Planting patience: Experts say cold snaps are still possible

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – March is just days away, and that means many people are getting their gardens ready for the warmer weather.

Bryant Byrd, the manager of Walton’s Greenhouse, said you might want to slow down on sowing those summer seeds.

“People try to get a head start on their tomato crops and summer vegetables, and that is not a good idea right now. If you have a greenhouse or some type of heated area where you can start the seed then that is perfectly fine, but I would not start planting summer vegetables right now. We still have a chance of frost and freeze, and your plants can get really damaged from that,” said Byrd.

But if you just can’t wait, Byrd said there are ways to minimize the damage from late frosts and freezes.

“One thing you can do to protect your crops from colder weather is to protect them with frost cloth or fabric. It is a sheet designed to insulate your plants. If you have potted plants then you should move those inside if it is below 50 or 40 degrees,” said Byrd.

Cooler weather can provide the perfect conditions for some plants.

“You have a few options for this time of year, you can still do some cold crops like broccoli and cabbages and those kinds of things. You can also plant any type of fruit trees and shrubs. Now is a good time to start planning your roses so you can start putting those plants up,” said Byrd.

You also want to be careful with the type of soil you choose.

“House plant mix is going to be totally different from a mix that would go in the ground. So, if you are doing a container with house plants, you want soil that has really good drainage and we call that chunky soil. Something with orchard barks in it and things like that. If you are doing plants in the ground, we recommend backlight because it has some of your key nutrients built into it and you can also use compost,” said Byrd.

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