Garden Care For Cold Snaps

Spring is a peculiar time for Calgarians. It seems like the moment we reach temperatures over zero degrees, the shorts come out and the toques are packed away. However, any true Calgarian knows that the moment you pack away your winter clothes you have officially jinxed the season and Mother Nature will strike back with the full force of a negative forty degree blizzard.

Weather in Calgary is delicate and undecided. It can never quite make up its mind on when spring will officially come. Therefore, we are launched into a constant back-and-forth between warm, sunny days and freezing, windy cold. While us Calgarians may be strong enough to handle this, sometimes our gardens are not.

The biggest problem people have is their garden beginning to blossom too early. A week-long warm spell can trick plants into thinking it is officially time for spring. This year is even more tricky because temperatures were so moderate, meaning the ground had time to thaw more quickly than normal.

What can you do when this happens? You can’t control Mother Nature, but you can do a number of things to help soften her blows. Here are some tips on how to protect your garden against off-again on-again weather!

Pick durable plants! Do some research on the flowers you love to see what can withstand long winters and hectic weather. For example, Forget-Me-Nots are considered frost-resistant. Getting plants that were created to withstand extreme weather will increase your odds of them surviving.

Use things such as wooden pegs and netting to protect your garden from the snow. Wooden pegs ensure that while shovelling, you won’t accidentally shovel away your garden. Netting helps keep away pesky critters and ensures that falling branches or heavy snow will have minimal impact.

A lot of people abandon their gardens over the wintertime, or try to begin the new season of gardening too early. Both are detrimental for your poor plants! Check your garden regularly over cold periods to clear away anything damaging (bonus: this makes your clean-up season way easier). When the first sign of spring arrives, don’t pounce too early! Be patient and wait until long-term forecasts look good. By hurrying your garden into a new season, you will make it even more difficult for plants to recover from cold spells.

When spring is really, truly here, get to work! Add some fertilizer to your soil, clear away debris and trim dead ends. All of these things will help encourage your garden to begin blossoming right on time!

Remember to be patient with Mother Nature! We promise that warm days will be arriving soon…

(Photo via Canva)

Posted by Ken Richter on


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