The Seasons’ early frost along with a blanket of snow was a bit of a surprise! What that means for gardeners, is a shorter growing season. The anxiety of seeing your spring-flowering planting and trees waking up from winters dormancy being subjected to a blanket of snow is enough to rattle any one. Healthy plantings should be able to withstand a little cold. Cold temperature vegetables, cabbage, kale, broccoli and brussel sprouts should be fine. A layer of straw can be used to cover for added peace of mind. It has been said, ” a fast frost enhances the flavor of those cold weather vegetables”.
For flowering plantings, you can expect the small buds to become shriveled and brown. This should grow out as the weather warms and new grow continues. Here are pictures :
This azalea is currently a foundation planting – as shown the flowers and buds were immediately affected by the frost. Don’t prune – the new growth will soon take over the entire plant and it will look better. If the site is just too much for you, carefully snip off the brown bud. After the azalea has finished flowering - then you can prune. Don’t prune after June – you may be pruning off next years flowers. There is a new Encore variety that will bloom twice, once in Spring and again in Fall. When fertilizing - less is more. Consider a slow release fertilizer. If you over fertilizer leaves will have that scorched look.
While walking through the garden, I hear an all familiar sound the seasons first pollinator.
If another frost is predicted, you may want to cover your plantings with either straw, burlap or blankets. Some empty containers can also be placed over your plants to protect from frost. Just remember, healthy plants that produce buds on old wood as well as new should bounce back as the weather warms. With a shorter growing season, you can get a jump on vegetables and annuals by starting inside and bring plantings out after Mother’s Day. Happy Spring! Until later, El
Ps.. Azalea is in the rhododendron family, the difference is the flower size and leaves.