Late Spring Freezing and Heavy Hail; What to Do Now

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The garden is about to explode into bloom, but there is a good chance spring storms will soon batter your lovely flowers.

You can protect them from freezing; you just need to act now.

The garden is about to bloom, but there is a good chance your lovely flowers will soon be assailed by spring storms. You can protect them from freezing; you just need to act now.

The best time to protect your plants from the cold is the first quarter of the year. This is when you can apply the most effective treatments, but that does not mean you can take a pass on protecting your garden as soon as the mercury starts dropping.

The weather may seem especially cold for late Spring, but we are entering a phase that is typical for this time of year.

Late Spring Snow in Colorado
Photo: Jason Wissner

Once the sun sets, nighttime temperatures dip into the 20s and 30s. It is not cold enough to kill frost-sensitive plants, but it is plenty cold enough to damage tender blooms. To protect your spring and summer flowers from the coming freeze, cover them at night when the temperature dips below 32 degrees. You will also want to protect any vines, such as clematis, that you might have trained on a trellis. When you go out in the morning, it looks like very little has changed—but those flowers are damaged. The flower petals have begun to curl and wrinkle as they freeze. Even if the weather turns milder later in the day, starting with those damaged flowers will not give them a chance to mature properly. The trick to keeping your garden happy in spring is to pay attention to nighttime temperatures and avoid freezing nights. Gardeners in Denver will need to protect their plants for a few more weeks, but the good news is that daytime temperatures remain generally warm. In the meantime, you can help your plants get through the weather safely by giving them some protection from the wind.

“If you can get an extra blanket or some other form of protection on plants before the next cold snap, their damage will be minimized”, says Lifescape Colorado enhancement manager Eric Ball. “If you have larger plants that will not fit under a blanket, then it might be a good time to cover them with a plastic sheet until the weather warms up.”

When springtime weather rolls around, we are all anxiously awaiting the arrival of warmer temperatures and longer days. The optimism for a new season is a great feeling, but it can also lead you to forget the damage that spring weather can bring. Spring thunderstorms are notorious for bringing large amounts of hailstones, high winds, and lightning. Most homeowners know to bring their plants in at this time of year but may not know how to protect them from hail.

If hail is forecasted, place all your potted and hanging plants indoors or cover them to protect them from damage. Put the hail covers for your plants in place and make sure that they are weighted down and sturdy enough to handle high winds. If hail does come through, be sure that you can move your plant containers back outside quickly to allow the earth to cool down, as, after storms, the ground temperature can still be quite hot.

Experiencing hail damage to your plants? If so, remove damaged flowers/leaves and remove any debris. To minimize further damage, place a tarp over the remaining plants to keep off excess moisture. Be sure to avoid wetting plant stems, making the problem worse.

With an increased amount of snow on the ground in the spring, it’s very important to keep your landscape healthy by keeping it free from snow and ice. Snow can damage your landscape and plants, and ice, as well as freeze, can damage any vegetation that is exposed to the cold, so it’s very important to properly prepare your property for the spring and all it will bring.

To get expert help with your landscape, contact us here or use the form below to have a professional reach out to you.


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