Thank you to everyone who attended what turned out to be the largest Missouri Master Gardener State Conference EVER in it’s 18 year history!
How do I protect my plant from frost?
Unexpected spring and fall frosts strike panic in the hearts of many gardeners. There’s no way we can accurately predict or control the temperature, but there are several measures to protect plants from these light frosts.
First, plan for frosts. Contact your local weather bureau to find out the average first fall frost and last spring frost for your area. In Springfield, these dates are Average First Frost October 11 – 20 and Average Last Frost: April 11 – 20. These dates will help you judge planting and harvesting dates so you can plan for frost protection. Remember, these are only averages. Actual dates can fluctuate widely.
Before you plant, check your site. Since cold air sinks, low areas freeze earlier in the fall and later in the spring. Areas close to lakes usually have later fall frost dates. Plants sheltered by buildings or larger plants are often missed by first and last frost of the season. The heat from buildings, cities and artificial sources also affect frost dates. You may want to record the temperature in your own yard and compare with the average for the area. This will help you decide whether or not to protect your plants from frost when warnings are out.
Here are some guidelines. Protect plants from a light frost (down to 28 degrees F) by covering the plants with cloth, plastic, newspaper, straw or evergreen boughs before the frost occurs. Boxes and inverted pails can also be used. This will help trap soil heat around the plants and prevent the cold air from striking them. Remove the coverings, especially plastic, when the temperature rises above freezing.
A commercial practice that some gardeners may like to experiment with is to use water to protect plants from frost. Lightly sprinkle tender crops with one eighth inch of water per hour. As the water freezes on the plant, it gives off heat which keeps the plant from freezing. You must continue to sprinkling until the ice melts off the plants which makes this technique less practical. Do not use this method on trees, shrubs or other plants that could be broken or damaged by the weight of the ice on the plants.
Congratulations to chapter member Tom Lakowske, Class of 2011 who is our Speakers Bureau Chair, State Conference Garden Tour Chair, and President of the Greater Ozarks Hosta Society who received the official announcement yesterday that the Hosta Garden at the Springfield Botanical Gardens, 2400 S. Scenic Ave., has been designated an American Hosta Society National Display Garden.
The garden was established and is maintained by the Greater Ozarks Hosta Society. Tom Lakowske, GOHS President received the phone call yesterday afternoon from member Lee Coates who is attending the American Hosta Society National Convention in Milwaukee, WI.
This honor and designation comes after hours of hard work by Tom and other volunteers from the Hosta Society, Friends of the Garden, Master Gardeners of Greene County, other organizations and individuals to develop the garden so it qualified for this special national recognition. There are less than 20 designated display gardens nationwide, what a special asset this garden has become for Springfield and the State of Missouri. The American Hosta Society National Display Garden Program.
Springfield will be added to this list to become number 18. For more information on the Greater Ozarks Hosta Society visit their website:www.gohs.org
Daylily Garden National Certification
The Daylily Garden at the Springfield Botanical Gardens received certification by the American Hemerocallis Society at the end of 2011 and is recognized as both a Heritage (one of 15 recognized nationally) and Region 11 Hybridizers garden. The display is one of the largest in any national public garden with approximately 850 varieties in 11 daylily beds. The garden was established and is maintained by members and other volunteers working with the Ozark Daylily Society.