Monday, November 16, 2009

What do we do now to recover from freeze damage in Tennesse garden?

It's been almost two weeks since our landscaping was badly damaged by 6 nights of frost near Nashville. What do we do and when can we do it.

Nandina had lots of new, soft growth, all of which froze. Can I prune this damaged area back now that frost danger is gone? What about rhododendron? A baby Japanese maple had all the leaves freeze. I know not to fertilize, but I'm wondering whether there is anything I can do to make it easier for the plants to recover. I have extra concern as most of this was installed in October and was having a big burst of early season growth due to the hot spell we had. Please give me as much detail as possible.

What do we do now to recover from freeze damage in Tennesse garden?

I'm a professional landscaper from central Ohio, zone 5 and we probably got more frost damage than you. Most everything here that had signs of tender green growth got frostbitten and is now black and crispy around the edges. That's okay, perennials are used to it and will bounce back in no time. Just pinch or trim back the damage if it bothers you; it will shed it eventually anyhow. Even your plants that you put in last October will be fine since they proved they made it through the winter with your last warm spell. Now that it has warmed up and the weather is forcast to kinda settle in, go ahead and fertilize as you normally would. The plants need the nutrition, frost damaged or not. If you have other gardening related questions or projects you'd like help with, we have a great group at Yahoo called therookiegardener. We'd love to have you join us.

Happy Gardening!

Reply:Leave everything alone until you see new growth, then prune off the damage. There is a chance that they may grow back. The damaged leaves will protect the new growth, from frost, or hot sun. Don't be in a hurry to clean up, this is natures way of prunning. Don't meddle with mother nature. Hoyakins

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