MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Unseasonably warm weather in January has caused many plants in the Mid-South to start budding early. Plant experts say homeowners should take steps now in order to have colorful buds in the spring.
Temperature swings in the Mid-South can also cause huge fluctuations in soil temperatures. The best way to moderate ground temperature is to use mulch and leaves to help insulate the ground.
Jim Crowder with Dan West Garden Center says, “Make sure you get mulch on the ground about 2 inches deep. It helps moderate your soil temperature.”
Wind can be the quickest way to cause frost on plant bulbs. Cover plants to protect them from the wind. Christmas lights draped on the soil surface can also give off heat for additional protection on the more tender plants. Watered plants are also more protected from the cold than dried out plants. Dry conditions can be more damaging than the cold. Plus, moist soil stays warmer than dry soil.
“If you've got some things that are really beginning to bud, we have products like Freeze Pruf that you can spray to protect down another 10 degrees or so,” says Crowder.
Taking these steps will help plants brace for the next cold snap. Expert Jim Crowder says the cold isn’t all bad. It helps kill plant-eating insects that may emerge in the spring.