H-PASO ROBLES

Dec 5, 2013 1:44 AM by Connie Tran, KSBY News

Nursery owner gives tips on how to protect plants in freezing temps

A local nursery owner said there are a couple of tips that people can take to protect their plants at night during freezing cold temperatures. Zan Overturf, the owner of The Tree Man in Paso Robles, said planters can think of their plants like humans. She said plants will need water, food, and warmth to get through the night.

Overturf said there are three things people can do to prevent their plants from getting seriously damaged. She said the first thing is to keep plants watered.

"Make sure your plants are watered. They don't want to be wet on the leafs, but the cans should be, or the ground should be moist on that," said Overturf.

She said the moist soil will act as an insulator for the plant.

The second suggestion she made is to cover the plant at night.

Overturf said, "Covering your plants is very important to keep the frost from laying on it. You don't want to put a material like plastic, that will sweat and freeze onto the plant. But, something porous, like an old sheet is just fine. Burlap or interface material is just great for that."

And Overturf's third suggestion in keeping plants alive through freezing temperatures, is to feed them.

"At this time of year, they'll pick up a nitrate fertilizer. So, switching into a winter food is important for your plants. And they store the carbs for next year to make their flowers, so your fruit trees will produce, your wisterias will flower, and your other plants will flourish," said Overturf.

Overturf said there are some plants that don't need protection from frost- like hardy perennials, pansies, violas, and snapdragons. She said people can certainly have a garden all year round, because vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower sustain in the cold weather and flourish in the winter.

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