AM, Apr 11, 2012   |    comments
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St. Louis (KSDK) - Temperatures didn't quite reach freezing Tuesday night going into Wednesday, but experts say they were cold enough to take action.

Wednesday night, temperatures could get even lower. We visited Bayer's Garden Shop in South City for some gardening tips in the face of a freeze.

Garden Expert Michelle Fields says it's ok if annuals were planted early because of the warm winter, as long as extra care is taken now.

"Mother Nature is the one who's really going to decide, but there's no reason that you can't put them out early if you're willing to go out and take a few extra precautions," Fields said. "Covering is fine if you know it's going to be chilly like it was last night."

More tips from Bayer's:

40 Degrees is a baseline: At this point in the season, anything below 40 is cause for concern, especially for the warmer weather annuals. Cover plants or bring them inside.

Covering: Try not to use garbage or plastic bags, but if you have to, remove PROMPTLY after the overnight temperature drop. Instead, try using thin sheets, microfiber layering or old potato sacks if possible.

With warmer weather plants, be especially careful: Basil, tomato, pepper, squash and zucchini plants are 'hot season' and should NEVER go below 40. This can severely stunt and retard growth.

When in doubt: Be extra careful! Cover and remove plants if you have a bad feeling. Better safe than sorry.


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