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January 2010 • Edition 10.01

Kevin's Korner

2010!

Happy New Year and I hope you got everything you desired for Christmas. As we start a New Year we all make resolutions that are difficult to keep but I have one that is easy. Become a Grangetto's Preferred Customer and receive incredible gardening advice year-round--and you will be able to grow your own fruits and veggies and save money in the process. We have a great assortment of quality products and the most knowledgeable sales staff that can make your brown thumb turn green! Can you think of a better activity than enjoying your backyard and tasting the fruits of your labor? Come in today!

Happy New Year from your friends at Grangetto’s Farm & Garden Supply!

 

Manager's Corner

Cloud CoverWith the cold temperatures of winter comes the possibility of frost, which can damage the plants in your landscape. While most plants usually leaf out again when the weather warms, some plants don't fare as well.

Frost damages plants when the foliage loses moisture faster than the plants can replace it. This can happen because the soil is dry or because the water or moisture in the ground normally available to the plant is frozen. But most frost damage can be prevented by understanding and following a few basic principles.

There are definite warning signs that can help determine the possibility of a hard frost. If you notice low temperatures (45° or lower at 10 p.m.), a clear sky, little to no breeze, and dry air at bedtime, bring any potted plants that might be at risk into the garage or at least under a porch roof or eaves.

For plants in the ground (and outside potted plants), make sure the soil is moist when frost is expected. Moist soil holds and releases more heat than dry soil, which will help create a more humid environment around the plant when the frost pulls moisture from the foliage of the plant. Never hose down a plant in the morning after a frost. Allow the plants to thaw naturally and gradually, or you may rupture the plant cells in the leaf tissue.

photoThere are products that can help prevent frost damage. Spraying frost-tender plants with an anti-transpirant such as Anti Stress 2000 will help provide 2-6 degrees of extra insulation from the cold by reducing the amount of moisture a plant gives off. Anti-transpirants are non-toxic and dry clear.

If you don't already have mulch around your plants, add a 2-3" layer of mulch or top dressing like Sierra Bark. This helps the soil retain moisture and stay warmer, as well as giving the roots some insulation from the cold.

Another protective measure is to cover tender plants with burlap or DeWitt N-Sulate Cloth. This can help prevent frost damage by providing an extra 2-6 degrees of protection. Make sure to fasten the material you use securely over frames or stakes so that it does not touch the plant; otherwise it will transfer the cold directly to the plant. Remove any covering during the daytime to allow the plants to absorb sunlight. Using a cloth such as DeWitt N-Sulate will allow the plant to breath, where materials such as plastic will not.

photoWait to prune frost-sensitive plants until after the danger of frost has passed and new growth has started. If your plant is injured, leave the damaged foliage on the plant so it will act as a protective layer to the foliage beneath. Trimming the plant too early may stimulate new growth that can be damaged by further frosts. You may also end up pruning out more foliage than is necessary; some of that dead-looking foliage may still be alive. When you do prune, the idea is to let the frost damage guide the pruning. Prune only the areas that are not showing new growth.

If you have any questions about which plants to protect, just ask one of our garden experts. We'll be happy to help you make sure you're equipped properly to fend off the damaging effects of frost.

 

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