How to protect your plants from an April freeze

Plants with flowers or leaves may need more protection.
Plants with flowers or leaves may need more protection.(WAVE 3 News)
Published: Apr. 1, 2021 at 5:59 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - With temperatures in flux over the past week, blooming trees and other plants may face a potential April freeze over the next few days.

At the Wallitsch Nursery and Garden Center, a cold wind is a reminder the hazards of frigid temperatures are still looming. Gardening expert Ray Rock said that can be concerning but doesn’t always do as much damage as one might think.

“The frost doesn’t necessarily hurt certain plants,” Rock said.

He added there are some that need special attention right now though, like the expensive Japanese Maple.

“Your Japanese Maples, they don’t have a flower — they leaf out,” Rock said.

He said crocus, daffodils and tulips are pretty hardy, but if a plant is not in bud form, instead of displaying leaves or flowers, caretakers may want to consider protecting it.

“If it’s in the leaf stage, I would definitely cover it,” Rock said while examining a Japanese Maple.

One tip he has: Don’t use plastic to do that.

“If the sun comes up early in the morning, and you leave it on there for long periods of time, it’ll scorch it and actually burn the plant,” he said. “So, if you could take a sheet or old blanket, make sure you tie it at the bottom really good because if it gets windy and blows up, it kind of defeats the purpose of covering it.”

If gardeners are still waiting to put something in the ground, mid-April is usually a good time to stop by the garden center in WAVE Country.

“Watch the weather, because, mother nature, it’s snowed before on Derby Day,” Rock said. “She can flip flop back and forth.”

Wallitsch provides how-to videos gardening information sheets on its website.

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