How to protect your plants with tonight’s potential freezing temps

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ROEBUCK, S.C. (WSPA) – With the nice weather we’ve been having lately, we know a lot of folks have already started planting gardens.

But, with the potential for freezing temperatures overnight and into Thursday morning, what are the best ways to protect those beautiful new plants of yours? We went to Roebuck to find out.

“I love working with plants. Plants make people happy,” John Burnett said.

If anyone is a plant expert, it’s John Burnett. He’s been around plants his whole life.

“Planting things in your yard enhances your house,” he said. “It actually increases your house value.”

Burnett works at Roebuck Greenhouses and said he’s seen a lot of people there recently, ready to get their spring gardening on.

“A lot of people plant a little bit too early,” Burnett said. “When we have warm days, they’re like, ‘Oh, I’ve got to get out in the yard and plant.'”

And, Burnett said, he can’t blame them.

“They get antsy, they get excited,” he said. “People want to get outside and work because it’s a sunny day–especially since the pandemic.”

He said, normally, planting around this time of year is not a bad idea, as frost is not super common.

“Usually, April 15th, that’s kind of the cut-off date for frost in the Upstate,” he said. “It’s seldom that we have frost after that.”

But, with the forecast showing low temperatures overnight, Burnett said plant owners will need to take action, as some plants are more sensitive to cold weather than others.

“Last weekend, we got down in the 40’s, and we had ornamental sweet potato vines sitting out here and they wilted,” he said.

If you have annuals and bedding plants, Burnett said those are the ones potentially in danger.

“Begonias, impatiens, vinca, or periwinkle–if they’ve already planted it–all of that really needs to be covered.”

Burnett said some people may use plastic to cover them, but he said a sheet, a box, or pine needles are usually better. And, for smaller plants, he said even a bucket will do.

If you choose not to cover your plants, there’s another option.

“Get up at daybreak and, if we do have frost, wash the frost off with water,” Burnett said.

Burnett said whatever you decide to cover your plants with Wednesday night, make sure you weigh it down, as wind may play a part in how well your plants are protected.

He said shrubs and woody ornamentals should be fine without a cover Wednesday night.

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