With yet another Colorado snow settling in and a cold snap that's due to continue into mid next week, many gardeners are worried about their newly budding plants. With the previous weather so warm, many plants, trees, and shrubs had begun to bud out, some even with new leaves. So what to do? Will the snow and cold kill the new growth?
The snow is actually good news as it provides a later of protection against the cold. It's actually the freezing temps that come after the snow has melted that are a cause for concern. If you have blooming bulbs and perennials and want to keep them blooming, place tomato cages around the area and cover those with blankets or drop cloths. You can also use buckets over individual plants.
Trees should generally be fine because they have just started to leaf out. Make sure to brush the snow off your deciduous trees by pushing up on the branches with a broom. This way, the branches won't get so heavy and break. If you have a tree that is already blooming out with flowers, such as a crab apple or ornamental plum, there is little you can do to save the blooms...that's the down side to living in Colorado. If you have fruit trees that you would like to get fruit from this year, you may want to cover them for at least the night. A simple bed sheet or tarp will work great. If temps get above 40 degrees, make sure to remove those tarps and put them back on at night. Most other trees and bushes should be fine but might have some frost damage that should be trimmed later in spring.
Cool season veggies that have been planted should be fine too, as long as they don't get smashed by the snow. Again, use buckets or tomato cages with blankets or tarps to cover the plants. This can raise the air temp 3-5 degrees and help save those plants.
What plants are you worried about? For me, it's my snowball, currant bush, and cherry tree. Only time will tell!