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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Watering For Frost Tootsie Tip #9 Saving your Annuals

my garden containers 2005
It is that time of year again in my neck of the woods. Fall is coming.
Yes the frost is threatening to damage or destroy my gardens once again. Last night we had a frost warning. This is not the first for us this year. Yes- you read that right...not the first one. The first was in the beginning of July! How crazy is that?
This is a post I I try to share each year, as there are always people who don’t know about the ways we can avoid frost killing our gardens sooner than later! I have so many new followers that love and care for their gardens, that I thought I'd offer this little tip to you once again.
For years I have known of a little secret that an old gardening friend once told me. And for years I was suspicious of the effectiveness of it, yet did it anyways. It seemed to work, but I just considered myself lucky. My friend told me, that if I was to make my flowers wet late in the evening, or in the wee hours of the morning before the frost fell, that the water would insulate my plants and that the frost would be less likely to harm them.

I would put on my warm clothes and quietly head out in the dark, wet all the leaves and flowers down, and sneak back inside to the warmth of my house. Later in the morning, I would go out and see if the water trick had worked...and lucky for did. Still, I was not convinced.
In order to answer my burning question of whether or not I was wasting my time or making myself look like a lunatic for nothing- I asked a Master gardener friend. This is his response to me:
"The spray with water for frost protection is true. As water turns to ice it loses energy in the form of heat and this keeps the temp around the plants warmer. Orchards often spray their trees with water if frost threatens crops.If you have any plants that are very sensitive to cool temps like begonias, I would still cover them. Lois Hole always used to say that just making sure the plants were well watered was enough in her experience. "
What a relief it was to learn that I was not outside looking like a raving lunatic for nothing!
So...the moral of this story is...water for frost, and try not to spook the neighbors...they will not only think you are insane, but they may just call the cops on you!
Thanks for stopping by today...I hope you are all getting ready to link in for Fertilizer Friday and will Flaunt Your Flowers with me!
*)*)*) to my sweetheart three!!! Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending!

¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•.



Four Paws and Co said...

This is a good one - even if we're having a bit of a heat wave here.... ☺

Darla said...

This is a common practice here in the South for the citrus groves...I have done it also.

Thoughtfully Blended Hearts said...

Once again great advice from my favorite "garden guru"...

marilyn said...

Watering for frost does work, I always went out just before sunrise to do it and got the added benefit of seeing the sun get out of bed.

SmilingSally said...

With temperatures in the 80s here, it's always hard for me to even remember that it's fall. Frost, now that's winter!

Dawn Marie said...

Well I never heard of this and surely will remember it and pass it along to all my gardening buds. thanks for the tip. Your colder than we are,, and I've already cut some of my plants down and pulled em out. Not because of cold, but because of to much growth and just wanting to be done with some of them.

Stacey said...

Tootsie, this is such good advice! We are several weeks away from frost but it's definitely on my mind. I have a flower bed full of hydrangeas that haven't bloomed in 3 years. The nursery man told me that it's probably because we had a frost when the plants were too dry. This year it is my mission to keep this perfectly moist.

CiNdEe's GaRdEn said...

Our first frost is usually around November 15th if its dry. If we have rain it can be much later.
We really need rain though. At this point I would take some frost if that meant it would rain too(-:

"Blossom" said...

Sorry Tootsie I don't have many annuals left. But what a great idea.
I saw my neighbor do this so she isn't crazy after all.
Have a great week-end this week.
Love you girlfriend.

Domestic Designer said...

My husband and I always do this. It really does work. Thanks for the info and have a great day!

Joyce said...

Good to know and my neighbors already know I am crazy!

Sandra said...

Hi Tootsie! What a great tip! I will defiinitely do this when our temps go down.
I have a question. I have 2 tropical hibiscus in great big pots. I don't want to lose my hibiscus but the pots are way too heavy to move. Should I try to move them into the garage or something anyway? What would you do? Thank you. I love love your blog and your tips for us. :)

Coloradolady said...

Great tip!! Thanks

The JR said...

I would like for it to be a little cooler in July, but FROST! Sometimes here in MS, I've walked around out side in December in a tank top.


Leigh of Tales from Bloggeritaville said...

You are always full of good tips! I appreciate your visits and your friendship!

Dirt Princess said...

Those flowers don't even look real! They look like they are spray painted! They are so bright and vivid

trailrider731 said...

I'm SOOOOOOOOOO ready for some cool ,dry weather! I Don't know if I will even get to cut grass this week it has rained so.

I did put my couple of indoor plants out for a good drenching in prep of bringing them indoors soon, I expect I'm still safe here in the South for a couple more months though.

the best is yet to come!!!

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

I am going to try like crazy to do a post for Fertilizer Friday this week. It may not be much..but I did get a few flowers. Not sure where all the flowers are at our gardening centers this year...but at least I was able to snag a few for some color. I cannot, for the life of me get the snails to leave the Merigolds alone. In a single night they strip them bare and it's a waste of money.
The water trick is interesting. In California when the orchards were threatened by frost, they used to use smoke... you think that worked. I remember lots of reports of frost damage.
This was very interesting...thanks for sharing the tip!!

Bren Haas said...

I don't want to think FROST!!!! I feel your pain.

Bri said...

Love your blog! Thanks for the lovely comment! Shoe shows sound amazing!!!!