Many of my friends east of the Mississippi have been experiencing warmer than usual weather for the last two weeks or so. The warming temperatures really brought the gardens to life and now we have a threat of frost for the first few days of next week. With Peonies now standing about a foot tall, Hosta with their beautiful leaves open, Bleeding Hearts in bloom, Lily after lily emerging from the ground, I always get a wee bit nervous when I hear of cold temperatures once again! Experience has taught me the Hosta are tough and can handle a few chilly nights, but I take care to cover my Peonies and Bleeding Hearts. Using bamboo stakes, I create a tee-pee around the plants and drape an old bed sheet to cover and temporarily secure it to the poles to protect the plants. This method has never let me down! If any of you are getting a bit nervous with a brief cold snap in the forecast, try the above mentioned method. A word of caution.. do not use plastic as a substitute for an old bed sheet!!! Any plastic coming into contact with the foliage during a heavy frost or freeze can actually damage the leaves.
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Welcome! I’m Margaret Roach, a leading garden writer for 25 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and in three books. I host a public-radio podcast; I also lecture, plus hold tours at my 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants.