Help! Late Freeze Coming Down South Sat. Night

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by MsPacMan, Apr 22, 2005.

  1. MsPacMan

    MsPacMan Well-Known Member

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    Help!


    I'm in Zone 7, west Tennessee. Our last frost date is 15 April, a week ago today.


    Confident that we'd have no more freezes, I spent this week planting 19 tomato plants, 6 bell pepper plants, 6 crookneck squash plants, and 9 marigold plants.


    Plus I have plenty of strawberry plants in half barrel containers.


    Now, this evening, I heard on the news that we have a "blackberry winter" coming' that is, it is going to go down into the mid-20's tomorrow night.


    What do I do to protect my plants?


    Thank you in advance for your suggestions and ideas.
     
  2. momlaffsalot

    momlaffsalot Well-Known Member

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    I'm not 100% sure, but I think you can cover them with a sheet...yes? Big help I am, huh?
     

  3. MsPacMan

    MsPacMan Well-Known Member

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    I forgot to mention:


    the 19 tomatoes are already snug in their concrete reinforcent wire cages which are "stapled" into the ground with six "ground staples" per cage. And the tomatoes have already had their three inches of shredded bark mulch spread around them, both in and outside of those cages.


    So I can't just lay a sheet (or row cover) over the plants.


    I can do something like that with the peppers and squash, however.
     
  4. whiterock

    whiterock Well-Known Member Supporter

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    wrap the cages with old blankets or some such. maybe layers of newspaper and plastic. smaller plants could be covered with large cans or plastic buckets and loose hay piled around to insulate. All you have to do is keep them from freezing. they don't have to be warm. a good watering before hand will help also. you could wrap the cages with clear plastic and fasten it with clothespins and cover with blankest at night, remove and let the sun warm during the day, just make sure yu vent.
     
  5. WolfWalksSoftly

    WolfWalksSoftly Level II -Inappropriate

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    Not sure I would use plastic as it will trap moisture and freeze on the inside. I had thought about using plastic bags to cover my plants and was told not to.
     
  6. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Plastic is ok if it does not touch the plant. Any water that freezes on the inside of the plastic actually will release some heat. You can also put jugs of water under the covers with your plants for additional protection.

    If you have extra straw you can toss it over the plants before sundown and that will give them a good bit of protection. I've done that with smaller plants in the spring. You will need to uncover them in the morning unless it is still really cold. They can stay covered a few days with little harm.
     
  7. whiterock

    whiterock Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Perhaps I wasn't clear, the plastic would be one layer coupled with old blanket, etc. Wrapped around the cages it would help seal off the wind etc. it would transmit cold to plant it touched but around the cages would in effect be a min. greenhouse. On the row crops a container over the plants and loose hay/straw to insulate. rowcovers make mimi greenhouses when covered with loose hay/straw/leaves.
     
  8. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    please remember that the last frost date is just an average date. sometimes it is earlier, sometimes it is later. and this is dogwood winter, cuz that's what blooming. or was until last nights hail storm. blackberry winter will come when the blackberries are blooming, around the first week of may. then it gets hot.:)
     
  9. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Here in NW MS they're predicting lows around 35...and the blackberries are blooming here. Dogwoods are already finished. LOL...

    Not sure if I'm going to try and cover my tomatoes and newly sprouted beans and squash. Might take a gamble. After all, my garden got a quick heavy hailing yesterday and a lot of stuff is now broken. :waa:
     
  10. LaDonna

    LaDonna Well-Known Member

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    It's supposed to get down to 29 tonight. My husband is holding out until the first week of May to put our plants out. We have even brought them inside off the porch for the duration of the cold snap. My tomatoes and peppers are snug and warm but has anyone seen my kitchen?

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