Wintry blast coming our way; here’s how you can best protect your plants

Missouri

DEFIANCE, Mo. – St. Louis weather strikes again, bringing the cold and possible snow back to our area.

“Again, we are not that cold. But we are cold enough it is going to be a little tricky this time,” said Tony Frisella, Frisella Nursery in Defiance. 

As temperatures fall, the leaves may drop with the mercury.

“It depends where you are at. If you are in the city, it’s going to be a little bit warmer,” Frisella said. “If you are out where we are at, it’s going to be a little bit colder.”  

The concern is a matter of a few degrees. Anything under 28 degrees can be deadly, so protection is key. 

“We want to get this all the way down to the ground. Keep it out as much as you can get to absorb as much ground heat as possible. The idea though is not to use plastic. This is a special cloth for a freeze,” Frisella said. 

And there’s one thing that may seem counterintuitive. Warm days leading up to the freeze are damaging, but the snow may actually help. 

“No, actually, the warmer it is the worse it is. It’s those fast temperatures drops that are even harder on the plants,” Frisella said. “Snow and water is actually a way of keeping them from frosting.”  

To mimic rain and snow, Frisella Nursery will run sprinklers to help ice the plants to protect from a frost. But when it’s below 28 degrees, it’s not that simple. 

“Now when we get down below 28 degrees that’s iffy. So that’s going to be a little bit more of a deal where we watch what we are doing,” he said. “We have to cover more plants we can’t necessarily just ice them this time.” 

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