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By Mary HightowerThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
(Newsrooms: with file art at www.flickr.com/photos/uacescomm/3253339439/)
SEARCY, Ark. – The National Weather Service at Little Rock has issued a frost advisory
from midnight Friday until 9 a.m. Monday and that’s the cue for gardeners to protect
Blanket covering protecting delicate shrubs from late spring frost freeze April 14
2008. This is the correct method for protecting plants from cold damage. (Image courtesy
Kevin Quinn.) Credit mandatory.
“Before we get any cold weather, make sure the ground around shrubs is saturated,”
said Sherri Sanders, White County extension agent for the University of Arkansas System
Division of Agriculture. “The moisture in the ground helps get them through the cold,
and after all the rain we’ve had, the ground should be moist.”
Sanders said watering should be done at ground level and not over the foliage. If
the temperatures fall into the freezing range, the water could freeze on the leaves
Additional protection is needed for other plants such as fall- or reblooming azaleas
“For anything that’s tender, that’s blooming, we need to have some kind of sheet,
cardboard box, towels, anything to cover the plant up long enough for the frost to
hit and move on,” she said. “We prefer not to put on tarps or any kind of plastic,
which aren’t breathable.”
Sanders said gardeners should not leave the covers on day and night. “Just put ‘em
on when you go to bed and take them off mid-morning.”
Pansies and some gardenias are bred for the cold, so will be OK without covers.
According to the National Weather Service Little Rock office, there’s at a least a
50-50 chance that Nov. 3 would be the day for first frost and Nov. 14 the date for
the first freeze.
For more information about gardening, contact your county extension office or visit
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity,
sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran
status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative
Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
Media Contact: Mary HightowerDir. of Communication ServicesU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service(501) email@example.com