General Discussion:

Protection from late spring freezing

Messages posted to thread:

lilo08-May-04 07:29 PM EST 3   
dm08-May-04 10:43 PM EST 3   
kathy09-May-04 04:44 PM EST 3b   
Ann10-May-04 04:45 PM EST 5b   
dm16-May-04 10:16 AM EST 3   
lilo07-Jun-04 05:20 PM EST 3   
Patricia08-Jun-04 04:52 AM EST 5   

Subject: Protection from late spring freezing
From: lilo
Zone: 3
Date: 08-May-04 07:29 PM EST

I live in Edmonton (zone3) and the weather forecast for the day after tomorrow will have a nighttime minimum temperature of -9 degree celsius. Unfortunately, all my tulips and daffodils are almost in bloom now. Is there any way to protect the flowers or should I just cut them all and take them indoor. I am most worried about perennials like peonies, lilies, delpheniums and gas plants etc. They are almost a foot tall already and the peonies are already in buds. What can I do to protect them ? This is quite urgent and I would appreciate any help asap. Thank you.

Subject: RE: Protection from late spring freezing
From: dm
Zone: 3
Date: 08-May-04 10:43 PM EST

Hi, lilo. I can identify with you...I live in Calgary and our temperatures have been erratic this past week. One day summer temps, the next day winter with snow!! A few days ago, we had extremely low temperatures and a great deal of snow (the last of it melted today, just in time for Sunday's accumulations!!) Our lows for last Wed. and Thurs. were about -5 and the highs were around zero. The only flowers that I lost in my garden were the azalea blossoms on the new bush I bought. Every other flower survived (including fully-opened tulips, daffs, lungwort, fritillaria... although a few stems were bent because of the heavy snow.) All the emerging perennials were likewise undamaged.

The plants that you mentioned you are worried about are much hardier than you might think. I have all of them in my garden, too. If you're still not convinced, though, old sheets or newspapers (not plastic) could be used to cover the plants (just as you might cover annuals to protect them from late frosts).

One forecast for Calgary shows the temp. dipping to just below freezing during the next few nights, with -6 expected on Thursday. I, for one, won't be worrying about my perennials.

Don't know if any of this helps, or eases your mind, but I hope it does.

Subject: RE: Protection from late spring freezing
From: kathy
Zone: 3b
Date: 09-May-04 04:44 PM EST

I also live in Edmonton & so far so good. The past couple of mornings my delphiniums have been very wilted looking & I think they have been frozen. However, each day (even today after a skiff of snow) they are standing tall. My peonies I have covered the buds because they are susceptible to frost. But all else that is up in the garden is doing fine. Hope this helps & that freezing nights shall soon pass so we can get out & do some serious gardening.

Subject: RE: Protection from late spring freezing
From: Ann
Zone: 5b
Date: 10-May-04 04:45 PM EST

So sorry to hear of your bad weather out there. If you have any leaves you could rake them onto your beds, just to give them a little extra protection.

Subject: RE: Protection from late spring freezing
From: dm
Zone: 3
Date: 16-May-04 10:16 AM EST

Just curious, Lilo, now that the weather seems to be improving. What did you end up doing to protect your garden, and how did everything fare? I lost some tips of a new spirea I bought ...nothing drastic--it'll grow back. Everything else survived.

Subject: RE: Protection from late spring freezing
From: lilo
Zone: 3
Date: 07-Jun-04 05:20 PM EST

Last time was a false alarm and the temperature never dropped too low. Thanks for all your input anyway. But can you believe it ? The weather forecast just said that the temperature is going to drop to zero tonight with a hard frost. Now I am really worried. My peonies and some rose budsare almost ready to open. I am sure gathering all my old sheets and covering as many plants as I can. Just hope the neighbours won't find it too weird. A hard frost in June !!! Just part of the fun of gardening in Alberta eh ?

Subject: RE: Protection from late spring freezing
From: Patricia (
Zone: 5
Date: 08-Jun-04 04:52 AM EST

Hello, Calgarians and Edmontonians - We in the Ottawa region are sweltering in 31' heat today - but we had frost warnings as late as last week. Covers are good, and so is lots of water. When a frost warning is given, we water our garden thoroughly and this really seems to help. Good luck!

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