Posts tagged freezing

Microclimates

Nature is amazing.

Aster in November

Aster in November

Here it is, late November in Iowa, temperatures have already dipped below freezing multiples times and some plants continue to bloom. Most are in protected areas in their own microclimate, where they enjoy temperatures a bit warmer or protection from icy winds.

Still, it’s comforting to see living things surviving this cold. My sweet alyssum is still looking sweet; lamium looks lively, malva looks marvelous, a few roses are rocking and this little aster, next to my garage is working its… umm, buns off to bloom.

It’s incredible in itself that the plant could grow- sprouting from a tiny crack in my driveway. I probably should have pulled it out, but now just enjoy the late season color it provides.

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Winterizing mums

 

The following is by Richard Jauron, horticulture specialist at Iowa State University Extension:

 

   Chrysanthemums are shallow-rooted plants. Repeated freezing and thawing of the soil during the winter months can heave plants out of the ground and cause severe damage or even death.

   Gardeners can increase the odds of their mums surviving the winter by applying a mulch in fall. Mulching helps eliminate the alternate freezing-thawing cycles that can heave plants out of the soil.

    Apply the mulch in late fall, typically late November/early December. Do not cut back the plants prior to mulching. Simply cover the plants with several inches of mulch. Suitable mulching materials include clean straw, pine needles and evergreen branches. Leaves are not a good mulch as they tend to mat down and don’t provide adequate protection. The mulch should remain in place until early to mid-April.

 

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