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Colder spring temperatures present challenge for newly planted gardens

Published: Apr. 16, 2021 at 6:35 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - While Kansas is well known for drastically changing weather in relatively short windows of time, the colder temperatures forecast through the weekend may come as an unpleasant surprise, especially for those who already planted gardens this year.

You’ll want to protect tender plants including annual-blooming flowers like pansies and planted produce like tomatoes. For plants that aren’t equipped to survive winter-like temperatures, it’s best to cover them through Monday night. While the afternoon highs aren’t forecast to dip below 50 into the middle of next week, overnight lows will approach the freezing mark.

While cold temperatures obviously are not ideal for seasonal plants that thrive in the springtime, Treetop Nursery offers tips to get them through brief cold stretches not uncommon for the months of March and April.

“For most plants, you know, trees and shrubs, things that are growing outside, it really does not do them any harm, especially with the temperatures we’re expecting. It’s not very severe, “said Eric Denneler with Tree Top Nursery “The problem becomes when people have planted annual flowers and more tender vegetables like tomatoes and such, they can’t handle the low 30s.”

The simple solution is to bring potted or hanging plants inside for the next few nights, especially Monday night. If you’ve already planted, you can cover your plants with a tarp, or even a bedsheet to protect them from freezing. You don’t have to cover your entire garden, but make sure to prioritize plants like tomatoes and seasonal flowers.

Watering plants ahead of a temperatures drop also helps. Experts say watering your plants helps to insulate them and make them more resistant to the cold temperatures. Also, moist soil stays warmer than dry soil.

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