Ah, March—that temperamental month that strikes joy and fear at wild intervals in every gardener’s heart. The sun comes out, temperatures soar into the 50s, garden centers restock, tulips push through the dirt, birds chirp happily. And then, at the zenith of your false-Spring delight, the local forecaster utters two nasty words: hard freeze.
Almost immediately, gardeners in every region all over the world have very, very strong opinions about whether you should protect your tender plants. In fact, they might even argue your plants aren’t actually tender. “Look at the daffodils going strong!” they crow. “My hyacinths survived four inches of snow last year!” they remind us. “Tulips are tough! These were my grandmother’s!”
Well, except…these are YOUR tulips. YOU pored over the bulb catalogs last fall and delighted in some exotic selections. YOU fought off the naughty voles and gophers and chipmunks by nestling your beauties into wire planting baskets. YOU sprinkled repellent into the holes and onto the ground to deter digging. YOU amended the soil. YOU paid more for organic products. YOU fertilized with Bulb-Tone. Maybe you planted in pots this year and focused on watering just enough, but not too much. And after all that, you crossed your garden-stained fingers.
So guess whose opinion about frost protection matters? YOURS. It’s your bulb, your garden, and your decision. Don’t let the naysayers on either side of this hot, hot issue get to you. If you decide to throw caution to the nor’easter wind, good for you! If you like to hover like a hummingbird, go for it! And if--if—you dare to protect your beauties from moody Mother Nature, here are some tips:
With this kind of weather prep, you should practically guarantee a showy spring. Now, go remind Mother Nature who’s really the boss of your garden.
A Michigan farm girl transplanted to the South offering hospitality hacks.