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Cold weather won't help growth

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March 22, 2006

Albany -- Azaleas and dogwoods are blooming and many of you planted spring flowers recently. Will cold weather coming our way harm those plants? Springtime is a time to color your yard with flowers, but many people wonder when is the right time to plant.

Gardening has taken root in Ron Bradley's life, and he gets frustrated when an early spring frost ruins his work.

"It's really bad especially around your house if you've got special bushes in special places and then you have to replace them. It gets real difficult," said Bradley.

Overnight lows may drop well into the 30's this week, and horticulture experts like Martin Edwards say that isn't good for some plants.

"If there is no wind and there is a heavy frost, that's where the danger is the greatest," said Martin Edwards.

Martin says plants grown in greenhouses don't stand up well in a frost or 30-degree weather.

"If you've bought plants and not yet planted them the best thing to do is bring them into a sheltered location. There are commercially available fabrics on the market, frost blankets if you will, that will protect them," said Edwards.

Plants like pink impatients are suseptible to cold weather, so here at Mark's they suggest you cover them with pine straw to protect them.

Ron Bradley is careful to use another protective measure on when to plant outside this time of year.

"I ask the professionals like here at Mark's like when can I plant what and what can I anticipate because of cold weather, and I use their guidance," explained Bradley.

The shelves at Mark's Greenhouses aren't fully stocked yet as cold weather may still strike. But after the last frost hits, everything is sure to be in full bloom.

Martin Edwards also says many people wait until after Easter to plant to avoid the chance of a late frost.

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