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Gardeners scramble to protect their blooms in this cold snap

METRO VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Minus-15 windchill? Don’t freeze you bulbs off!

Gardeners across Metro Vancouver are being warned to bundle up their blooms, as the latest cold snap settles in.

“If you’ve got some of your spring-flowering bulbs that are coming up out of the ground, you’d want to protect those if they are starting to bloom,” says Miles Hunter, general manager for David Hunter Garden Centres.

“Cover them with a little bit of burlap or some cloth, maybe a towel or old sheet. That will help protect the flowers from burning in the frost,” he adds.

Because it has been a drier than normal winter, Hunter says backyard gardeners have to take a little extra care with their flower pots.

“If you have any pots on your balcony or patio, you’d want to pull them in close to the house or maybe put them in a garage or carport because they are more susceptible to freezing,” he tells us.

“One of the other things that most people would forget is to water. We’ve had a very cold dry spell and if your pots are dry, they’re even more susceptible to freezing than if you have some more moisture in that soil. Water your pots when it’s warmer so you can better protect them against a cold snap,” he tells News1130.

Hardy flowering plants like primulas or posies will weather the frigid temperatures well. If any of the blooms die in the cold, simply pick them off and the plants will quickly produce more.

“Now is also a great time to put the dormant spray on your fruit trees to help protect against the fungal infections or insect infestations that might come later in the season. You want to do this now before the flowers start to come out on them. If we do have warm weather again, the flowers will probably come out early this year because we have had such warm weather prior to this,” explains Hunter.

And don’t be too hasty in trying to usher in spring.

“A lot of people have seen some warm weather over the past few weeks and they’ve been thinking spring must be here and we’re ready to go, we’re ready to start planting,” laughs Hunter. “But you should exercise caution and realize that we do tend to get a cold snap in mid-February. It’s best to wait before planting some of your spring-flowering plants.”