January 27, 2007
Well, I would guess that we are rapidly making up for all of days that the oil man didn’t make any deliveries. But, spring is on its way. It may be moving slowly, but it will always show up.
It is interesting to watch how plants react to the cold weather. Take a look at your rhododendrons. The leaves will be curled up in very cold weather. The leaves are shivering. The leaves curl up to lessen the amount of leaf surface that is exposed to the cold weather. When the weather warms up, the leaves will unfold again.
Perennials can be lifted up out of the ground by the freezing of the soil. If the roots get exposed, then there may be damage to the roots. This is the reason that you should mulch perennial beds in the late fall.
The cold and dry air can damage many plants. In the fall, I told you about applying an anti desiccant spray to the leaves of broadleaf evergreens and thin bark plants such as rose bushes. If you have an outdoor thermometer that registers humidity, than you will see that the humidity is relatively low. This signifies that the air is dry. As the dry air passes over the leaves of evergreens, it pulls the moisture out of the leaves. At this point in time, it is too cold to apply an anti desiccant spray to the leaves. You still can wrap the plants with burlap to prevent the dry wind from destroying your plants.
The warm weather made many of the spring flowering bulbs put up shoots. The parts that are above ground may be damaged by this cold, but I doubt that the bulbs themselves will be damaged. The above ground shoots may appear as brown edged leaves in the spring, but I think that will be the extent of the damage.
If you are bored with the weather, you can bring some springtime into your home. If you have some forsythia in your yard, go outside and cut off some branches. Bring the stems indoors and place the branches into a vase of water. As the stems warm up, the flower buds will swell up and soon they will burst into bloom . If you can’t get a bad case of spring fever when you see those blossoms, then you probably aren’t a gardener at heart.
Spring may be a few weeks away, but it will surely arrive. Let’s hope the ground hog doesn’t see his shadow.
Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.