Field of Science

Jack Frost threatens

Frosts in April are no surprise, and very hard frosts can occur as late as the middle of the month, and five years ago, after a warmish March, such a frost (mid-20s F) damaged lots of plants that sprouted growth too early, but not near as early as this year.  As another nasty imported Canadian front pushes down out of the northwest, tonight treatens to have a frost, but probably not a very hard one. Living in the city center, a heat island, provides a 2-3 degree buffer.  But still the Phactor worries because his Magnolia tripetala has flower buds, a new addition to my collection that is just 4-5 years old.  It will really be annoying if those buds get damaged, and even more annoying if such plants get frozen back.  In the perennial bed, a Vitex gives evidence to the mildness of the winter.  Vitex was formerly a verb, an aromatic somewhat woody plant that until this year was only hardy basally with good mulching so each year new growth  sprouted up from the base.  This year it did not die back at all, and has sprouted out acting like a hardy shrub.  A frost may well damage plants like this severely, although no more than most winters.  Not much to do but wait and see.  So you'll either be treated to a blog about a new Magnolia in flower or more ranting about weather ruining my spring.  Stay tuned. 

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