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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Arctic Blast keeps us up on our toes !

 Note! Our schedule this week:
Wed. Jan. 8th, we will NOT be at Phillippi Market in Sarasota
Sat. Jan. 11th, we WILL be at Saturday Morning Market, downtown St. Pete

Brrrrr, baby, it's cold outside ! Ole Man Winter has decided to visit us for a few days, luckily, his florida vacation is going to be short lived and we should be back to our shorts and sandals by Thursday ! Here in Pinellas county, no freeze warnings, but cold enough to cause many to cover up and protect their favorite plants and we are no exception. As many of you know, we do not have greenhouses, so protecting our outside stock is a priority. Annie hauled out the colorful assortment of sheets and blankets and Mitch made "piles" of plants..this is how we do it...

Since we had too much to cover up individual plants, basically the plan is that we lay down our plants on the ground, in a grid pattern, making individual piles about 6ft. by 8ft. and layover sheets and plastic.  This creates a great insulated pocket of air that keeps the plants safe.  The size of the pile fits nicely into parameters of sheet and plastic pieces we have.  Add some heavy pots or rocks around the perimeter to keep the sheeting in place in windy conditions. 

At the first sign of warm up, off come the sheets, plants are stood up and watered well.  We know this method works as Mitch has used it for years and it even got our plants through that very long cold spell we had 3 years ago.  Annie has a huge collection of old sheets courtesy of thrift shop shopping for years, so it's a cheap way to cover up.  That white frost cover stuff? It's great, but it's pricey !

Here is some other quick do's and don'ts for plant protection....
Bringing plants up on porches, under canapies and in garages is quick effective way to protect plant stock.

Plants located under a large area of tree canopy will fare well for short term cold blasts.

Can't cover the whole plant because it is too big? Placing sheeting around the base of the plant could  help long term recovery.

Have a special lovely you can move without hassle? Bring it into the house...just be prepared that Mother Nature's creatures may come along for the ride (ususually its just lizzards, which if you have a cat household, should make for some fun). 

Don't ever clip back a plant right after a cold spell, be patient !

Note: Due to the arctic blast taking place Monday thru Wednesday this week and with our stock undercover, we will NOT be at Phillippi Market this week but will return next Wednesday.

This coming weekend, we will be back at Saturday Morning Market, downtown St. Pete enjoying the sunshine and 80 degree weather that the rest of the country is very envious of.

Keep warm, be happy and soon all of us and our plants will be smiling in the sunshine again!

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